The Morning Grumpy – 2/24/2012

24 Feb

All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy.


1. The cash mob idea that started here in Buffalo made it on to Public Radio International yesterday, spent the day at the top of and was seen by about 5MM web readers. So, a good day for the idea as it continues its organic growth throughout the world. Yes, the world.

Meanwhile, back in Buffalo, we hosted our seventh cash mob and it was a tremendous success. The event was held between 5-7PM last night at Thin Ice on Elmwood and was attended by over 100 people. At the conclusion of the night, the store owner reported 10x her typical sales and that money not only went to support her store, but also the local artists who stock her shelves. Due to the way we organize the event, the staff was able to spend time with these new customers, build a relationship and hopefully build repeat business. Afterwards, many of the attendees crossed the street and enjoyed dinner and drinks at The Acropolis and stopped by Chow Chocolat for some dessert. A very successful night.

In the next week or so, I’ll have some exciting news about the establishment of several suburban cash mobs in WNY as well as some new partnerships. Each time we host this event, it’s surprising to see how many people respond enthusiastically and support our courageous local entrepreneurs. Thank you for your support!

2. As usual, Matt Taibbi nails it. His take on the Republican debate on Wednesday night and the overall orthodoxy of the current party.

This is the last stage in any paranoid illness. You start by suspecting that somebody out there is out to get you; in the end, you’re sure that even the people who love you the most under your own roof, your own doctors, your parents, your wife and your children, they’re in on the plot. To quote Matt Damon in the almost-underrated spy film The Good Shepherd, they became convinced that there’s “a stranger in the house.”

This is where the Republican Party is now. They’ve run out of foreign enemies to point fingers at. They’ve already maxed out the rhetoric against us orgiastic, anarchy-loving pansexual liberal terrorists. The only possible remaining explanation for their troubles is that their own leaders have failed them. There is a stranger in the house!

And, boy oh boy, is it fun to watch.

3. Paul Tsouflidis, owner of The Acropolis restaurant has been using his personal blog to blast opponents of his restaurant expansion plans and take members of the Buffalo Common Council to task.

Mr. Locurto, you have been lobbied by a very few people to vote against a bar on the second floor and shame on you for that.  I have 1000 signatures of people supporting Acropolis.  I have gone to great lengths to convert many of the opposition into supporters.  The EVA even changed their tune when (EVA Executive Director) Justin (Azzarella) came into the council chambers and stated on public record that the EVA isn’t opposed to the bar upstairs, the 2nd floor patio, or a music license.  But that isn’t enough for you. 

In the end, my councilman and his protege Brad Hamm has been playing dirty politics with me and I will expose this because I already know I lost my dream restaurant with his decision.  I lost a lot but I didn’t lose everything.  What you lost Mike is a financial supporter, a voter, and hundreds upon hundreds of voters who will never put trust in you with their vote again.

I’m writing a larger story on this issue, but you can read his blog for some backstory.

Fact Of The Day: Apple computer co-founder Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco on this day in 1955.

Quote Of The Day: “It would be almost unbelievable, if history did not record the tragic fact, that men have gone to war and cut each other’s throats because they could not agree as to what was to become of them after their throats were cut.” – Walter P. Stacy

Cartoon Of The Day: “Dog Gone South” – Chuck Jones

Video Of The Day: Lollipop – The Rockafire Explosion Band

Song Of The Day: “Dead Sound” – The Raveonettes

Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisSmithAV

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9 Responses to “The Morning Grumpy – 2/24/2012”

  1. Richard February 24, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    The fact that many Cash Mobbers visited Acropolis and Chow afterward ups the coolness factor of this idea exponentially.

  2. Allen Miller February 24, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Happy Birthday Steve Jobs, you made a difference in my life, thank you.

    I wish we could get the Cash Mob to work in Rochester, I think it is a cool idea. Our first attempt here failed.

    Yeah sure Matt Taibbi, when someone starts making movie analogies you know the appeal is to the part of your brain that would rather let someone else do your thinking. One of the few things that Barrack Obama has done well is what he promised he would stop, we have had just as much War under Obama as Bush, the only difference being the media does not continually call him on things like Marines pissing on dead bodies. He has been excellent at killing Pakistani’s, Afghans, Libyans and terrorists. He Got Bin Laden and did his rightful victory lap. I also think that he did the right thing recently by apologizing for the accidental burning of the Quran. (we are trying to win hearts and minds as well if not wage bloody war and get out) I do not like it when I see the American Flag burned or the Bible burned. When you consider the Afghans are among the poorest in the world and some of the most backward when it comes to waging peace it was not a smart thing to do by our military. These people have put great meaning into their holy book. Our Military should have known better. There are proper ways of disposing of the Quran. Obama was right to apologize, I just would have liked to hear an apology to the Catholics as well.

