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Free Minds & Free Markets

San Francisco Tries to Square Progressivism with Housing Progress

The only solution is more housing. But people want the city the way it is: unaffordable.

Sonja Trauss runs the San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation. The name was chosen to be redolent of Star Trek and also because its acronym would be BARF. The group's message board is said by The New York Times to "veer into strident libertarianism and juvenile ribbings." (I wonder what that's like?)

Håkan Dahlström via Foter.com / CC BYHåkan Dahlström via Foter.com / CC BY

Trauss and her group sound like fine, well-meaning people. Their goal is to institute freer building policies that would allow more people to afford to live in San Francisco.

Naturally they are, as The New York Times reports in a very detailed look at BARF and the debate it is helping energize, running up against a lot of entrenched desire to futilely hold back the winds of eternal change. I wrote back in 2001 about San Francisco residents' eternal desire to keep the city the same city they first met and loved, at whatever cost to others.

BARF members are so single-minded about housing that they can be hard to label politically. They view San Francisco progressives as, in fact, fundamentally conservative. That is because, to the group members at least, progressive positions on housing seem less about building the city and more about keeping people like them out.

The city's denizens have a real problem with the "new tech money" they blame for insane housing and rental inflation. Trauss and BARF blame government for making it too hard to build, and a lefty coalition that thinks the only good new building is subsidized "affordable" housing.

David Campos of the Board of Supervisors says straight out that there is just too much demand from the well paid for supply to ever meet, and that none but the subsidizable with below median income for the city should ever even dream of living in San Francisco henceforth. As one of Trauss' associates complains, their enemies' "plans are only to allow current incumbent renters to stay in their place, presumably until they die and some rich person comes along.”

Even within a larger progressive political community united on most question of value and party, the notion that the city could be made better (at least for people who might want to live there who aren't already settled in) by making it easier to build housing riles those dedicated to an environmentalist slow growth philosophy, and also dedicated to resenting tech workers.

A policy designed to make it harder for newcomers, and for oldtimers who can't afford rising rents and aren't under untouchable rent control, has become part of the definition of being a "progressive" there.

This thinking is at odds with a February report on housing prices from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, which said underdevelopment was the primary cause of the high prices that afflicted cities throughout the coastal part of the state, especially in the Bay Area.

“Many housing programs — vouchers, rent control and inclusionary housing — attempt to make housing more affordable without increasing the overall supply,” the report said. “This approach does very little to address the underlying cause of California’s high housing costs: a housing shortage.”

A sideways detail in the story limns the infuriating range of things that can get one facing fine or imprisonment in this country: writing an inaccurate address on a voting registration form got a guy BARF tried to get on the Sierra Club's executive committee, Donald Dewsnup, arrested for voter fraud.

Conor Friedersdorf wrote intelligently late last year at The Atlantic about how it isn't so much evil rich techies causing a housing price explosion in that old city by the Bay, but:

property owners gleefully watching the value of their biggest assets skyrocket as they aggressively blocked high-density development. Their success has caused much misery.

He linked to an excellently detailed and non-ideological look at some of the grim realities of the politics of San Fran housing from Kim-Mae Cutler in Techcrunch in 2014, which sets forth exactly why a policy open in any way to new building or new residents or easing the insane price hikes don't work well in that town:

San Francisco has a roughly thirty-five percent homeownership rate. Then 172,000 units of the city’s 376,940 housing units are under rent control. (That’s about 75 percent of the city’s rental stock.)

Homeowners have a strong economic incentive to restrict supply because it supports price appreciation of their own homes. It’s understandable. Many of them have put the bulk of their net worth into their homes and they don’t want to lose that. So they engage in NIMBYism under the name of preservationism or environmentalism, even though denying in-fill development here creates pressures for sprawl elsewhere. They do this through hundreds of politically powerful neighborhood groups throughout San Francisco like the Telegraph Hill Dwellers.

