Occassional reflections of a moderate (hey at least I think I am)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A truly stupid proposal

"This is not a prank." Um, BULLSHIT ! First off, ask yourself, why would a media company (based in California) that is trying to raise $300 thousand to become the “pro-freedom counter” to Michael Moore, shift gears to try its hand at the hotel business in New Hampshire. I suspect that it is a publicity stunt. Second, if they were serious wouldn’t they include some sense of how much money they were willing to pay?


I get the whole “poetic justice” or “chickens coming home to roost” angle. I understand people saying things like: "I hope the project moves ahead." However, if one really does believe that a greater deference to property rights is appropriate than that expressed in Kelo, then wouldn’t a more productive (yet still sarcastic) comment be something along the line of “I hope the good people of Weare have more respect for private property than the folks in New London.”

At the Conspiracy, Prof. Barnett posted a link “facetiously”. After reading how the comments were heading he decided to update to add:
Retaliating against a judge for the good faith exercise of his duty is not only a bad idea, it violates the holding of Kelo itself, for the intent would be to take from A to give to B, in this case to punish A. I had considered deleting this post altogether--and perhaps this would still be a good idea--but, since other blogs had linked to it, decided instead to add this postscript.

After he added this, another thoughtful blogger chimed in with the following observations (1) under Kelo Souter’s house can be taken {I suspect that, with the proper record, he is probably right}, (2) Souter is like “Hitler, Stalin and Bin Laden”, and (3) not only can Souter’s house be taken, it should be taken. What I love is that after Prof. Barnett’s comments, this is the author’s response:
They [the Justices] are cautious, however, only because they fear the retaliation that Barnett wants to avoid. If they were sure nobody would retaliate by impeaching them, armed resistance, court-packing, and so forth, they would be more honest and more aggressive. Thus, if we go after Souter’s house now, we may induce the Court to retreat a bit, and preserve a few freedoms that we will otherwise lose.

That is right, the property should not be taken for the symbolism or the “poetic justice” of the situation, the property should be taken to intimidate the Justice. Great!


I don’t mean to get into the specific procedures here but just conceptually. The first thing that you need is unwilling seller. If you are serious about this silly project, get an offer to Justice Souter. Who knows, maybe the price will be right.

Second, you need a government entity willing to exercise eminent domain. This breaks down into at least three considerations. First, there are some places which prohibit takings for economic development purposes in most instances. Even if not prohibited by state law, the condemning agency could look to the values of the community and refuse to exercise eminent domain. It seems to me that if you are the mindset that Kelo does not give the proper deference to property rights, then you should get active with your local agencies and make sure they understand the importance of the matter.

The second aspect of local oversight relates to the surrounding area. What is Souter’s house zoned? Does a “hotel” fit the surrounding uses?

The third aspect relates to the economic benefits that may result from the project. How much does the Town of Weare need a hotel? I am guessing that it is not as much as New London wanted a $270 million dollar investment that would bring high-tech, high-wage, low pollution jobs but I could be wrong.


Ok, but here is why I am really pissed. I am going to have to watch representatives of this little town answering questions. This in and of itself doesn’t bother me. The problem I have is that there is some resident in that Town who is planning to have a fence, a deck or an addition to their house built. But they won’t be able to get a hold of the right person because the code enforcement officer is responding to media requests. And if Town officials ignore the asinine and ill prepared proposal? My guess is that the good folks at FreeStar media will make a story about how the "Goliath" out-of-control government of the Town of Weare is being confronted.


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