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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Another Stein

Read this right to the end. This one doesn't suck:

The most heroic, ethically courageous, morally resolute men and women in the world today are the Americans, British, and other forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are fighting the most evil men and women currently on the world scene. The American Army soldier, Marine, Navy sailor, Air Force warrior, and Coast Guardsman fighting in Ramadi or Mosul is fighting men and women who kill children and old people for sport. The men and women of the United States military are fighting the remnants of a regime so evil that it pioneered the use of torture against children -- just for the amusement of Saddam and his family. The men and women whom Joel despises rid the world of a dictator so twisted and murderous that he openly admired Stalin and Hitler and sought to match their level of atrocities. The men and women who wear the uniform fought, bled, and died to rid the world of the most dangerous man on the planet in the most flammable place on the planet. They died to save a slave people from the genocidal control of a mad killer who thought nothing of gassing his own people, of wiping out entire regions, of setting up special rape rooms to allow his henchmen and his sons to rape women at will, who amused himself by pouring gasoline down the throats of totally innocent people and setting them on fire.
This piece pretty much sums it up. Nice to see sanity every now and again.

(via Alphecca)


Thursday, January 26, 2006


BB&T: No Soup For You!

Before I received an email from the Castle Coalition yesterday I had never heard of BB&T. Well, assuming that this is the whole story, they just became one of my favorite companies. Here's the release from the CC:

Institute for Justice

901 N. Glebe Road Suite 900 Arlington, VA 22203 (703) 682-9320 FAX (703) 682-9321

Home Page: WWW.IJ.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: John E. Kramer or Lisa Knepper

January 25, 2006 (703) 682-9320

BB&T Respects Property Rights,

Won’t Fund Eminent Domain Abuse

Arlington, Va.-BB&T, the nation’s ninth largest financial holdings company with $109.2 billion in assets, announced today that it “will not lend to commercial developers that plan to build condominiums, shopping malls and other private projects on land taken from private citizens by government entities using eminent domain.”

In a press release issued today by the bank, BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Allison, said, “The idea that a citizen’s property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided, in fact it’s just plain wrong. One of the most basic rights of every citizen is to keep what they own. As an institution dedicated to helping our clients achieve economic success and financial security, we won’t help any entity or company that would undermine that mission and threaten the hard-earned American dream of property ownership.”

“BB&T’s principled stand sets an example that should inspire other lenders and should become the new industry standard,” said Institute for Justice President and General Counsel Chip Mellor. The Institute for Justice litigated the Kelo case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the taking of private property for someone else’s private use in the guise of “economic development.” Mellor said, “You can and should accomplish economic development through private negotiation, not the use of government force through eminent domain. As far as we’re concerned, BB&T now stands for Best Bank in Town.”

The U.S. Congress is now considering bipartisan legislation that would federally de-fund eminent domain for private use. Although the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation that would block any federal funds going to private development projects on land taken through eminent domain, the Senate has yet to vote on companion legislation. Last week, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), however, commented on an eminent domain case that was argued before the Ohio Supreme Court. The case involves Carl and Joy Gamble, homeowners from Norwood, Ohio, who could lose their home through eminent domain for a privately owned mall and high-end apartments. Frist wrote in an op-ed published by the Cincinnati Enquirer, “I have some pretty clear thoughts about the [Norwood] case: The Gambles should keep their home and the developer should either build around it or cancel the development plans altogether. . . . Quite simply, no family should ever risk losing its home because a government wants to help a private developer.”

Scott Bullock, an IJ senior attorney who argued the Kelo case, said, “Eminent domain abuse is wrong and unconstitutional. BB&T has stepped up and recognized its corporate responsibility to not be a part of this shameful abuse of individual rights.”

Dana Berliner, an IJ senior attorney who argued the Gambles’ case before the Ohio Supreme Court, said, “Throughout the country, banks have been silent partners in the unholy alliance between local governments and private developers. Banks finance developers and cities that use eminent domain to take someone’s home or business and turn the land into new stores, condos, and office space. Others will hopefully follow BB&T’s courageous example.”
Every little bit helps.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Eminent Domain Outrage In CA

This is absolutely beyond the pale:

A year after Los Angeles seized three acres from a private company to construct a public building, a city councilman wants to sell the land to another private firm for a commercial development.

Both companies are furniture manufacturers. But executives with the company that would buy the land have political connections and have made $17,600 in campaign contributions to key city leaders.
There are many more details in the article, but that's about all you really need to know. While I realize that 200+ years has probably dulled the psychological impact, I find it hard to believe that abuses of eminent domain can be much more tolerable than the things Britain was doing to her colonies here in America. Absolutely, without question, abuses of eminent domain must not be allowed to stand. I truly hope that the people of Los Angeles come together and fight in the same spirit as those on the east coast have.

(via The Agiator)


Monday, January 16, 2006


Starving Species

Here's a question for you. If you had a dollar to donate to who would it go, starving cats, or starving kids?

Two organizations in New Britain CT provide an interesting contrast:

Animal Alliance Welfare League feeds over 500 feral cats in New Britain
Community effort joins others to feed hundreds of children

Reading those two headlines you might think: Well good. Both hungry cats and hungry kids are being helped. And you'd be right, but check out the source of funding for both projects:

Feeding Cats...

The trap, neuter and release program, referred to as TNR, is in part a coordinated effort between the city and AAWL. The city has set aside money to pay for neutering of the first 60 cats AAWL takes to a Hartford veterinary center, which gives the city a discount for their services. (emphasis mine)
Did you catch that? "The city" is paying for this fine service. If you read the entire article you will not find a single reference to any sort of problem that these cats are causing. That's not necessarily to say that there aren't any, but you'd almost think that a person in charge of such a program would at least provide some explanation of a problem that needs to be solved with money taken from working stiffs under threat of physical force. But maybe that's just me.

