Lafayette goes big government

So it seems Lafayette, the city that voted for Bobby Jindal for Governor, has voted to take a bite out of the private sector by issuing bonds (the republican version of “raising taxes”) and bridging the “digital divide”. What a bunch of rotgut. Last week I enjoyed a bit of saturday late night television. Nearly every commercial was for online poker. Think they’ll be seeing that in Lafayette soon?

I hate when the the Daily Advertiser tells the story a little black girl doing research for a science project (“I might have to use books or go to the library if I didn’t have the internet.” Imagine that.) Let’s be realistic here, how much is the internet being used for strictly educational purposes?

Reminds me of a time I sat in on one of Jordan’s classes at a small Community College in Boston. Tuition there is pretty expensive, and some people consider it kind of elite. A lot of colorful folks there, and one guy there was using the high speed internet connection, which was supplied to every desk, to read a Paul Krugman editorial in the NY Times. A quick survey of the class showed a lot of people were pissing away their time in one way or the other, thanks to the miracle of high-speed internet in the classroom.

Now little black kids in Lafayette can read the NY Times (at best!) instead of doing their homework.

All that being said, living out in the sticks gets one no love from telephone or cable companies. I could sympathize with people wanting to do something about it. But it was cheap satellite dishes that provided television content the whole countryside, not a TVA of the twenty-first century. And if you don’t want to get it, you don’t have to pay anything. I figure it would be the same for the internet in a couple of years, at no cost to those who don’t want the internet.

Anyway, check out http://www.theadvertiser.com to see the story.

Posted at 06:39 pm by Johnny B

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eyes and ears on the ground

When I get time, I’m going to tell y’all a story. First thing, though, is I’m curious about the recent vote in Lafayette to socialize the high speed internet there. The effort was spearheaded by Republican (?) mayor Corey Durel. “We’re going to get rid of the digital divide,” he said (how Clintonian!). I heard this on the public radio news here in Columbus, so apparently it is a big deal. One old boy said, “I don’t even have a computer. Why should I pay money to pay welfare for something somebody don’t need.” I’m paraphrasing, but you get the picture.

Posted at 12:23 am by Johnny B

Posted by BP @ 08/02/2005 09:45 PM PDT
It goes to the old “what is ‘general welfare'” question. Here’s a good quote from James Madison:

“With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

Is internet included in the concept of general welfare?