Tag Archives: private property

Houston trying to steal land from two churches

Fascists: Having failed to intimidate religious leaders when the city of Houston tried to subpoena their sermons, the city is now trying to use eminent domain procedures to shut down two churches.

The fifth ward is located just outside of downtown. Property values in the area have skyrocketed and continue to climb. The City of Houston offered to purchase the churches. When the churches refused, the city came back with threats of using eminent domain to acquire the property as part of an urban development plan.

More here. Texas state law, written and passed after the Supreme Court decision in Kelo v New London, expressly forbids this kind of eminent domain taking. Moreover, the taking appears to specifically violate the first amendment rights of these two churches.

Quick! Guess what to which political party the Houston mayor belongs!

Government celebrates ten years of stealing private land

Today is the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision permitting the town of New London, Connecticut to take land from one private owner so that they can sell it to another private owner.

And what do we have in New London ten years later? An empty field. The town essentially stole the homes of local residences, supposedly a “blighted” neighborhood, so they could tear the homes down and replace them with an empty abandoned lot.

Government marches on!

The state of Illinois illegally enters a beekeepers’ property, confiscates his bees, and destroys them.

The state of Illinois illegally enters a beekeepers’ property, confiscates his bees, and destroys them.

The story is very complicated, as the state believed the bees were infected with a disease that could spread to other bees. Nonetheless, they entered private property without permission or warrant, and took private property without permission.

Read the whole thing. It illustrates the complexity of freedom and law, while also showing the risks inherent with giving up our rights, even when it appears to be a good idea.

A federal judge has approved the installation of surveillance cameras by the police — on private property without a warrant.

Big Brother arrives: A federal judge has approved the installation of surveillance cameras by the police — on private property without a warrant.

Let me repeat that: The judge said that the police have the right to enter private property, without a warrant, in order to secretly install surveillance cameras so that they can record whatever happens on that property.

Doesn’t that make you feel safe?

A new federal law has now confirmed the ownership by astronauts of their souvenirs.

A new federal law has now confirmed the ownership by 1960s astronauts of the equipment they saved as souvenirs from their missions.

Sadly, the law excludes moon rocks given as gifts by NASA to astronauts and NASA employees, as well as any material given to astronauts in the post Apollo era, which means we should continue to see midnight raids by NASA bureaucrats of the homes of retired NASA employees to confiscate objects they thought they owned.

A county government in California, rather than buy private property through eminent domain, is using zoning regulations to force owners out so the county doesn’t have to pay any compensation.

Theft by government: A county government in California, rather than buy private property through eminent domain, is using zoning regulations to force owners out so the county doesn’t have to pay any compensation.

Gingrich’s speech on space

In the days ahead there is going to be a lot of talk about Newt Gingrich’s proposals for space exploration. I think it important that people actually see and listen to the entire speech before discussing it. Here is the longest clip I can find on youtube, covering the first seven and a half minutes. I think it is complete, but unfortunately, I can’t be sure. It doesn’t appear to include his remarks about awarding space prizes, and when it ends Gingrich does not appear to be finished. When I find a longer clip I will post it.

Several points immediately come to mind:
» Read more

FBI sees drop in violent and property crimes in every region of the U.S.

Some good news: The FBI is reporting a drop in violent and property crimes in every region of the U.S for the first half of 2011.

As the report above notes, this drop has occurred during “tough economic times,” illustrating once again that the leftwing claim that “tough economic times” causes violence and crime is dead wrong. If a society knows the difference between right and wrong while respecting property rights, poverty by itself will not lead to crime. What will lead to crime is a rejection of these values, which not only promotes bad behavior (stealing and violence) but also leads to more poverty and the collapse of society.

With this in mind it is therefore interesting to reflect on many of the actions and ideas of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Is this what we really want for America?

Why Are Indian Reservations So Poor?

Why are Indian reservations so poor? (Link fixed. Sorry.)

The vast majority of land on reservations is held communally. That means residents can’t get clear title to the land where their home sits, one reason for the abundance of mobile homes on reservations. This makes it hard for Native Americans to establish credit and borrow money to improve their homes because they can’t use the land as collateral–and investing in something you don’t own makes little sense, anyway.

“Markets haven’t been allowed to operate in reserve lands,” says [Manny Jules, a former chief of the Kamloops Indian band in British Columbia]. “We’ve been legislated out of the economy. When you don’t have individual property rights, you can’t build, you can’t be bonded, you can’t pass on wealth. A lot of small businesses never get started because people can’t leverage property [to raise funds].

Hat tip Ace of Spades.