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February 17, 2005

Comments

TtWD - yep, Armando in the hornets's nest. You may not have seen the previous thread on the same subject in which he declared that he was an "asshole" and that people replying to him should take that into account. I have a great deal of respect for him but on this particular issue I think he's a) stone cold wrong and b) way too hot-blooded.

Armando has previously commented that he lets his latin blood boil over at Kos but is restrained when speaking to his good buddies, like Timmy, over at Tac.

It must be the water. But more importantly Armando owes me a golf game, so I can only hope he doesn't pull a muscle.

I'm thinking you could cough a couple of times during his backswings and totally screw his game when he gets incensed, but then you probably don't need such ruses with your natureal conservative golf advantage...

You know my slice is soooo good my drives sometimes end up behind me.

I am looking for a "George W. Bush is MY PRESIDENT", golf hat with a happy face on it. Can you help!

"Sometimes my slice is soooo good"

Uhh, I'm a liberal, I know that golf involves swales - important for crosswords and poems. Slices are the things you cut shallots or chayote or mangoes into.

I went to a playoff game in Oakland once. The A's were facing the Yankees, my team from childhood, and I bought a Yankees cap from a vendor, being young and stupid. The guy cheerfully sold it to me, saying, It's good for throwing up into too [with the appropriate sound effects]. All of which leads up to saying, Nope, can't help you there.

Sorry, I haven't been reading this thread for a while, so I'm late in saying this, but:

Dantheman: you wrote: "Pot, meet kettle on the subject of nuisances" This seems to be addressed to Slarti. He's a moderator here, and he's doing his job. If you have a problem with it, you can email us, or me privately if you'd like me to pass on your concerns to others. I will respect your confidentiality. If that's not good enough, and you don't want to get a onetime email account somewhere, then I'm not sure how you might communicate with us, but I think I'll leave it to you to figure that out.

To everyone: if you have a problem with a particular person, I think it would be best to do one of three things: (a) state it as a problem with that person's arguments, (b) email the kitten, or (c) go off and do some gardening, or whichever activity you find best for getting things out of your system. I'm not directing this at anyone in particular; I've just had the sense, for the past week or so, that there's been a certain amount of jumping all over people, and since I like all of you, it bothers me.

Plus, if it keeps up I might turn into Rodney King and start saying "Can't we all get along?", and I'd much rather remain myself. (I used to live near Rodney King, and the thought of becoming him is not particularly pleasant.) And if things get really bad, I might turn into Liberace, and then where would I be?

Dunno, hilzoy, how do you look in sequins?

Is it really your case that one ought not contribute to the defense of someone that might be found guilty, years later?

No. My case is that Soros, of all the choices he had in which to further his open society cause, chose poorly, particularly since Stewart ascribes to a distinctly unopen ideology and she defends those who are similarly unopen.

No. My case is that Soros, of all the choices he had in which to further his open society cause, chose poorly, particularly since Stewart ascribes to a distinctly unopen ideology and she defends those who are similarly unopen.

You keep missing the point, and it's been pointed out to you so many times that it looks willful. Soros' contribution to a fund raising visibility for Stewart's case was not about Stewart--it was about the terrible precedent for attorney-client privilege set by Stewart's indictment.

You are beating Soros with a strawman argument, and correcting your false premise is becoming very tiresome.

Bird: particularly since Stewart ascribes to a distinctly unopen ideology

Does she? Got any evidence of that? (That is, some public statement she made on her own behalf about her own beliefs?)

and she defends those who are similarly unopen.

Er, she's a lawyer: her job was to defend someone accused of a crime. If all lawyers were presumed to be guilty of the crimes that those they defended were accused of, you'd get damn few lawyers willing to defend people.

If all lawyers were presumed to be guilty of the crimes that those they defended were accused of

Or even If all lawyers were presumed to be sympathetic with the crimes that those they defended were accused of...

