Archive | June, 2009

Champions of Traditional Marriage

24 Jun

And here is marriage advice from Governor Mark Sanford (R-South Carolina) to a since-deleted blog:

Dear Stephen,

Thanks for your letter, and congratulations on your wedding in June. You were generous enough to ask for a few pearls of wisdom on the marriage front, so here are a few thoughts from one who has yet to earn all his marriage badges in this chapter of life.

If memory serves me correctly, I’m thinking about a Scott Peck book called The Road Less Traveled. This book, or one I’m confusing with it, talks about moving from independence or dependence to interdependence. My sense of an ideal marriage – and it takes experiences together, time and maturity to reach this point – is that you have the union of two people perfectly able to stand on their own. They come together knowing that their lives will be more fulfilling and meaningful by choosing to build a life together. In this regard, view your marriage as a partnership, and extend to your wife the same courtesies in communication you would extend your business partner. Suprisingly a lot of couples don’t, and from unintentional and small communication lapses grow big differences. Jenny and I try to consult with one another a lot, and it has paid dividends.

Forgive – and forget. Apologize. In James the Bible says never let the sun set on your anger. It is great advice. If you have to stay up all night fussing until the issue is resolved, do it. Don’t let
anyone go to bed brooding because only bad will grow from it. In resolving these issues, take Steven Covey’s advice from his book The Seven Habits. He says seek first to understand – then to be understood.

The Bible charges men with the role of head of household. We set the tone and among other things are responsible for the spiritual condition of the household. Be willing to assume leadership. Part of that means to love her when that is not the mood of the day, she will respond, but you have to consistently take that all important first step. God gave you a mission in life, be sure to in some way incorporate her in it. She will be thankful and like all women want to be part of a mission impossible that is bigger than just cleaning dishes and washing the baby’s diaper.

Thank her for the little things she does. I do a poor job of this, and it is worth focusing on.

Keep it fun. Don’t let spontaneity die. Take time to smell the roses along the all too short path called life.

My life has been made richer by our friendship Stephen. Thank you again for it and again congratulations.

Sincerely,

Mark Sanford

The difference, dear reader, is that Republicans constantly moralize to people about family values. Otherwise, no one would really care a lot. If you oppose gay marriage and say it will harm traditional marriage, I’d argue that the actions of Mssrs. Sanford and Ensign are worse.

Sanford Too

24 Jun

Remember everything I said about Ensign last week?

Image: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford

Double it. When you want to be the party of family values, you can’t use taxpayer money to fly to Argentina to bang your querida.

MoralizingFAIL + Two Helpings of Hyposcrisy – Viable Candidates = Bad Time in 2012 Unless We Turn It Around.

Deep Thought

24 Jun

How did Gwen Ifill’s book end up doing?

Obama’s Presser 6/22

24 Jun

The MI6 and the CIA overthrew a democratically elected Iranian government in 1953 and installed the Shah. Had that not happened, it’s quite likely that Iran wouldn’t be run by Ayatollahs right now, and who knows? Maybe there wouldn’t be a Hezbollah either. Since the Shah was deposed, the US has been the Great Satan. Obama’s measured response, which is fluid in response to reality on the ground in Iran, is exactly appropriate.

“If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality healthcare…then why is it the government, which they say can’t run anything, is suddenly going to run them out of business?”

Two Things

23 Jun

1. Congratulations to Mike Miller on becoming the Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara.

2. Buffalo Repat has an interesting post that anecdotally shows that unchecked annexation can sometimes be as harmful as no annexation at all.

UPDATE: Links fixed. Tut mir Leid.

Abolish the New York State Senate This Instant

23 Jun

Here’s how New York’s WCBS described today’s carnival sideshow called “Albany”:

As incredible as it may seem, pictures obtained by CBS 2 HD are of the Democratic senators who locked themselves inside their chamber so they could be “first in” for Gov. David Paterson’s special session. The pictures, shot through the window of a Senate door, seem to show that it was all about taking possession of the podium.

Yonkers Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins is seen standing there to prevent the Republicans from taking over. The move came shortly after Democrats said talks of establishing a bi-partisan operating agreement fell through because a Republican coalition insisted the Senate president be Bronx Sen. Pedro Espada.

“We do not concede that Pedro Espada is the Senate president. We have offered to put aside the issues of whether the president of the Senate is Sen. [Malcolm] Smith or Sen. Espada,” said Sen. Eric Schneiderman, D-Manhattan.

What happened next was equally incredible. With the Democrats in their seats, the Republicans marched in and tried to take the podium. They were rebuffed, so they held a session form the well of the chamber and passed dozens of bills by acclamation.

The odd thing was when Republican senators start the session with the pledge of allegiance. The Democrats didn’t stand to participate and when one tried to stand, he was pulled down.

After the Republicans gaveled out, the Democrats gaveled in their special session. The problem was Sen. Smith said they couldn’t proceed because they didn’t have the governor’s bills.

