Topic: Property Rights

An early American experiment with socialism

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You've no doubt heard the well-known story of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But did you know that what you've heard is drastically inaccurate?

According to the writings of William Bradford, the colony's first governor, the hardships and near-starvation of the entire population occurred because the colonists turned their backs on capitalism. They believed the old lie that an economy based on the concept of "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" can actually work. They instituted a socialist system, and found out that socialism causes disaster:

The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, he wrote, "any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.


What happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

For more on the lessons the pilgrims learned, see this piece by Rick Williams, Jr.

Trump vs. property rights

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Donald Trump has a very troubling record of eminent domain abuse. Remember the horrible Kelo v. New London ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court? Both conservatives and liberals were outraged for nearly identical reasons -- but apparently our newly "conservative" GOP contender is a big fan.

Do your homework before you cheer for The Donald.

Look at how arbitrary, dishonest, forceful, and unresponsive a state government can be. This is why we conservatives constantly warn about federal power; it's even worse.


You want context? Here's your context.

That blonde state official in the grey sweatshirt sure is infuriating, isn't she? You'd hate to have to deal with people like her, wouldn't you? Well, just one word should hit you in the gut after watching this video and imagining similar interactions with overbearing government drones.

Obamacare.

You've no doubt heard the well-known story of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But did you know that what you've heard is drastically inaccurate?

According to the writings of William Bradford, the colony's first governor, the hardships and near-starvation of the entire population occurred because the colonists turned their backs on capitalism. They believed the old lie that an economy based on the concept of "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" can actually work. They instituted a socialist system, and found out that socialism causes disaster:

The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, he wrote, "any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.


What happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

For more on the lessons the pilgrims learned, see this piece by Rick Williams, Jr.

On the loss of $800+ worth of plants

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I just caught the lawn care company applying Round-Up to every plant under 2' tall in my beds. Just lost $400+ of wildflowers, perennials, baby shrubs, and any large plants hit by the windblown spray. No wonder last year's starts (also $400+) all died too.

I'm drafting an itemized bill now. If they refuse to reimburse me, they'll learn how foolish it is to pick a fight with someone who buys bandwidth by the megabit.

The tragedy of the commons

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Do people treat rental cars better than their own cars? Is the office fridge cleaner than your home fridge? Does a public park have less litter than your back yard? Is a government housing project maintained as well as a privately owned apartment building?

The answer in each case is obviously "no", but have you ever wondered why?

ACORN's Bertha Lewis: obnoxious idiot

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Have you ever seen a more obstinately stupid person than Bertha Lewis of ACORN?

More here.

Hat tip: Hot Air

An early American experiment with socialism

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You've no doubt heard the well-known story of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But did you know that what you've heard is drastically inaccurate?

According to the writings of William Bradford, the colony's first governor, the hardships and near-starvation of the entire population occurred because the colonists turned their backs on capitalism. They believed the old lie that an economy based on the concept of "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" can actually work. They instituted a socialist system, and found out that socialism causes disaster:

The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, he wrote, "any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.

What happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

For more on the lessons the pilgrims learned, see this piece by Rick Williams, Jr.

You live in a small town named Hercules and you like its charming, quaint look. Then Wal-Mart buys land in your town, invests $1 million to redesign the property to suit your town's desires, and gets ready to build a new store. What's a poor leftist to do? Why, just get the town council to seize the land.

Attorneys from Wal-Mart told the council that the retailer had spent close to $1 million to redesign the property to the community's liking. They said the council couldn't claim it was legally necessary to take the land and that the decision set a bad precedent.

"Today it may be Wal-Mart but the question is where does it end," Wal-Mart attorney Edward G. Burg said.

City officials countered that buying the land was acceptable to ensure it was developed to the community's liking and fit in with overall plans for the city.

Property rights? What property rights?

Here's hoping Wal-Mart relocates its new store just outside the Hercules city limits.

Kelo comes to Cleveland

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WTAM just mentioned that the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority voted in support of the City of Cleveland exercising eminent domain to take several commercial properties and turn them over to a private developer.

