Eminent Domain and Our Nation of Fools
I’ve spent a couple of days stewing over the Supreme Court’s recent judgment on property seizures and I couldn’t come up with anything more poignant and amusing than Colin Grant’s essay/rant, Nation of Fools. If you’re in the dark about this development, here’s the lead from AP article linked above, which spells it all out: “The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people’s homes and businesses—even against their will—for private economic development.”
And here’s a choice quote from Colin’s rant:
So let’s get this straight. As of today, the law of the U.S. is that any government can seize private property and sell it to the highest bidder if the net effect is to increase tax revenues. This means that your town can buy out all the houses on your block at a price they determine, and sell them to Donald Trump, who can build something there that makes him and the town richer.
The amusingly-named MonkeyPope, addresses the issue of whether detractors of this ruling are being too reactionary.
Some of my less-liberal friends consider me too reactionary, that I take things out of context and imbue them with more meaning then they deserve. For instance, one could argue that the Supreme Court decision does not mean local governments will just start buying out homeowners capriciously to build spas and casinos. BUT the ruling establishes the precedent that would permit them to do so if they so choose.
The MonkeyPope then goes on to say, “Little steps like this are the beginning of an erosion of people’s rights.” The beginning of an erosion?!? What country does the MonkeyPope live in?
Another blogger writes, “...whatever happened to protecting the interests of the weak?” And, to people like this guy, and the MonkeyPope, I would suggest a thorough reading of Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. The United States government has never been interested in protecting the interests of the weak. The weak don’t have money, don’t vote, and, in short, have no power. Far too often, the weak, and the people, in general, pose no threat to ruling class. So why should the government care about the weak? In this country, the weak do not matter. They never have. And so long as we kneel at the feet of the establishment, like girls in a bukkake video, waiting, with smiles on our faces, for the shower of their creamy, white ejaculate, then we, as a people, never will. (Matter, that is.)
And now, just because I’m pissed off, and being random is what we do here at the Bastad, I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes from Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, which I think is appropriate right now:
Well I hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It’s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word ‘free’ to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on earth sounds less like freedom to me. You come to room 1013 over at the hospital, I’ll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean. I live in America, Louis, that’s hard enough, I don’t have to love it. You do that. Everybody’s got to love something.