Then the rent-controlled tenants care far more about eviction protections than increasing supply. That’s because their most vulnerable constituents are paying rents that are so far below market-rate, that only an ungodly amount of construction could possibly help them. Plus, that construction wouldn’t happen fast enough — especially for elderly tenants.

So we’re looking at as much as 80 percent of the city that isn’t naturally oriented to add to the housing stock.....

[as a partial result] the city has added an average of 1,500 units per year for the last 20 years. Meanwhile, the U.S. Census estimates that the city’s population grew by 32,000 people from 2010 to 2013 alone.

That's the environment that Trauss and her team are fighting in. As the story notes, most renters in San Francisco have a tenuous enough grasp on supply and demand basics to fear that more new building would just inevitably raise prices even more. More building freedom in San Francisco might be right, and might be better for more people, but it could still be a long time coming.

Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström via Foter.com / CC BY

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  • ||

    I've found that progressives really care about poor people. That's what they say. But they don't want any of those dirty poor people they care so much about living anywhere near them, let alone in their own neighborhood. They like to care from a distance.

  • LynchPin1477||

    They care about being seen to care. I don't think they consciously think of it that way, but if they were really passionate about helping the poor, they'd be more concerned with the consequences of their preferred policies.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They care about signalling and gratification. Consequences are just things you pave over on the road to that.

  • Ted S.||

    They care about keeping the poor people poor.

    OT, since I wasn't around for the AM links: the BBC's report this morning on the Dilma impeachment was infuriating. They basically said that the people impeaching her were more corrupt than her, and implied they were doing it because RACISM!!!111!!!

  • Notorious UGCC||

    They dusted off their reporting on the Clinton impeachment?

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    I lived in San Francisco 30 years ago near a church whose priest made a big public thing out of feeding the homeless. Said homeless would begin congregating around 5am for the free food, and piss and poop around the church. Someone suggested he start the feed later in the day so the homeless wouldn't line up so early, and his answer was to make it an hour earlier. Some local organized a meeting to come up with ideas to improve the situation, and the priest showed up with a few thugs for his own counter-meeting, drowning out our meeting.

    Newspaper (the Examiner) researched him, found his wife was rich and they lived in the pricey Marina district. He normally drove a nice new Benz, but kept a 20 year old beater station wagin just to drive to church.

    And the homeless? they wanted houses, not apartments, not shelters, and a fair number of them showed up for the free food in their own cars.

    A real education for me, about both homeless bums and the scoundrels who fake their help for them.

  • ||

    Everyone's an asshole.

  • Sevo||

    If that was Cecil Williams, he now lives on Potrero Hill. The claim is his salary is low, but his wife is highly paid for her work in the church, and if you want to see a miracle close to the 'loaves and fishes', go to Glide on Thanksgiving and watch turkeys turn into dope a block or two from the church, while Cecil makes sure there is no one between him and the TV camera.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Cecil Williams is the black pastor with the huge Thanksgiving feed, right?

    This was a skinny white dude at the Episcopalian church near, what, Bush and Franklin? Been a long time -- 30 years ago.

  • Rhywun||

    I used to work a dumpy hotel in a seedy/rich part of Buffalo and there was a women famous for walking around with a baby carriage and panhandling to support her baby. The baby was a dummy.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What do you expect from the kid? A proof for Fermat's Last Theorem?

  • Rhywun||

    Will you be here all week?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yes, and please tip your waitress.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "I used to work a dumpy hotel in a seedy/rich part of Buffalo"

    Are you still a call girl? If yes, I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Rhywun||

    Actually the streetwalkers were mostly male in that area. Would you like to know more?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Hmm. No, I guess not. So, the 'newsletter' is right out?

  • Sevo||

    "...) be making it"

    Should be "by making it"?

  • Sevo||

    You're welcome...

  • Brian Doherty||

    Thanks! Was in hurry last night...

  • See Double You||

    "BARF," really?

