Monday, March 02, 2009

The Gentlemen Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

With apologies to the Bard of Avon, this altered quote seems appropriate to the dust up that Robert Tennenbaum is having with local blogger Jack Cole.

According to this post on Jack’s blog, Bob became so upset with the interview post that Jack wrote that he demanded it be taken down. Jack refused.

I don’t blame him. In fact, I fail to see why Bob got his feathers all ruffled.

Yesterday I listened to all three raw unedited interview tapes that Jack posted on his blog. In them Bob shares some fascinating history of the birth of Columbia. If you ever read Joshua Olsen’s biography of Jim Rouse, Better Places, Better Lives and were left hungry for more detail on those early years, this interview will fill in some blanks.

Chill out Bob. It’s all good.


Anonymous said...

The current conflict aside, I sense the jack cole blog overall has a one-sided political agenda.

Not interested.

Why is the same reader interested in this blog? Because the posts here contain news, and because this blogger doesn't hold back on interesting items even while he's disagreeing.

Anonymous said...

Bob came across as slightly racist with the Section 8 comment. That was not his intent, I am sure, but that's probably why he is upset about the post. He probably feels his thoughts were not presented as clearly as they should have or could have been.

Anonymous said...

I think that Jack should just interview Bridget Mugane. She can speak for everyone else on his interview list.

Anonymous said...

Let's see. Section 8 remark, slightly racist? I don't think so. Have you ever rented to a section 8 family? Doesn't matter if they are white, black or pink. The property is beaten up and has be restored before it can be sold. Why should we have section 8 or affordable housing in the plans for the downtown redevelopment? Doesn't make much sense economically or culturally.
I know it is politically correct. But is it the best idea for Columbia?

Anonymous said...

I was glad to read Mr. Tennenbaum's interview, thankful for his candor, and now have even greater respect for him.

To answer the odd assertion that affordable housing doesn't make economic or cultural sense, to stick with the post's theme of literary quotations and since we are talking about Columbia, which is named after the female personification of the U.S.A., the best response may come from 19th century American poet Emma Lazarus' poem that graces the Statue of Liberty, "The New Collosus":

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Anonymous said...

Wow, anon 8:03. I feel deep sympathy for someone who reads the inscription in the Statute of Liberty and thinks that it has anything at all to do with (or can be used to justify) housing subsidies.

Anonymous said...

Help people temporarily through brief hard times, and they might do better.

But help people long term and the 'helper' strips them of self determination along with the many and varied benefits of maturity, or emotional intelligence, or learning that behavior has consquences - whatever the term may be.

Anonymous said...

No sympathy necessary for me necessary, Anon 9:06. To make the connection clear, the passage references the homeless and the poor. Housing subsidies directly and effectively help the plight of the homeless and those needing such assistance, including victims of domestic abuse and veterans experiencing additional difficulty readjusting to civilian life.

And such housing subsidies have provided the transition (as Anon 7:32 noted) necessary that allows reducing, in many cases, their substantial draw on other high cost public services. If you'd like to pay my share of higher taxes for keeping people in need of those other higher cost public services due to foregoing providing the transition of affordable housing, be my guest.

If you still doubt, Google: homeless "housing subsidies".

Should we also assume you object to all forms of housing subsidies then, too, including the mortgage interest tax deduction? Or are publicly- and privately-funded housing subsidies only ok for more well-to-do families? If so, good luck getting any developers, home builders, contractors, realtors, or any other parties involved in home construction, sale, or maintenance to agree with foregoing all "housing subsidies".

The crux of the matter isn't whether a community or new development should include affordable housing, but rather how much affordable housing shall be included in each community and development to meet the community's needs and provide the best outcomes for both the community and the families helped by affordable housing.

Anonymous said...

Yes anon, you can assume that I oppose the mortgage interest deduction as well as other hand-outs to the wealthy. You can also watch your patronizing tone with me. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean that I need to do a google search to bring myself up to speed. You are not nearly as smart as you think you are.

Furthermore, we are not talking about helping people stepping off boats from foreign shores with respect to most AH programs. In HoCo, we are talking about families making around $80K a year. Given the recent decline in housing prices, I wonder why Stacy Spann still has a job.

Anonymous said...

What goes unsaid is that taxpayers are forced to help some people too much, and others too little.

It's our money, but we don't seem to have any control in how it's allocated.

No one wants to continue allowing homelessness, particularly on nights like last night. But also, people are frustrated when responsibility is consistently neutralized by the irresponsibility of others.

PZGURU said...

This brings to mind the parable of the fisherman. If you give a man a fish, he becomes dependent on on you. If you teach the man how to fish, he provides for himself.

I acknowledge that it's almost impossible to determine who "truly" needs help an who is just taking advantage of people's charity (or in this case the government's use of taxpayer money possibly for less than worthy people). Nobody in their right mind can claim that ALL people getting subsisides, or welfare, or disability aid, truly deserve it. Those people who fraudulently take this aid and don't truly need are the lowest of the low because it makes charitable people less inclinde to feel charitable.

This gets to another point. When the government runs these "aid" programs, they just dole out the money and the programs are rife with waste and abuse. Private charities and churches and community groups should function as the safety net for people in need because as non-governmental organizations they can monitor and better control how the funds are used and who gets to benefit, and therefore the funds are better used. For example, instead of giving someone a welfare check that could be spent on drugs, booze, or lottery tickets, a homeless shelter actually provides a warm bed and nourishing meals.

PZGURU said...

Oh, I agree with several of the anon-ers. Bob did come off sounding a little racist in his remarks and I would bet that is why he got ticked off. Maybe he didn't mean it that way, it that's how it came across to me.

Anonymous said...

In any case, it obviously doesn't reflect what he wanted and intended to convey.

Some people are so unforgiving.

Others are too easily offended.

We're all human, though.

Jack said...

First off I'd like to thank Wordbones for the link and the traffic. Secondly, I'd like to thank everyone for their comments.

In response to the first "anonymous" comment, my blog has NO political agenda. I simply ask residents what has worked about Columbia and what hasn't.

As a journalist, I try to write objectively and present information objectively. Even though I write posts about current events or reactions to posts, I strive to keep my opinions out of my blog, contrary to the common narrative structure of blogs.

Again, thank you for your vigilant blog reading. If anyone has a suggestion, a story idea, an interview idea or criticism of any kind, please don't hesitate to post your comments on my blog. I only ask that you step into the light of truth, no anonymous comments.

Anonymous said...

“But also, people are frustrated when responsibility is consistently neutralized by the irresponsibility of others.”

We can at least agree on that point. No hard feelings, we’re just fighting for what we think is right. It ain't easy going into battle knowing most people will consider me the loser.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:24,

Anon 12:34 here with complete respect for your position and able to relate to the 'loosing' proposition.