We have too many social meddlers—people who presume to have visions that they want to impose on all of us. Call it arrogant, conceited or another adjective describing an attitude of superiority, these people claim knowledge and authority they don’t have.
Local “activist” Tom Looney stands out as a poster-boy for that group. Mr. Looney got face-time and voice in a recent Wilmington StarNews article about Titan Cement. (link) Looney also gets frequent air-time from another self-appointed visionary, local talk show host Curtis Wright.
Looney, whose name descriptively fits some of his views, thinks that those of us who support free-market principles and trust the decisions made by business people are “hopelessly out of touch.” He attacks the decision by Titan America to rebuild a cement plant near Wilmington. Looney blames the Wilmington Industrial Development group for the decision; calling it “inexcusable.” He refers to the company as a symptom of a “disease.” Who’s out of touch?
Titan people did not make their location decision to upset Looney’s fuzzy visions of the “economic identity” of this region—they need the site because that’s where the raw materials necessary to produce cement are located. That’s probably too mundane for a smart high-tech guy like Looney to consider, but it’s the company’s call. Titan’s decision is none of his business.
Looney envisions “growth triggers in the rapidly changing global, national, state and local economy”—whatever that means it “should leave out heavy industry such as cement,” according to him. That prejudicial comment should discredit his contribution, but he’s prominent in the StarNews article.
The story cites him as a “successful business executive.” That’s fine. We can admire that. But his narrow experience in the “fast-paced technology sector” doesn’t lead to a preposterous assumption that he has been given divine guidance to control an economy. When Looney presumes to know the best mix of businesses for this, or any, region he daydreams far beyond his knowledge and experience. It’s inconceivable that any one person or group has the wisdom or perception to manipulate an economy; ultimately presuming to know what’s best for individuals. But that attitude goes beyond foolish, it’s dangerous.
Activists with imperious attitudes inevitably lead us to statism. Unable to convince others to follow their flawed visions, they will resort to government power to force them on us. We may simply laugh off their overbearing self-importance, but they pose a threat to our individual freedom.Read full article » 2 Comments »
As suspected and predicted, Jayne is no longer the chief in Leland. Much more on this developing story. From WWAY:
LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Leland has fired police chief Tim Jayne. The information came in a news release sent by the town today to area media, but which excluded WWAY, which has reported extensively on the issues within the Leland Police Department and with Jayne.
In its release, which WWAY received after other media outlets, the town said “The Town of Leland has implemented an institutional reorganization in order to improve organizational efficiency and customer service. Several positions were eliminated as a part of the restructuring, and several new positions will be advertised in the coming weeks.
“The reorganization includes the elimination of three administrative positions and one position within the Building Inspections Department. Also included in the move is the release of Timothy Jayne as the Town’s Police Chief. Deputy Chief Karl Smith will serve as interim chief until a long-term interim chief is appointed or a permanent replacement is hired.”
“The Town is ready to move in a new direction,” Hollis said in the statement. “The moves we have made will improve our organizational efficiency and allow us to better serve the public and our employees.”
Now we’ll see how the Brunswick County Commissioners move to remove fellow commissioner Warren from the board at DSS. This could get ugly and here’s hoping that some leadership will lead to a strongly worded rebuke, but I doubt it.
(StarNews) – A Brunswick County Superior Court judge has ruled that the county commissioners do have the power to remove Commissioner Charles Warren from the county social services board.
Warren’s fellow commissioners had scheduled a hearing to remove him but were blocked by a temporary restraining order issued by a judge Jan. 12 after Warren filed a lawsuit .
After hearing arguments on both sides Monday, Judge Jack Hooks on Wednesday denied Warren an injunction, so the commissioners are free to reschedule their hearing.
Commissioner Marty Cooke said he didn’t know when the hearing would be held. It could be as early as Monday, he said.
Commissioners pushed for the hearing after Warren had DSS board member Pat Sykes removed from a board meeting in December.
Later that month, Commissioners Chairman Bill Sue had Warren escorted out of a county meeting by sheriff’s deputies after Warren protested the removal hearing and called commissioners a “bunch of racists.”
Nobody is publicly commenting, but Gov. Perdue is pushing a project (affectionately called “RoadRunner”) for Brunswick County that will reportedly bring up to 1,100 jobs. If true, the public will be led to believe that this is a factory being moved FROM Japan back to the U.S. But again, there are many more questions.
Caterpillar already had facilities in both Wake and Lee counties. Caterpillar also got $426 million in state money that will be used to build facility in Forsyth County. The Lee facility has received numerous incentives to date and I’m not sure where the facility in Wake stands right now. Caterpillar stands to have the state and ancillary agencies at their beck and call for incentive money on this one. Having lost Continental Tire to SC (even though SC offered $14 LESS than NC) and that still stings the central planning economic government types.
In light of the fact that the state is ashamed of its business environment it is left to beg for jobs by giving away money. Hopefully we’ll find out how much money taxpayers will be asked to fork over. Lee Act, Rural Development grants, JDIG, Golden Leaf, and a myriad of other funds are waiting to be given away.
It’s still hush hush on the details, but all flowers and rainbows on job creation from government. And why isn’t the media talking about the lucrative incentives already received by Caterpillar instead of leading the public to believe that this in an entirely NEW endeavor for the state?Read full article » No Comments »
Mayor Saffo announced yesterday that the city will be moving towards building a $40m stadium for an Atlanta Braves farm team. That means some community somewhere is getting ready to lose a team. It also means that council members, if they approve this, will have gone back on their word during the campaign that they would NOT support a taxpayer funded enterprise.
This was covered in depth at the Carolina Journal back in 2009 and the economy is no better now, so it makes this particular move a rather poorly timed one.
In fact, on Sept. 8, 2011 Mayor Saffo emphatically said, “NO” when asked if he supported a taxpayer funded stadium on the BigTalkerFM. Yesterday when I asked him if he stood by his original statement, he simply indicated he now supported a taxpayer funded stadium.
City council will hold their meeting next Tuesday night at Wilmington City Hall at 6:30. It will be interesting to see if any folks from the public will express their frustration with this endeavor. The city will own it so there will not be any property tax revenues. Mandalay (parent company to the Atlanta Braves) will run it and thus make money off the project.
We’re at the bottom of the first, it will be interesting to see how the next few innings go on this one.Read full article » 2 Comments »