  • Jerryskids||

    It's a mog. Half man, half dog. It's its own best friend.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    And he missed the Spaceballs reference.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Cathy Young writes about her experience with the 'Alt right' and her research into it. Spoiler alert: they're racists pretending to be 'sciencey'. Like really olde stock proggies

    "One of VDARE’s regular contributors is retired California State University-Long Beach psychology professor Kevin MacDonald, who has some peculiar theories about Jews: namely, that Judaism is an “evolutionary strategy” by which Jews seek dominance and that, as a minority in gentile societies, they use this strategy by working to subvert and weaken majority culture."

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/.....s-bigotry/

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'm surprised someone like that could get a university job.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Also, mostly unrelated, but I've always wondered if the word "jewelry" has it's root in the word "Jew". Anyone know?

  • Rhywun||

    No.

    from jeu ‘game, play,’ from Latin jocus ‘jest.’

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    The last names aren't an accident, though.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    But schmuck still means 'jewel'.

  • Sevo||

    Yes, it does. In several meanings.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    What about the colors? I used to know why, but alcohol erased it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You mean like Goldberg or Silverman?

  • Richie||

    I kinda feel like they were forced those names... would I be right?

  • Richie||

    Oh, alright They didn't use formal surnames and needed to be taxed.

  • Sevo||

    "You mean like Goldberg or Silverman?"

    Weatherford writes about this, and I'm pretty sure it was him who mentioned the names resulted from the jobs that Xians weren't allowed to do.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Yes. Also just regular colors, not just precious metals. And not just in English.

  • Derpetologist||

    The word Jew comes from Judea by way of Latin.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "I'm surprised someone like that could get a university job."

    Without having a name like Sheikh Yamouni Makir.

  • ||

    Did someone say Kevin McDonald?

    I think someone said Kevin McDonald.

    Since I heard someone say Kevin McDonald (with no care of the 'Mc' and 'Mac' distinction), here's Kevin McDonald:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0ey7eWkYJU

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "MacDonald, who has some peculiar theories about Jews: namely, that Judaism is an “evolutionary strategy” by which Jews seek dominance and that, as a minority in gentile societies, they use this strategy by working to subvert and weaken majority culture."

    Wasn't that Nietzsche's idea, too?

  • Quincy.||

    "Short of aerial bombardment, the best way to destroy a city is through rent control."

  • Rhywun||

    Meh, rent control is junior league compared to zoning and regulations.

  • Sevo||

    Won't work in SF; the demand pushes prices to the point where renters are bought out and the rental units removed from the market.

  • CZmacure||

    And the demand is a constant that will never, under any circumstances whatsoever, decrease in any way.

    (People in San Francisco actually think this...)

  • Cytotoxic||

    Clinton has massive lead on Trump. No, polls are not meaningless this far out. They actually start gaining predictive power right now, not that anyone who isn't retarded could not see this coming.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....-5491.html

  • WTF||

  • Cytotoxic||

    Why are people the way they are? Why are progs so shitty? What if it's brain parasites like T. gondii? Or other organisms/viruses?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/mag.....zy/308873/

    TL;DR: fuck cats.

  • Jerryskids||

    "veer into strident libertarianism and juvenile ribbings" (I wonder what that's like?)

    The juvenile ribbings are for our pleasure, not for yours.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    That's what he said.

  • Sevo||

    "...Then 172,000 units of the city’s 376,940 housing units are under rent control. (That’s about 75 percent of the city’s rental stock...."

    Feinstein instituted R-C in '79; it was a vote-buying scheme, no more or no less. She's not totally ignorant of econ; in the hopes of not killing development totally, her ordinance exempted properties built after it was passed.
    Well, she may not be totally ignorant of econ, but she obviously never made her money from the market; the market isn't buying beef sliced that thin, since all it takes is one more Peskin ally on the BoS to make ALL rentals rent-controlled. Peskin has already claimed that as a goal.
    (Arron Peskin: Proggy ignoramus/supervisor who has never held a job. He claims to have cleaned up has act; last time he held office, we were all hoping he'd drink himself to death. )
    So new rental construction is thin on the ground, mostly as required 'remediation' for other development, and as I mentioned earlier, some 19 former rental units (that I know of) on the square block where we live have been removed from the market.
    I'm sure this ratio is not common across the city, but I'm sure there's numbers beyond finger-counting. And given the presence of Peskin et al, it will take more than some easily-changeable promise to even begin to ad to supply again.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    You know the next step...

