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When Big Brother Wants Your "Stuff" (FL Socialists Trample On Property Rights Alert)
Worldnetdaily.com ^ | 09/12/06 | Joseph Farah

Posted on 09/12/2006 1:56:42 AM PDT by goldstategop

The city of Cooper City, Fla., has given itself the power to seize residents' personal property in times of emergency.

Officials deemed this new law necessary because of what is expected to be a busy hurricane season.

But don't worry, they say. The law would never be enforced unless there were no other options – presumably meaning that the city could not persuade private citizens to permit the government to borrow, rent or buy their equipment.

Think of it as eminent domain for generators, power tools, trucks and anything else local czars determine they need.

Not surprisingly, this plan has met with some resistance.

''These people, with their mindset, should be arrested and put in jail for even attempting to do something like this,'' said Tim Wilder, a mobile mechanic who owns emergency tools and equipment.

While Commissioner Elliot Kleiman acknowledged that such a law is subject to abuse, he explained, ''but it's not going to happen here.''

Wouldn't that make you feel better?

You see, tyrants and dictators always believe they will be benevolent – that they would do the right thing in all circumstances. Few people run for office or seek power believing they cannot be trusted. They almost all trust themselves.

However, if we could trust people in power, we wouldn't need the safeguards we have in America to keep them in check, to limit their authority, to restrict their actions, to maintain the rule of law rather than the rule of men.

What's happening in Cooper City is not unusual. Unfortunately it is happening all over the country. It's happening in local governments. It's happening n state governments. And it's happening at the federal level.

That's why this is worth talking about – worth thinking about, worth praying about and worth fighting with all of our American resolve for independence and liberty and individual freedom.

It's easy for government to respect civil rights in the best of times. The challenge is for government to respect them in the worst of times. And few rights are as foundational as property rights.

That's why I agree with Mr. Wilder. That's the theory behind our rights. But what about the pragmatic implications of seizure laws like this? Are they really effective? Or are they, in fact, counterproductive to saving lives and property in times of emergency?

Think about this.

The best emergency scenario is that people themselves are prepared. Even the most well-equipped, efficient, resourceful and powerful government in the world can't take care of everyone's needs in an emergency.

Does a law like the one approved in Cooper City encourage people to prepare for emergencies? Or does it discourage them?

Most of the adamant objections to the law come from people who are prepared – people who make preparedness a way of life, people who even make a living investing in and operating emergency equipment.

Are these not the very people we need during times of emergency? Isn't it better to encourage people to do just what these folks are doing? Isn't it better for all concerned if we don't discourage people from making those investments and maintaining those businesses? Would any city or state want to drive these people out of their jurisdictions by raising fears of confiscation of their property and livelihoods?

Furthermore, why would other private citizens knowingly invest their own dollars and cents in preparing when city officials are giving them the impression that their neighbor's equipment will be seized by government to rescue them?

It's just one more example of a law that makes people more dependent on government – never a good idea in times of emergency.

You want to hear the real kicker? The Cooper City law, as with so many others like it, would allow officials to prohibit possession of firearms in times of emergency and close any public gathering place.

There go the First and Second Amendments as well as the Third, Fourth and Fifth in one fell swoop.

Is there any point in owning anything any more? Or, maybe a better question would be: Does anyone, besides government, really own anything any more?


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: banglist; bigbrother; billclinton; billofrights; clinton; constitutionalchaos; constitutioninexile; constitutionlist; coopercity; donutwatch; elliotkleiman; emergency; eminentdomain; fl; florida; floriduh; flsocialists; foryourgood; govwatch; janetreno; josephfarah; kelo; libertarians; rfe; socialism; waco; worldnetdaily; yourstuffismine
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We don't own property in this country. Try not paying taxes on your home and you'll discover how illusory your property rights are. You would think its enough for our socialists, comprende? Not really. In Cooper City, Florida, the City Fathers have taken it upon themselves to pass an edict authorizing the city government to seize your personal effects in the event of an emergency. "For your own good." Where have we heard that before? It seems the only party that owns anything free and clear is government. We're well along the road to collectivist despotism and our officialdom is testing to see how much more they can get away with. Next Big Brother will decide he wants to take your life. In the meantime, in Cooper City, besides seizing your personal effects, the authorities have arrogated to themselves the power to confiscate your firearms and ban public meetings. So much for the Bill Of Rights.

(No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo! )

1 posted on 09/12/2006 1:56:48 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
When was this law passed? What is the name? I want to now, since I am familiar with and know people in CC.

ONCE AGAIN another story ignored by the South Florida LameStream Media!

