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C. Briem

Man, that is a gratuitious connection to stadia development and the convention center. Toland's piece didn't mention stadium issues, didn't allude to stadium issues, yet somehow you make that sound like the core issue he is writing about. How does the saying go: if every problem is a nail.....

Seriously.. you just can't extrapolate like that.

Sam M

I don't think I understand.

No. He didn't mention stadiums. What he mentioned was the fact that no one seems to understand all the complexities at work. That no one really "knows" how to do this. Meaning no one really knows how to make people move here.

Have you heard a lot of politicians speaking in those terms around here? Have you heard a lot of them say, "Wow. I am not really clear where that project would put us. And it costs a lot of money. Maybe we should stick to picking up the trash." I haven't.

Or, in your experience, do people pitch their pet projects in terms of "turning Pittsburgh around," "saving Pittsburgh," or "remaking Pittsburgh," or "reversing Pittsburgh's long decline"?

Can you think of any project pitched in that way? I can think of a few.

Sometimes there are, in fact, a lot of nails. It doesn't make sense to drive them with a screwdriver just to prove you can mix things up.

Not sure what to make of the idea that the post misrepresents stadia as "the core idea." It's included in a short list of high-profile local projects that have been in the news lately. Perhaps I should have made the list longer? Seven things? Nine? Fourteen?

As I read them, the articles indicate that what draws immigrants to an area is complicated. And that perhaps the best leaders can do is "stick to the basics." The Allegheny Conference seems to have gotten the memo. Which I think is great. Does it seem to you that lesson has been learned elsewhere?

Not to me. I see a lot of time, energy and political capital being spent on other projects. Not to mention any of them, of course. Wouldn't want to extrapolate, gratuitously or otherwise.

C. Briem

Your draw a completely false analogy. Toland was discussing some of the complexities of international immigration. You then make this big leap and connect that to whether stadia financing makes any sense. Toland didn't go there and to imply he did as your intro does is misleading and false. In fact, I dont think any fo the programs he talks about ever interacted with any stadium or related issues over the years. There is plenty of literature on international immigration without anyone ever mentioning stadiums? Let alone the fact that the funding for most immigrant attraction programs have been private foundation money without any public investment. Are you saying they don't have the right to spend their money as they deem fit. Maybe this is their knitting?

It's just perplexing since you normally read most media stories so literally and argue we all should, but here you ignore what is written and see only what you see between the lines.

Sam M

Alright. Maybe I made a terrible, terrible error by assuming that the Fitzgeral and Toland articles were related. Maybe immigration is just immigration, like a cigar is just a cigar. Read it literaly. Draw no connections.

Of course, if the imigration article was mean to be about immigration only--no inferences to be drawn whatsoever--then I guess you better complain to the Post-Gazette. Because in the electronic version of the Toland article that I link to, there is an embedded link to the Fitzgerald piece. Undr a section entitled, er... "Related Articles."

Maybe you don't see the same relationship I do. But what I see is an article about not really knowing how to draw immigrants. Which links to an article about not really knowing how many jobs other policies will create. Not to mention a general idea that "back to basics" might be an interesting new approach.

So... if one of the messages in the article is that "back to basics" idea, is there any way that message might be more interesting in light of a few of the other major development projects going on in the city?

Maybe you dont think so. But I hardly think it amounts to some sort of crime to think of it in those terms. Not sure why you do.

To reiterate: I never said Toland was writing about stadia or arena. Nor did I hint at that. If you think I extrapolated, connected or did something else in reckless fashion, than I guess we have a different definition of reckless.

Two stories. Two messages about getting back to basics and the difficulty of prediciting results. Is it completely illegitimate to see how that message applies in other ways? For you, I guess so.

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