    Make it illegal to take rental units off of the market.

  • Sevo||

    "Make it illegal to take rental units off of the market."

    Did you miss it? The "Anti-Going-Out-of-Business" ordinance went to court and even in CA didn't get too far.
    The work-around is a payoff of ~$50K to the tenant to buy them out. Given that an empty unit adds a couple of hundred K to the value, it's quite common.

  • Aloysious||

    The group's message board is said by The New York Times to "veer into strident libertarianism and juvenile ribbings" (I wonder what that's like?)

    What are you implying, Doherty?

  • Crusty Juggler||

  • Trouser-Pod (The blowhard)||

    Hold on...I'm sure this would not happen again, if they would just get more officers. You know-beef up that particular division.

    No, WAIT!! Um, if they would just get the right people into the positions, it wouldn't happen.


    Well, crap--I had it right the first time: Get more investigators in. More eyes watching, and all that.

    OK, hold on.... More investigators, making sure you get only the best people hired in.

    Yep, that's the answer.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Yep. You have to bribe to exercise your constitutional rights.

    My piece of shit SIL has a NYC carry license. She's incredibly irresponsible.

  • __Warren__||

    C'mon man, after that we need at least one anecdote.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I've told the story here multiple times.

    She's Florida woman transplanted in the North.

    My wife comes from a family of 5 girls. 4 of them are successful.

  • CZmacure||

    The case against Mr. Lichtenstein is being prosecuted by the same three assistant United States attorneys assigned to the fund-raising inquiry ... All are assigned to the Public Corruption Unit in the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.


    Preet seems... busy... lately.

  • dantheserene||

    So the cop penalty is to be transferred off the gravy train, and that's it?

  • Cytotoxic||

    So apparently Trump's National Field Director up and quit. Huh.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Must've gotten bored with all that winning.

  • Jerryskids||

    Bullshit. If he's gone it's because Trump fired the sad pathetic loser - nobody quits on the Trumpster. This wasn't the new guy he recently hired that worked his magic electing McCain and then Putin's puppet in Ukraine, was it? The guy who got some flak over being paid to lobby for the government subsidizing some project and then buying a 20% stake in the project? The guy voted most likely to have the most clients mentioned in the Panama Papers and/or the UN report on human rights violations? .

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I have a confession:

    I ordered Dominoes. Should be here shortly.
    Hugh, go ahead and rub one out, and then we can have an adult conversation.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    At least it wasn't a Papa John's.

  • Pompey||

    C'mon, you know that garlic margarine slurry has ancillary uses.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Crusty knows. Lube.

  • Sevo||

    PM, when in SF, hie thyself to Goat Hill Pizza.
    They have a sour-dough starter and make sour-dough crust every day.

  • Radioactive||

    I hate SF...every where you go is sour dough this and sour dough that...I got your sour dough right here...

  • Pompey||

    Meh. Even trash pizza is edible. Barely. Dominoes really is the barrel dregs of chain pizza though. You order a few 2liters of Mountain Dew as a pairing? Your candor is, however, commendable. I never admit when I eat out of dumpsters.

  • Rhywun||

    Where I'm from (Rochester), Dominoes is about as good it gets. The local crap is inedible.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Nothing wrong with a hot circle of garbage.

  • Pompey||

    It's gotta beat thousand island dressing sauce pizzas.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Calling bullshit on that.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Mountain Dew? No, I don't mix business with pleasure.

  • Pompey||

    Dominoes and Dew: the mullet of pizza combos.

  • Agammamon||

    I don't understand the Dominoe's hate. It ain't Pizza Hut. It ain't Little Caesers.

    And Papa Johns is pretty decent (IMO probably the best of the delivery pizza chains).

    None of them beat a good local place with a proper setup, but the D is pretty good for delivery and its at least still edible the next day, unlike whatever LC serves which you had best eat while its hot because it *congeals*.