Keep in mind that this vote does not trigger the city's eminent domain powers; only City Council can do that, not the Port Authority. But today's vote tosses the issue squarely into City Council's lap, which is clearly a heavy-handed negotiating tactic. The eminent domain threat is designed to pressure the last hold-outs to sell their properties to Scott Wolstein for a multi-million-dollar redevelopment venture. It's a pretty blatant strong-arm job, but hey ... that's Cleveland politics for you.

I found the CCCPA news release, which includes the following:

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority voted unanimously to authorize eminent domain proceedings if further negotiations do not result in the acquisition of several properties identified for redevelopment in the Flats east bank.

Eminent domain is always a last resort, but the agency must be prepared when all good faith efforts to reach an agreement have been exhausted, Chairman John Carney said today at the port's board meeting.

"We are still hopeful we can resolve this situation before it actually goes to the courts. That is still our desire," he said.

...

"The [Uniform Relocation Act] very clearly spells out the rules for acquiring property for redevelopment. We are not given a choice in the matter. Either we follow the letter of the law, or the project could be in jeopardy," Loftus told board members.

Note the phrase "acquiring property for redevelopment." This is exactly the kind of eminent domain taking that sparked the lawsuit in Kelo v. New London. If approved by City Council, this will be another example of a local government seizing private property from one private citizen and giving it to another.

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Chairman John Carney said:

"The project will transform a crime-ridden area plagued with neglected buildings and deserted streets into a thriving lakefront neighborhood. This will result in millions of dollars in revenue for the region and thousands of construction and full-time permanent jobs."

Ah, yes. The famously elastic "blight" loophole is back again. Eminent domain seizures often target "blighted" areas that are declared to be unsafe or hazardous to the public in some major way. The catch is that the definition of "blight" has never been firmly settled. If the government wants your property badly enough, it will find a way to declare it "blighted."

The Cleveland City Council had better beware, though. The Ohio Legislature's moratorium on these types of eminent domain takings will not expire until December 31st. The penalties for violating the moratorium are pretty stiff.

I'll have more to say about this shortly.

Eminent domain abuse in Norwood, OH

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George Will highlights another clear example of eminent domain abuse in his latest Newsweek column. A few key paragraphs:

The Gambles say that when the city offered them money for their house, they were not interested. "We had everything we wanted, right there," says Joy, who does not drive but could walk to see her mother in a Norwood nursing home. "We loved that house -- that home."


Past tense. Norwood's government, in a remarkably incestuous deal, accepted the developer's offer to pay the cost of the study that -- surprise! -- enabled the city to declare the neighborhood "blighted" and "deteriorating." NEWSWEEK reader, stroll around your neighborhood. Do you see any broken sidewalk pavement? Any standing water in a road? Any weeds? Such factors -- never mind that sidewalks and roads are government's responsibility -- were cited by the developer's study to justify Norwood's forcing the Gambles and their neighbors to sell to the developer so he could build condominiums, office buildings and stores.

...

Reeling from the life-shattering effects of an uncircumscribed power of eminent domain, the Gambles are hoping for rescue by their state Supreme Court, before which they are represented by the Institute for Justice, a merry band of libertarian litigators. The Gambles have the dignified stoicism of uncomplicated people put upon by sophisticated people nimble with complex sophistries. Carl says, "We're paying a lot each month for storage" of their possessions that do not fit in his daughter's basement near the town of Independence, Ky. Independence is what becomes tenuous when property rights become attenuated.

This could happen to you, folks. If you happen to live in Ohio, please read my post on the Ohio eminent domain task force that's ignoring the major objection to eminent domain abuse: people don't want the government taking their property and giving it to another private property owner. Ever.

As George Will wrote, "Kelo demonstrated that anyone who owns a modest home or small business owns it only at the sufferance of a local government that might, on a whim of rapacity, seize it to enrich a more attractive potential taxpayer."

Hat tip: No Left Turns

Eminent domain gone insane

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The greedy politicians in North Hills, NY are using eminent domain to seize a golf course and turn it into ... another golf course. Unbelievable? Don't be so shocked.

Hat tip: Club for Growth

5th Amendment textThe Ohio task force on eminent domain has released its preliminary report, and it's missed the most important point of the exercise. I'm not interested in a fairer procedure for the government to use as it takes my home. I'm not interested in a clearer definition of "blight" that spells out exactly when the government can take my home. You see, I don't want the government to take my home at all. Why is that so hard to understand?

