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The Morning Grumpy – 6/7/12

Filed under: Morning Grumpy

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

Hey, what’s up, bad joke eel? Got a good one for us?

1. If you’ve attended any of the Buffalo Green Code meetings, you’ve undoubtedly met a person or two who has claimed the effort to modernize Buffalo’s zoning code is an effort by the New World Order and the United Nations to destroy the fabric of America. No, seriously, they believe this shit. It’s called Agenda 21 and people think Chris Hawley and the other innocuous apparatchiks at City Hall are being funded by George Soros and his cohorts to destroy Buffalo and take away our homes. Here’s some background on Agenda 21.

Agenda 21 is a two-decade old, grand plan for global ’Sustainable Development,’ brought to you from the United Nations. George H.W. Bush (and 177 other world leaders) agreed to it back in 1992, and in 1995, Bill Clinton signed Executive Order #12858, creating a Presidential Council on ‘Sustainable Development.’ This effectively pushed the UN plan into America’s large, churning government machine without the need for any review or discussion by Congress or the American people.

‘Sustainable Development’ sounds like a nice idea, right?  It sounds nice, until you scratch the surface and find that Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development are really cloaked plans to impose the tenets of Social Justice/Socialism on the world.

At risk from Agenda 21;

  • Private Property ownership
  • Single-Family homes
  • Private car ownership and individual travel choices
  • Privately owned farms

You’ll need an hour with Glenn Beck and a chalkboard to fully understand how deep this conspiracy goes, but the above is a nice little primer on the insanity. Later on, I’ll be hitting up Hawley and the other planners to see if I can share in some of those sweet Soros bucks and have a few Socialist cocktails with the boys.

2. One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers dug into the archives of the Pulitzer Prize winning arbiter of truthiness, Politifact.com, to determine which party, pundits, leaders, and candidates were indeed the truthiest of all.

The interesting data is at the fringe, where Politifact rates statements as either “True”, Mostly True”, “False”, or the dreaded “Pants on Fire”. The middle range is acceptable information manipulation that is often based on perception or point of view. I consider these to be forgivable efforts of spin and completely normal in politics.

One chart really stuck out, the measurement of the Presidential candidates.

Mitt Romney sure has an advantage in the “Pants On Fire” category, doesn’t he? The “Pants On Fire” list is the most damaging to our national discourse and it certainly seems that the right has hammered home an advantage on this front. Saying obscenely false things serves to distract from serious discussion – and in the case of political issues – drags the debate to the fringe and the opponent off message.

3. I think we’re winning the war on terror, but it’s hard to know when we’ll ever stop fighting it. Is terrorism the “Eurasia” of this American Century? A new report from the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) brings us the numbers on the “war on terror”.

Today, the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) released its 2011 Report on Terrorism. The report offers the U.S. government’s best statistical analysis of terrorism trends through its Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS), which compiles and vets open-source information about terrorism–defined by U.S. law as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”

“The total number of worldwide attacks in 2011, however, dropped by almost 12 percent from 2010 and nearly 29 percent from 2007.”

As the writer concludes, perhaps the inordinate amount of resources we’re dedicating to this problem is a bit irrational. However, that’s the beauty of it all for those in the business of counter-terrorism. The shrinking number of terrorist incidents justifies increased spending to keep the number low, even if it can’t be proven that direct spending by the American government has any influence on the war.

4. Why working class people vote conservative. It’s the morals.

Why on Earth would a working-class person ever vote for a conservative candidate? This question has obsessed the American left since Ronald Reagan first captured the votes of so many union members, farmers, urban Catholics and other relatively powerless people – the so-called “Reagan Democrats”. Isn’t the Republican party the party of big business? Don’t the Democrats stand up for the little guy, and try to redistribute the wealth downwards?

In sum, the left has a tendency to place caring for the weak, sick and vulnerable above all other moral concerns. It is admirable and necessary that some political party stands up for victims of injustice, racism or bad luck. But in focusing so much on the needy, the left often fails to address – and sometimes violates – other moral needs, hopes and concerns. When working-class people vote conservative, as most do in the US, they are not voting against their self-interest; they are voting for their moral interest.

An interesting analysis and worthy of thought at the higher echelons of the Democratic Party. How to change the message without necessarily changing the policies?

5. An interesting story about Charlotte, NC (AKA Buffalo South) and the struggle to re-brand itself as a welcoming place for technology startups and entrepreneurs. A lot of this sounds pretty familiar if you work in the Buffalo technology industry.

Charlotte entrepreneurs said the city is not a great place to launch a business, although they do appreciate the relatively low cost of living. Large local businesses do little to support startups, said several. Naras Eechambadi, founder of Quaero, said he has customers across the country but none in Charlotte. The firm, which he sold to CSG in 2008, collects and analyzes large volumes of customer data to manage customer interaction across multiple channels.

“New York and Silicon Valley have more cultural diversity and people don’t disappear on the weekend into silos.”

Although Charlotte has a lot of wealth, as one might expect in a banking center, entrepreneurs said it doesn’t have experienced venture capitalists who can help investors select startups to invest in.

“People have money but they don’t have precise insight as to what makes a good investment when it comes to startups.”

Pretty much nails Buffalo’s obstacles to entrepreneurial growth in the knowledge economy as well. Local progress is being made on these fronts, but it is slow.

Fact Of The Day: In the 1950’s, a white man, passing himself off as black man, traveled through the deep south and wrote about what happened to him..

Quote Of The Day: “We must become astronauts and go out into the universe and discover the God in ourselves.” – Ray Bradbury

Video Of The Day: “How science saved my soul.” Powerful and moving.

Song Of The Day: “Conditioning” – Cadence Weapon

Follow me on Twitter for the “incremental grumpy” @ChrisSmithAV

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


  • BlackRockLifer

    As a life long resident of Black Rock I am often amazed at the number of working class people that vote against their own interests. I don’t think it is the moral issues that drive these voters, it is more the conservative message of “those poor and lazy minority people are taking all your money”. This message plays well with the blue collar folks, especially as they can see the non-working class right there in the neighborhood.  Of course this is a lie, the poor are chump change in the big picture. Progressives need to go on the offensive and challege the misinformation and outright lies of the right, then maybe more of the working class will come around.