  • Pompey||

    I changed my mind. Chuck E. Cheese pizza last year was a horrid experience...never again. Saved by the fact that they carry local brew on tap for adults.

  • Radioactive||

    all pizza tastes great after a couple (or 30) adult beverages

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Responding to the first two paragraphs of your post:

    I hear this is what you ordered.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I see you believe in recycling, too.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Nostalgia.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I heard that in my head when I ordered. I proceeded anyway.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I ordered Pizza Hut on Saturday and thought of you.

    No homo.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I would never do that. Except when I do. MEAT BRAWL!!!!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, even in sharia there are exceptions to no pork if its a life or death situation.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Have you ever had a hot Meat Brawl delivered to your doorstep? LIFE

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't order pizza that often,and when I do, I tend not to order from the larger chains. Even in college, local places were closer and sometimes cheaper.

  • Pompey||

    DHOP or GTFO.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Jerryskids||

    I called Papa John's the other night only to find out they stopped delivering this far out so now if I want crappy pizza in half an hour or so I gotta go get it myself. I could justify to myself eating crappy pizza by blaming it on my laziness and the fact that PJ's delivers but I'll be damned if I'm actually making any kind of effort to eat crappy pizza.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Maybe if you're just passing by. I'm sure you'll find a reason to be in town.

  • Derpetologist||

    Spot the Not: crazy San Francisco laws

    1. It is illegal to sell bottled water.

    2. It is illegal to give free toys in Happy meals.

    3. It's illegal to store anything in your garage except your car.

    4. If you live in San Francisco, you must recycle.

    5. It is illegal to display an American flag on any day except the 4th of July.

    6. If you want to be naked in public then you have to get a parade permit.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    6

  • Notorious UGCC||

    (I don't think it *is* illegal to be nude in public)

  • Cyto||

    There are a couple of notable denizens of the University district that wander about full time "as God made them". So I doubt the permit requirement. Ima go wit 5. Too on the nose.

  • Rhywun||

    6

  • Jerryskids||

    I'm going to have to go with 6 unless you forgot a not and meant to say it's illegal to *not* be naked in public because those people really are that crazy.

  • Sevo||

    #2; easy.
    But Mikey D's got around it. They charge something for the toy and give it to charity, thumbing their noses at the BoS.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    If it's a real law, it's not a not, if you see what I'm saying.

  • Sevo||

    Oops; busted!
    Missed the contingency.
    I know #5 is NOT a law, not sure about #1, #6 I think is a law (you must be a part of a permitted street fair or some such).
    #2, #3, #4 are laws; you could go to jail.

  • Sevo||

    So #5.

  • Rhywun||

    I need clarification on #3, because as stated it's nuts. Like, no garden tools or paint?

  • Sevo||

    Yes, in the literal interpretation, no garden tools or paint. It is nuts.
    There was an effort to get it sunsetted a couple of years back, but the comrades of the USSF preferred it as it was.

  • Sevo||

    BTW, I have a certain sympathy with the intent of the law (not the way it is written, and no, I did not sign anything to keep it).
    If you own a car, you should have a way of storing it off the public street. I'd hope my taxes go to providing a thoroughfare, not a storage facility.

  • Rhywun||

    He wants the not, not the is. I was actually torn between 6 and 2 - 2 sounds like something that was floating around recently but didn't actually happen.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    5 doesn't seem right at all.

  • Derpetologist||

  • Mickey Rat||

    If 5 of those are laws then San Francisco is not a fit place for human habitation.

  • RoninX||

    Also,

    7. It is illegal to run a pet store.

    8. It is illegal to for any store to provide plastic bags.

    I actually liked San Francisco when I lived in Silicon Valley about 20 years ago, but the progs have really run rampant, and in an authoritarian way as opposed to a hippie "I'm okay, you're okay!" way.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "Rory Feek’s Civil War-era film Josephine premiered at the 2016 Nashville Film Festival on Thursday night (April 14). The movie, which stars Alice Coulthard and Boris McGiver and is based on actual events, was directed, co-written and edited by Feek and co-written and produced by Joey + Rory’s manager (and Feek’s cousin), Aaron Carnahan....