A local or state government can exercise its eminent domain powers to take private property from its owner, if the government does so for a "public use" and pays "just compensation" (see the Fifth Amendment, at right). Until very recently, the term "public use" meant what you'd expect: building a school, putting in a highway, laying railroad tracks, and other projects that the public has access to.

We used to think of private building projects as a "private use" of property, since the public doesn't have guaranteed access. But no more. Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Kelo v. New London last summer, the definition of "public use" has expanded to include the government seizing your land and giving it to another private owner for "economic development" (which means the new owner's project yields higher property taxes than you do, or creates jobs, or some similar rationalization).

Liberals and conservatives alike blew a collective gasket over the ruling, and angry voters have already pressured several state legislatures into passing laws prohibiting these takings through eminent domain.

I just e-mailed the gubernatorial campaigns of Ken Blackwell and Jim Petro and asked the following question:

Would [candiate name here] support Ohio legislation to permanently prohibit the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes (see Kelo v. New London)?

I realize that the Ohio legislature passed a temporary moratorium on this kind of government taking, which expires in December. I asked instead about a permanent ban.

I'll let you know how the candidates reply, if at all. My guess is that at least one (and maybe both) will duck the issue and defer to the "Legislative Task Force to Study Eminent Domain and Its Use and Application in the State", which will release its first report on April 1st.

Pack your bags, Justice Souter

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This is priceless:

Press Release

For Release Monday, June 27 to New Hampshire media
For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media

Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

God willing, the town selectmen of Weare will approve the request.

Hat tip: Rush Limbaugh

More reaction to Kelo

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Don't miss Michelle Malkin's survey of the Kelo blogstorm.

Glenn Reynolds rounds up some great commentary on property rights, all posted since yesterday's decision in the Kelo case. I found Zach Wendling's idea scary but fascinating: he suggests using environmental laws and regulations to protect your land from developers.

George Will distills the gigantic problem the Supreme Court dumped on us yesterday:

During oral arguments in February, Justice Antonin Scalia distilled the essence of New London's brazen claim: "You can take from A and give to B if B pays more taxes?'' On Thursday the court said that the modifier "public'' in the phrase "public use'' does not modify government power at all.

...

Liberalism triumphed Thursday. Government became radically unlimited in seizing the very kinds of private property that should guarantee individuals a sphere of autonomy against government.

Conservatives should be reminded to be careful what they wish for. Their often-reflexive rhetoric praises "judicial restraint'' and deference to -- it sometimes seems -- almost unleashable powers of the elected branches of governments. However, in the debate about the proper role of the judiciary in American democracy, conservatives who dogmatically preach a populist creed of deference to majoritarianism will thereby abandon, or at least radically restrict, the judiciary's indispensable role in limiting government.

If you're still looking for more, one nice way to track who's saying what about Kelo is N.Z. Bear's topic page on the case. Plus, there's Google News and Technorati.

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UPDATE: This post about Zimbabwe isn't actually a reaction to the Kelo ruling, but it does demonstrate what happens when a nation guts the concept of private property rights.

UPDATE 2: Ever wondered what you can look forward to after this outrageous ruling? Wonder no more.

UPDATE 3: Pros and Cons predicts many communities will see a rise in homelessness, a spike in government subsidized housing residents, and a drop in the number of low-income workers available to employers.

Meanwhile, Wizbang's Jay Tea tiptoes through the Bill of Rights in a property rights retrospective.

UPDATE 4: Lawrence White at Division of Labour predicts more empty big box shopping centers and strip malls, thanks to Kelo's anti-competitive side effects.

I think we might be able to contract around the problem.

UPDATE 5: Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave has a good roundup, including a Canadian's perspective.

Contracting around Kelo

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Here we are in Day Two of life without property rights, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling yesterday in Kelo v. New London. Five unelected lawyers have decided that contrary to any rational reading of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, a local government can use its eminent domain power to take your land, pay you a pittance "just compensation", then turn around and sell the land to someone who makes fat campaign donations to another private party that the government thinks will engage in a nice "public use" of your land ... in other words, in some way that's hyped as creating jobs, generating more property tax revenue, or helping economic development.

