Beezlegrunk t1_je6wmmw wrote

Your Gordon Gekko retort-generator is really lame. You're clearly incapable of offering any sort of reasoned argument to justify exploitation, so all you can do is try to deflect people's attention from it. But since you obviously don't care how your greed affects other people, at least be a big boy and own it ...


Beezlegrunk t1_je6c7q8 wrote

I make a comfortable living without exploiting other people — as do most of us. Guys like you are the outliers: Pretending they're powerless not to take advantage of others, when it's really just a function of their own greed.

Just own it, dude, instead of blaming some mythical "game". The fact that you trot out lame excuses shows you know what you're doing is not OK ...


Beezlegrunk t1_je3v0me wrote

Sort of like saying, "Don't hate slave-owners, hate slavery as an institution. Free labor is desirable. Capitalism."

Doesn't sound so great when it's applied to something that we as a society (eventually) decided was morally indefensible. And forcing people to be wage slaves so they can pay 30%+ of their income for housing is indefensible, especially if the reason is just to enrich other people at their expense (literally and figuratively).

Slave-owners perpetuated slavery — they weren't powerless "players" in a "game" they didn't control or were forced to play, they benefitted from it and wanted it to continue. Just like you do.

Eventually we fought a long and bloody war that ended the formal system of human exploitation called slavery. So hate the player and the game — and especially players who try to pretend they're not the reason the game is still being played ...


Beezlegrunk t1_jdnda8v wrote

I’ve never lived in a city that claimed to restrict overnight parking as Providence does, but I’ve lived in a bunch of cities that actually give tickets for (non-meter) parking violations, which PVD rarely seems to do.

If you park on the street-cleaning side of the street in other cities when you’re not supposed to, parking enforcement officers drive a block ahead of the street sweepers and will happily ticket you.

By contrast, the parking enforcement here (like so much else) is mostly performative, such that when someone actually does get a citation it’s a genuine surprise.

The capricious enforcement leads to cynicism and contempt for rules in general, which seeps into civic culture and people’s attitudes toward any kind of personal responsibility.

Fair but consistent enforcement is better than absent or sporadic enforcement …


Beezlegrunk OP t1_jclp6ho wrote

>I disagree with your take, but we are both entitled to our opinions.

"Entitled" seems too strong a word — maybe we both just "have" opinions? I think the "every opinion is equally valid" idea is not borne out by real-world experience ...


>I did look up the Globe RI staff and found that Lylah M. Alphonse is ¨the Rhode Island Editor for the Boston Globe, where she leads a team covering and exploring the Ocean State.¨ I dont see anyone with the bureau chief title, but i suspect that role is probably played by the editor.

That's well observed — I'll adjust McGowan's title commensurately, which actually makes me feel slightly better, though I still don't understand why he has so much sports coverage in the daily e-mail newsletter. That you don't seem to notice that is odd.


>people find issue with journalistic objectivity when they feel slighted by a perceived subjective aspect of an article.

Calling a concern "silly" reveals one's bias, but it was more his admission that he deliberately ignored questions about Fane tower's financing because he dismissed them as rivalry — that's pretty weak sauce. I think he did it because he supported the tower or more downtown development in general. It was at least worth looking into ...


>the reason no one did in-depth coverage on financing, or lack thereof, is because that info is not public.

So no reporters have ever covered stories in which all the information wasn't public? Please. It's a reporter's job to seek out that information, and in the absence of being able to do so, reporting the lack of information as a critical issue that brings the subject itself into question. Silence on the issue only really served one side: Fane.


>I suspect that maybe its a slight to call someone a sports journalist?

There's different kinds of sports reporting — some of which includes never really looking beyond the surface of issues, and always taking team pronouncements as gospel, in the name of supporting the home team and not pissing off fans. That's not journalism, though, it's boosterism / fanboy-ishness. We see similar things with business reporting that never really questions corporate pronouncements or motives. Then it's suddenly a surprise when we find out a company has been lying all along.


>I do not see Mcgowan going on and on about sports or covering it in depth

Read the daily newsletter and you'll see what I mean. Even the Fane tower column has a bunch of sports references in it. I think he sees every issue as some sort of competitive contest and his job as a reporter is to 'handicap' the eventual outcome — i.e, "The odds are against person X achieving outcome Y" — likes it's a pre-game report or post-game analysis. What we don't see are a lot of incisive questions or insightful reporting based on going behind the obvious public facade that everyone can see. It's generally pretty shallow ...


Beezlegrunk OP t1_jcdbt2y wrote

Fair enough, but it’s sort of like dismissing everyone who opposes a non-viable project as being a NIMBY. We need more housing in Providence, but not high-priced condos subsidized by the government — and not wildly out of proportion with the rest of the built environment as some sort of a vanity trophy building.

You’re right that the media did a poor job of covering the project, but residents could also look at the people involved, and what they said (and didn’t), and see that it was always more of “let’s see if we can wangle a deal for ourselves by making vague assertions” about jobs kind of thing.

