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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » More on your lack of property rights

More on your lack of property rights


Not One More Acre: Ranchers in

Colorado’s Piñon Canyon fight a massive Army land grab.
Most of that land is private property in the Comanche National Grasslands lying between the rustic ranching towns of La Junta, Trinidad, and Walsenburg. The proposed annexation, which would create a contiguous Army-owned area 85 percent the size of Rhode Island, has attracted loud opposition from local landowners, environmentalists, scientists, and politicians. Their combined efforts were enough to gain a congressionally ordered reprieve in 2007, but the Army appears determined to wear them down. In fact, the training ground expansion may be just the first phase of an enormous land grab potentially involving millions of acres.

Good for them. Eminent Domain is bullshit and violates any precept of Individual Rights (but that has been a losing battle in this country for decades). But it’s not just the military; apparently Columbia University has the muscle to pull similar shenanigans:

The ESDC laid the groundwork for that free reign last July by declaring Manhattanville to be “blighted,” which is the state of economic disrepair required to trigger an eminent domain seizure under state law. In December, Columbia’s multi-billion dollar project got the green light. But late last month, Sprayregen launched an offensive of his own, filing a 107-page petition with the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court “to reject, annul and set aside” the ESDC’s determination and finding of blight.

And just try to retaliate against someone using eminent domain to take your property:

A few weeks ago, I blogged about a lawsuit in which Texas developer H. Walker Royall is suing legal journalist Carla Main for alleged defamation. Royall had previously acquired property through the use of eminent domain by the city of Freeport, Texas, so that he could in turn use it to build a luxury marina. Main wrote a compelling book about the case, and now Royall is suing her for defamation because she described his role in the case in an unflattering light. Even more absurdly, Royall is also suing University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein for writing a favorable blurb for the book.

You’ll get sued.

Philosophically speaking, it’s hard to pick a ‘winner’ between individualism and utilitarianism. I think they’ve been trying for a very long time and nobody’s exactly won yet. But in America, the land of the free and home of the brave, possessiveness in the face of ‘progress’ is a crime. (Did I really just use fucking scare quotes? Fuck.)

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1 comments
Julie
Julie

Thanks for your post about Columbia University and Eminent Domain -- don't know if you are aware, but on top of stealing private property for the benefit of an elite, private institution that does NOT pay property tax due to its "non-profit" status, Columbia is also trying to get money from Obama's stimulus package!! Yes, that's right, Columbia thinks that the public should finance its own displacement. Unbelievable. And you can bet that won't be the only public subsidy the University will receive--there are all kinds of public subsidies it will apply for from the City, and get, because they are in bed with the politicians (not opinion, fact--see Nick Spreyregan's lawsuit concerning collusion between ESDC and AKRF, the consulting firm that worked for both the city AND columbia simultaneously, and which refused to release documents which illuminated the depth of their conflict of interest until Nick's lawyer FOIAed the hell out of them). Community members are opposing this; drop me a line if you want to work together or talk more about the expansion and eminent domain: Jubieloo@gmail.com