2 posted on 09/12/2006 1:59:46 AM PDT by Recovering_Democrat (I am SO glad to no longer be associated with the party of "dependence on government"!)
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To: goldstategop
This is a typical World Nut Daily article.

They take an article, such as this one from the Sun-Sentinal, copy it word for word, except they leave out the part they don't want you to read.

3 posted on 09/12/2006 2:36:33 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: goldstategop
Even the most well-equipped, efficient, resourceful and powerful government in the world can't take care of everyone's needs in an emergency.

B-b-b-but why not? </liberal whining>

4 posted on 09/12/2006 2:40:14 AM PDT by TankerKC (Step Back! Doors Closing.)
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To: Ben Ficklin
Why don't you share then?

...and, I'm no fan of WND.

5 posted on 09/12/2006 2:41:37 AM PDT by TankerKC (Step Back! Doors Closing.)
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To: Ben Ficklin
Seizure law riles Cooper City residents
6 posted on 09/12/2006 2:43:41 AM PDT by TankerKC (Step Back! Doors Closing.)
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To: Ben Ficklin

"except they leave out the part they don't want you to read"

Please point out which part of the article "they don't want you to read". If anything, what they left out is more alarming than what they included.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-sconfiscatesep09,0,5658448.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines


7 posted on 09/12/2006 2:53:01 AM PDT by Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek
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To: TankerKC
It would take many, many people, working full time, to correct the mis-info that gets posted on the internet.

Its not my job.

8 posted on 09/12/2006 2:56:33 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: goldstategop

I have exactly one response for anyone, government or otherwise, who trys to violate my property rights.

We have rights because we insist on them.

I choose to insist, and negotiation is not an option.

Take it if you think you can, otherwise, respect the Constitution. These are the only choices I'm willing to grant.


9 posted on 09/12/2006 2:57:32 AM PDT by jeffers
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To: goldstategop

This law removes a citizen's means of survival in times of direst need. Floridians need to take these traitors out NOW.


10 posted on 09/12/2006 2:59:03 AM PDT by gitmo (From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.)
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To: Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek

How about the fact that the State has the same power? Or, it is not actually confisticated, but compensated for?


11 posted on 09/12/2006 3:00:25 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: Ben Ficklin
Its not my job.

Then why bring it up?

I found the link anyway.

12 posted on 09/12/2006 3:05:05 AM PDT by TankerKC (Step Back! Doors Closing.)
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To: goldstategop
Under the city law, once the city declares a state of emergency, officials would be able to regulate fuel and alcohol sales, close any place of public assemblage and prohibit public possession or display of firearms. In addition, they would be able "to confiscate merchandise, equipment, vehicles or property needed to alleviate any emergency condition."

Confiscated property would be returned within 30 days after an emergency ends. And the city must compensate an owner for using personal property, which would have to be returned in the same condition in which it was seized.


Note that I still believe this is unconstitutional. However one would hope in times of emergency that people would willingly step up and help if they have equipment.
13 posted on 09/12/2006 3:12:02 AM PDT by visualops (artlife.us crikey!)
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To: Ben Ficklin

So you are saying that the generator I am using to keep my home going is fair game for the state/city to take and let my neighbor use because he doesn't have one? And because I am "compensated", its ok?

There are a lot of "Big Brother" elements to this nonsense like taking from those who are prepared and giving to those who do not prepare. I would not like it...and I don't care how many other towns do it...or the state for that matter.


14 posted on 09/12/2006 3:14:00 AM PDT by Adder (Can we bring back stoning again? Please?)
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To: TankerKC
"I found the link anyway"

A great may people know that WND, and others, recycle and edit the news to suit their agenda.

Some don't and some don't care because that is what they want to hear.

As you pointed out, it only takes about 20 seconds and a couple of clicks.

15 posted on 09/12/2006 3:14:33 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: goldstategop

So what is property compared to liberty.

There is a lovely cadre of FReepers just dying to give up more freedom to the government in the emergency we call WOT.

Phone taps and unwarranted searches are just hunky dory as long as its W. As soon as its a RAT govt. it is a totally different story. I can't stand hypocrites and the blind are even worse.


16 posted on 09/12/2006 3:15:15 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Adder

As the actual un-plagerized and un-edited article points out, one person complained.


17 posted on 09/12/2006 3:16:56 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Phone taps and unwarranted searches are just hunky dory as long as its W. As soon as its a RAT govt. it is a totally different story.

Oh boy, I hope you are wearing your asbestos underware. It could get hot around here.

