The Back-to-School Five-Posts-in-One Sale

8 Sep

A few articles for you to take a look at and consider:

1. Chris Collins is a plucky, stubborn sort who likes to “run government like a business that tells everyone to go fuck themselves and take me to court if you don’t like it.”  The Buffalo News scores his head-butting so far.  I suspect that the Collins administration acts as a sort of real-life example of what a Paladino governorship might look like.  A lot of tough, obnoxious talk – a lot of demonization of enemies both real and imagined – efforts to change things through confrontation and litigation, rather than compromise – and in the end, not very much really ends up changing.  We’d not be changing the game – just the way we play it.

2. NYPA is to keep in WNY more money from energy generated in WNY. This is a good thing. Specifically, the proceeds of NYPA’s sale of unused hydro power would go into a fund to help economic development in Erie and Niagara Counties.  Predictably, there is disagreement as to how much money we’re really talking about.  The consensus seems to be that it’s “a lot”.

3.  In Artvoice, Bruce Fisher wonders why it is that the Buffalo Niagara Partnership – what passes for our local “chamber of commerce” and is charged with, among other things, attracting businesses to this region – talks about how badly it sucks here with such regularity.  His conclusion:

If neutral outside observers praise our cultural, architectural, and landscape fabric, and also praise our cost-effectiveness, and note that there is positive economic growth even as our population shrinks, and that there could be more if we clean up our water, then why is the messaging from our business community so relentlessly negative?

The answer, simply, is that there are two economies here. There is real economy of the producer, the consumer, the merchant, and the much-maligned public sector; the latter, all told, constitutes about one-fifth of the workforce and the payroll. That’s the economy that seems to work positively.

And then there is the economy of those in the business world here who live by the big public project—the bankers and their various support personnel, the engineering and construction firms, and about 3,000 workers (out of a regional workforce of over 550,000) whose leading voices tell this community that massive, disruptive change is needed, or else, as the Partnership’s bow-tied leader recently said, we should all move to Florida, which is the home of America’s most enormous object lesson in what happens when you turn the economy over to real-estate developers and bankers.

I don’t agree with everything Fisher says in his piece, nor with his breakdown of, essentially “good” and “bad” development in Buffalo, and I think he’s ignoring the pervasive and disproportionately strong influence that the big-money foundations have in this community and what gets done here, but it’s a thought-provoking piece, nonetheless.

4. While the commander of American forces in Afghanistan practically begs some asshat in Florida to not hold “burn a Koran day” on September 11th because it’s sort of pissing off the 100% Muslim population of American-occupied Afghanistan, Feisel Abdul Rauf writes in the New York Times in defense of the Park51 community center planned for a site a few blocks away from New York’s World Trade Center site.  The protestations against Park51 stink like an anti-Muslim Kristallnacht more and more each day.

5. The New York Times conducts an “analysis” into Carl Paladino’s status as a big-time Albany insider who likes to play a game of make-believe about being an apolitical tea party activist rich guy.  Seems similar to the analysis done by writers at WNYMedia.net back in March and April.

26 Responses to “The Back-to-School Five-Posts-in-One Sale”

  1. Ward September 8, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    Park51 “Not-a-Mosque”: This is a “70-30 issue” and you’re on the 30 side. Andrew McCarthy put it very well on behalf of the 70-side this morning.

    “For the better part of two decades, Americans have been murdered by Islamists and then lectured that they are to blame for what has befallen them. We have been instructed in the need for special sensitivity to the unceasing demands of Islamic culture and falsely accused of intolerance by the people who wrote the book on intolerance. Americans have sacrificed blood and bottomless treasure for Islamic peoples who despise Americans — and despise us even more as our sacrifices and gestures of self-loathing intensify. Americans have watched as apologists for terrorists and sharia were made the face of an American Muslim community that we were simultaneously assured was the very picture of pro-American moderation.

