Thursday, April 10, 2014

Beyond Chron ten years later

Photo by Frank Jang

Randy Shaw looks back on ten years of publishing Beyond Chron:

Soon after Beyond Chron began that I learned that one of my chief goals---enlisting activists to promote their causes---would fall short. Many activists have a desire to write but can’t find the time. Others lack confidence in their writing skills. Some feared alienating the Newsom Administration with criticism.

Oh yes, those "activists" are so busy they don't have time to write. And what kind of activist would worry about alienating City Hall? The real problem Shaw had is that many of the "progressive" causes ten years ago were dumb and weren't thought through very well, which I pointed out on Beyond Chron's first anniversary.


This meant that I ended up doing more writing than originally planned. Fortunately, Paul Hogarth, an activist with college journalism experience, came on board to give BC a political punch that also expanded readership.

I suppose "punch" is one way to describe what Hogarth brought to the party, but an ultra-left nuttiness would be more accurate. Hogarth's The day Obama became a Republican is a classic in the ultra-left genre, which has been a problem with Shaw's project from the start: You can't flank Beyond Chron on the left! (see also this, this, and this.)

Hogarth also wrote in favor of allowing UC to rip off and privatize the extension property on lower Haight Street that had been zoned for "public use" for 150 years.


Locally, I take greatest pride in a story I wrote in October 2010, “In District 6, Jane Kim Takes on the Machine.” I saw the Bay Guardian/Democratic machine anointing their handpicked candidate to represent the Tenderloin and the rest of D6 as profoundly disempowering and contrary to what progressive politics is supposed to be about. D6 voters agreed, electing Kim handily. In the decade prior to that story I had a good relationship with Aaron Peskin and used to talk to him about once a week; the only time we have talked since then is when we ran into each other briefly at a North Beach café.

Shaw's support for Jane Kim in District 6 over Peskin's candidates implied that Peskin is a racist. Maybe that's why there's a chill in your relationship, Randy. In fact Shaw has consistently assumed that only he understands the interests of non-whites in San Francisco, that those who simply disagree with him on, for example, immigration are racists. Shaw on immigration in 2006:

Can it be that liberal San Francisco does not really care whether thousands of its residents are made criminals due to racist attacks on the current generation of predominately Latino immigrants? Based on the city's inaction, it is difficult to draw a contrary conclusion.

Shaw plays the race card throughout the Jane Kim piece that he's so proud of: "In a city filled with young people and Asian-American Democrats, the DCCC’s slap in the face to Jane Kim does not serve broader progressive interests." Kim is "a young, Asian-American progressive," and by not endorsing Kim in District Six, Peskin and the DCCC "turns away those who do not fit its preferred demographic," which is supposedly white people.

The reality was that the white Debra Walker was much more qualified to be a supervisor than Jane Kim, who was both a carpetbagger and of dubious candle power.

Presumably Shaw's refusal to publish anything on the Islamic bullyboys is also based on his goofball racial analysis of politics, which makes him a typical American lefty. Of course Beyond Chron wrote nothing about the largely successful attempt by the Islamists to intimidate the media during the trumped-up issue of the Danish Mohammed cartoons, and they wrote nothing about the anti-Jihad ads on Muni buses.

While Beyond Chron's party line leftism hinders its coverage of issues---especially local issues that can't be usefully analyzed using typical leftist assumptions---just as often it's just plain stupid, like Shaw on Mirkarimi and CEQA.

My post on Beyond Chron's fifth anniversary.

Kim left the Green Party when being a Democrat became fashionable for leftists here in Progressive Land.

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At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Presumably Shaw's refusal to publish anything on the Islamic bullyboys is also based on his goofball racial analysis of politics, which makes him a typical American lefty."

I'm still waiting for any progressive to comment openly and in writing about the the Islamic crazies playing soccer with the severed heads of people who disagreed with them.

At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you still clinging to 55 laguna Rob? Half of that was a parking lot. Wasted space. What was your proposal for that location instead of apartments

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Since the property had been zoned for "public use" for 150 years, in the first place the city shouldn't have allowed UC the zoning change allowing them to privatize it as a for-profit housing development to pump up its real estate portfolio.

Recall that UC lied about why it closed down its Extension campus there.

Supervisors Mirkarimi and Dufty betrayed the neighborhood and the city by rolling over for UC, using housing for gay seniors as a PC figleaf to justify the ripoff.

UC had the use of the property tax-free from the city for 50 years only because of its education "mission" as a public university. The city allowed UC to abandon that mission and instead make it a permanent part of its real estate portfolio.

What the city should have done: reject the zoning change and go to court on behalf of the people of San Francisco to repossess the property for public use. That could have meant a number of different things: another school, or a library---there isn't a library anywhere near that part of town---among other things.

But I suppose the City Attorney's office was too busy at the time lying to the court that it was okay to violate CEQA by rushing the Bicycle Plan through the system with no environmental review.

The Planning Dept. played a crucial role in this "progressive" fiasco by giving UC an early green light with Marshall Foster's "policy guide" paper and later unanimously okaying the betrayal of the people of the city.

As per the Peter Principle, Marshall Foster was later made the Planning Director in Seattle.

So now we have under construction a for-profit housing development of 450 housing units on six acres that will bring 1,000 new residents a block off the chronic traffic jam called Octavia Blvd. in the heart of the Market and Octavia Plan that in turn will bring another 10,000 new residents to the area, including 40-story highrises in the Market and Van Ness area.

City progressives call this "smart growth."

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"I'm still waiting for any progressive to comment openly and in writing about the the Islamic crazies playing soccer with the severed heads of people who disagreed with them."

No, it's verboten to discuss violent jihad in San Francisco because that would violate the city's nutty, naive version of multiculturalism. Recall what a dither in City Hall Pamela Geller's anti-jihad ads on Muni buses caused!

Recall too the shockingly stupid resolution the Board of Lemmings passed in the wake of that kerfuffle.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

For those who missed the video of the Taliban at play, here's a link.

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bike nuts ruin NYC, despite knowing what disasters would follow:

"The city’s report contains a number of other interesting statistics about the effect of the Prospect Park West bike lane. The number of cyclists using the road went up, and speeding cars, cyclists riding on the sidewalk and injury-causing accidents went down. The road diet isn’t just creating a space for bikers; it’s also making the street safer for other types of users."

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You've clearly made this comment to the wrong post. Besides, we live in San Francisco. what about this city's great and phony bike revolution?

And what about that UC study you and all the other bike zealots in SF are strenuously ignoring? Apparently riding a bike in SF is a lot more dangerous than City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition have been telling us. And the most under-reported type of cycling injury accidents is "cyclist-only" accidents that have nothing to do with bike infrastructure. Not surprising that you don't want to talk about it.


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