Archive for November, 2015

Just 14 Points About Kara Swisher’s Fawning Interview / Prop F Victory Lap with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Here you go, a podcast from yesterday:

November 29, 2015 | Re/code Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher – Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO; Holiday Gift Guide

“Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky talks with Kara Swisher about the attacks in Paris, raising “a couple billion” and the future of…”

Start at 14:00:

  1. No Airbnb, you can’t really say you had a recent “victory” in SF. A pyrrhic victory, maybe. (But your $8+ million helped to defeat Prop F, I’ll concede that.)
  2. “It’s hard to be a tech company in SF.” What on Earth does this mean? Why don’t you leave then, if things are so, so hard (but not really, not IRL) here?
  3. Oh, so using SF’s direct democracy ballot system when, as in this case, we have regulatory capture of the $F Democratic Party (and other$) is not only immature but “ridiculously immature?” Again, one wonders why Airbnb chose to come here to this horrible, horrible place.
  4. In regard to the “Airbnb Law,” didn’t Airbnb meet with then-Supervisor David Chiu something on the order of sixty (60) (!) times to craft regs as favorable to Airbnb as practically possible? I think so. Am I wrong on this? David Chiu was/is a partner of Airbnb, non? David Chiu is now in the Assembly thanks, in part, to Airbnb, non? So that’s what some people mean by the term Airbnb Law. (And incidentally, it was/is an unworkable mess, with a very low compliance rate, so far.)
  5. No, Airbnb, Prop F would not have “ban[ned] in-law units.”
  6. No, Airbnb, Prop F would not “have created a private right of action,” for the simple reason that Prop F didn’t pass and yet San Franciscans have a private right of action right now.
  7. Let’s stop now to ponder – does Kara Swisher know any of this stuff? She’s not up-to-speed, apparently, or she is and she wants to conduct a fawning interview. I’ll tell you, so far so good, KS. Mission accomplished.
  8. Does one need to be “against Airbnb” to approve of regulating Airbnb?
  9. “Even the San Francisco Chronicle…” I don’t know what this means. Was this editorial from the Publisher a surprise? Not at all. Also note that the Chron calls for changes to the regs cooked up by Airbnb and David Chiu…
  10. “[T]here’s this notion that we aren’t paying our share of taxes.” Well, here’s where that comes from. How much in hotel taxes should Airbnb have remitted as opposed to the mystery amount that it actually did – well, that’s not really knowable from outside of Airbnb.
  11. “We’re not jerks.” So why not explain what happened with the bus ads? Your choice, Airbnb. Are the people down in Socal who made the ads jerks? What did you do, just throw money around and say, oh don’t bother us, just make a contract with ClearChannel after you run it by a solitary Airbnber – that’ll be fine. We like surprises! And of course, this ad campaign was totally totally independent of anything having to do with Prop F. Of course.
  12. “Volunteers” knocking on 285,000 doors? Weren’t some of those “volunteers” actually paid, like with cash money? Yep. You want to get into this? We can get into this.
  13. Reference to “party houses.” I don’t think this issue was addressed. Or Airbnb Hotel, neither – these We Heart Airbnb podcast people didn’t have time to get into these things. I guess they were too busy with the “Holiday Gift Guide,” IDK.
  14. And what’s this – “I think the vast, vast majority of people are renting the homes they live in.” So what’s that as a number, is it 51%? IDK. Doesn’t Airbnb know this stat for San Francisco, like down to five significant digits? I think so. And how about this – most Airbnb units in SF are being rented out by people who rent out multiple Airbnb units. Is that true? Isn’t that a problem?

I think we’re at 24:00 now, so that’s ten minutes of audio for you to listen to.

(I don’t think I could have handled much more anyway.)

I leave you with this – here’s how one City Hall insider viewed things last summer:

“After Mayor Lee and the Board of Supervisors screwed up short-term rental legislation not once but twice, voters now face a choice: keep current law or replace it with Prop F. Those upset over “ballot box planning” should blame City Hall for not enacting the handful of changes that would have either prevented Prop F from going to the ballot or ensured its defeat.”

Airbnb don’t want no Prop F, so one assumes it’s all prepared for City Hall to take a fresh look at this regulatory mess (that Airbnb helped create) come 2016. Fine.

Oh, and just One More Thing:


Sometimes when you win, you also lose…

Volkswagen Fanboy Spotted on Sacramento Street: “YES IT’S A DIESEL” – Breaking the NOx News to the TDI Club

Monday, November 30th, 2015

As seen by photographer James Corrigan:

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Read the news and turn the pages:

“Study: Volkswagen’s emissions cheat to cause 60 premature deaths in U.S. – Timely vehicle recall by German automaker would avoid some 130 early deaths, researchers say.”

Wow, Look at All These People Ice Skating in Union Square – Drag Queens on Ice! – Singles Night!

Monday, November 30th, 2015

It’s on! All the deets.

And here are your Upcoming Special Events:

December 3 – Single in the City: A Single’s Event
December 5 – Learn to Curl Event
December 10 – Drag Queens On Ice
January 1 – Polar Bear Skate*
January 9 – Learn to Curl Event
January 18 – Last Day to Skate

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*Grab your bikinis – it’s a New Year’s Tradition now

Government of Armenia (Per Capita Income = $3K/Year) “Rolls” Through Frisco in Its Own Brand-New Rolls Royce – Democracy In Action

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Here it is, a white Ghost, the “more realistic” Roller:

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IDK, man. Seems a bit spendy…

IT’S COME TO THIS: The Doughbies “Doughbus” Will Deliver Freshly Baked Cookies to You Within 20 Minutes? IS THIS REAL LIFE?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

I haven’t checked up on this ad yet, but I gotta say that I don’t think Doughbies is going to make it as a company.

