Skip to comments.When Big Brother Wants Your "Stuff" (FL Socialists Trample On Property Rights Alert)
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?
(No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo! )
ONCE AGAIN another story ignored by the South Florida LameStream Media!
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.
B-b-b-but why not? </liberal whining>
...and, I'm no fan of WND.
"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.
Its not my job.
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.
This law removes a citizen's means of survival in times of direst need. Floridians need to take these traitors out NOW.
How about the fact that the State has the same power? Or, it is not actually confisticated, but compensated for?
Then why bring it up?
I found the link anyway.
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.
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.
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.
As the actual un-plagerized and un-edited article points out, one person complained.
Oh boy, I hope you are wearing your asbestos underware. It could get hot around here.
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.
And be sure and keep your Hummer H2 hidden in your garage.
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
My copy of the U.S. Constitution doesn't have an emergency clause.
Hasn't that already been settled after what NOLA did?
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.
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 Kennedys 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 dont evolve that fast!
I believe that the British did the same thing during the Revolutionary War. I'm pretty sure that this won't pass Constitutional muster.
"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
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).
Legalized looting, but only for the State, of course.
""--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.
This should be stated over and over and over and over...
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.
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.
"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.
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.
Bonfire for the Constitution
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.
'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.
I'm sorry your Honor but I was in fear for my life.
Nanny State PING!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the ping!!!
Help me here. Which cases are you citing?
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.
Please disregard my Post 47. I thought it said LEGAL. Mea culpa.
Was this directed at me?