Welcome home, Rob

It's entirely possible that my criticisms of the N&O's Rob Christensen over the past few years have been the result of my own delusions. I have found him overly reliant on Art Pope's "experts" as sources, and too timid in challenging the radical agenda of our very own Tarheel Taliban. Lately, though, Christensen seems to have regained some of his old spark. I especially appreciate comments this week about the long-term destruction that will result from the Republican assault on city and regional planning. I'd welcome much, much more of this kind of insight.

But there is also a good chance that from this point on, we will see a gradual decline of North Carolina cities - one that may not even be noticeable for 20 years, when today's policymakers are long gone from the scene.

Rob has it right. In 20 years, Speaker Tillis will be rotting in a shallow grave while his grandchildren try to stop the next Titan Cement from building a mercury plant near the private charter school his great grandchildren attend. Zoning and municipal planning will be relegated to the history books.


Grandpa Tillis

"Your Gramps didn't mean to poison your little brain with mercury, Tommy Junior. He was a dedicated corporate tool his whole life. He just didn't know any better."

It was good

And would have linked if it were not in the paper not to be linked to...

Of course, zoning and planning are simply code words for the creeping tide of UN Agenda 21- an effort to take away our cars, individual ownership of property, force us into tiny urban apartments, and subject our county to U.N. rule. How do I know this? Glenn Beck and Alex Jones told me! Agenda 21 In One Easy Lesson

The paper that shall not be linked to

I know I'm violating my own ban on N&O links. In recent weeks, I've decided that my one-blog boycott isn't producing the intended effect.

Little Ricky Martinez continues to be featured on the N&O pages, even though he is now a quadruple threat from a concentration of voices perspective (WPTF, WUNC-TV, N&O, Carolina Urinal). For some reason Ford and Drescher don't understand the consequences of that concentration, either because they're being purposely dense (they're definitely not stupid) or because they've dug in their heels to defend in the indefensible. Martinez adds nothing of substance on any issue that I can see, except to be a reliable echo chamber for the Show.

In any case, I've received lots of encouragement to spotlight the few bright areas of N&O coverage, while slamming the (expletive deleted) out of them when they're lapdogs for the Art Pope.

This column by Christensen tilts in the right direction, though as one emailer commented, it's probably the result of pressure from his wife, who used to work for the NC League of Municipalities. Whatever the reason, good on him for stepping up to the issue. I hope someone at the N&O will make a calendar note to report on the impacts of this extremist legislative session 20 years from now, if they're lucky enough to still be in business.

This may be true:

as one emailer commented, it's probably the result of pressure from his wife, who used to work for the NC League of Municipalities.

But it could also be a result of being exposed to more information about municipalities (via his wife) and their challenges than the average person, or even the average reporter.

But from what I've seen of Rob's work in the past, he usually doesn't take a strong stand on an issue unless he's 98.6% convinced it's right. My problem is, he's taken the "neutral" position on too many issues that screamed right vs wrong. At least in my mind, anyway. And when that goes to print, thousands of readers conclude the issue is not that big of a deal.