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(And that’s my Haterade, sorry.)

And what if the Doughbies deliverer only had to give you something intangible, say something like a kiss on the cheek? Well, even then, I don’t see how this app could deliver. So like the deliverer would go to Nob Hill and park and then make it to your place in 20 minutes? How is that possible? Oh, the driver would illegally double park? OK well, maybe.

And didn’t pizza delivery places have to walk back promises of DELIVERED IN 30 MINUTES OR IT’S FREE due to getting sued over the concomitant reckless driving? I think so.

Or you’re going to use bike riders? Or scooters? IDK, man.

Oh what’s that, I’m hurting the “feelings” of the Doughbies all-seeing, all-knowing Founder(s)?


Oh what’s that, it’s good to fail, to give it a shot? Well, sure, for you, the Founder, using Other Peoples’ Money and then failing, well that could be a great career move. But this process might not be good for a lot of other people, don’t forget.

Oh yeah

[UPDATE: Oh I see. Delivery is restricted to the Financh and neighboring SoMA. So that’s why you advertise in the fucking Richmond District? OK fine. Yes, they do use bikes. But no, the 20 minutes isn’t really a serious thing. And of course, it’s only curbside delivery. So fine, but you shouldn’t address your pitch to “San Francisco” is all I can say…]

Why Peds Hate Prius Drivers, Ch. MMCCLXVII

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

They’re still the worst drivers, after all these years:

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SFMTA MUNI Stares Down Mental Illness in Front of Twitter HQ – One Reason, Just One, of Why VisionZero 2024 is Impossible

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Oh here we go, here’s a 21 Hayes operator at 10th and Market. (Hey, you know the slow and inefficient #21, right? It comes to us, at great expense, via our slow and inefficient SFMTA.)

Anywho, here’s the scene, the driver with a green, the ped with a fierce attitude problem – it’s a staring contest:

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But let’s start at the beginning where Just Do It ambles against the red heading inbound on Market:

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And reaches the safety island. All the other peds stop for their red, but Just Do It doesn’t break stride, oh no. Now, here come the bus:

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What’s the ped’s message here? It’s like go ahead and run me down – make my day. Go ahead and just do it is what Just Do It is saying, more or less.

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While driving, biking or walking about town, I blithely assume that all pedestrians will manifest mental illness. Is that so wrong? I think not, obliviously.

OTOH, our SFMTA considers all peds perfect, perfect people – perfect people who make the occasional “mistake” by purposefully walking into traffic.

And DYK that the cause of most ped deaths last year in SF County was the peds themselves? Our SFMTA seems to ignore this reality. (Do you want to get into this, start talking about vehicle code violations and whose fault is what? I can do it. I have done it, AAMOF.) But Reality doesn’t win you any votes at the ballot box, and it doesn’t make Uncle Sucker want to send us some more sweet sweet pork from DC, so that’s why our SFMTA isn’t interested in Reality.

What will be the consequences for the people today spouting VisionZero 2024 when 2024 comes and the promises of VisionZero 2024 don’t? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Oh well.

If SFGov wants to legislate away all transportation deaths in town by 2024 and into the future, forever, it would need to be able to magically cure all mental illness, and even then it would fail. Really, SFGov would need to eliminate transportation altogether.


Men Ruin Everything – Men are Pigs – Rear Window Stick Figure Family Portraits Ruined by “Making My Family”

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Riffing off of this type of thing, of course.

Men Ruin Everything:

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Men are Pigs.

Area Conspiracy Theorist and SALON Founder David Talbot Goes Off the Deep End – New Book Goes “Inside the Plot to Kill JFK”

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Here’s what HarperCollins went for:

The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government

And here’s just one clause, addressed to:

“Those resolute voices in American public life that continue to deny the existence of a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy…”

So, Oliver Stone had JFK,* and now David Talbot has this.

And so, if you think it’s possible that Oswald acted alone, as he did before (trying to assassinate a retired general earlier in 1963) and after (killing a Texas peace officer shortly after shooting JFK twice)**, then YOU crazy, then YOU in denial. Is that how this works?

And the way to earn respect from both Stone and Talbot is to start believing in a JFK conspiracy theory – any theory will do. ‘Cause believing in any crazy theory means that you don’t believe in the hated “official version” of how JFK was murdered.

And that’s good enough for them.

And what’s the official version? IDK. It starts with the Warren Commission, but it doesn’t end there. The official version is our best guess of what happened based upon what we’ve learned the past half century.

So that’s that. All’s what left to do is to wait for the book tour to wind up on KQED Forum…

Yours, in denial…

*Where do you want to start with the JFK? Here? Here?

**Oswald, the former Marine Corps marksman, was a gun nut who liked shooting military and paramilitary authority figures – it was his thing. For example, before he shot and killed Commander-in-Chief JFK, he shot retired U.S. Army General Edwin Walker (with the rifle Oswald bought mail-order, the very same one he used to kill JFK). And then, after he shot and killed JFK, he shot and killed Dallas Police Department Officer J.D. Tippet and then he attempted to shoot Dallas Police Department Officer N.M. McDonald.

Area Planner Brings Street Chess Back to Mid-Market – How “Urbanists” Envision Our Future

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Here it is, not too far from notorious 6th Street, a Vision of the Future:


(Complete with smiling peasants, Comrade. This woman prolly scored some happy drugs around the corner on Golden Gate Ave.)

I had to “enhance” the illustration to see what was going on here, but this sure looks like a riveting game of sidewalk chess, which used to be a scene close to 5th Street and which then got kicked over to the other side of 6th Street and which then got regulated out of existence.

But along with the chess came sidewalk craps, shielded from view by the chess people. Other things came along with the chess as well and that’s what led to its demise. One wonders why our City Family kicked the chess ppl out from 5th and Market in the first place…