Thursday Open Thread

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I guess when you're a Democratic big cheese who is up against a big legal wall, you hire a big legal mouthpiece based on his experience, not on the fact that he's a Republican anti-planning property-rights lunatic.

Comments

Agreed.

n/t.

Ask?

Richard didn't have to ask Shanahan anything. Shanahan is the high-profile front-man for Art Pope on all of the anti-planning / pro-property-rights initiatives that Republicans are using to stop communities from managing growth, implementing transit planning, and otherwise thinking ahead about land use for the common good.

The flow of money is one element of the political equation here in North Carolina. Not a big element, but an element nonetheless. It may be petty, but that doesn't mean it's not interesting.

Well, when you put it that way,

I suppose it is interesting. It's just that I find the Gov race so petty anyhow. I am bored to tears with it. I am going to write in someone in the Primary. I swear - it might be you, James.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Are there/what are the

comparable pro-planning groups in North Carolina? Aside from the big environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy, are there any groups that advocate specifically for more progressive land use policy in North Carolina (Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and the like)? Thanks.

Good question

I think they're fragmented. There are transit-oriented groups, open space-oriented groups, redevelopment groups, etc., but I'm not aware of a cross-issue group that focuses on planning as a strategic asset. Maybe other community members might have ideas, but I'm coming up short.

All that said, it's really easy to be against stuff when you're stoking the fires of personal greed and resentment that people feel. That's the secret sauce in the North Carolina Republican Party's platform. (It's also why Obama's "bitter" comment got everyone so exorcised. Too close to the truth.)

I know you said aside from the Sierra Club...

... but the North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club does make progressive land use policy one of its primary concerns. There's also the NC Conservation Network, which is a coalition of something like 120 different local and statewide organizations working on all aspects of policy, but many of these groups focus on planning issues. Check out the full list of participating groups at:

http://www.ncconservationnetwork.org/about/affiliates/current

There are a lot of different groups in the mix, some focused more on lobbying and others on citizen education. While they aren't in any way advocates, the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association and UNC School of Government & Department of City and Regional Planning frequently publish materials, hold conferences and give presentations that fill in the remaining gap by educating practicing planners on environmentally and socially sound planning. They aren't exactly "liberal" or "progressive," except that apparently in North Carolina letting professionals make sound decisions based on a combination of experience and education gets labeled liberal.

Thanks for the responses.

I really appreciate it. I didn't realize the North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club was so involved in land use issues.

Yedi, there are a few

In Wake, the group Wake up Wake County is very concerned with land use and smart growth issues.

Statewide there is a relatively new umbrella group called Partnership for North Carolina's Future. They represent several groups across the state that are concerned with different aspects of growth/smart growth, how to have more of the latter of those two things and how to plan smartly so that all our children grow up with places to shop AND places to go outside and play.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Thanks for mentioning this

I had heard of PNCF before but never followed up on them, so I appreciated being reminded to read up. Their supporter list is quite impressive, and I hope that they're able to get something done on the funding side. They seem to be fiscally concentrated, and I can respect that, and totally appreciate a commitment to things like the local option transfer tax, school bonds, conservation bonds, highway use tax, impact fees, etc. With a list of issues of concern including affordable housing, inadequate schools, disappearing farms and open space, congestion, etc, I hope they consider adding to their list of proposed solutions something related to controlling the rate of growth and development. Just like adding new lanes to highways induces new demand, paying for new infrastructure can be dangerous if the right checks aren't in place first.

PNCF

A lot of the momentum for the Partnership for NC's Future came from the NC League of Municipalities which put a lot of effort into lobbying for a range of local funding options. The legislation that followed balancing Medicaid share, allowing a .25% sales tax or .4% transfer tax, benefited counties while cities got nothing out of it. As a result, NCLM support for the Partnership has waned somewhat.

