Open thread for night time owls: Like others, Houston stadium scammed taxpayer cash into personal arms


Dave Zirin at The Country writes—The Houston Stadium Grift Comes House to RoostBecause the waters upward push, it’s unconscionable to stay spending cash on sports activities arenas so billionaires can plunder and vultures like Joel Osteen can keep at the grift.

Joel Osteen, the cash-changer who runs his personal Houston temple, used to be the topic of withering complaint in advance this week after refusing to open his sixteen,800-seat Lakewood Megachurch to these in search of safe haven from Typhoon Harvey. Now the doorways are open, nevertheless it took a few days of other folks considering why this proponent of the “prosperity gospel” (aka “God loves you in case you are wealthy”) used to be pulling up the drawbridge on his position of worship.


Much less mentioned—and Osteen will have to be relieved that that is the case—is how this televangelist were given his arms on his megachurch area within the first position. It’s a tale that speaks to how our towns are unprepared for screw ups like Harvey partially as a result of the best way spending has been diverted into publicly funded stadiums—stadiums that turn out to be rotting carcasses or “white elephants” once a billionaire needs a brand new one.

Taxpayer-sponsored stadiums have lengthy turn out to be an alternative to anything else such as city coverage within the twenty first century. And now as roads, bridges, and humanitarian shelters decay, they stand uncovered as neoliberal Trojan horses that take public greenbacks and magically grow to be them into personal benefit for billionaire sports activities house owners. They’re a rip-off, a con, and, now not strangely, a grifter like Osteen has lengthy had his hand on this honey pot.

Osteen’s church used to be as soon as a hoops hallowed floor referred to as The Summit, house of the Houston Rockets and the web site of the magic made through Hakeem Olajuwon and his 1994 and 1995 groups that gained again-to-again NBA titles. In 1995, flush with this good fortune, Rockets proprietor Les Alexander demanded a brand new sports activities area from the town. Those negotiations ultimately resulted within the Toyota Middle, which opened in 2003, although the town voted down this plan in a 1999 referendum. After all, the folk of Houston paid $182 million of the $235 million in development prices. Toyota paid $one hundred million in naming rights, all of which went to Les Alexander.

That used to be just the start. Texas taxpayers have steadily paid for improvements within the next years. In 2013, the general public even paid for a brand new $eight million scoreboard to lend a hand get ready Houston for the NBA All-Megastar Recreation. (Believe what that $eight million may well be used for presently.) Then–State Senator Dan Patrick, who nowadays is Texas’s vile lieutenant governor, used to be right kind while he stated on the time, “I really like sports activities. However sports activities house owners and the leagues are probably the most greediest other folks you are going to in finding, and they are going to take and take and take and take.”



“A plongeur is a slave, and a wasted slave, doing dull and in large part needless paintings. He’s stored at paintings, in the end, as a result of a obscure feeling that he can be bad if he had recreational. And trained other folks, who will have to be on his aspect, acquiesce within the procedure, as a result of they recognize not anything approximately him and as a result are frightened of him.” 
   ~George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)



At Day by day Kos in this date in 2003The Mavens Talk:

Do not run on previous determination or decisions. Do not run on what you will do approximately Iraq in 2009. Run on what you’re doing now, in 2007, to steer us out of Iraq. Display us that management, now. That does not opt for simply the presidentials, however for each and every incumbent Democrat who’s going to be requesting our vote in 14 months.

On these days’s Kagro within the Morning display: The Web “overpressurizes” over the arrest of a UT nurse/Olympic Alpine skier. What’s it with police officers, besides? No matter what it’s, Trump loves it. Perhaps the pardon energy isn’t in point of fact absolute, in the end. The alt-proper works arduous, fails onerous at hiding its racism.

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