    Americans have had our fill. We are willing to live many lies. This one, though, strikes too close to home, arousing our heretofore dormant sense of decency. Americans have now heard Barack Obama’s shtick enough times to know that when he talks about “our values,” he’s really talking about his values, which most of us don’t share. And after ten years of CAIR’s tired tirades, we’re immune to Feisal Rauf, too.”

    BTW–if it’s “Not-a-Mosque”, only a community center, then the right to worship is what you would term a “nontroversy”, no?

    • Alan Bedenko September 8, 2010 at 7:40 am #

      Shorter Ward: something should only be done if a majority of uninformed people say it’s ok.

      Alternate shorter Ward: all Muslims are Islamist terrorists who must be stopped at all costs lest America become a nation of immigrants.

  2. BobbyCat September 8, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    After decades of meager results, if not failure, why would the Chamber of Commerce in the #1 Dead American City refuse to change its leadership? I have nothing personal against the man. He seems like a pleasant guy. But my god, it was time for some new blood 20 years ago.. Imagine if the Bills had a losing record for 25 years but old man Wilson refused to fire head coach Johnny Rauch. What’s that old saw – wrongly attributed to Einstein – about repeating the same mistake and expecting different results?

    Maybe Chris Collins manufactures outstanding widgets but I think he is out of his element managing people. A corporate boss can lead through fear and intimidation when his workers are afraid of losing their jobs. But if they aren’t afraid of losing their jobs, and intimidation is ineffective then there is no leadership. Mr. Collins looks like a paper tiger. His tough talk didn’t intimidate the Feds, nor did his County Attorney. The Sheriff looks like he can’t manage a jail.
    Its looking like the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Likewise, Mr. Paladino wants to be a dictator and rule by fear. But again, behind the curtain is a little wizard, huffing and puffing and pretending to be tough. Its more small man syndrome.

    Eugene Washington writes that Americans are acting like spoiled children crying “Are we there yet” or “Is the recession over yet?” It would be high irony if the GOP came sweeping back into control on the same insane platform that destroyed the economy for eight years under Dubya.

    This insane Florida preacher who want to burn Quorans must have a death wish. If he burns the books and GI’s gets killed in retaliation, the preacher will likely get his wish, pronto. But then there are lots of fundamentalists who are looking forward to the prophesy’s of Revelations and want to die for Jesus. So from his point of view, if he’s willing to die for Chirst, why not take some soldiers with him? It’s twisted logic, but there it is.

    Tom Friedman says “This is America and we’re free to be as stupid as we want to be”. Maybe there should be a “Stupid Platform” with stupid candidates making stupid speeches.
    There’s no need to name the candidates. Its the usual suspects. You know their names.

  3. Ward September 8, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Alan–poor form to reply to a comment you have deleted, eh?

    Shorter Alan: Criticizing the erection of an Islamist Monument on the 9/11 Graveyard is Kristallnacht. Criticizing the symbolic act of burning the Koran is morally superior.

  4. Kevin J. September 8, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Islamic monument? Wow, what a stupid and wrong cliche.

  5. Rob September 8, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Where is my Ward-Filter (™)?? Mark Odien sorta promised me. 😦

    • Marc Odien September 8, 2010 at 10:57 am #

      patience my friend…

  6. STEEL September 8, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Odd how anti Americans like Ward always fancy themselves to be the greatest patriots.

  7. Bbill September 8, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    First Amendment > Ward

    Ward, do you endorse or condemn book burning?

  8. Ward September 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    Depends on what book, Bbbbbbbbbbbbill.
    “Primary Colors”–light ’em up!
    Anybody’s Holy Book–naaah.

  9. Ward September 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    BTW–I seem to have drawn the biggest crowd of lefties since JournoList went belly-up!
    Let me in on the secret, guys–where do you folks go now for your talking points–HuffPost or Kos?

  10. Kevin J. September 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Someone using the stupid, inaccurate term “Islamist Monument” is asking where others go for talking points? Riiiiight.

