Publius

The Voice of Reason. A look at contemporary philosophy and politics from outside the Left vs. Right continuum. RSS FEED

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Louisiana has the wrong priorities

Perhaps, instead of subsidizing sports stadiums, Louisiana and New Orleans ought to spend money instead on protecting their citizens.

Oh, wait, sorry I forgot - they expect the rest of the country to do that for them. Silly me. It says right there in the Constitution that the Federal Government's purpose is to bail people out of their own irresponsibility:

"Just five months ago, Saints owner Tom Benson cut off negotiations with the state of Louisiana for a long-term Superdome lease that was predicated on an extensive building renovation. What's really sad in light of recent events is that Louisiana was paying Benson up to $15 million a season just so he would keep the Saints in New Orleans. What's worse, the state was forced to borrow $8 million last year just to make Benson's outrageous subsidy, mostly because a major New Orleans revenue source - tourism - had declined after 9-11."
- http://www.jsonline.com/sports/gen/sep05/353718.asp
and
"Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, sits on one side of the table aiming for a new contract with the Saints that would lessen the state’s financial obligations to the team. Blanco inherited the obligation from her Republican predecessor, Mike Foster, in the state’s current contract with the team, which guarantees the Saints $186.5 million in state subsidies through 2010.

The state had to borrow money last year for the team’s annual subsidies payment, and unless the contract is renegotiated before July 5, the state will have to borrow $8.25 million again to make this year’s payment."
- http://www.nytimes-institute.com/xdome.html
So how far, Governor Blano and Mayor Nagin, would $186.5M have gone to helping protect the citizens of New Orleans? Seems to me that would have paid for a fair bit of levee upgrades. Or perhaps a consultant to come up with a competent disaster plan, since Blanco and Nagin apparently need all the help they can get. Especially in setting fiscal priorities.

Of course Nagin - who is rich - doesn't really care one way or the other, since he bought a house in Dallas while the hurricane was still blowing.

Louisiana - where the purpose of government is to subsidize their sports teams buddies, and run away at the first sign of trouble.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

George Soros

George Soros is a billionaire activist. He considers himself "progressive" (aha, the code-word for "socialist"). Soros declared war on George Bush in 2002 and gave large amounts of money to activist organizations such as MoveOn.org in a (failed) attempt to defeat him in the 2004 elections.

In 2002, Soros stated:

"The supremacist ideology of the Bush Administration stands in opposition to the principles of an open society, which recognize that people have different views and that nobody is in possession of the ultimate truth. The supremacist ideology postulates that just because we are stronger than others, we know better and have right on our side. The very first sentence of the September 2002 National Security Strategy (the President's annual laying out to Congress of the country's security objectives) reads, 'The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise.'"

I fully, totally agree with the National Security Strategy statement. Soros quotes it disparagingly - he indicates that to think the idea that freedom, democracy, and free enterprise (capitalism) are superior values is solely an expression of "might makes right".

I also fully agree that Bush stands in opposition to moral relatavism - the "open society" philosophy of Soros says that nobody can know truth, and thus we're all equally right (also, all equally wrong?) Bush is the diametric opposite of Bill Clinton, the relatavists poster child.

If Soros thinks that the National Security Strategy statement is false, let us examine the alternatives.

The opposite of freedom, is slavery. The opposite of democracy, is totalitarianism. The opposite of free enterprise, is fascism or socialism. If you wonder whether I am exaggerating, then note that freedom, democracy and capitalism go hand in hand in the US, UK, and most of Western Europe. Slavery, totalitarianism, and socialism were hand-in-hand in the 20th century - WW2 Japan and Germany, Soviet Russia, China, every other true socialist or communist regime.

Mr. Soros seems to believe that freedom, democracy and capitalism are not superior values, but simply arrogance that the "strong" US is trying to force upon the world. He further suggests that what the world needs in the 21st century is more slavery, totalitarianism and socialism (or perhaps in equal amounts with freedom?)

But Soros has it totally backwards.

These things are not right because we are strong. We are strong because they are right principles.

It is extremely ironic that someone like Soros, who has become one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the world, benefitted precisely from the freedom, democracy, and capitalism that Bush adheres to as guiding principles - but which Soros appears to be sneering at.

This "open society" philosophy is College 101 nonsense. It's one of those examples of a philosophy that is prima-facie self-contradictory. If nobody can know what the truth is, then neither can Soros - and his "open society' philosophy thus can have no claim to truth either.

What we should wonder about, is what - or who - can cause clearly intelligent people like Soros to shoot themselves in the head, and make them try to destroy the very values that allowed him to go from pauper to success - freedom, democracy, and capitalism?