Sunday, June 26, 2005

What If ???

Does this really sound like a free country to you? For those American liberals out there who are too blinded by their agenda to see what is already happening to "free countries" around them...take a long look at this article. And this really where you want America to be?

With the Supreme Court's recent decision to allow government seizure of property for increased tax revenue...we could be looking at a country that "sells out" and turns its back on the true principles America was founded on. Liberals mistakenly claim that "protection of minority from the will of the majority" applies to issues such as gay marriage and abortion (the Constitution say's nothing about the support of sexual deviance and murder) but look the other way when the Constitutional Protection REALLY does apply (protecting private property owners from Corporations, Government, or even other citizens...aka: $$$$$).

Don't think government can take away your right to own property or purchase additional's already happening my friends. The question is...How long before we finally do something about it?!\ForeignBureaus\archive\200506\FOR20050624c.html

UK Gov't May Outlaw Second Homes
By Kevin McCandless
June 24, 2005

London - With the age-old battle between town and country heating up once again, the British government moved closer this month towards banning ownership of second homes in popular rural areas.

Replying to a question in the House of Commons, Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said last week the government recognized that there was a "high level of concern" over rich outsiders buying second homes in scenic but impoverished parts of the countryside.

With reports that young people are being priced out of their own home towns in destinations such as the fabled Lake District, Cooper said a rural housing commission would begin next month to consider whether or not to impose sweeping controls.

"It is anticipated that the commission will consider whether there is any case for government intervention, through planning control or otherwise, on second homes," she said.

Speaking to the media this week, Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, Conservative Party chairman of the Local Government Association, said that the idea of outlawing second homes in the countryside was ridiculous.

He said town councils already had the power to increase property taxes on part-time owners, and that was enough to deal with the problem.

"'The idea makes no sense at all," Bruce-Lockhart said. "It is interfering with the market. That rarely works, and it erodes personal liberty."

In 1999, then-Environmental Minister Michael Meacher suggested that local councils could be allowed to rezone selected neighborhoods to prohibit second homes. At the same time, he also admitted that he owned a second home in the country.

Currently, other members of the ruling Labor Party, including Cooper and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, own homes in areas where the housing market has reportedly soared beyond the reach of middle-class buyers.

"Perhaps we need to zone land in terms of sustainable development," Meacher said. "That could exclude, in some cases, second homes and include affordable housing for people who need it."

Since 2000, the Department of Environment has done two large-scale studies over the future of the countryside that have also considered the issue of affordable housing.

However, countryside groups have complained that little concrete action has been taken.

Jane Hart, spokeswoman for the Rural Housing Trust, a non-profit group that campaigns for affordable homes in the countryside, said that conflict between outsiders and local would-be house owners has existed since the 1970s.

Where middle-class families once preferred to live in large cities, it's now considered fashionable to have a second home in the country.

"Once, it would have been considered desirable to live in a town or the city," Hart said. "Now ... to live in the country is a very desirable thing."

In 2004, a study conducted by Shelter, a housing and homelessness charity, found that second-home ownership had increased by 15 percent within the previous year, mostly as a result of the booming property market. In addition, house prices rose considerably quicker in rural areas than in London.

Yesterday, charity spokeswoman Helen Bird said that her group would take a wait-and-see attitude towards the new housing commission.

"Practical measures to reduce the number of second homes in rural areas are welcome," Bird said. "However, we would need to see much more detail on how the scheme being considered by the rural housing commission would work."

Roots Of American Socialism's Success\Commentary\archive\200506\COM20050624a.html

Justice Janice Rogers Brown

By Larry Pratt

Oh, how the liberals love to hate this jurist.

Janice Rogers Brown has done the unthinkable. She had the audacity to dishonor the memory of the socialism of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

During FDR's rule, Brown says, "the Constitution itself was transmuted into a significantly different document ... [The year] 1937 ... marks the triumph of our own socialist revolution ... Its effect was not simply to repudiate, both philosophically and in legal doctrine, the framers' conception of humanity, but to cut away the very ground on which the Constitution rests ... In the New Deal/Great Society era, a rule that was the polar opposite of the classical era of American law reigned."

Gun owners have a lot to celebrate with Brown's elevation from the California State Supreme Court to the D.C. Court of Appeals (the court that hears many federal government cases).

On the California court, Brown signaled an unusually clear understanding of the true meaning of the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment. Yes, she does adhere to the misunderstanding -- shared by almost all judges -- that the lower courts are bound by the unconstitutional decisions of the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, she is all the same ready to criticize rulings of the Supremes.

In passing, it can be noted that Judge Roy Moore of Alabama is the most prominent judge in the country who holds the Constitution higher than a rebellious ruling of any federal court. There never would have been an American War for Independence against the rebel King George III if today's reigning views of judicial supremacy had held sway in 1776.