  11. Bbill September 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Talking points can be found here
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    For our resident Limbaugh followers, talking points can be found here

    http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2010/09/koran-burning-first-amendment-and-right.html

  12. Jay-Z for Governor September 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Whether or not the Islamic center is built is a local decision, the fact that it’s become a national issue is mind-boggling.

  13. Hank September 8, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Alan needs to know more about German National Socialism, or at minimum write like he knows more, before throwing about a term like Kristalnacht.

    NSDAP dogma, as written by Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg, portrayed the Jew as an ally of the Communist, a people who sold out the Kaiser in WW1, and was the poster child for “ALL that is wrong in Germany.”

    Today, Islam—in it’s contorted form by various groups and countries, considers AMERICA the “GREAT SATAN”—aka “Everything that’s wrong with the WORLD. Since Steel in his clouded mind thinks lying down like a cheap suit for anyone who wants to attack this nation for WHAT IT STANDS FOR is patriotic, What the hell is HIS idea of Patriotism?

    Islam is the least tolerant religion on this planet. If it wasn’t, there would be Jewish Temples in Mecca. Catholics don’t stone women for not wearing a head scarf. Actually, it’s optional to wear one in church. Honor killings are only found in Islamic Countries, as well as the removal of parts of female genitalia, often done with a piece of broken Glass….Now THAT’S a Kristallnacht that I’ll be they don’t forget.

    • Alan Bedenko September 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

      Hank, I used the term “Kristallnacht” quite deliberately. Over the past several weeks, I have heard local and national conservative commentators try to whip people into a literal frenzy over this “Ground Zero victory Mosque” being built by Hamas, Iran, al Qaeda, and/or a guy/group which sympathizes with every ill and enemy that can possibly be dreamed up. Locally, one commentator repeatedly claims that Islam is incompatible with Western civilization, and that they should be expelled from the country. Recent incidents involving not just the Park51 community center, but mosques throughout the country, and Muslims throughout the country, reveal that a certain segment of the population, being fed what amounts to hate speech against not a race or ethnicity, but a specific religion, is ready and willing to commit acts of targeted violence against this supposed enemy of America.

      Islam doesn’t consider America the “great satan”. For fuck’s sake, that’s some idiotic slogan dreamed up by the Shia Ayatollahs a generation ago. You equate all Muslims with al Qaeda or the Iranian mullahs, ignoring the fact that Islam, like Christianity, has different sects. Ignoring the fact that the acts perpetrated by a few madmen does not automatically render guilt upon the entire faithful.

      You parrot the same nonsense about Islam’s lack of tolerance, as if that was the point. How many mosques are there in Vatican City? The same amount as there are synagogues in Mecca. Catholics don’t stone women for wearing a headscarf, and neither does the Muslim physician who lives down the street from me. Neither does his family, his extended family, or anyone in his place of worship. Catholics do, however, look the other way at pedophiliac priests while excommunicating homosexuals, and they even play games with the Church’s supposed prohibition against divorce. The words “tolerant” and “religion”, quite frankly, go together like “bananas” and “motor oil”.

      You can go ahead and cite example after example of brutality and backwardness practiced by the brutal and the backward. But tell me, Hank – how many genital mutilations have been carried out by Imam Rauf? How many stonings have taken place in any of the myriad mosques in Manhattan? How many honor killings have been carried out in mosques in the tri-state area?

      It’s fun to be fearful and ignorant about the things we fear and know little about. Sort of like how the Germans blamed all of their interwar unglueck on the Jews, resulting in institutionalized anti-Semitism, expropriation, expulsion, brutality, and murder. It was quite a slippery slope – it took Hitler just a dozen years to perpetrate the Holocaust thanks to propaganda, ignorance, and lies.

