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The Morning Grumpy – 3/14/13

14 Mar

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy. Just links today.

Christopher-Hitchens1

1. Meet Scott Prouty, the man who essentially ended Mitt Romney’s Presidential hopes and dreams by releasing the infamous “47 Percent” video.

2. Last week, Graham Hill, noted founder of TreeHugger.com and popular TED speaker, published an Op-Ed in the New York Times entitled “Living With Less. A Lot Less.“. Many people have embraced his message of reducing consumption and living a simpler life. That annoying friend on Facebook who is always linking to haughty TED talks probably shared the article with you and told you it was a “must read“. But, let’s cut through this guy’s incredible cloud of smug.

For the past few days, one of the most popular stories on the New York Times website has been Graham Hill’s op-ed “Living With Less. A Lot Less.” In a majestic display of guileless narcissism, Hill, an Internet multimillionaire, congratulates himself for downsizing his life and getting rid of all the stuff—the homes and cars and gadgets and sectional sofas and $300 sunglasses—he accumulated over the past decade. Now he lives in a 420-square-foot studio and has only six dress shirts and “10 shallow bowls” that he uses “for salads and main dishes.” Imagine that. Eating off the same plate. Twice. In one meal.

There are too many phrases to mock (“Olga, an Andorran beauty”; “My space is small. My life is big.”), and the Internet has already done a great job pointing out how obnoxious it is for a multimillionaire to hold himself up as a model of moderation when so many Americans are being forcibly downsized from already cramped lives.

Americans are not going broke buying clothes, books, music, furniture, cars, appliances and other consumer goods. Rampant consumer spending is not the source of their increasingly precarious lives.

So where did the money go? Two words: education and healthcare. The share of the average household budget devoted to education grew by 22 percent between 1999 and 2010, for healthcare by almost 17 percent.

I hate condescending tree huggers.

3. Barack Obama promised transparency: The White House is as opaque, secretive, and hostile to open government as George Bush’s administration.

4. Eleven heinous lies that conservatives are teaching America’s schoolchildren.

5. The Militarization of Policing in America

Fact Of The Day: In the 1970s, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis I) hid some of the Argentine military dictatorship’s political prisoners from a human rights watch group. The military routinely executed political prisoners by throwing them from an airplane into a river and sold their orphaned kids.  But, at least this pope isn’t a former Nazi, so the church has that going for it, which is nice.

Quote Of The Day: “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” – Thomas Jefferson

Video Of The Day: “My Favorite Pal” – Mitch Fatel

Song Of The Day: “Under Cover of Darkness” – The Strokes

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Email me links, tips, story ideas: chris@artvoice.com

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