    "Josephine tells the story of a woman who poses as a man and enlists in the Army near the end of the Civil War, in an attempt to find her missing husband, John Robison."

  • Notorious UGCC||

  • Sevo||

    Akin to Derpotologist's 'spot the not', spot the good guys here:

    "Local religious group suing city to remove outdoor urinals at Dolores Park"
    [...]
    "In a civil complaint filed last Thursday by the San Francisco Chinese Christian Union, the urinals are called an "illegal and wasteful expenditure of public funds" as well as "offensive to the senses" and "grossly unseemly."
    As the SF City Attorney notes in a very snarky press release, the San Francisco Chinese Christian Union has been identified as an "anti-LGBT hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center."
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/.....256033.php

    Check the photo; pretty obvious that's gonna be a flasher op with the trains passing by, but a religious issue?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "The suit alleges that the pissoir is not compliant with plumbing codes, has no hand-washing amenities, is not wheelchair-accessible and discriminates against women because, well, it's a urinal."

    Those sound like legitimate issues to me.

    Too bad it's *those people* raising the issue.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    And I couldn't seem to find this group on the SPLC site.

  • Sevo||

    "Those sound like legitimate issues to me."

    To you.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    So, there's no issue with (say) public health, sex discrimination, or disability access?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Bear in mind that we have companies boycotting entire states for making the restroom experience uncomfortable for people who are confused about their own sex.

    Here is a situation where *actual women* are more inconvenienced than men.

  • Sevo||

    "So, there's no issue with (say) public health, sex discrimination, or disability access?"

    Sure there is, if you're a lawyer. To the rest of us, well, you are eddie.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    From the complaint:

    "Ce1iain San Francisco officials attempt to justify the open-air urination hole above the
    sewer by pointing to other countries that have different - and indeed, lower - expectations for hygiene than the United States. The trajectory for American society is to take reasonable steps to increase sanitation and cleanliness. Indeed, in California, instruction on the impottance of hand washing is part of school curriculum. Health Education Standards for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, Standards 1.1.P and 7 .2.P. Moreover, the concept of hand washing - including after use of the restroom - is routinely taught in preschool in this country. For most homes, children are taught basic sanitation by their parents before they are old enough to enter such schools."

  • Sevo||

    Yes, exactly as you might imagine from someone using the law to protect their fragile sensibilities.
    I'm not gonna do the search right now, but there was a hospital study showing your hands got 'dirtier' touching your face than they did touching your dick, presuming you bathed regularly.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Yes, I trust San Francisco authorities to give credible reassurances about what is or isn't a public health problem.

  • Sevo||

    Notorious UGCC|4.18.16 @ 11:41PM|#
    "Yes, I trust San Francisco authorities to give credible reassurances about what is or isn't a public health problem."

    Oh, not to worry, eddie, they give plenty of attention to every whiny voter block that they can find, including idiots like you.

  • Rhywun||

    I'm guessing it's for the homeless - they are mostly men. It does strike me as odd to put in a public park this thing that only men would be comfortable using.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    According to this article:

    "The pissoir was installed in February as part of the significant and long-planned update of Dolores Park. Supervisor Scott Wiener (and I’m leaving that one alone) says there were “at least 50 community meetings” and lots and lots of free-flowing ideas. Among them was the idea of putting an open-air pee station at the top of the park, an area known as Gay Beach.

    "“One thing we heard was we needed significantly expanded restroom facilities,” Wiener said. “The rationale for that particular corner was that it was disproportionally male, and a pissoir would take some of the pressure off the restroom buildings.”

    "Or as [Recreation and Parks spokesman Elton] Pon put it: “It had to do with the flow, excuse the pun, of people there.”"

  • Notorious UGCC||

    In short, it seems that San Francisco puts gay men above women and the disabled on the progressive "stack."