But let's get back to the high points of Justice Brown's record.

In a California case involving a gun show ban in Los Angeles County, Brown wrote a dissent upholding the right of the Great Western Shows to use an L.A. County facility. Brown pointed out that the County was making a law (banning gun shows) that was prohibited by the state's preemption law. Furthermore, the County could not hide behind the fairgrounds management as if the County had no authority over the facility. Brown used language from an amicus curiae brief submitted by Gun Owners of California, a sister organization of Gun Owners of America.

Brown's most extensive Second Amendment scholarship appears in the case involving the California ban on semi-automatic firearms (Kassler v. Lockyer).

In a decision upholding the California ban on certain semi-autos (the so-called "semi-autos") -- even while Brown (mistakenly) felt obliged to uphold the U.S. Supreme Court rather than the Constitution -- it became quite clear that she at least understood the Constitution.

She criticized the Court's uneven and arbitrary standards regarding rights as being "highly suspect, incoherent, and constitutionally invalid." And she faulted the Court for picking and choosing which rights they liked.

In the same decision she observes that: "Curiously, in the current dialectic, the right to keep and bear arms -- a right expressly guaranteed by the Bill of Rights -- is deemed less fundamental than implicit protections the court purports to find in the penumbras of other express provisions.... [s]urely the right to preserve one's life is at least as fundamental as the right to preserve one's privacy."

Not bad -- a drive-by shooting of the Court's invention of a right to abortion while at the same time upholding the right to keep and bear arms.

Brown cited Second Amendment attorney Stephen Halbrook's scholarship showing the racist roots of gun control in the U.S. She also favorably quoted Halbrook regarding the post-Civil War legislation designed to protect the individual right to keep and bear arms, particularly of blacks.

Judge Brown referred to the socialist Amitai Etzioni, a prominent academic pacifist, and blasted his view that a gun ban would make society safer. "I suspect the freedmen of the Reconstruction Era would vehemently disagree. So would the Armenians facing the Ottoman Turks in 1915, the embattled Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943, and
the victims of Pol Pot's killing fields."

The liberals are opposed to Brown because of her views, and because she might end up on the Supreme Court. We can only hope.

(Larry Pratt is executive director of Gun Owners of America)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Too Much Government!!!

I haven't been able to write in awhile due to a recent move. I hope to re-establish an internet connection and continue posting on a regular basis sometime in the near future. In the meantime...I couldn't pass this one up!

I thought one of the great "rights" of America is for the people to be able to own property without government infringement. The protection of private property is a very important right, and it received a shocking blow by the Supreme Court today. In yet another "slap to the face" of our Constitution, money spoke and judicial legislation led to a 5-4 ruling (Kelo et al v. City of New London) in favor of government's ability to seize private property for economic reasons. aka...If you want to increase tax revenue...seize peoples homes, bulldoze them, and give the land to large private developers. Does anyone else feel sick?

Read on...

Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes

The Associated Press
Thursday, June 23, 2005; 8:33 PM

WASHINGTON -- Cities may bulldoze people's homes to make way for shopping malls or other private development, a divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday, giving local governments broad power to seize private property to generate tax revenue.

In a scathing dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said the decision bowed to the rich and powerful at the expense of middle-class Americans.

The 5-4 decision means that homeowners will have more limited rights. Still, legal experts said they didn't expect a rush to claim homes.

"The message of the case to cities is yes, you can use eminent domain, but you better be careful and conduct hearings," said Thomas Merrill, a Columbia law professor specializing in property rights.

The closely watched case involving New London, Conn., homeowners was one of six decisions issued Thursday as the court neared the end of its term. The justices are scheduled to release their final six rulings, including one on the constitutionality of Ten Commandments displays on public property, on Monday.

Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, said New London could pursue private development under the Fifth Amendment, which allows governments to take private property if the land is for public use, since the project the city has in mind promises to bring more jobs and revenue.

"Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted function of government," Stevens wrote, adding that local officials are better positioned than federal judges to decide what's best for a community.

He was joined in his opinion by other members of the court's liberal wing _ David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, as well as Reagan appointee Justice Anthony Kennedy, in noting that states are free to pass additional protections if they see fit.

The four-member liberal bloc typically has favored greater deference to cities, which historically have used the takings power for urban renewal projects.

At least eight states _ Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, South Carolina and Washington _ forbid the use of eminent domain for economic development unless it is to eliminate blight. Other states either expressly allow a taking for private economic purposes or have not spoken clearly to the question.

In dissent, O'Connor criticized the majority for abandoning the conservative principle of individual property rights and handing "disproportionate influence and power" to the well-heeled.

"The specter of condemnation hangs over all property," O'Connor wrote. "Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."

