Sunday, June 26, 2005

This Land Is Your Land, This Land Was My Land...

Today's Commentary: June 26th, 2005

So when you woke up this weekend from your evening slumber, did anything feel different? It should have - thanks to "The Red Five." And no, I'm not speaking of Luke Skywalker's wingman. I speak of the communist bastards, Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy. Remember them? They are the ones who want so badly to be well received by their socialist buddies in Paris, that they invoked "the overwhelming weight of international opinion," to redefine our Constitution and its interpretation of the death penalty. I hope they enjoy France after this session closes. Be sure to check on granny before you go, comrades. You wouldn't want her to turn into a creme brulee the way grandpa Pierre did last summer.

And why would the actions of The Red Five make you feel any different? Simple. Because of their recent ruling, anyone who wants your home and property can take it whenever they want as long as they promise the local town government that they will build something - anything that will increase the tax revenue for the town. This represents a frightful shift from the Constitutional text of "public use" to the socialist utopian concept of "public benefit" as noted by dissenting Justice Thomas:

"This deferential shift in phraseology enables the Court to hold, against all common sense, that a costly urban-renewal project whose stated purpose is a vague promise of new jobs and increased tax revenue, but which is also suspiciously agreeable to the Pfizer Corporation, is for a 'public use.'"

Just in case you missed it, The Red Five sided with the town of New London, CT and decided to screw the property owners in the case of KELO V. NEW LONDON. A case which undoubtedly has King George III laughing his ass off from the great beyond. The town of New London has decided, in the name of increased tax revenue, to invoke the power of eminent domain, dumping the taxpayer peasantry for a shiny, new corporate taxpayer. Lets take a look at the opinion (by Justice Stevens) of the 5-4 ruling.

First, Comrade Stevens notes that the property in question is not dilapidated:

"There is no allegation that any of these properties is blighted or otherwise in poor condition; rather, they were condemned only because they happen to be located in the development area."

Then, he clearly admits that this is not REALLY for "public use":

"On the other hand, this is not a case in which the City is planning to open the condemned land-at least not in its entirety-to use by the general public. Nor will the private lessees of the land in any sense be required to operate like common carriers, making their services available to all comers."

Since he has clearly stated that this ruling is in fact, in violation of The Constitution, Comrade Stevens begins to blur the lines:

"Those who govern the City were not confronted with the need to remove blight in the Fort Trumbull area, but their determination that the area was sufficiently distressed to justify a program of economic rejuvenation is entitled to our deference. The City has carefully formulated an economic development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including–but by no means limited to–new jobs and increased tax revenue."

Oh, I see. The town says "Hey, we can do better. Lets hire some lawyers," and that's all she wrote for the residents of the "condemned" property.

In cases mentioned in the opinion, eminent domain was used to condemn properties that were "beyond repair" in D.C. or to trust-bust an oligopoly in land ownership which artificially inflated prices and rents on Oahu. Neither of these are the case in New London.

If you need any more evidence that this ruling goes against everything our nation of limited government was founded on, consider that the NY Times editorialized that this is a great ruling:

"The Supreme Court's ruling yesterday that the economically troubled city of New London, Conn., can use its power of eminent domain to spur development was a welcome vindication of cities' ability to act in the public interest." ... "Connecticut is a rich state with poor cities, which must do everything they can to attract business and industry. New London's development plan may hurt a few small property owners, who will, in any case, be fully compensated. But many more residents are likely to benefit if the city can shore up its tax base and attract badly needed jobs."

Justice O'Connor writes in her dissenting opinion about the property owners, excuse me, the serfs of New London who will be effected:

"Petitioners are nine resident or investment owners of 15 homes in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London, Connecticut. Petitioner Wilhelmina Dery, for example, lives in a house on Walbach Street that has been in her family for over 100 years. She was born in the house in 1918; her husband, petitioner Charles Dery, moved into the house when they married in 1946. Their son lives next door with his family in the house he received as a wedding gift, and joins his parents in this suit. Two petitioners keep rental properties in the neighborhood."

Ahh - screw 'em. As long as the town of New London can satiate its ever increasing appetite for tax revenue.

But hey, its for the public good right? And the NY Times thinks its a great idea, right? I mean, I'm sure the land used will be put to good use, right? Justice O'Connor answers that question for us:

"Petitioners own properties in two of the plan's seven parcels –Parcel 3 and Parcel 4A. Under the plan, Parcel 3 is slated for the construction of research and office space as a market develops for such space. It will also retain the existing Italian Dramatic Club (a private cultural organization) though the homes of three plaintiffs in that parcel are to be demolished. Parcel 4A is slated, mysteriously, for 'park support.' .... At oral argument, counsel for respondents conceded the vagueness of this proposed use, and offered that the parcel might eventually be used for parking."

Think about the ramifications. Who will this ruling most likely be used against? The politically connected?