I think if they’d lined up the financing to make it viable, they would have been more forthcoming about it as a solid public investment. Instead, the details were always coming later, once we’d committed to the deal. It shouldn’t take that kind of financial minuet to get a worthwhile deal completed — which indicated it never was a good deal.


Beezlegrunk OP t1_jccaari wrote

McGowan leads the Globe's RI bureau as far as I can tell, so I assume he's considered the bureau chief — if not him, then who is?

And at least half of what he writes about is sports, and he even manages to weave it into stories that have nothing to do with athletics (just look at the one we're commenting on — it's full of sports metaphors). He may not have the formal title of sports reporter, but he's a sports reporter — and his political coverage reflects that.

I don't share your appreciation of McGowan's coverage of local politics, because (like daily sports journalism) it's not very incisive — he tends to take things at face value and not probe much for deeper analysis. I don't see him relying on any informative sources or discovering information that isn't public knowledge. He covers politics the way a high school reporter would, by writing what he sees, and what the conventional wisdom says.

As far as his personal bias regarding the Fane tower story, he wrote about Salvatore not "wasting his time on the silly arguments from a handful of vocal critics [that the] "the design is ugly" or "that's too tall" — that's a pretty clear indication about how McGowan felt about the tower, and couldn't abide anyone who didn't share his view.

He also openly admits that he let Fane fend him off on the financing details, despite there being "plenty of people in the development world in my ear who raising legitimate questions about the [financial] viability of the tower" — which is a quite damning admission for someone who covers RI politics.

No serious journalist would allow a public figure asking for tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to get away with telling a fairytale about a project's financing, unless he supports the project and is afraid to ask too many tough questions about it. The tower project was like a team McGowan was rooting for, and he wasn't willing to criticize the coach or the team owners if it risked causing them to lose. That's not professional journalism, that's fan-style boosterism.


Beezlegrunk OP t1_jcapnxa wrote

It’s a matter of debate and discussion if people actually take the time to debate and discuss it — the point is that the BEANs never care about those things, so they never bother to engage on the issue of financial viability: it’s just build, build, build, whether it makes financial sense or not. There’s no due diligence in saying, “If some rich guy wants to build here, we have to do anything and everything we can to help him.”

But your premise is flawed, because the rest of us did debate the viability of the project: Many Redditors criticized the subsidies as excessive and unnecessary, and questioned whether more luxury apartments were needed in Providence (spoiler: they’re not) — and therefore would generate the occupancy, rents, and taxes needed to recoup the project financing.

Elorza was hardly a NIMBY, and he vetoed it. Salvatore works in real estate and he didn’t think it would work. That had nothing to do with the building’s excessive height or Pippi Longstocking design. (Most people forget the original design proposed three towers side-by-side.) It was a white-elephant boondoggle from the beginning.

The reason it didn’t get even more financial scrutiny was that the state legislature and media are a bunch of BEANs too. Boston Globe bureau chief Dan McGowan is a sports reporter who admits he never even bothered to look into the financial aspects of the proposal because he accepted Fane’s shallow, Music Man-type hype as gospel.

And the same thing will happen on the next proposal, and every one after that — RI has such a strong inferiority complex that it’ll drop its panties for any developer who promises to make it feel special — and says the magic words that intoxicate BEANs and other shallow thinkers: “jobs”, “taxes”, and “housing.” Developers know that all they have to do is sprinkle those words throughout their otherwise empty presentations and the panties come down …


Beezlegrunk OP t1_jc9eot0 wrote

If giving out-of-state millionaires tens of millions of dollars in public subsidies for non-viable projects is your definition of “progress”, you must be a big fan of Curt Schilling and the 38 studios deal, and still mad at the “dinosaurs” who resisted it.

As P.T. Barnum said, there’s one born every minute …


Beezlegrunk OP t1_jc6uwg8 wrote

>”Fane always balked when he was asked about financing the project, mostly offering some version of ‘trust me’ when he talked to people like me. I admit that I fell for it. There were plenty of people in the development world in my ear who were raising legitimate questions about the viability of the tower, but I wrote them off as worried about competition from the eccentric outsider. > >It’s not necessarily the City Council’s job to vet a developer’s ability to pay for their proposal, but [former City Council president David] Salvatore said he was especially concerned because ‘there were tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on the line’ — in the form of subsidies – if the project got started but couldn’t be completed.”

The cheerleading BEANs never care about this sort of thing, which is why they should be ignored when they mindlessly tout any and every project whether it’s viable or not …


Beezlegrunk t1_j4mwfz4 wrote

Excellent points. His comment about generators also puts the burden on individual people to remedy their own energy-supply / cost crises, instead of addressing the structural causes of those crises. Rhode Island, Texas, and the U.S. as a whole could have already done more and should be doing more now to diversify their energy sources, by generating more within each state from renewable sources that are much less vulnerable to supply disruptions / cost rises. Instead, people are forced to rely on fossil fuels from external sources and are expected to buy generators to keep their lights on and food from spoiling when those volatile energy supplies are disrupted and costs soar ...