Connecticut resident Susette Kelo and others in the lawsuit pledged to continue their fight. Nationwide, more than 10,000 properties were threatened or condemned in recent years, according to the Institute for Justice, a Washington public interest law firm representing the New London homeowners.

"It's a little shocking to believe you can lose your home in this country," said resident Bill Von Winkle, who said he would keep fighting the bulldozers in his working-class neighborhood. "I won't be going anywhere. Not my house. This is definitely not the last word."

But Connecticut state Rep. Ernest Hewett, who as a city council member approved the development, said, "I am charged with doing what's best for the 26,000 people that live in New London. That to me was enacting the eminent domain process designed to revitalize a city ... with nowhere to go."

New London once was a center for the whaling industry and later became a manufacturing hub. More recently the city has suffered the kind of economic woes afflicting urban areas across the country, with losses of residents and jobs.

City officials envision a commercial development including a riverfront hotel, health club and offices that would attract tourists to the Thames riverfront, complementing an adjoining Pfizer Corp. research center and a proposed Coast Guard museum.

New London was backed in its appeal by the National League of Cities, which argued that a city's eminent domain power was critical to spurring urban renewal with development projects such Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Kansas City's Kansas Speedway.

Under the ruling, residents still will be entitled to "just compensation" for their homes as provided under the Fifth Amendment. However, Kelo and the other homeowners had refused to move at any price, calling it an unjustified taking of their property.

The case is Kelo et al v. City of New London, 04-108.

The ruling in Kelo v. New London is available at:

Friday, June 03, 2005

Planned Parenthood Perversity

June 03, 2005, 8:03 a.m.

A cautionary tale of abortion-rights extremis,.

Can you say “perverse”? Planned Parenthood in Indiana and Kansas is effectively fighting to protect child rapists from potential prosecution in two high-profile legal fights. That an organization devoted to the interests of women finds itself in this position is a cautionary tale of abortion-rights extremism.

In Indiana, the attorney general is seeking the records of girls under the age of 14 who have visited Planned Parenthood clinics. Let that sink in: We’re talking about 12- and 13-year- old girls. It is a crime to have sex with a child under 14 in the state. Under law, individuals with reason to believe a child is a victim of sex abuse are required to report it to the proper authorities. In Kansas, the attorney general is carrying on the same fight (he is also looking for evidence of illegal late-term abortions).

An Indiana judge has just upheld the Indiana attorney general’s request, although the case is under appeal. “The great public interest,” the county superior judge wrote, “in the reporting, investigation and prosecution of child abuse trumps even the patient’s interest in privileged communication with her physician because, in the end, both the patient and the state are benefited by the disclosure.”

The loopiest free-sex advocates might imagine that after sex-ed courses on how to put a condom on a banana, 13-year-old girls blissfully explore their bodies with 13-year-old boys. Put aside that this vision will make most parents gag — it’s not how it works. Teen sex often involves adult men exploiting teen girls. Estimates are that in 60 percent or more of teen births, the father is an adult. A California study found that the fathers in births to junior-high-school mothers were on average nearly 7 years older.

Why would a feminist organization not be eager to cooperate in a fight against the sexual exploitation of young girls? Well, Planned Parenthood represents that wing of the feminist billed as “sex positive.” Although that phrase doesn’t quite capture it. Planned Parenthood is developing the “statutory rape-positive” wing of feminism.

These feminists are unwilling to pass judgment on any sex in any circumstances, don’t care if parents are cut out of the equation entirely, believe the right to an abortion trumps any other consideration, and embrace a notion of privacy so sweeping it includes men who have, under law, raped their young sexual partners. If only Michael Jackson were interested in girls instead of boys, he might, in the right circumstances, have a friend in Planned Parenthood.

Privacy is a mere excuse not to provide the records. It is not at all unusual for criminal prosecutions to involve medical records. And no one is going to make public the names of the girls involved, which are being provided to the authorities, not the news media. “We’ve been doing these investigations since the 1970s, and there’s never been a case where we have not maintained the confidentiality of records,” Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter told a local columnist. In Kansas — where the case is pending before the state supreme court — Attorney General Phill Kline authored the state’s rape shield law when he was in the legislature. It is not the girl in any of these cases who will be in jeopardy, but her adult abuser (if there is one).

This fight is so important because our culture relentlessly sexualizes children. The message, for instance, of Britney Spears’s act before she came of age was “teen girls are hot.” Pop culture won’t change, but the law can at least try to send an opposite signal.

Key Democrats from Hillary Clinton to Howard Dean have of late said their party needs to become more moderate on abortion. They could add substance to the rhetoric by opposing Planned Parenthood’s position in these cases. Of course, that will never happen. The abortion absolutists control the Democratic party, a sad fact for those Americans who have moral qualms about abortion, but a happy one for men who impregnate 13-year-olds.

— Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years.