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Paul's Here

Battle for the California Desert

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Thank you for posting that. I can't even express how angry that made me, and how fearful.

I had to strip the last parameter off the URL - this worked for me:

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Is there even such a thing as property any more? Or is it all just licensed, meaning it can be taken away at the government's behest?

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Here's an excellent article about Antelope Valley in particular:

http://www.laweekly.com/content/printVersion/1303834/

The line of reasoning, from a legal perspective, is fascinating. "The government can define land on which residents have lived for years as "vacant" if their cabins, homes and mobile homes are on parcels where the land use hasn't been legally established." Which appears to mean that even if you legally purchase and own outright a 10 acre parcel in the middle of the desert, you cannot park a car, place a trailer, or build a structure without the appropriate zoning and permitting. Any action beyond that is illegal in some form, and in these cases has generated responses including imprisonment, liens, armed forced entry, fines, etc.

There is one error in the article where McNamara mentions a situation in Redwing, AZ. Actually it turns out to be in Red Wing, MN, but still very interesting.

Reason article: http://reason.com/blog/2010/12/29/minnesot...ts-challenge-no

Institute for Justice overview: http://www.ij.org/about/875

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Is there even such a thing as property any more? Or is it all just licensed, meaning it can be taken away at the government's behest?

Even something that is licensed cannot be just taken away. A license implies some kind of contract for permission to do use some object. We are all just squatters now.

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Isn't this just a continuation of the Eminent Domain debacle?

ruveyn

Potentially, with different weapons. Going after building code, licenses, and zoning instead of an outright argument that one group can put a piece of property to better use than another. I'm not convinced it's eminent domain in that they have another use for the property in mind, which eminent domain requires. What I don't understand is what LA County is after in the Antelope Valley case. It appears far enough out that either an interstate or an airport (as some surmised) would be small against the vastness of that area. Is it just control? Forcing this group to bow to the whim of another? That's something I just don't understand. Perhaps if the department was about to be shut down, or a parent department was to see cuts, this "work" gives credibility to keeping staff and broadening their mandate. I can't find a plausible motive for these actions, or there's a piece to the picture that is missing.

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Isn't this just a continuation of the Eminent Domain debacle

Potentially, with different weapons. Going after building code, licenses, and zoning instead of an outright argument that one group can put a piece of property to better use than another. I'm not convinced it's eminent domain in that they have another use for the property in mind, which eminent domain requires.

Eminent domain means government acknowledging someone else's private ownership, then transferring the ownership to itself and paying "just compensation", interpreted to mean "fair market value", i.e., a forced "sale" priced as if it were a normal market transaction voluntarily entered into at prevailing average prices -- the "just" and "fair" "price" is determined without regard to an actual willingness to sell at such a price or any price. Government having another use for the property is secondary. It may mean the same use, some other use, or no use, as long as taking the property is claimed to be for "public use" now broadly interpreted to mean for some benefit of some segment of the public, as in this description at findlaw.com:

A public use is generally one which confers some benefit or advantage to the public. The term does not necessarily imply -- and is not confined to -- actual "use" by the public. Moreover, the purported benefit to be derived from the taking of property need not be available to the entire public; it may benefit a smaller sector of members of the public in a particular locality, i.e. a subdivision of the general public. In other words, it is not necessary that the intended users be all members of the public; rather, it is the purpose for the taking that must be for the public, and not for the benefit of any particular individuals...

In Kelo v. City of New Landen (2005), the U.S. Supreme Court was called upon to determine whether that changing parameter was broad enough to include for-profit development of real estate which would ostensibly result in needed economic growth for the community. In a decision that surprised many, the Court agreed.

Eminent domain is distinct from government authority to "regulate" use of private property, without any compensation, for almost any action claimed to be a "pubic good". This leads to the concept of "regulatory taking" as an end-run around the Fifth Amendment in which a government seizes control of private property through restrictions on use without formally taking literal ownership and without paying compensation. If they go too far with that they can be sued for "inverse condemnation" in imposing the regulations, but they get away with a lot.

Statist "regulation" and eminent domain are both means by which government violates private property rights, usually on behalf of some political influence ranging from developers to viros seeking to impose no use. They use regulation rather than eminent domain to avoid paying for what they take and/or to avoid political controversy by pretending they haven't taken anything.

So both regulation and eminent domain are aspects of the same more fundamental debacle of statist trampling of private property rights.

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So both regulation and eminent domain are aspects of the same more fundamental debacle of statist trampling of private property rights.

Thank you for sharpening up the point I was trying to make.

ruveyn

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This is what happens in the People's Republic of California. The Antelope Valley is becoming crowded with suburban dwellers who want conformity and nothing but. This is one of the reasons I left California many years ago.

The folks who are living out there and are the target of this harassment have a real struggle ahead of them. Progress has found them and progress demands their land.

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Progress has found them and progress demands their land.

Not progress, progressives.

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Progress has found them and progress demands their land.

Not progress, progressives.

The Progressives are among the most regressive of humans.

They count on a favorable image of "progress" without specifying progress towards what goal. I counter that by almost always only using the term in a phrase that puts it in context, as in "the progressive imposition of controls".

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