Although you can probably guess what's coming, here's a bit more from the other story:

Feeding Kids...

Before long, the program had three additional sponsor churches from the midwest and northwest parts of the country and were receiving help from outside organizations to raise funds. In Southington, the program has seen several generous donations from the Rotary Club and has had additional help from many of the school-based organizations and local students, Ellis added.
To aid the continued progress that the foundation has seen, the Church is now conducting a calendar drive to collect money for their cause. For $25, any member of the community may purchase a 2006 calendar and will also have their name entered into a weekly drawing for a prize.
"With the five participating churches, we are feeding literally thousands of children each day," Ellis added. "However, if we continue to work together, we could easily feed hundreds of thousands. We are far from done with this program."

Those who are interested in making a donation to the "Every Dollar Feeds Kids" foundation or who would like to purchase a calendar may contact the church office at (860) 628-6958 or stop by to receive a program brochure. (emphasis added)
Did I even need to add the emphasis? Now, I wonder which program is: 1) more efficient, 2) more worthy and 3) has a better return on the investment.

Just another example of a government officials spending money that's not theirs on programs to solve nonexistent problems and private organizations of individuals actually making a difference in the world. Just think what private individuals and organizations could do if government got out of the way…


Friday, January 13, 2006


Friday Late Afternoon Thoughts

Al Gore lets loose a rhetorical volley against Bush's Police State and is then summarily executed by Bush's Police State police. Oh wait...

Have I ever mentioned that I'm not Algore's biggest fan, although I am grateful for the more colorful memories.

In other news...

So Clarence Ray Allen (age 75-soon-to-be-76) is too old and infirm to be put to death, huh?

"The spectacle of Mr. Allen being wheeled into the death chamber, unable to walk and unable to see those who have come to witness his execution, violates all standards of decency and would amount to nothing more than the purposeless and needless imposition of pain and suffering prohibited by the Eighth Amendment," said Annette Carnegie, one of Allen's attorneys.
For those who don't know, here's what he did to earn the death penalty:

He was sentenced to life in prison for commissioning the murder of his son's girlfriend in 1974. Then, in 1980, he was convicted and sentenced to death for ordering the murders of eight witnesses of the first murder from his cell. While killing the first of these targets, his hit man also killed two unconnected teenagers on the scene.
This guy is a grade-A scumbag and a cold-blooded murder for hirer. I do, however, agree with his lawyer in that we should avoid the "spectacle" of wheeling him into the death chamber. How about we send the appropriate officials into this comfy jail cell and just hit him on the head with a brick until the sentence has been carried out? Win, win from where I'm standing.

To end the work week on a lighter note, did I mention the Best Blond Joke Ever?


Thursday, January 12, 2006



Best Blond Joke Ever.


Tax Dollars Well Spent

I'll piss and moan as much, and probably more than, the next guy about wasted tax dollars. Well, here's an expenditure of my state tax dollars that I absolutely support:

Connecticut State Troopers Escort Troops Heading to Afghanistan
I suited up yesterday, which was Saturday, my day off, belted 2 1/2 year old Aidan into his car seat in my State Police car, and drove to the National Guard Armory in Manchester to escort the 102nd Infantry Co. to the NY State Line. I had two other Troopers on this voluntary detail in their cars to assist.
Read the rest. Our troops deserve no less, and a hell of a lot more.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Four Dead In Ohio

Not yet, actually. But abuses of power by our local governments are getting out of hand:

Ohio court hears first challenge to homeowner rights since Kelo

The short story, as I understand it, is that the town of Norwood, a Cincinnati suburb, wants to boost it's tax revenue by tearing down homes and putting up (or, more accurately, allowing to be put up) "offices and shops". The case sounds pretty similar to the one on New London CT, and as such stinks to high heaven.

Look folks. We cannot allow this to continue. The SCOTUS ruled in Kelo that while local governments have the power to take homes away pretty much whenever they feel like it, states also have the power to pass laws outlawing such actions.

While I think that the majority in Kelo ruled while taking a very close look at their various ileocecal valves, at least their decision did not further consolidate power at the federal level. What their decision did was give us all a chance to get out there and make a difference. So do it already! Write you state and local representatives. Make your voice heard now while the fight is still in the courts and legislatures and (not to put too fine a point on it), before the fight reaches the streets.


Sorry for that last link. I just couldn't help myself =).


Michelle is on the story too.

Update 2:

More from Ohio Guy in the comments.


God Non-Denominational-Multiculturalist-Non -Deity Save The Queen Big Brother!

Yet another example of how far our British brethren have fallen:

Britain's Blair calls for respect then admits smacking kids
"What, you do smack the younger one?"

Blair said: "No, no, it was actually the other way round but... I think, look, this smacking... I think everybody knows the difference between smacking a kid and abusing a child."

Blair's government stopped short of a total ban on smacking in England and Wales a year ago. Smacks that leave marks are punishable by up to five years in prison.
What? A "total ban on smacking" was even on the table? I guess this just goes to show you how far the British government has intruded on it's citizen's subjects personal lives. They're not allowed to discipline their children, so their kids grow up to be punks...against whom they are not allowed to defend themselves. Hum. What a great deal.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Follow Up On CT State Police Murder-Suicide

The New Britain Herald has a follow up story on the murder-suicide I blogged about a while back.

The article has a few new bits of info, mostly unsubstantiated statements that Victor Dias had a lot of problems including being a mean drunk. It's a sad story and I can't help but wonder what role his being a police officer played in ultimately leading to the tragedy of Ciara McDermott's murder.


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