Since we can't rely on the plain language of the Constitution anymore to keep the government's grubby paws away from our property, what can we do? As a temporary measure, maybe we can contract around the Kelo problem.

Let's say that you own some attractive real estate that your local government wants to take from you through eminent domain. To foil their plans you enter into a contract with the state government, where in exchange for a fee, the state automatically takes title to your property if your municipal or county government ever attempts to condemn it, and you get to live on the land. Perhaps it could be set up as a trust with the state as trustee.

Anyway, since a local government doesn't have the authority to condemn state property, they lose all incentive to condemn your property once you tell them about your new arrangement. If the condemnation would be for a true public use (as we used to understand it) like building a highway or a bridge, you can always put a clause in the contract that exempts such true public uses from triggering the passage of title to the state.

Now since the local government gains nothing by using eminent domain for shifty purposes, they won't condemn your property ... and the state never takes title. But the state does get a valuable interest in your land, and it gets political brownie points by being perceived as "defending the little guy" from corrupt local politicians and fatcat developers. To top it all off, you get a fee from the state in exchange for its interest in your land.

This strikes me as a quick way to inoculate property against greedy local governments. What do you think?

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UPDATE: Will Collier rounds up other possible solutions.

UPDATE 2: This post has merged at high speed into today's Beltway Traffic Jam.

You know it's a bad decision ...

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... when the denizens of The Democratic Underground agree with their arch enemies at FreeRepublic: the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Kelo v. New London case stinks like week-old fish.

Watch those parking lots disappear

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Since your local government is now allowed to take Citizen A's property and sell it to Citizen B because the government believes Citizen B will generate more tax revenue, I predict it'll be less than six months before the City of Cleveland snatches up the privately-owned parking lots in the Warehouse District.

Cleveland's downtown area is badly run down, and the city government has been unsuccessfully trying to spur growth there for decades. The owners of those downtown parking lots have long refused to sell them to developers (who want to build apartments and condominiums), because the parking lots are much more profitable than other uses would be. But now that the U.S. Supreme Court has removed all restraints from the government's use of its eminent domain power, Cleveland will grab those parking lots for a song, then turn around and sell them to somebody willing to build some glitzy high-rises that'll generate higher property taxes than the city currently collects.

You heard it here first.

Say goodbye to property rights

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The Kelo Five
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment V, U.S. Constitution
[Emphasis added]

If you read the Fifth Amendment, you'd think that the government is prohibited from taking private property for private use, wouldn't you? But according to five unelected lawyers, you'd be wrong.

The U.S. Supreme Court just handed down a ruling in the case of Kelo v. New London, in which it declared that your city government can take your house, bulldoze it, and sell the lot to a developer ... so that the government can charge more in property taxes on the new commercial property that used to be your home.

Here's the travesty opinion; read it and weep:

More on this later. For now, check out Michelle Malkin (and don't miss the boiling anger across the blogosphere). Reactions excerpted here, too.

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UPDATE: Justice Thomas' dissent does a great job of explaining that words mean things ... especially in our Constitution:

The most natural reading of the [Takings] Clause is that it allows the government to take property only if the government owns, or the public has a legal right to use, the property, as opposed to taking it for any public purpose or necessity whatsoever. At the time of the founding, dictionaries primarily defined the noun "use" as "[t]he act of employing any thing to any purpose." The term "use," moreover, "is from the Latin utor, which means 'to use, make use of, avail one's self of, employ, apply, enjoy, etc." When the government takes property and gives it to a private individual, and the public has no right to use the property, it strains language to say that the public is "employing" the property, regardless of the incidental benefits that might accrue to the public from the private use. The term "public use," then, means that either the government or its citizens as a whole must actually "employ" the taken property.
Justice Thomas, in dissent

I don't see anything in New London's confiscation of Suzette Kelo's home that involves a public use. The city's going to sell the land to a private developer. If we lived anywhere but in Supreme Court World, the violation of Kelo's constitutional rights would be obvious.