  • CZmacure||

    There's a public multi-sex full bathroom in the park as well.

    This urinal is a (great idea with a terrible location and execution...) much needed thing to cut down on drunk people urinating on the big grassy area that people hang out on.

    San Francisco has a really serious problem with public excretion. :

  • Rhywun||

    Agreed. An open-air pissoir - WTF? I've been to the land of pissoirs - they are not open-air.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    On the other hand, I've seen Chinese toilets. That looks surgically antiseptic compared to your usual Sino-Shitter.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    There's probably a reason these folks are in America, not China.

  • Rhywun||

    One of my favorite memories of a trip to China was seeing the look on the face of a northern European tourist stumbling out of the bathroom of a tourist-trap playhouse we visited - it was obviously his first encounter with a squatter. You could see the steam coming out of his ears.

  • Cyto||

    Hey, if you are over 50 and encountering one of those for the first time.... well, good luck. Even if you manage to squeeze out a deuce while holding that position and not tipping over, you still gotta get back up without stumbling into the hole. Can't be an easy trick for an old dog to master.

  • Sevo||

    There's several reasons western style hotels do well in China, like this one.

  • Rhywun||

    but a religious issue?

    Their complaint doesn't sound religious in nature.

  • Derpetologist||

    It is illegal in San Francisco for 2 adults to enter a public toilet together.

  • Rhywun||

    Wouldn't it be easier to list what *is* legal in San Francisco?

  • Derpetologist||

    Everything that is not mandatory is forbidden. There is not a single aspect of life they do not want to tax, regulate, mandate, or outlaw.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    As the SF City Attorney notes in a very snarky press release, the San Francisco Chinese Christian Union has been identified as an "anti-LGBT hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center."

    I have to ask if there exists an organization that the SPLC hasn't identified as some sort of hate group at this point?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Like I say, I couldn't find this designation on the SPLC Web site. Maybe someone else can have better luck.

  • Derpetologist||

    The Southern Poverty Law Center is the new Holy Roman Empire.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Let's see, the Holy Roman Empire was the *First* Reich...so the SPLC is the *Fourth* Reich?

  • Derpetologist||

    You just got added to the hate group list.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The SPLC is a multi-ethnic elective monarchy?

    Who knew?

  • Derpetologist||

    You clearly knew I meant it in the "neither holy, Roman, nor an empire" sense.

    Stop being silly!

  • Sevo||

    Was in mid-Europe recently; try buying pap-a-rik-a in Hungary on a Sunday. Blue laws like GA dumped years ago...

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    If you bought anything other than this, you're doing it wrong.

  • Sevo||

    Wife did the shopping for the pap-a-rik-a, but that looks like the can. She got two flavors.
    Oh, and the Hungarian guide had vintage whines about how Hungary had been victimized going back to the Mongolian invasion (12th century).
    Whatever happened, it wasn't their fault.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    2 flavors: Paprika and Paprika.

  • Sevo||

    Not to hear the Hung's tell it.
    Wife does a mean goulash, so I'll let you know which pap-a-rik-a does what.
    Strangely, getting speatzel wasn't easy, but apple strudel was easy to come by.

  • CZmacure||

    Maybe we could make it a goal to get Reason.com commenters on the list?

  • ||

    I'm still waiting for our hate designation.

  • Hyperbolical||

    Even within a larger progressive political community united on most question of value and party, the notion that the city could be made better (at least for people who might want to live there who aren't already settled in) by making it easier to build housing riles those dedicated to an environmentalist slow growth philosophy, and also dedicated to resenting tech workers.

    Otherwise known as NIMBY.

  • Sevo||

    "Otherwise known as NIMBY."

    Yes, it is. Speak with most any long-term resident and it's clear that SF was just perfect in '55 ('68, '75, '90, etc), and quite a few of them are more than willing to use the force of gov't to keep it that way.

  • Agammamon||

    "veer into strident libertarianism and juvenile ribbings." (I wonder what that's like?)

    Hey!

