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08/16/2005 Archived Entry: "Adding injury to injury on Kelo"


Those who believe in the adage "when it rains, it pours" might take the tale of the plaintiffs in Kelo v. New London as a cue to buy two of every animal and a load of wood from Home Depot. The U.S. Supreme Court recently found that the city's original seizure of private property was constitutional under the principal of eminent domain, and now New London is claiming that the affected homeowners were living on city land for the duration of the lawsuit and owe back rent. It's a new definition of chutzpah: Confiscate land and charge back rent for the years the owners fought confiscation.

In some cases, their debt could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Moreover, the homeowners are being offered buyouts based on the market rate as it was in 2000 .

Some of the "back rents" run as high as $300,000.

As Suzette Kelo says, "I'd leave here broke. I wouldn't have a home or any money to get one. I could probably get a large-size refrigerator box and live under the bridge."

And all this so the city can give their properties to richfolk. Or is it also so that a government can send a message that the little people dare not defy it? Ah, America!

Meanwhile, the plan to build the Lost Liberty Hotel on David Souter's property -- since David Souter supports such takings -- continues. In an e-mail announcement, the hotel's developer says:

Logan [the developer] will visit Weare, New Hampshire from August 20th to the 23rd. He will talk to local supporters who are planning to use ballot initiatives to seize the land at 34 Cilley Hill Road and clear away other local laws that may hinder the project. It appears that an initiative can be placed on the March 2006 Weare N.H. ballot with only 25 signatures and can win with between 1,020 and 2,777 votes. Whoever said this project "will never happen" might find themself sitting in the Just Deserts Cafe eating crow pie next to David Souter.

Freestar Media will hold an open meeting to discuss the Lost Liberty Hotel project on Monday August 22nd at the Radisson Hotel at 700 Elm Street, Manchester NH 03101. Mention "The Lost Liberty Hotel project" for $1 parking. The meeting will go from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in salon D. Logan will discuss the purpose of the project and why it is an important step in the struggle against statism. Free copies of Ayn Rand's revolutionary capitalist manifesto ATLAS SHRUGGED will be provided to the first 25 people who attend.

Of course no libertarian really thinks it's okay to take anybody's private property to develop a hotel. But as a piece of consciousness-raising theater, the Lost Liberty Hotel proposal is spectacular. And there's something to be said for expecting gov-o-crats to live by the rules they believe are right for us peasants.

In fact, how about this for a proposal? Every time Congress, a judge, or a bureaucrat rules that some ghastly loss of rights is right for the people, let congressthings, judges, and bureaucrats try it out on themselves for the first five years before it takes effect on the rest of us? Expecially if it involves a new tax, restriction, punishment, or tracking-and-control mechanism. (And per Patty Neill's delicious old notion, if there's surveillance involved, We the People should do the monitoring.)

If the gov-o-crats like their rules for themselves, then fine for us. But why do I somehow suspect that laws, regulations, and court rulings would immediately become much more humane and less Draconian under such a system?

And no doubt even under the present, increasingly weird and terrible system, Justice Souter (assuming his VIP status doesn't automatically exempt him from the rules) would leave his property still being able to afford something more than an appliance box under an overpass.

(Thank you to JohnDeWitt for the heads-up on the latest Kelo outrage.)

Posted by Claire @ 09:34 AM CST

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