I wondered about what effect that legislation

had on them and other groups. I hope they regroup and go at it again. 2009 will be a whole new year. Either the state is going to have to provide more infrastructure funding or they're going to have to give local gov'ts more options. Things just can't keep going the way they have been. It'll be a year or two before fast growing counties settle in with their new found Medicaid relief and see where that leaves them and figure out how far out of the woods it gets them.

Of course, the housing slow down and foreclosure crisis may bring a host of new problems to local gov'ts tables to distract them from fighting the lege for revenue options. I read recently that some suburbs and exurbs are becoming the new slums ... full of abandoned houses.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Thanks for the heads up...

about PNCF.

The Atlantic recently had an article about how McMansions are becoming the new tenements. That might be what you're referring to. It's an interesting read.

Yep, think that was it.

It was worth a second read. Thanks, yedi.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

In case anyone's wondering

about James' reference to Shanahan's link to Art Pope, just check out this resources page.

And frankly, it's not like there's a shortage of lawyers in this state. I find this more than just a tad interesting.

WOW there's a link between Shanahan and Art Pope!

That means that Shanahan is evil, and that anyone who uses his law firm must be evil, too!

No, there is not a shortage of lawyers in this state. When you choose a lawyer, however, you want to do so with the specific type of litigation you have in mind as part of your guidance. You want someone you might actually know, and therefore, despite political differences, trust.

I would have no hesitation to hire a "Republican" law firm to represent me if I believed that that firm were the best one to use for whatever reason. Typically it would be someone close at hand with a strong record in the type of ligitation I'm anticipating. It might also be that I had a personal relationship with the attorney to the extent that I knew and trusted him/her.

Do you really have no acquaintances or friends who disagree with you politically? Sad, if true. I feel very close, personally, to several people whose politics I think are absolutely 100% wrong, as I routinely point out to them. One of my dearest relatives is a right-wing idealogue, and though we are sometimes forced to drop a subject because of the intensity of our disagreement, our mutual regard for each other's intellect, integrity and honesty remains intact.

Hey, is that next? Is the next step in deciding someone is "bad" the sighting of this person having lunch with a perceived "enemy?"

What if you were to find out that your favorite candidate was room-mates or best buddies with another political figure that you absolutely loathe? I think you and James might be very surprised at the comraderie and professional respect shared by people you think of as your torch-bearers with people you regularly malign based on politics.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

New SBOE Feature

If you go to http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/ and look in the right pane, you will see an early voting tracker.

Tip of the hat to G. Cohen.

fhblack

Very nice. Over 15k in person absentee ballots

at One Stop sites across the state. Am I correct in thinking that those who vote by absentee in person at early sites are necessarily brand new registering voters?

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Incorrect, methinks.

n/t

ok. Thanks, y'all

Didn't know how that was being tracked.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Not thoughtul, very petty

Posts like this are the reason I cannot honestly describe BLUENC to anyone as a "think tank." This is petty, cheap stuff.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

So, how do you describe us?

Really, I want to know. Because again you're tossing out insults to everybody here with your casual contempt.

As far as this story is concerned, it would be interesting if any prominent Democrat chose to lean on one of Art Pope's puppets in his time of need. The fact that it's the possible future Governor of our state makes it very interesting.

What if Moore, as Governor, decided to ask Shanahan for his guidance on legislation? Do you feel confident that he wouldn't do that? Or do you feel confident that, if Moore did ask for his counsel, Shanahan would ignore his own personal agendas when he advised the Governor?

Those observations may not rise to the level of a "think tank", but they should at least bring this thread up to "think bucket" status.

I would describe us as

a blog where people have conversations about politics. It's like a coffee shop. It's not a think tank. And no, I'm not tossing out insults to everyone. Why is it that when I hit as hard as the post to which I'm responding, *I'm* the one labeled with "casual contempt?"

James and you and others who post here regularly routinely post insults, make nasty, ridiculing, casually contemptuous remarks to or about the perceived "enemy," but for some reason, the same tone is unacceptable if it's thrown back in your face. Why do you suppose that is?