I suppose we should at least be grateful that the town of New London was honest about their reasons for this land-grab. The bald-faced focus on increased tax revenue as a "public benefit" to rationalize this perverted ruling effectively means none of us are safe from wealthy, politically connected land developers who can now low-ball a property owner on the value of their holding by using the threat of eminent domain.

Personally, I am not the least bit surprised that the liberal Red Five, decided to screw the 'little guy'. Like most liberals in positions of power, they ditched any pretense of principle when the opportunity to increase government control and tax revenue reared its ugly head. The Red Five would bulldoze a daycare center to make way for a Marlboro plant if they thought a buck was to be made by it.

I will leave you with this tidbit from Justice O'Connor's dissent. Just in case you still believe that the America you are in now is the same one you were in last week:

"If legislative prognostications about the secondary public benefits of a new use can legitimate a taking, there is nothing in the Court's rule or in Justice Kennedy's gloss on that rule to prohibit property transfers generated with less care, that are less comprehensive, that happen to result from less elaborate process, whose only projected advantage is the incidence of higher taxes, or that hope to transform an already prosperous city into an even more prosperous one."

Chilling, indeed. Welcome to the Brave New World. This is why the looming battle for SCOTUS is literally a battle for our livelihoods.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Turban Durbin and the History Lesson

Today's Commentary: June 17th, 2005

Hello Thinkers!

Yes, it has been a while. My 2 month blogging hiatus has been due to numerous factors. Fatherhood has consumed a great deal of time and energy - and still does. What little time is left is spent being a capitalist pig and destroying the ecosystem with yardwork and landscaping. In addition, I have been politicked out. After this summer, the midterm election rhetoric (and the opportunities to ridicule the candidates) will be kicking into high gear. I feel the need to rest up.

It is not as if there has been nothing to write about since mid April. For all you guilt-ridden fans of global warming out there, I have bad news. A shivering Elvis has left the building. May in New England was one of the coldest on record:

"May 2005 saw just four days even in the 70s, according to Brown. He said the average daily high temperature of 59.2 last month was a new low, undercutting the 61.8 mark set in 1967. The normal average daily high temperature for May in Durham is 69. If you were inland on May 28, count yourself lucky. You felt the month's high mark of 76. The 50.7 degree overall temperature for May was second coldest on record to the 48.9 mark set in 1967."

I wonder why Al Gore didn't show up to to rail on the Bush administration for not talking global warming seriously. You know, like he did in January of 2004 in NYC during a bitter cold snap with "near-record low temperature and single-digit wind chill."

It was probably wasn't cold enough for him. On a related note, if you haven't read Michael Crichton's book "State of Fear", get it. While the story itself is fictional, the supporting documentation (about the joke called global warming) is real and noted. Don't expect "State of Fear" to land on Oprah's book club though.

Then there's the Dr. Dean and Mr. Hyde - A.K.A. the Karl Rove operative sent to make the DNC look like a bunch of slack-jawed idiots. Some of Howard's past gems include:

"We got rid of [Saddam Hussein]. I suppose that's a good thing."
(I promise that I will) "repeal every dime of President Bush's tax cuts."
"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire their discipline and their organization."
"[Republicans] all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party."
"You think the RNC could get this many people of color into a single room? Maybe if they got the hotel staff in there."

Thank you Howard. I can only hope the Democrats keep this political cancer near and dear to its lymph nodes. Clearly Dean is on the proper track to win back 'red' states. 36422c.html e.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/06/07/MNdean07.TMP eb11.html

However for sheer buffoonery, this week's special mention goes to Sean Penn. It seems Sean has left the bong behind and traveled to Iran as a reporter for the SF Chronicle. However he seems confused about the "Death to America" chant spoken at Friday prayers.

"I understand the nature of where it comes from and what its intention is, but I don't think it's productive because I think the message goes to the American people and it is interpreted very literally."

Brilliant! /od_nm/iran_penn_dc_1

Like the tides, the list of liberal lunacy continues whether I am too busy to post or not. However, the recent comments from Illinois Senator Turban Dick Durbin have awoken me from blogging slumber. Describing a report from the FBI on the treatment of Gitmo detainees, Turban Durbin said:

"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others - that had no concern for human beings." ap/20050616/ap_on_go_co/guantanamo_durbin_1

OK, so let's see.

Under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, approximately 2 million people, many of whom were scientists, doctors and teachers, were murdered simply because they did not fit into the nationalized agricultural industry. Most victims starved to death while working to harvest crops which were exported.

The Soviet gulags detained, tortured and killed an estimated 20 million during their operations.

And apparently, Turban Durbin needs a refresher in 20th century history as to what happened under Nazi-controlled Europe. (Note - there are graphic images at the sites listed below.)

While referring to opposing parties, politicians from both sides have used the Nazi reference more times than I can count. However, Turban Durbin's vitriol was directed at the armed forces of our nation which is the only thing standing between his fat, pansy, socialist ass and a large group of fanatical sandmonkeys who consider it their religious obligation to kill him.

Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead Democrats. The cliff is a long ways off! Sometime soon you will be looking at your present minority position as "the good old days."