"and she defends those who are similarly unopen" - this charge is absurd, Bird, and you must surely know it. Even making it makes you look like someone who thinks that a defense lawyer for someone accused of child molestation must like paedophiles. Do you really want to stand by it, or would you rather retract it and admit it was a silly thing to say?

What happened to the other 2.8%?

The 2.8% went to the truly unfree countries.

There are organizations in the US that work in other countries.

There are some that serve both the US and other other countries, but not many. There are also scores of individuals listed in other countries who are using the money for endeavors in the US.

You keep missing the point, and it's been pointed out to you so many times that it looks willful.

Oh, I get the point, Catsy, I just don't agree with it. One man's "public education campaign" is another man's propaganda. Whether the money was actually used for said purposes is another issue.

Does she? Got any evidence of that?

In 1995, she said this to the New York Times: "I don't believe in anarchistic violence, but in directed violence. That would be violence directed at the institutions which perpetuate capitalism, racism, and sexism, and at the people who are the appointed guardians of those institutions, and accompanied by popular support."

Last June, she said this to the WA Post: "I'm not a pacifist," Stewart said. "I have cried many bitter tears. There is death in history, and it's not all rosebuds and memorial services. Mao, Fidel, Ho Chi Minh understood this."

The MSM can call her a "radical", but given her above statements and her alliances with Ramsey Clark and National Lawyer's Guild, it looks pretty clear to me.

What are your sources on those numbers? I wanted to look them up...I assume you are getting them from those tax documents behind the link wall, but if so you could still quote more directly from the documents.

Also, as far as Stewart, which comes closest to describing your view?

1) the attorney client privilege issue doesn't matter because she holds a repellent ideology
2) Soros is lying about his concern for attorney-client privilege
3) Soros is being honest about attorney client privilege mattering to him, and it does matter, but Stewart's repellent ideology matters more, or
4) Soros is being honest, and attorney client privilege matters more than Stewart's repellent ideology, but partly on account of Stewart's repellent ideology, defending attorney client privilege in the U.S. is not the best use of Soros' money

Applying the same standard you apply to Soros, can I ask why this week you are more concerned with whether George Soros' donations maximize utility than, say, Darfur or the U.S. interrogation policies or the current bombings in Iraq? Or can I look at your tax returns and financial records and conclude what you wrote about the tsunami is hypocritical and insincere because you spent more on entertainment or a second car or your vacation than you did on tsunami relief? Or would you find that to be annoying and unduly personal?

In 1995, she said this to the New York Times: "I don't believe in anarchistic violence, but in directed violence. That would be violence directed at the institutions which perpetuate capitalism, racism, and sexism, and at the people who are the appointed guardians of those institutions, and accompanied by popular support."

Do you have a context for this? Indeed, do you have a link?

It's interesting that you chose not to quote the paragraph before the part you chose to quote:

Stewart does not blanch at violence. Blood, she says, has irrigated revolutionary struggles from China to South Africa. When the South African government locked up Nelson Mandela, his followers did not lay down their arms.
"I'm not a pacifist," Stewart said. "I have cried many bitter tears. There is death in history, and it's not all rosebuds and memorial services. Mao, Fidel, Ho Chi Minh understood this."

Or indeed this paragraph:

She returned to New York and found work as a librarian at a Harlem public school. "I saw people forced to live in dirt and the filth and I thought: 'Why the hell didn't I know about this?' " She pauses, her leprechaun eyebrows dancing. "You want to know what radicalized me? Harlem, 1962."

Thanks for linking to the Washington Post article, though. It gives a fair outline of why the case against Stewart is not only unjust, but stupid.

What are your sources on those numbers?

From the 2002 Form 990, Katherine. Registration is free at Guidestar, and I recommend registering. It's a helluva good resource. As for your four questions, I would rephrase #4: "Soros is being honest, and attorney client privilege matters more than Stewart's repellent ideology, but defending Stewart is not the best use of Soros' money".

can I ask why this week you are more concerned with whether George Soros' donations maximize utility than, say, Darfur or the U.S. interrogation policies or the current bombings in Iraq?