18 posted on 09/12/2006 3:25:28 AM PDT by mc5cents
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To: Ben Ficklin
Very true. Here is an important part of the Sun-Sentinal article that they left out:

Under the city law, once the city declares a state of emergency, officials would be able to regulate fuel and alcohol sales, close any place of public assemblage and prohibit public possession or display of firearms. In addition, they would be able "to confiscate merchandise, equipment, vehicles or property needed to alleviate any emergency condition."

Confiscated property would be returned within 30 days after an emergency ends. And the city must compensate an owner for using personal property, which would have to be returned in the same condition in which it was seized.


(A hat tip to TankerKC for posting the link.)

The article notes that the state of Florida already has this power legislatively along with other Florida communities but that it has not been used. Given the requirement to return the property in the same condition it was confiscated in and pay for its use (both conditions presenting endless potential for litigation), a town or city would probably be very reluctant to take on that expense and liability unless absolutely necessary, especially if free aid ain the form of supplies, equipment, and services were available from the state or federal government.

The only parts of the report that bother me are the possible confiscation of guns under the prohibition of public possession and display and the lack of some outside authority to terminate the emergency if the local government wouldn't at the end of 30 days. Obviously, for personal security and protection of personal property against looting after a natural disaster, citizens must retain their firearms. Anti-gun zealots might use a real disaster as an excuse to order police to seize firearms and retain them for the duration of the "emergency."
19 posted on 09/12/2006 3:29:49 AM PDT by Captain Rhino ( Dollars spent in India help a friend; dollars spent in China arm an enemy.)
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To: Ben Ficklin

A couple hundred bucks for a generator won't do me a bit of good if the power is out. Taking my things against my will even if compensated is still confiscating my things.


20 posted on 09/12/2006 3:35:37 AM PDT by commonguymd
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To: Adder
o you are saying that the generator I am using to keep my home going is fair game for the state/city to take and let my neighbor use because he doesn't have one? And because I am "compensated", its ok?

And be sure and keep your Hummer H2 hidden in your garage.

21 posted on 09/12/2006 3:47:58 AM PDT by OBXWanderer
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To: mc5cents

Well then I can just take a quote from your homepage:

"The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
-- John Stuart Mill


22 posted on 09/12/2006 3:48:11 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: goldstategop

My copy of the U.S. Constitution doesn't have an emergency clause.


23 posted on 09/12/2006 3:58:34 AM PDT by freedomfiter2
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To: goldstategop
The Cooper City law, as with so many others like it, would allow officials to prohibit possession of firearms in times of emergency

Hasn't that already been settled after what NOLA did?

Ruling Seen As 'Landmark' Victory for New Orleans Gun Owners

24 posted on 09/12/2006 4:05:54 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: Ben Ficklin

Not doubting that.

It might be like a lot of other ordinances in a lot of other places: a foregone conclusion where it wouldn't matter if 1000 complained.

The bigger question is does the state really have the right to do this? Should they? The article quotes one state guy saying to the effect that the state should have this right to "render services". You can do a lot of harm using that terminology.


25 posted on 09/12/2006 4:11:15 AM PDT by Adder (Can we bring back stoning again? Please?)
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To: visualops
However one would hope in times of emergency that people would willingly step up and help if they have equipment.

In emergencies (like the aftermath of hurricanes), Floridians typically step up to help out their neighbors.

This "law" is unnecessary and its authors should be run out of town on a rail. They deserve no better.

Owning property is one of the major distinctions between free, capitalistic societies, and those owned and controlled by the state. Where do you want to live (not you, personally, visualops)??
26 posted on 09/12/2006 4:12:43 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: TankerKC

Read the full article and the first 20 of 117 comments posted. One person, who replied twice defended the new law; the rest did not.

Any law is based on a contract between the law maker and the group whom the law is/will be imposed upon. It must assume reasonable actions on both parties. Unfortunately, that basic assumption appears to be failing nation-wide. See Kellog vs. New London. See the various “big box” laws that have been passed.

The “law” is supposed to be neutral. It was neutral. Laws like this proves it is no longer neutral. It now depends on the “rational” act of a group of politicians.

How far can it go? Suggest you read American History 1942. In particular the history of California. To give you page and paragraph - the internment of natural borne Americans and seizure of their personal property by the American Government in the name of National Security. The lawyer that interned American citizens becauseof their race (no other American racial group was so treated)was Earl Warren (sp?) who became a member of the Supreme Court and headed the official investigation of Jack Kennedy’s assignation.