The system’s broken. Start fixing it by removing these petulant cretins from Albany. They’re not Democrats or Republicans. They’re the Doodyhead and Poopypants parties fighting over who gets the better cot during naptime. Send them all home, pull all of their pay, abolish their chamber and positions, and don’t forget to rescind all of their pensions.

When You Get Beyond the Abstract

23 Jun

Pete at BS explains in this comment and this comment exactly what’s wrong with America’s health care system. Not with the quality of our care, but in the way we pay for it and access it.


62% of American bankruptcies are due to health care costs
. We have first world care and a third world way of paying for it.

Some Buffalo Perspective

23 Jun

One of my goals when starting this blog was to talk about Buffalo’s view of itself, and how that sets us back. Many cities and places have mythologies. Some, like LA’s, are about opportunity and optimism – deserved or not (its the sunny weather). Others, like Buffalo’s, are suspicious and defeatist. In the Buffalo mythology, China and Mexico stole our jobs, Charlotte stole our children, Toronto will steal our Bills, and Brett Hull stole our Stanley Cup. We look with wistfulness and regret back at what we had, instead of planning what we will be in the future. When a new plan is announced, we plan for its failure instead of contributing to its success.

buffalo-casino

Its been almost two years since I moved back. More on that later. Moving away for 12 years, living in five different states and visiting 49 of them, I came to realize the benefits of Buffalo. Unfortunately, I think Repats often appreciate Buffalo more than many of those who stuck around. I’m sure those that are born and raised in NYC, Chicago, and many other places, know the good thing they have. Buffalo is more of an acquired taste – you need to eat a lot of burritos, Jack-in-the Box, and BBQ to long for a Beef on Weck.

Las Vegas, southern Florida, and Phoenix are brand new places that sprang from nearly nothing. Everything is new and exciting and no one is from there. Everyone I knew in Vegas was from Pittsburgh, Cleveland or Kansas. Contrast that with Buffalo, where few new people move in, lots move out, but the die hards have little frame of reference outside of WNY.

These die hards go to NYC once in a while to see a Yankees game, to Toronto to see Beauty and the Beast, and to Ft Meyers to visit their Grandma. But Charlotte is a magical place full of money and jobs and your sister’s kids. Ditto for San Diego, Denver, Chicago and Portland. Did you hear they have no income tax in Florida? Did you hear they built a new VW plant in Tennessee? My neighbor’s cousin just got a job in DC. Why don’t we have a new VW plant in Buffalo? Why do the taxes go up as fast as the jobs go away?

Legitimate questions, probably. But my point is, in other cities, and other states, people bitch too. Sometimes they bitch about the same things. Sometimes they bitch about different issues, things that Buffalonians take for granted. And sometimes, things are really bad, but the people aren’t organized enough to bitch, and simply give up caring. But the grass is no greener, and I’m here to show you that, one city at a time.

For the last week and a half I’ve been in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Fayetteville is proof that not all of North Carolina is a boom town.

fayetteville

I’m in Fayetteville because I’m doing some business at Fort Bragg. That’s why most people are in Fayetteville – they are stationed here, used to be stationed here and got stuck when they exited the Army, or can’t figured out how to leave. It is called Fayette-Nam by many soldiers, and that is not a term of endearment. I hear gunshots outside of my new build hotel in the “good” part of town. In fact, Fayetteville has a score of 2 out of 100 for safety from crime.

If I told you Fayetteville was a city of 120,000, you might be confused that it is half the size of Buffalo. Silly New Yorker – in the booming South, cities are allowed to annex property. Buffalo may not have changed boundaries in 150 years, but that’s not true everywhere. Which brings me to my Grass-Is-Not-Greener issue. Fayetteville is not half the size of Buffalo, it is one tenth the size. Because it has no suburbs, as it annexed all adjacent communities, farmland, and surrounding areas.

Over-annexation is a major issue down here, as cities can annex neighborhoods, towns, and subdivisions against the wishes of the residents. I am a fan of AG Cuomo’s push to make it easier for government entities in NY to merge. But we certainly don’t want the system run amok down here in North Carolina. There is a reform bill moving its way through the NC State legislature, but it still doesn’t give residents a vote in the manner, and in the meantime, cities scoop up higher tax base areas adjacent to them, with no obligation to provide city services. In fact, some areas annexed by Fayetteville in 2005 are not even scheduled to receive city services (water, sewer, etc) until after 2020.

I am a Regionalist at heart, and we need consolidation in WNY. But beware of how its implemented, and be thankful NY does not allow wonton undemocratic shuffling like this.

For The Three of You Who Grow Weary of the “Fail” Meme

23 Jun

I present to you Sad Perez:

Yeah, That’s Gonna Happen

23 Jun

If you go around calling people a “f*cking fa**ot” and otherwise maligning their appearance and everything else about them for a living, you’re going to get your face punched. Man up and deal with it Perez. It’s a cost of doing business.

Will.I.Am responds to Hilton here.

It happened in Toronto. No Canadians were harmed during the development of this drama.