A law firm is not a puppet. This concept that you and James, with casual contempt, seem to hold unquestioned, is silly. It's not analytical, it's not founded in experience, it's just knee-jerk reactions, part of way of thinking in which everyone over there on that side of the line is good and everyone over here on this side of the line is bad.

A law firm offers counsel based on legal aims articulated by the client. I don't have any fear that Shanahan would be Moore's personal counsel if Moore were elected. Nor do I assume that WHOMEVER Moore's counsel would be, that lawyer would be setting his or her personal agenda ahead of that of the Governor. It is always POSSIBLE that a lawyer will do that, but that means the lawyer is a bad egg. It isn't part of the professional practice. I have no more reason to assume that a lawyer who votes Republican is going to do that than I will that a lawyer who is Democrat is going to do that.

Your apparent assumption to that effect is, again, silly, demonstrates a lack of understanding of what legal practice is, and a lack of understanding of what kinds of concerns determine a client's choice of representation in any given issue.

And once again, the perspective that *I* am the wicked creature being mean, mean, mean to poor whomever on this blog, when said WHOMEVER has just posted something unreasonable and insulting, is not particularly thoughtful.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Do you not see the difference

between disagreeing with a thread or post and using that disagreement as an example of why BlueNC falls short of your expectations?

If this were the only time you'd done this, I wouldn't have said a word. But whether you want to admit it or not, or whether you think it's wrong or not, this is a recurring theme with you. And I'm Goddamned tired of it. How's that for nasty?

James and you and others who post here regularly

Yeah, we're a sorry bunch alright. Maybe you should reevaluate how much good you can accomplish here in light of that, and redirect your efforts in a community that will better appreciate your point of view.

You're over-reacting

I'm not entirely sure what you are saying in your first paragraph, but it seems to me that you've made some erroneous assumptions about my remarks.

First, I never said BlueNC fell short of my expectations. Where do you get that? I didn't have expectations that it was a "think tank." Are you taking it as an insult that I said this wasn't a think tank? Geez, buddy. Kinda high-and-mighty ain't we? This emotional reaction is part of what I meant by saying it's not a "think tank."
Again, it's more like a coffee shop, and as one who loves coffee shops, I certainly didn't think that was an insult.

And no, I haven't said you or James or anyone else is a "sorry bunch." Again, your inference is incorrect. Your accusation here doesn't even make sense. Why would I post here if I thought you were a sorry bunch? I'm just pointing out that it's not thoughtful or consistent to post fiery commments and then react like you were burned when you get a fiery one back.

As for redirecting my efforts (?) to a community that will better appreciate my point of view, hmmm. Well, sheesh. Maybe. But I thought this was a community of progressive people who are interested in genuine discussion, not just echoes of each other's personal views, not a "groupthink" bunch who only want to hear what reassures them of their own ideas.

I know James gets ticked at me, but even to date I suspect he isn't opposed to me or anyone articulating opposing viewpoints. I wonder if you are able to reevaluate your own reactions and admit that you are employing a double-standard when it comes to the expression of opinions. It seems fine with you when others post caustic, sarcastic, insulting posts, but for some reason it's not fine when I do the same or respond to one of those in the same tone.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Still think so, Steve?

Just wondering if this is still your advice to me:

Maybe you should reevaluate how much good you can accomplish here in light of that, and redirect your efforts in a community that will better appreciate your point of view.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

The fact that you couldn't

wait for me to respond to the comment above and had to post this second one trying to "goad" an answer out of me (like I was avoiding it or something) is much more revealing than you think.

And as long as you persist in floating these things out there:

But I thought this was a community of progressive people who are interested in genuine discussion, not just echoes of each other's personal views, not a "groupthink" bunch who only want to hear what reassures them of their own ideas.

that you think are cleverly worded enough to not be considered insults but are still, you know, insulting, then yes, my advice still stands.