It took us 40 plus years to repay, at 1941 prices, what was taken by the State and Federal Governments in the name of National Security. PLEASE, do not assume that politicians in 2005 are any better than politicians in 1941- the human race and body politic don’t evolve that fast!


27 posted on 09/12/2006 4:14:35 AM PDT by Nip (SPECTRE - taking out the enemy one terrorist at a time; at night; without warning or mercy)
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To: Recovering_Democrat

I believe that the British did the same thing during the Revolutionary War. I'm pretty sure that this won't pass Constitutional muster.


28 posted on 09/12/2006 4:23:14 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner ("Si vis pacem para bellum")
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To: Nip
Suggest you read American History 1942

FOUL OOOOOOOwwwww ....

your not suppose to use real life as a predictor of political abuse.

If we start looking at history, it will just bog us down on our journey to totalitarianism.
29 posted on 09/12/2006 4:33:30 AM PDT by THEUPMAN (####### comment deleted by moderator)
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To: visualops

"confiscated property would be returned after 30 days......."

words are very cheap. think of the effort it would take to remove those words
and never have anyone even dare to utter them again. (one gets the feeling
that the people who founded the U.S. might be having a difficult time in the
hereafter)


30 posted on 09/12/2006 4:46:32 AM PDT by ripley
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To: Adder
"So you are saying that the generator I am using to keep my home going is fair game for the state/city to take and let my neighbor use because he doesn't have one? And because I am "compensated", its ok?"

Don't get your panties in a wad. The purpose of the law is to permit government agencies to use resources available--such as that generator in the hardware store, whose owner has evacuated and can't be reached for permission. This happened repeatedly in Gulfport and Biloxi--needed resources in intact retail establishments couldn't be legally used because the owners "just weren't there"--so the cops, firefighters, and other emergency workers broke in an used them anyway.

It wouldn't apply to your personal generator used to power your refrigerators.

Now, the part about confiscating personal firearms IS illegal (proven by court cases in New Orleans).

31 posted on 09/12/2006 4:50:44 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: goldstategop

Legalized looting, but only for the State, of course.


32 posted on 09/12/2006 4:52:51 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wonder Warthog

""--so the cops, firefighters, and other emergency workers broke in an used them anyway."

Does the Cooper City law limit the seizure of property to closed retail establishments?

Your "don't worry" attitude would be right at home in the Cooper City council.


33 posted on 09/12/2006 5:07:42 AM PDT by gas0linealley
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To: goldstategop; hellinahandcart; hosepipe; Carry_Okie; Noumenon; Jeff Head; Issaquahking; ...
You see, tyrants and dictators always believe they will be benevolent – that they would do the right thing in all circumstances. Few people run for office or seek power believing they cannot be trusted. They almost all trust themselves.

This should be stated over and over and over and over...

34 posted on 09/12/2006 5:11:00 AM PDT by sauropod (Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." PJO)
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To: Wolfie
Legalized looting, but only for the State, of course.
***

And just think what this will do in the minds of "have not civilians", how it will hugely increase their sense of entitlement. Think of the Walmart scenes in LA but instead people will feel entitled (cause the gov keeps sewing more wretched seeds of entitlement in their minds), they will feel completely entitled to just break into homes and garages looking for things that they may need, food, cash, fuel, furniture, on it will go.
35 posted on 09/12/2006 5:17:38 AM PDT by Esther Ruth (Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper!)
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To: goldstategop
Well, "commandeering" in times of emergency is not new. Nor is it pleasant--but picture the man with a bulldozer refusing to let rescue workers use that bulldozer temporarily when a house falls down...or asking scalper's rent to do so. Keep in mind that the city must face the lawyers after the fact--I don't know if this story is "hell in a handbasket" without the other context of government seizing property in other ways.

Exploitation of eminent domain is not going without challenge. Many states are passing laws protecting property as we speak--inspired by the New London and Justice Souter. A jury found for an abused property owner in Greenville, SC just last year in a very important case where the city seized the riverfront property of a citizen, only to turn it over to a private developer. The city lost...huge.

36 posted on 09/12/2006 5:24:30 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: goldstategop

Private property is an illusion.
1. Property taxes are progressive confiscation of your home, a small percent at a time.
2. Business taxes: The government gets a cut of your receipts without doing any work.
3. Income taxes: created to redistribute money.


37 posted on 09/12/2006 5:25:56 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged (Dogma 1 of communism: Seize private property and give it to the collectivity.)
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To: Wonder Warthog

"The purpose of the law is to permit government agencies to use resources available--such as that generator in the hardware store, whose owner has evacuated and can't be reached for permission. This happened repeatedly in Gulfport and Biloxi--needed resources in intact retail establishments couldn't be legally used because the owners "just weren't there"--so the cops, firefighters, and other emergency workers broke in an used them anyway."

