A second significant public event against Amendment One has come and gone in Greensboro without a single word or photo in the News & Record.
That's twice in four days that the local daily has completely ignored meaningful local news about a hot-button statewide issue.
As reported yesterday, people are floating various theories about the paper's lack of coverage. I tend toward my usual explanation: they fired too many people and lack the reporting muscle to do anything close to comprehensive daily journalism anymore.
A bunch of college students showed up at the Guilford County Courthouse this afternoon to vote against Amendment One. Groups from Bennett and A&T rolled in just after I finished voting.
Having the chorus of "Vote Against Amendment One" in my head was helpful as I pondered the ballot.
At the rally outside in the plaza, I spoke to some people about the N&R's complete lack of coverage -- zero, zip, nada -- of Monday night's big rally against A1 at College Park Baptist Church. I heard theories (the publisher nixed it, they don't want to cover one side unless the other side has a comparable event, Gauger just blew it). Let's see if the large crowd of young people gathering right down the street from their offices makes tomorrow's paper.
Four construction workers and I had a good talk by the plaza. One was firm in his belief that the Bible ruled out gay marriage. I talked about the civil union ban. I don't know that anyone changed their minds but it was a conversation, not an argument.
I hear teevee ads are on the way, and a serious GOTV effort is happening as well.
I found the Standard Tools and Equipment blog referenced in the previous post via the BizJournal's Triad BizBlog, which has been live for quite some time but about which I have known only since yesterday.
The BJ has always done good work, but it's largely invisible online and I often forget it exists, so I'm happy to have a way to follow it more regularly.
Another interesting slide in yesterday's presentation showed unit labor cost trends in several countries over the past decade, with the US line being the flattest and lowest. This is sucky for Americans hoping for the occasional raise, but should make us more competitive in a global economy (although, if I read the slide correctly, it showed just trends and not numbers, so we're still more expensive than many other places, just relatively more affordable than we used to be).
Anyway, this morning's happy news about Ashley Furniture in Davie County reminded me of this old post about the ebb and flow of manufacturing as global markets shift. Sources in the textile industry tell me not to expect that business to return in force to our shores, but furniture may be more promising.
And on the same general topic, here's a post from Michael Kestler, CEO of Greensboro's Standard Tools and Equipment Co., explaining his decision to off-shore some manufacturing.
I saw a couple of startling (to me, at least) charts at an economic forecasting presentation this morning in DC. One showed the very high level of debt at Chinese companies, which Oxford Economics chairman John Walker likened to the debt loads carried by Japanese firms before the Lost Decade.
The other showed that Spain's huge housing bubble still has a long way to deflate before prices return to the trend line.
Also interested to hear that North America could reach energy independence in 10-15 years.
The tone was sober but not entirely bleak. Things look cheerier for the US and BRICS than the Eurozone, but potential bogeyman (e.g., oil shocks, a hard landing in China) still lurk in the wings.
...adding, I should mention that I am an employee of Oxford Economics, which hosted the event.
The chairman of the state Democratic Party is expected to resign after an avalanche of top elected officials called for his ouster Tuesday amid revelations that he authorized a secret agreement to pay a former staffer to keep quiet after making sexual harassment allegations.
We were looking for, "Having made a point about how many meetings Conrad attended, we are mortified to learn he was not even on the task force in question, and apologize to both Justin Conrad and the voters of District 27 for our shoddy attack ad."
UPDATE: A softer version makes the print edition: "The city attorney disagrees with the tourism bureau’s interpretation of the state law that governs the use of the tax. Interim City Manager Denise Turner Roth and Fourrier will meet today to discuss the issue."
UPDATE: Video here. A noise-issue speaker at around 1:20, topic resumes for real at 1:31, Carroll just after 3:00. /update
Big crowd for the City Council noise rules debate tonight.
Roy Carroll speaks after a guy [Matty Sheets] advocating a limit of 250,000 decibels and before him a lot of other antis. Carroll says, I have an obligation to speak up. This didn't start when I moved downtown. I did the good neighbor thing, I called Mr. Efird, this was spring and summer of 2010. The issue has been ongoing. The content, explicit and pornographic songs being broadcast [derisive laughter from the gallery] I have the lyrics written down. We can't regulate content. People coming out of Triad Stage with their kids and grandkids have to listen to this garbage.
He is followed by David McLean of King's English, who says it's a creative culture issue, and some limits make sense but maybe this case can be mediated.
[Disclaimer, ripped off from the estimable Dr. Weinberger: "NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people."]
We used to go away at the end of April every year and when we came back in early May our last azaleas would be in bloom. This year they'll be long gone by then, but they sure make it nice to sit on the deck after work.
Yesterday my mom and Luna and I walked the greenway from Lewis Center to the Battleground. What a great amenity that trail network is going to be for this city.
It's all fun and games til the mosquitoes show up.
Another broadband map, and an article on efforts by states to bring connectivity to underserved areas: "High-speed Internet plays a key role as regions compete to attract employers and encourage participation in today’s global economy."
We're doing OK but much of VA looks like an internet desert.
Invoking tradition when discussing marriage is a dangerous game, because social norms and legal rules change over time.
Traditional marriage in the United States once deprived women of rights we now take for granted.
Biblical marriage often was polygamous.
And then there's this NC marriage amendment from an earlier era: "All marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent to the third generation, are hereby forever prohibited."
Fortunately, "forever" did not turn out to be forever.
Even a major supporter of Amendment 1 sees a limited future for the proposed ban on civil unions. So why bother with it in the first place?
Allen Johnson's column today is headlined "Gay marriage debate may signal shift in black attitudes."
This is an article of state-wide importance, but it's hidden in the Google-proof vault. That limits distribution and also keeps readers from across North Carolina -- people who are never going to subscribe to the GSO paper, in print or online -- from noticing the N&R website. What a waste.
John Hammer says it's a "ridiculous argument" for the folks at Greene Street to claim they "should be able to play their music just as loud as the equipment can produce all night long if they so desire" and that the club "demands as its right [...] that it be allowed to play music as loud as it wants outdoors on its rooftop at any hour of the day or night."
He's right, that is ridiculous.
But has anybody but John Hammer ever said anything like that about the noise issue?
[T]he passage or defeat of marriage equality isn’t just about weddings. It’s about worth. It’s about the message a society delivers to men who love and pledge commitment to and maybe start families with other men, and to women who love and pledge commitment to and maybe start families with other women.
He said, "I did a horrendous thing, but I don’t know why I’m getting such an unforgiving treatment when you think of what other people have done.'"
Objective standards are hard to apply when differentiating between charming rogues and unforgivable cads, but fathering a child while cheating on one's widely-beloved dying wife probably tips the scales.