  3. kris February 24, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    apologize to the catholics for what? birth control. get over it.

  4. Allen Miller February 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm #


    This is great I have been reading this blog for a while. I thought no one read it or commented.

    It does not matter what I think or the mythical figure that 99% of Americans who use birth control think. (an attempted link to the 99% fictitious fleabaggers) You can abort as many babies as you want, that is the secular law that George W Obama pushes and for now it is the law of the land.

    We have religious freedom in this country as long as there is a first amendment whether you like it or not. The Catholics have a right to organize their religion how they want, just as you have a right to look toward your deity in the white house. Obama picked a fight with the Catholics to inject himself into republican politics, that’s fine politics are allowed to be dirty and underhanded. Lefties can call for separation of church and state but it is a two way street. One by one he offends religions here in the US while apologizing only to offending Islam in countries where we are killing their people. I know plenty of Catholics who voted for him in 2008 who will not in 2012. When we have a president Romney Or Paul or God forbid Santorum or Gingrich, I will be telling people like you to get over it.

  5. Ethan February 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    We have, or should have, both freedom OF and freedom FROM religion. I am not Catholic and have no intention of living my life by their tennants. If the Catholic Church creates a secular business, then tough shit on their rules. Nobody is forcing The Church to do anything; employees of The Church itself are one thing and already denied access to birth control.

  6. Max February 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Chris, thanks for the Taibbi link. I’m currently reading his work Griftopia. and He’s such a gifted writer, he makes reading dark matter about the sinister misdeeds involving around the wreck of our financial system – at the hands of both parties – [almost] entertaining.

  7. kris February 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Allen –

    You do not know me so do not assume my deity, thanks. The Catholic church can do whatever it wants with it’s religion, but realize the participants in their teachings and “religious law” are the hypocrites. Divorce, babies out of wedlock, accepting the communion with sin – shit happens everyday. but Catholics get to preach to the rest of us? Catholic institutions should only hire catholics if they would like to dictate their health care.
    I was raised catholic, confirmed – and i still managed to be educated enough to know that I did not want to have babies as a teenager and took myself to PP to get put on the pill. Because I wanted to have sex and not have a baby & My mother taught me that the rhythm method didn’t work.

  8. Pauldub February 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    I got rhytm, I got music…
    It boggles the mind how many rhythm babies there are in this world. Usually when a plan doesn’t work, people go to plan B. I don’t believe there is a specific ban on the pill anywhere in the good book.

  9. Allen Miller February 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm #


    You do not know me either, I did not have much to go on about you with your very simple “get over it comment” for your information I am not a catholic. I have an issue with the pedophilia in their church myself. (These days it appears as though the NYC school district has taken a page from them in how to deal with it)

    Catholics run hospitals, schools and yes even churches. They have a right to do so and they have a right to vote for who they want, just as you have a right. They have a right to hire who they want (I could imagine the howling we would hear if they had a sign out front that said “Only Catholics need apply”). You have a right to have sex with whoever you want, you could have sex with animals if you want, its not illegal in NY.

    Sex is a personal issue. Contraception is legal and a personal issue as well. It appears that you had no problem locating contraception long before it was injected as a political issue. It is a fair question to ask whether it should be mandated to be provided by a religious institution that do not believe in it.

    The Catholics have done a pretty good job of providing health care. We have enough health care issues today without forcing the many catholic hospitals to close down. Often they go into areas no one else wants to serve.

    I would like to make one more point (not sure if this will get read I know the post is starting to get old) I think Santorum or Gingrich would make terrible presidents. If the choice were between them and Obama I would vote Obama. I really do see Obama as George W Obama just a continuation of some foreign policy with huge mistakes and domestic policy with huge mistakes, just pissing off different people spiraling us all down.

    Well try not to get pregnant and have a good day. Again thank you Steve Jobs for making a difference in my life, thanks to people like you I am a 2%er.

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