Yeah...I can recognize the intent and it all sounds so reasonable and cuddly.
Not having read the actual ordinance in question, I should simply defer to all that reasonableness.
Unless it actually prohibits taking personal generators as I described or even one's home for some perceived good/better use is problematical.

Along with any potential gun seizures. Take the guns, taking the property becomes a lot easier.


38 posted on 09/12/2006 5:27:49 AM PDT by Adder (Can we bring back stoning again? Please?)
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To: goldstategop

I have a liberal friend who is always laughing at those bumper stickers that read, "I love my country, but I don't trust my government."

Somehow I think this law might wake him up. At least, if it was applied to his generator.


39 posted on 09/12/2006 5:29:07 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Don't mix alcopops and ufo's)
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To: Mamzelle

EXECUTIVE ORDERS:
Bonfire for the Constitution

http://www.apfn.org/THEWINDS/archive/government/eobf6-97.html


40 posted on 09/12/2006 5:37:45 AM PDT by preacher (A government which robs from Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul.)
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To: visualops
Yes, the government will give you your generator back, after you no longer need it. This is like buying an umbrella, and having a co worker 'borrow' it only when it rains.
41 posted on 09/12/2006 5:37:58 AM PDT by sportutegrl (A person is a person, no matter how small. (Dr. Seuss))
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To: goldstategop

This is getting very close to martial law...what powers local or central government have under the Constitution to declare martial law, and under what conditions, I don't know.

But this law is unAmerican, and probably not constitutional.

I do know that rights are typically curtailed during the aftermath of hurricanes. For instance, after Wilma, the mayor of Dade Country declared a county wide curfew for several nights, even though serious damage was fairly isolated. After Andrew, the curfew lasted weeks, but only in the areas that were heavily impacted.


42 posted on 09/12/2006 5:38:46 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Don't mix alcopops and ufo's)
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To: Adder; Wonder Warthog
"Yeah...I can recognize the intent and it all sounds so reasonable and cuddly."

'Course, there are always great justifications and noble causes whenever governments make power grabs. Usually it's the Left doing this kind of thing, using all sorts of causes as levers, the "war on poverty, the "environment," you name it. But conservatives are susceptible as well. In any case, we need underlying guiding principles to avoid this way of thinking. Like the Constitution, I guess.

43 posted on 09/12/2006 5:44:24 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Don't mix alcopops and ufo's)
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To: goldstategop
The city of Cooper City, Fla., has given itself the power to seize residents' personal property in times of emergency.

I'm sorry your Honor but I was in fear for my life.

44 posted on 09/12/2006 5:48:30 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Rabid ethnicist.)
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To: goldstategop; Just another Joe; CSM; lockjaw02; Publius6961; elkfersupper; nopardons; metesky; ...

Nanny State PING!!!!!!!!!!


45 posted on 09/12/2006 5:50:41 AM PDT by Gabz (Taxaholism, the disease you elect to have (TY xcamel))
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To: Gabz; Just another Joe; Madame Dufarge; Cantiloper; metesky; Judith Anne; lockjaw02; Mears; CSM; ...
Nanny State PING!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for the ping!!!


46 posted on 09/12/2006 6:05:17 AM PDT by SheLion ("If you're legal, you can fly with the Eagle!" - Michael Anthony)
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To: Wonder Warthog
"Now, the part about confiscating personal firearms IS illegal (proven by court cases in New Orleans)."

Help me here. Which cases are you citing?

47 posted on 09/12/2006 6:20:53 AM PDT by OldEagle (May you live long enough to hear the legends of your own adventures.)
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To: goldstategop

The fact that a government can take any item they think they need in a crises bothers me greatly!

Consider the contractor that has his heavy equipment seized and cannot work. He and his employees are harmed.

The farmer whose tractor is seized. Heck, even horses could be seized to use in a crises. A stretch? I don't know.


48 posted on 09/12/2006 6:23:00 AM PDT by jdietz ("There's small Revenge in Words, but Words may be greatly revenged" Ben Franklin)
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To: OldEagle

Please disregard my Post 47. I thought it said LEGAL. Mea culpa.


49 posted on 09/12/2006 6:28:38 AM PDT by OldEagle (May you live long enough to hear the legends of your own adventures.)
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To: Nip

Was this directed at me?


50 posted on 09/12/2006 6:37:02 AM PDT by TankerKC (Step Back! Doors Closing.)
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