Just because I didn't write about them this week doesn't mean I'm less concerned. On the whole, I've written more on those subjects than I have on Soros.

Or can I look at your tax returns and financial records and conclude what you wrote about the tsunami is hypocritical and insincere because you spent more on entertainment or a second car or your vacation than you did on tsunami relief?

What George Soros and I do with our personal funds is our business. If I had the resources to start a tax-exempt foundation, you would be free to look at my Form 990 and criticize it up one side and down the other.

Charles: thanks for the links to your numbers. I had previously tried slogging through the tax forms, but gave up at a certain point on the grounds that there seem to be lots of nested charities among them, which I decided I was never going to puzzle out. Thus my taking the alternative 'sources I tend to trust' approach. However: as someone said upthread, the 'US charities' seems to mean: charities headquartered in the US. By this measure, probably all of my charitable giving goes to charities in the developed world, like Oxfam UK, for instance. This doesn't mean, of course, that that's where the money is spent.

Specifically about Soros: on p. 51 of the pdf 990 form for the Open Society Institute, out of the roughly $120million budget, I find about $75million in donations to other Soros charities, most of whose work seems to take place elsewhere in the world, though they are headquartered in NY. (The Soros Humanitarian Fund, the Soros Economic Development Fund, etc.)

Make that p. 52 of the pdf.

Note to self: preview may have been your friend in the past, but if you keep snubbing it like this, it will turn against you.

hilzoy, the column for the $75 million to the other Soros concerns are the amounts granted (which are spread out over a lengthy span of years). The actual amounts paid in 2002 (which was my reference point) to the Soros Economic Development Fund AND the Soros Humanitarian Foundation were exactly zero. The Open Society branches in other countries received only $226,000 from OSI.

If you go to the Form 990 of the SEDF, you will find that most of the assets are in the Quantum Development Fund, which invests monies "throughout the world". In the SHF, most of the investments are in Quantum Industrial Holdings and the Quantum Endowment Fund, which invests "both in the U.S. and abroad".

Update IV: In their FAQ, the OSI proclaims that there is "no monopoly on truth", but then they proclaim their own truth in the next sentence, that their society is "characterized by a reliance on the rule of law, the existence of a democratically elected government, a diverse and vigorous civil society, and respect for minorities and minority opinions."  So which is it, because apparently a communist's or a Wahhabi's truth would not be welcome in a Soros society.

The sentence I have bolded poses a false choice. How do you conclude that a Communist or a Wahhabi would be legally penalized for holding those views in an open society? They would only be penalized for trying to implement those views in contravention of law, as I read it.

Pace Paul Cella, the open society places a great deal of faith in its citizens -- it trusts a majority of them to see the inherent value in openness and the free exchange of ideas for themselves, rather than imposing that belief system on them through law, and therefore expects, but does not require, them to ultimately reject closed-society propositions like the one Mr. Cella advances. Does the law itself embody open society values? Of course. But show me where it requires anyone to actually share those values.

I get the ever-growing sense that some folks believe that for a society to tolerate their values, it must endorse those values. The same-sex marriage debate springs to mind. I have heard it argued that for two people of the same sex to marry somehow does violence to those who oppose that marriage. "What about my right to live in a society where such unions are prohibited?" goes the argument. My mind boggles at such a caricature of liberty.

On the subject of the OSI form 990, I find it quite interesting and provocative that Byron York, who started this mess, decided to scour a 308 page tax form in search of some item he could criticize Soros for.

Yes, it's a public document and he's entitled to see it. But given previous attacks on Soros it is a bit discomforting, and makes me wonder why exactly York decided to go on that particular fishing expedition.

Mr. Soros at least puts his money where his mouth is. If everyone would 'contribute' to the unmasking of the truants who have taken over via this "coup" them maybe just maybe we could here the unfiltered truth now "talking points" or B.S. lines.

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