** A Taste For Blood **
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California June 29, 2002A Taste For Blood!Everyone knows the difference between the family dog and a fox. From a farmer's perspective, foxes are known for raiding the chicken house and killing the chickens, and thus must be killed, while the family watchdog is supposed to guard the chicken house.Once in a while, it becomes the family dog that kills the chicken, and having tasted the blood, they develop a taste for another. After all, killing a chicken is easy, and the benefit great, as he is rewarded with a fresh warm meal for the killing.This, of course, places the farmer in a predicament of having to kill the family dog, for what is the difference between a fox killing the chickens or the dog killing the chickens? The result is the same -- dead chickens. In such cases, however, the family dog is more of a threat than a fox at large.To make the analogy, governments were instituted among men to protect their God-given right to own property. But, just as with the watchdog above, our Founding Fathers were fearful of the government eventually becoming the very threat to property ownership that it was instituted to protect. They set forth in the Constitution, "No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." Fifth Amendment.To safeguard this constitutional guarantee of protected property rights, they instituted the judiciary as a watchdog to call the government to account when the government fox transgresses upon the sanctity of property rights.John Adams, in recognizing the sanctity of property ownership, said, "The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as
sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and
public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence."Now imagine for a moment if both the judicial watchdog and the government foxes developed the same taste for blood in plundering and pillaging people's property for their common benefit. After all, the kill is easy, and the reward is great, for they can acquire property costing 30 years of labor with just the stroke of a pen, leaving the people destitute and floundering from their death-blow.Once the government acquires a taste for confiscated property without the interference of the judiciary, then -- hey, go for it! One property, two properties, ten properties, five hundred properties, etc., etc. They develop an addiction for stealing properties at little to no cost to themselves.While a common thief may steal contents from a house, it is the government that steals the entire house. Bovard said, "While many people are terrified of private crime, they have neglected to notice how government actions cost them far more than private criminals .... The Justice Department estimated that total losses from the 7,885 bank robberies nationwide in 1994 was approximately $28 million. The same year, federal prosecutors confiscated $2.1 billion in property... that year." Such findings lend credibility to the statement that if we seek to reduce crime in America, we must reduce the size of government. At least our right to own property would be much less at risk!Having thus said, it will only be through the passage of J.A.I.L. in this country that will curb the watchdog's insatiable taste for the blood of your private property.- Ron Branson -Author/Founder of J.A.I.L.
Eminent domain abuses uncheckedThe Washington Times
www.washtimes.comDana Berliner / Scott Bullock
Most people would be shocked to discover that governments across the nation are taking individuals' homes only to transfer that property to a favored business or neighbor. Or that businesses are often being condemned so another business can take their property and make a larger profit.
Yet in the last few years, governments across the country have taken private homes and businesses to replace them with other privately owned single businesses, malls, industrial developments and upscale housing.
In New London, Conn., a private organization has been given the government power to condemn more than a dozen properties, including the home of an 82-year-old grandmother for construction of an office park and other development to complement a nearby Pfizer research facility. Merriam, Kan,. condemned a car dealership so a higher-profit neighboring BMW dealership could expand. And in Riviera Beach, Fla., the city is moving forward with plans to force out more than 5,000 residents for privately owned commercial and industrial development.
These are a few of the situations described in a report issued today by the newly formed Castle Coalition, "Government Theft: The Top Ten Abuses of Eminent Domain, 1998-2002." Selected from more than 100 such abuses around the country, the report describes 10 of the most egregious examples of government taking homes or businesses from their rightful owners to transfer the land to a more politically or financially powerful private party.
Although both federal and state constitutions forbid takings for private use, government at all levels ignores this prohibition.
Court battles are long, arduous and often prohibitively expensive, particularly when the cost is borne by one or two property owners. ....
If an elderly widow's house in Des Plaines, Ill., can be condemned for a Walgreens, no one's home is safe. Under our Constitution, our property rights are not conditioned on the whim of those with financial and political influence. Nor should they be sacrificed just so municipalities can put more money in their coffers.
It's time for citizens to tell their state and local governments that enough is enough. The abuse of eminent domain to take property for other private parties must end. That's what the Castle Coalition intends to accomplish.
Dana Berliner and Scott Bullock are both senior attorneys at the Institute for Justice. They currently litigate cases challenging eminent domain abuses in Connecticut, Mississippi, and New York. For more information, visit www.castlecoalition.org or ww.ij.org.
Copyright © 2002 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
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