Well I was curious

But no, I didn't think you would stay on your track of reading everything in the worst light you could. And because yes, I do think I word things well, I tend to use them to say what I mean rather than to try to IMPLY things.

I expected, honestly, that you would recognize that I was NOT saying that this blog consists of "echoes" or "groupthink," and it was for that reason that I was then and remain surprised that you are still suggesting that because my views differ, I should leave.

But of course you couldn't see that. However, it's interesting that you think that if someone WERE launching that accusation, such a person should leave. Don't ya see the irony there?

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

I swear on a stack of environmental pamphlets

this high that I'm not going to continue this exchange until our comments are squeezed over on the right side, filled with point/counterpoint assumptions about each other's motives and/or skin thickness. Either give me the last word or take the last word, but let's wind this thing up soon, okay?

And because yes, I do think I word things well, I tend to use them to say what I mean rather than to try to IMPLY things.

I expected, honestly, that you would recognize that I was NOT saying that this blog consists of "echoes" or "groupthink,"

I am frequently misunderstood, but that's because I'm an idiot. You don't have that excuse.

But I thought this was

This is past tense. Finis. It's over. Meaning, Brunette now has some doubts about all those good things she used to think. Whether that's the way you meant it or not, that's the way it appeared to me (and maybe some others). In honor of deconstructionism, I give you:

"Whatever precautions you take so the photograph will look like this or that, there comes a moment when the photograph surprises you. It is the other's gaze that wins out and decides."

And lastly,

I was then and remain surprised that you are still suggesting that because my views differ, I should leave.

Your differing views was not the reason I suggested you leave; it was because you seemed to have developed a certain poorly-concealed contempt for some members here, which had (also) lowered your overall esteem of the site itself.

While that was my stated position as to why you should think about leaving, in reality, that was only part of my reason. The truth is, you pissed me off. Not your views, but the way you express(ed) them.

It may be mostly my perception, but you have an uncanny ability of turning a critique into something more: a negative assessment of the person(s) you are critiquing. It's that something more that has chipped away at my sensibilities to the point maybe I actually am reading things into your words that aren't there. And for that, I apologize.

This is the point where a sane and thoughtful person would reply, "It's possible that you may not be totally wrong blah blah blah..."

What made it seem petty to me

is that James didn't bother typing all that out, Steve, he just linked things, and left it for the reader to follow the links, or not, and guess, or not what he meant by the links. That's tabloid crap at it's best. Innuendo and hints.(Sorry, James, it is.) What you have done is filled in concerns and actually thought about it. Now whether or not it makes a difference or not is up to individuals to draw a conclusion. Personally, I don't know. I just don't know.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Tabloid crap

Yes, links are for following.

I agree that it's up to each of us as an individual to decide what matters, and we all have different standards and different purposes.

The Dome covered this story straight up, but didn't report on Shanahan's history of property-rights advocacy. They mentioned his party affiliation, though. Shame on them.

Shanahan himself

is an extremely interesting character. I've always thought he was a little out there because of the time, when I think he was on the city council, that he ran his car over the new lawn in his neighbor's yard, or something like that. Temperamental, but apparently very bright.

I am not saying 'shame' on you or anyone for mentioning someone's affiliation. Nor is it shameful to point out connections and ask questions. But to present them as though it were a foregone conclusion that because Pope and Shanahan are political allies, and because Shanahan stands for a lot of things that we don't like, it is therefore apparent that anyone who hires Shanahan's firm must be a bad egg, is not thoughtful. It invites exactly the kind of response you got.

And, if the tabloid-like style is the way you want it, I can see that it's fun, and blogging should be fun and I get that and have no problem with it.

What I have a problem with is that when you get an in-kind response, somehow, the person responding in kind is the one being out of line.

That part is weird to me.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Heartbreaker

Photobucket

From the front page of the print edition of the NY Times this morning.

This is a photo of the main dump in Port au Prince just north of Cite Soleil. People are scavenging for food there these days. The Prime Minister has been ousted within the last week. Food riots are gripping the capitol.