      Every time some unsuspecting Sikh gets jumped because some dumb fucking redneck mistakes his Turban for something a Muslim would wear, I’ll think of you. Because it’s deliberate ignorance that helps breed fascism, which quite frankly is what we’re getting from the likes of Pamela Geller and Tom Bauerle.

  14. Ward September 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Hey BBBBBbbbbill– there are better sources that Wikipedia for the First Amendment, altgough I must concede Wiki’s grade-school level content is utilitarian for some needy folks. I realize Constitutional Law is uncharted ground for you, but you might think of actually reading the Constitution itself. As a public service, it can be found here: http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html
    Try to “sound out” the big words, and you’ll do fine.

  15. BobbyCat September 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    There are travesties in every religion. Of course some are worse than others. I was beaten daily for eight years of grammar school by the Franciscan Sister of St.Joseph. Actually we all were, a few times per day. I don’t doubt that some Islam sects are brutal, but they are free to build. The NYC Imam should have listened to the larger community and respected their feelings. Perhaps he could have built a few block further way. He could have bought some good wil but His intransigence speaks volumes. Or maybe he didn’t get it.

  16. Bbill September 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Try to “sound out” the big words, and you’ll do fine.

    Someone who gets his talking points from the likes of Andy McCarthy maybe shouldn’t talk down to … ANYONE. Why not cite Jonah Goldberg while you’re at it.

  17. Rob September 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Castner already cited Krauthammer and Hugh Hewitt, so I guess it was inevitable that Andy McCarthy would come up as well. Quite the group of deep thinkers.

  18. Ward September 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    And BbBbBill, now that you’re a Con Law expert, you can answer the following questions:

    Did the 14th Amendment extend the First Amendment’s proscription to State action under the “Privileges and Immunities” doctrine, or under the “Equal Protection” Clause, according to the Slaughterhouse Cases?

    Can an individual (me, for example) be found guilty of violating another individual’s (Imam Rauf, for example) Freedom of Religion, pursuant to the First Amendment? If not, why not?

  19. Hank September 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Alan—Kristallnacht was an organized pogrom. Jews were collectively fined 1 billion Reichsmarks for “damages”. Over 500 temples were burnt. Thousands of Jews were sent to Dachau. Many had served in WW1, and had Iron Crosses for bravery. Thousands of Jewish shops were looted and burned.

    Now how do you equate this pogrom to Americans voicing dissent about the location of one Islamic Mosque? IMO you went way over the top on that one. I know it’s what liberals do, but the comparison is inaccurate at best, and at worst, I don’t have any words for it.

    It’s probably not going to be built anyway. I doubt they can find construction workers to build it, especially in union thick NYC. Or if they do, some Tim McVeigh wannabe is going to blow the place up.

  20. Brian Castner September 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    Are we really going to have a dick measuring contest about who quotes and cites who? Its the worst kind of Google-search urinary olympics.

    Shorter Rob: Any columnist who I disagree with is dumb.

    Anyone else find it ironic that the guy throwing names around won’t use his own name or picture? Way to put yourself out there. Or, as Alan would say, have a great day!

  21. Rob September 8, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    Oh, the “you don’t use your full name” card. Way to go full Hudson on me.

    And no, I don’t think every columnist I disagree with is dumb, and nothing I said suggests that. Lots and lots of people think the three I named are complete idiots, however, with good reason.

  22. BobbyCat September 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    This is nothing but frat house tit for tat. Bendenko raised 5 points: Collins stonewalls and sues; Power Auth.$ into (slush?) fund; Bruce Fisher on Partenership; Burning Quoran; Paladino is an insider says the Times.

    How can all of the comments miss all of the topics? The ‘mosque’ wasn’t on the agenda, BTW.
    The high school carping and sniping devolved into an insult festival and destroyed the Buf News blogs and comments sections. Beware. Maybe the collegial snarkyness is fun for everyone, but me.

  23. TDS September 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    On point 5: Yeah, and what they purport to be Caputo’s response looks awfully similar to the issues I raised on that same analysis.

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