Monday, May 13, 2013

David Chiu, Israel, and Islamic fascism

Supervisor Chiu is back from Israel. San Francisco Magazine---or is it Modern Luxury?---has a short piece on his impressions on the trip:

During the trip, there were international headlines about a stabbing in the West Bank, rocket attacks in Gaza, and Israeli air strikes into Syria from the Golan Heights. “What the United States experienced in Boston," Chiu said, "Israel experiences on a daily basis.”

Yes, indeed, which is what the Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller ads on our Muni buses were about---and which Chiu wrote a fatuous Board of Supervisors' resolution condemning the bus ads.

The trip, convened more or less annually for three decades by the Jewish Community Relations Council...helps to "understand nuances and complexities of pluralistic pulsating country that’s thousands of miles away, but whose issues often play out in Bay Area in much less nuanced ways," according to Abby Porth, the organization's Associate Executive Director.

"Pulsating"? Is that going to replace "vibrant," the all-purpose term used by boosters, politicians, and planning bureaucrats to describe neighborhoods they approve of?

Chiu echoed the sentiments, saying, "Events in the Middle East often lead to tensions in San Francisco—flotilla resolutions, circumcision bans, MUNI bus ads, and divestment measures at Bay Area universities. There apparently will be a new round of bus ads that describe Israel as an apartheid state. But there was nothing like seeing on the ground these issues play out in the daily lives of residents. It drove home the importance of not bringing a simplistic lens to incredibly complicated issues." (links added)

The ads denouncing Israel as an "apartheid state" are apparently now running on Muni buses, but I haven't noticed any "progressive" protest about the slander.

Thanks to Michael Petrelis for the link.

A South African criticizes comparing Israel to South Africa.

Labels: , ,

Dense development and expensive trains for the Bay Area

Randal O'Toole on the One Bay Area, Smart Growth, Dense Development plan that will bring over-priced trains and highrise development to the Bay Area. Planners, developers, and rail nostalgists will be pleased:
...A careful analysis of data in the environmental impact report reveals that densification and transit improvements together are projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by less than 1 percent. All the other emission reductions that the plan takes credit for come from other programs, mostly programs done by other agencies. While the plan does not have any cost data, it is likely that those other programs cost far less than densification and rail improvements.
Even the less-than-1 percent reduction in emissions depends on planners’ optimistic projections that more rail transit will boost per capita transit ridership by 40 to 60 percent; in fact, despite all the rail transit built in the region in the last 30 years, per capita transit ridership has declined by 35 percent and per capita transit passenger miles has declined by 5 percent since 1982.
On top of that, far from improving housing affordability, the plan admits that densification will actually make housing less affordable. The plan calls for mitigating this by subsidizing housing for a relative handful of low-income people, but those subsidies will probably just make housing even less affordable for everyone else...
Read the rest of the story here.

Later: O'Toole's complete comments on the One Bay Area Plan.
Rob's comment:
Of course the One Bay Area Plan involves bicycles: here and here.
Children must be programmed to ride bikes: "We are always seeking new ideas to test, or input on current local programs. If you have an innovative idea on ways to encourage youth and their families to use alternative transportation..."

Labels: ,