Memo to Us the People: Stop Empowering Drivel

Monday, March 02, 2015

Seemingly every time I check the sports pages these days, I find a story about someone going through contortions to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles, or to prevent someone else from doing so. Perhaps the pick of the litter so far has been the most recent, about a fifteen-page incantation cast on behalf of sports conglomerate AEG by a wizard known as Tom Ridge. Says a writer at Dead Spin:

The 15-page report (which you can review in full right here) is an incredible read, full of scary and baseless predictions from a supposed expert on terrorism without an iota of data to support its conclusions. Paragraph after paragraph of shit is thrown against the wall, with Ridge and AEG hopeful that invoking words like "terror" and "Al-Qaeda" alone will be enough to stop the Inglewood project.
To call Ridge's argument "asinine" is to miss the sewer for the poop. Consider the greater context of his remarks: The context that makes such a document publishable as something others will have to take seriously -- rather than as a parody of a bad student paper in an underground magazine at a high school somewhere.

We are in the middle of a war against Islamic jihadists, but our government won't declare war or even name our enemy. The government does acknowledge a problem -- but only to the extent it needs to in order to boss around law-abiding citizens, such as by forcing us to be treated like prison inmates every time we seek to board an aircraft. Or by spying on our electronic communications. Or by keeping us from building things They Who Must Not Be Named might randomly try to attack. Rather than "leaving smoking ruins and crying widows" in nations that aid Islamic jihad, our government is busy creating excuses to limit our freedom.

This is hardly surprising, given the deliberate misuse of government voters have been calling for more and more loudly in this country ever since the 1930's. For every problem, people seek a government solution, and for every annoyance, there are cries of, "There ought to be a law." This has predictably led to our current mixed economy and straw-grabbing justifications for dispensing favors by the likes of Tom Ridge:
A mixed economy is a mixture of freedom and controls -- with no principles, rules, or theories to define either. Since the introduction of controls necessitates and leads to further controls, it is an unstable, explosive mixture which, ultimately, has to repeal the controls or collapse into dictatorship. A mixed economy has no principles to define its policies, its goals, its laws -- no principles to limit the power of its government. The only principle of a mixed economy -- which, necessarily, has to remain unnamed and unacknowledged—is that no one's interests are safe, everyone's interests are on a public auction block, and anything goes for anyone who can get away with it. Such a system—or, more precisely, anti-system—breaks up a country into an ever-growing number of enemy camps, into economic groups fighting one another for self preservation in an indeterminate mixture of defense and offense, as the nature of such a jungle demands. While, politically, a mixed economy preserves the semblance of an organized society with a semblance of law and order, economically it is the equivalent of the chaos that had ruled China for centuries: a chaos of robber gangs looting -- and draining -- the productive elements of the country. [bold added]
It is in this context that we even have to consider the blatherings of a Tom Ridge, and it is this context that we must end.

In a truly free society, builders of stadiums would pay for them themselves -- or have the aid only of investors, so random other people would not face the prospect of being nickled-and-dimed for them by vote or legislative fiat. The builders wouldn't have to seek permission from men who produce nothing to build them, if they could afford to. And we wouldn't be refusing to call a spade a spade overseas, while using the very same card as an ace-in-the-hole domestically when it comes to "justifying" the misuse of government force for the purpose of meddling in other people's business. This would all be because we would all realize that the only proper purpose of the government is the protection of individual rights.

Tom Ridge's arguments are asinine, but anyone complaining about them ought to ask himself why anyone is having to listen to them in the first place. If we want to stop hearing nonsense, we should work towards a limited government, in which such nonsense won't stand the chance of winning favors for -- or from -- anyone.

-- CAV

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