Thursday, June 23, 2005

Like A Tea-Tray In The Sky

madhatter Madness truly has descended on the land, when I object to the outrage of this kind of Supreme Court decision, and discover that I'm on the same side as Scalia, "Lumpy", and Rehnquist:
"A divided Supreme Court ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth conflicts with individual property rights.
Thursday's 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.
As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue."
The Right has been extreme about property rights for decades, but this pushes the concept of "eminent domain" into the arena of tyranny at the service of laissaiz-faire robber barons and free-wheeling real estate speculation. O'Conner, in her dissent, puts it this way:
"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," O'Connor wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."
She was joined in her opinion by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, as well as Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas."
The true irony of this decision is that it puts the some of the most conservative jurists ever to sit on the Court at odds with their own supporters, while the moderate justices, whom Bush and his cronies have railed against for years, stand squarely behind the Boy King, whose aiding and abetting of the theft of family homes in Arlington TX paved the way for the Rangers to build a new arena complex, as the Texas Observer noted in 1998:
"In an October 26, 1990, memo from Mike Reilly (an Arlington real estate broker and part owner of the Rangers), to Tom Schieffer, Reilly says of the Mathes property, "... in this particular situation our first offer should be our final offer.... If this fails, we will probably have to initiate condemnation proceedings after the bond election passes."
The Mathes memo reveals a sharp contrast between Bush's public pronouncements in defense of property rights and his private profiteering. While running against Ann Richards, Bush said, "I understand full well the value of private property and its importance not only in our state but in capitalism in general, and I will do everything I can to defend the power of private property and private property rights when I am the governor of this state."
Yet Bush and his partners used Arlington's powers to condemn the land for the stadium, and relied on taxpayers to repay the bonds sold to build the Ballpark -- receiving what amounts to a direct $135-million subsidy. Now, after tripling the amount they paid for the Rangers, Bush and his partners won't re-pay the city a measly $7.5 million.
"The best way to allocate resources in our society is through the marketplace. Not through a governing elite," Bush said on the first day of his 1993 campaign. By selling the Rangers, Bush and his fellow sports moguls demonstrated the power of the marketplace -- not exactly a "free-market" marketplace, but who worries about small details? Now, by refusing to pay their debt to the people who pay the taxes in Arlington, they are also proving that the governing elite live by their own rules."
"Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse," thought Alice; only, as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind."

Hope your home sweet home manages to avoid the covetous eyes of roving capitalists. If not, you can take comfort in knowing the "marketplace" has your best interests at heart. As for the rest of America, as they're asleep, I suppose they don't mind.

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