  • Agammamon||

    As one of Trauss' associates complains, their enemies' "plans are only to allow current incumbent renters to stay in their place, presumably until they die and some rich person comes along.”

    Well I suppose that's better than the normal socialist plan of 'kill the poor'.

  • Sevo||

    "Well I suppose that's better than the normal socialist plan of 'kill the poor'."

    Proggies don't get to do that yet in the US (watch out if Nye gets his way).
    But along with buying votes it was obvious that the initial intent was to make sure that Juanita (who cleaned Feinstein's house) could live in the city, so Diane wouldn't have to listen to Juanita whine about the commute.
    By now, the R-C units benefit the well-off, much as subsidized opera isn't meant for Juan and Juanita.
    Juan and Juanita don't contribute to campaigns.

  • Derpetologist||

    SPLC lists about 900 hate groups. Brigitte Gabriel's group is listed.

    Brigitte Gabriel knows way more about hate than any of those clowns.

  • Derpetologist||

    This video of hers is a must-watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJPPGpdNmEo

  • ManMade||

    Is this where I say hi? Long time listener first time caller.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Hello! Pardon me if I don't shake hands, I have to wash them after that urinal article.

  • ManMade||

    Well no problem...Just mind your manners and we are cool or something...I'm a nice white guy so we shouldn't have problems haha. Then again I may be the worst.

  • Sevo||

    Nikki is the wurst, so you don't have to worry.

  • ManMade||

    Well I'm new so I may be cute and special, but I may beat her. I mean how bad can she be?

  • ManMade||

    Well I'm new so I may be cute and special, but I may beat her. I mean how bad can she be?

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Pics?

  • ManMade||

    Why do I have to prove my privilege? I'm a whit scary male ok... geez..

  • Rhywun||

    (no fems, no fatties)

  • ManMade||

    i might be bigger..., BUT I(APOSTROPHE)M NOT FAT OK!!!!

  • Derpetologist||

    Howdy, pardner!

    Welcome to the cesspool.

  • But Enough About Me||

    Welcome. Recent arrival meself. You'll find there's a whole bunch of people here. Saying stuff.

    I think.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    That's not true.

  • ManMade||

    Question....Does anyone like McClelland's Single Malt Scotch?

  • Sevo||

    Is it made in Tennessee?

  • ManMade||

    no haha in this country called Scotland...

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I also like John Daniels.

  • Sevo||

    I'm sort of partial to his brother's product.
    BTW, no whine to M-M. I know respectable people who drink the stuff from Scotland. I'm just not one of them. Pretty place, tho...

  • ManMade||

    John Daniels huh? Can't say I ever heard of that son. I heard of this Jack Daniels one time, he passed through my property looking for something, but I just thought he was lost. Wasn't too bright, didn't seem to know what whiskey is, but whatever.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    His close friends call him John.

  • ManMade||

    Still he can't make whiskey

  • But Enough About Me||

    No. Aberlour's "A'bunadh" or GTFO.

  • virginiajpewitt||

    I've made $64,000 so far this year working online and I'm a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I've made such great money. It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do,

    ----------------- http://www.worknow88.com

  • virginiajpewitt||

    I've made $64,000 so far this year working online and I'm a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I've made such great money. It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do,

    ----------------- http://www.worknow88.com

  • timbo||

    What better people to consult for sound and intelligent economic policy than Californians?

  • tinamorris1145||

    uptil I looked at the bank draft saying $8885 , I didn't believe that my mother in law woz like they say truly taking home money in there spare time at their laptop. . there great aunt haz done this less than 17 months and as of now repayed the mortgage on there home and bourt a great Renault 4 . see

    Copy This Link inYour Browser

    http://www.MaxPost30.com

  • tinamorris1145||

    uptil I looked at the bank draft saying $8885 , I didn't believe that my mother in law woz like they say truly taking home money in there spare time at their laptop. . there great aunt haz done this less than 17 months and as of now repayed the mortgage on there home and bourt a great Renault 4 . see

    Copy This Link inYour Browser

    http://www.MaxPost30.com

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