This was a great reminder to me this morning...don't sweat the small stuff you North Carolina living jackass.

Really?

This is worse than the media's obsession with Rev. Wright.

"You can't pick your family but you CAN pick your lawyer." I can just hear it now...

This post is more ridiculous than SEANC"s lawsuit against Moore.

And thank you, Frank, for putting things in perspective.

Enough is enough.

Let me begin, ladies and gentlemen, by conceding that I am just a simple caveman who fell on some ice and was thawed out by scientists...but who then DID attend and graduate, with honors, from a prestigious school of law. When I read a post by someone who posts under the name "scharisson," I wonder this. What makes him scary? Whose son is he? I don't know. It's just the way I think. But there is one thing I DO know. For the emotional trauma she has CLEARLY suffered on account of scharrison's public outburst and unbridled use of ill-tempered and abusive language, Brunette is fully entitled to an award of 3 BILLION dollars in compensatory and punitive damages. Thank you.

Keyrock

Ahhhh...so you graduated from Duke

Bat scat crazy

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Well, Cave Man

if it weren't for the undeniable fact that Bru gives as good as Bru gets and can certainly hold her own, and then some, I'd maybe be sympathetic.

But we all know there is this "thing" in the law called contributory negligence ... or something fancy like that ... what some of us non-law school graduates might understand better as Mom's law (that's me; Mom) of "you get what you get when you poke a bee hive with a stick."

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

I've always been curious about Hymenoptera

Used to dig up anthills, find the queen and as many workers as I could scoop, trowell 'em up and stick 'em in a mayonaisse jar with lots of dirt. Sure, the ants would eventually crawl out of the jar and all over the bedroom, but they were fascinating to watch -- whereever they went.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Can I at least wait a few months

Brunette is fully entitled to an award of 3 BILLION dollars in compensatory and punitive damages. Thank you.

to see how far down the dollar will slide before paying this?

And clearly, I have been misled about North Carolina's (supposedly) constrictive tort laws. Had I known the truth, my behavior would have been much more cordial. So it's really the "system" which is at fault here, not me. I rest my case.

Class action

Your ass is toast Harrison. I want 3 BILLION too because of all the mental anguish I'm having. I can't even sleep anymore. Somebody's got to pay, might as well be you.

Your fault, Protzman.

You started this whole damn thing, didn't you? When you think about it - we should probably start a class action...nah. You're too cute to sue. :)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

OMG --UNCLE!

There I said it.

It just came blurting out.

Lookit -- Once Steve swore on a stack of environmental pamphlets, there was little left to be said. I may be feisty, but I'm not so tough that I'd attempt to counter a stack of enviro-freakin-mental pamphlets.

I cry "UNCLE" when faced with the prospect of deconstructing Steve's deconstruction. Let's just say my sense of shame intervenes eventually --

STEVE -- have mercy. I cannot get past this:

Whatever precautions you take so the photograph will look like this or that, there comes a moment when the photograph surprises you. It is the other's gaze that wins out and decides."

I don't know what it means. I have to assume it's an allusion to a famous piece of literature or play or screenplay -- or worse, it's an allusion to an OBSCURE work that I don't recognize. In either case, I acknowledge defeat.

(OH DAMN YOU, CAVEMAN~! I'll get you for this . . . )

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Derrida

n/t

Greg gets a blue star

It's a quote from Jacques Derrida, and it basically means, "Intent is trumped by perception."

This is something I have to continually remind myself, as my writing tends toward the ambiguous more often than not. Regardless of the medium and/or the venue, communication is basically between two individuals. Even when someone is speaking to a crowd of 100 people, it amounts to 100 separate and different messages, based upon the perception of each individual.

I'm...not really sure how relevant that observation is in this discussion, but I thought I would throw it out there anyway. :)

It was 1 o'clock in the morning

just sayin'.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

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