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UPDATE 2: Professor Bainbridge points out the injustice in succinct terms by recalling a post he made in February:

... the requirement to pay fair market value is a grossly inadequate safeguard on government power for two reasons in Kelo. First, it fails to take into account the subjective valuations placed on the property by people whose families have lived on the land, in at least one case, for a 100 years. In other words, if the Supreme Court rules for the city, the government will be able to seize land at a price considerably below the reservation price of the owners. Second, unlike the prototypical eminent domain case, in which the land is seized to build, say, a school or road, in this case the city is using eminent domain to seize property that will then be turned over to a private developer. If this new development increases the value of the property, all of that value will be captured by the new owner, rather than the forced sellers. As a result, the city will have made itself richer (through higher taxes), and the developer richer, while leaving the forced sellers poorer in both subjective and objective senses.

Will Collier at Vodkapundit sees what's coming:

This is a dreadful decision. If politicians have the right to take your private property and give it to somebody else just because the other guy claims that he can generate more taxes from it, then property rights have ceased to exist in the US.

The localities are still required to pay "a just price" when one of these takings occurs, but the price even a willing seller would be able to get from his property just took a huge hit. All a developer has to do now is make a lowball offer and threaten to involve a bought-and-paid-for politician to take the property away if the owner doesn't acquiesce.

You know it'll happen, and soon.

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UPDATE 3: RightNumberOne knows that it's all about following the money:

A land rush is about to begin. Polticians bought and paid for with campaign donation bribes are about to be unleashed on the United States like a plague of rats. You can either become a donor, or your land will be forced from you and turned over to people who are more politically astute.

It'll start this very week, I have no doubt. Geez, must property owners now form a 527 group to funnel protection money to politicians? Why do we even have a Constitution if five dipdunks in black robes rule over us unopposed?

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UPDATE 4: Glenn Reynolds thinks this decision's going to cause a public opinion tsunami. I agree. More from Glenn here and here.

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UPDATE 5: Jeff Goldstein nails it:

Lovely how the majority justices tried to cover this decidedly anti-Lockean decision with a rhetorical appeal to federalism ("local officials, not federal judges, know best..."). But just because the decision allows a local government (rather than the federal government, with its cynical appeal to a malleable Commerce Clause) to assert what appears to me to be an extra-Constitutional claim on a private citizens� property rights doesn�t make it any more kosher�and today�s decision, in its expansion of what can be shoehorned into the category of �public use,� gives carte blanche for municipalities to remake the geography in any way they see fit, so long as they can make the argument that they are doing so for the common weal (which in many cases is really just an excuse for gentrification�and legalizes the taking of private property from one owner and transferring it, by municipal will, to another government approved private property owner; it�s a plutocrat�s wet dream).

...

This is nannystatism at its most cynical. And if the Bush administration were to use this ruling to push for the kinds of conservative justices who strongly object to what amounts to outright thievery and municipal bullying, I think they�d have a real winner on their hands.

If developers wish to purchase potentially profitable land for civic development, let them strike a bargain with the land�s rightful owner; allowing them to achieve their aims by lobbying unctious and pliable elected officials instead gives those elected officials far too much power, and subverts the natural workings of a free market system.

...

Personally, I�m for starting a cyber support group for the New Londoners who are planning a show of civil disobedience when the bulldozers tractor up to the doors of their homes. Anybody else?

The more I think about this, the angrier I get. Meanwhile, Fox News and CNN and MSNBC focus on the missing girl in Aruba, proving yet again that the mainstream media is painfully out-of-touch. By contrast, look at what the blogosphere's talking about.

Venison, anyone?

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In Twinsburg, Ohio, you're now allowed to take your bow out into your back yard and hunt deer ... if your lot's at least four acres in size, if you get a license from the city, if you take an archery proficiency test, and if you pay a $25 fee. Administrative hassles aside, I'm glad that Twinsburg residents can thin the booming deer population around here. I have just one question.

How is it that until now, Twinsburg could prevent you from bowhunting on your own property?

Fill your own ditch, go to jail

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A private property owner recently moved dirt on his own land to fill drainage ditches in his cornfield. What did the feds do? The fools prosecuted him for harming "wetlands" without a permit.

Hat tip: Case Federalist Society

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