All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy.
1. This weekend, I stumbled onto what I think is a decent starting point for discussing Buffalo’s future.
I’d like to hear your reaction to that as I fill out this idea into a larger article.
2. Every year, I receive 2 copies of the Yellow Pages. One from LocalEdge (Formerly The Talking Phone book) and another from Superpages from Verizon. Upon receipt, I immediately send them to the recycling bin as I have absolutely no need for them. It’s a tremendous waste of resources to print these directories and then recycle them when I never asked for them in the first place. However, the phone book printers are able to charge companies higher rates for advertising in the phone book if they can guarantee large circulation. Frankly, that’s bullshit. So, if you’re like me and no longer wish to support this dying business model, the overcharging of local businesses and wish to save the resources used to print these bricks of uselessness, click here to opt-out of receiving the phone book.
You need to register, but it is an official industry website which can guarantee your opt-out request will be honored.
3. Need a card for Valentine’s Day but don’t feel like throwing elbows with the mouthbreathing masses in the card aisle at your local Hallmark store? Well, Tom Dolina over at Tommunisms.com has the perfect solution! Printable political valentines! Here’s a perfect card for the Ron Paulbot liberty fetishist!
4. My, how things have changed. In 1960, then Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, a group of Protestant ministers, about his Roman Catholicism. At the time, many questioned whether Kennedy’s Roman Catholic faith would allow him to make important national decisions as president independent of the church. Flash forward to 2012 when Republicans essentially take marching orders from the Vatican regarding issues of birth control while the rest of us wonder why the church gets such influence on policy issues.
From the speech:
So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again not what kind of church I believe in — for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.
It’s fascinating to see how much our nation has changed…
5. Outsourcing death, a strong piece on the use of military contractors in American wars.
Last year, at least 430 employees of American contractors were reported killed in Afghanistan: 386 working for the Defense Department, 43 for the United States Agency for International Development and one for the State Department, according to data provided by the American Embassy in Kabul and publicly available in part from the United States Department of Labor.
By comparison, 418 American soldiers died in Afghanistan last year, according to Defense Department statistics compiled by icasualties.org, an independent organization that monitors war deaths.
Maintenance of an empire has untold costs.
Fact Of The Day: Weird Al Yankovic has been awarded three grammys.
Quote Of The Day: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
Cartoon Of The Day: “Rock-A-Bye Bear” – Tex Avery
Song Of The Day: “Mr. Blue Sky” – Electric Light Orchestra
Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisSmithAV
Email me links, tips, story ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org