Archive for the ‘eminent domain’ Category

In the northernmost reaches of California’s Ventura County, a two-lane rural road called Highway 33 runs into the rugged and mostly undeveloped Transverse Mountain Range. Though it’s mostly raw wilderness, a few businesses catering to adventurous explorers have long existed there, some for more than a century.

But now the local government is shutting those businesses down, one by one, using arcane zoning and building-code laws to get the job done.

“If there isn’t someone complaining, and there isn’t really a serious public health and safety issue, why do they spend so much of their time pursuing these kinds of cases?” asks Lynne Jensen, executive director of the Ventura County Coalition of Labor and Business (COLAB).

Tom Wolf owns the Pine Mountain Inn, a restaurant that’s been serving biker groups and local community organizations since the 1930s. Wolf temporarily had to shut the doors when he suffered a heart attack in 2002, and he was never able to reopen when the county informed him that his property had been rezoned as an “Open Space” back in the 1980s without his knowledge.

“[The county] wanted everybody out of here,” says Wolf. “And they wanted a complete open space with nothing but deer and frogs… and no people.”

No matter how hard Wolf tried to comply with the ever-changing codes, the county just wouldn’t relent, at one time even ordering him to remove a chicken coop that had never actually existed on the property.

Wolf isn’t alone, says Jensen. Several other small businesses along Highway 33 have been hit by multiple county agencies for no apparent reason.

“They had every department hit us with violations to make sure that they shut us down,” says April Hope, who, along with her husband Bob, owns a bed and breakfast called The Wheel, which has existed in the area since the 1890s.

Since the Hopes purchased The Wheel in early 2000, they’ve never been able to open it to the public. While officials from the county supervisor’s office and the planning department refused to speak with ReasonTV for this story, Jensen says that the county is using code enforcement to drive these businesses off the land without compensation.

“This rezoning is really a way to get around eminent domain, because eminent domain means you give up your entire property. And here, you only give up part of your rights,” says Jensen.

Invoking eminent domain to seize private property would not only require the county to compensate landowners, but also to demonstrate that the taking served a “public use.”

“They have been very successful in taking people’s property in a number of different ways without compensation as long as they don’t take ownership of it,” says Jensen.

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Now that the heirs of Mussolini’s and Hitler’s Socialism have been temporarily muzzled, we have the opportunity to consign their lust for control of the American People to the dustbin of history just like their Fascistic  forebears.

 

The Constitution cannot be understood because it’s so old?

The canard that the Constitution cannot be understood is a favorite of those who wish to find things that aren’t there and deny things that are. The 1803 Marbury vs. Madison case, in which the Supreme Court set itself up as the arbiter of the Constitution, and the following cases where the Court ignored the letter of the Constitution in order to find new provisions and dismiss existing ones has led directly to this.

The six pages of the constitution are simple enough that a high school student that couldn’t figure it out should not graduate. Is the language a bit archaic? Yes, I’ll grant that, if you’ll grant that the failure of the public schools to teach English. It’s certainly easier to understand than the deliberately obtuse 2500 page bills passed in the dead of night designed to restrict the liberties protected by the Constitution, in order to elevate “pubic servants” to the new aristocracy.

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Found on agaric2’s Channel on YouTube

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As the great Soviet Socialist State of California goes down in flames waiting for their 53 electoral college votes to be bought off by politicians redirecting tax money from the more prudent states, Washington voters have made a bid to redirect the flow of small companies from California to Texas. Although after reelecting “Moonbeam” Brown, that may be a harder sell.)

Ater having famously chosen wild poultry over a thriving timber industry (possibly the ultimate in renewable resources as well as a major export) Washington has decided not to punish, but rather encourage small business success by defeating, 65% to 35%, an initiative (prop 1098) that would have imposed a state income tax on the “wealthy” defined as >$200,000 (single), >$400,000 (married filing jointly).

Many small businesses that have been considering joining the Uhaul caravan to Texas, but have shuddered at moving to a totally foreign land (the wild west, dontcha know), now have the option of fleeing the non-workers paradise without giving up the friendly familiarity of the Left Coast. The only thing that might be a problem is the nagging feeling that as Admiral Ackbar said, “It’s a Trap!!”.

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Mr. Langone is a former director of the New York Stock Exchange and co-founder of Home Depot,and is chairman of Invemed Associates.

A little more than 30 years ago, Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, Pat Farrah and I got together and founded The Home Depot. Our dream was to create (memo to DNC activists: that’s build, not take or coerce) a new kind of home-improvement center catering to do-it-yourselfers. The concept was to have a wide assortment, a high level of service, and the lowest pricing possible.

We opened the front door in 1979, also a time of severe economic slowdown. Yet today, Home Depot is staffed by more than 325,000 dedicated, well-trained, and highly motivated people offering outstanding service and knowledge to millions of consumers.

If we tried to start Home Depot today, under the kind of onerous regulatory controls that you have advocated, it’s a stone cold certainty that our business would never get off the ground, much less thrive. Rules against providing stock options would have prevented us from incentivizing worthy employees in the start-up phase—never mind the incredibly high cost of regulatory compliance overall and mandatory health insurance. Still worse are the ever-rapacious trial lawyers.


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