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A Blight Grows in Brooklyn
Townhall.com ^ | January 3, 2010 | George Will

Posted on 01/03/2010 6:23:22 AM PST by Kaslin

BROOKLYN -- On Aug. 27, 1776, British forces routed George Washington's novice army in the Battle of Brooklyn, which was fought in fields and woods where today the battle of Prospect Heights is being fought. Americans' liberty is again under assault, but this time by overbearing American governments.

The fight involves an especially egregious example of today's eminent domain racket. The issue is a form of government theft that the Supreme Court encouraged with its worst decision of the last decade -- one that probably will be radically revised in this one.

The Atlantic Yards site, where 10 subway lines and one railway line converge, is the center of the bustling Prospect Heights neighborhood of mostly small businesses and middle-class residences. Its energy and gentrification are reasons why 22 acres of this area -- the World Trade Center site is only 16 acres -- are coveted by Bruce Ratner, a politically connected developer collaborating with the avaricious city and state governments.

To seize the acres for Ratner's use, government must claim that the area -- which is desirable because it is vibrant -- is "blighted." The cognitive dissonance would embarrass Ratner and his collaborating politicians, had their cupidity not extinguished their sense of the absurd.

(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: atlanticyards; brooklyn; newyork; ny; vichyrepublican

1 posted on 01/03/2010 6:23:22 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

The Aristocracy of Pull.

Or call it the Brackley Center.


2 posted on 01/03/2010 6:29:57 AM PST by E Rocc (: Giving economic power to BHO is like giving condoms to Tiger Woods.)
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To: Kaslin
George "repeal the embarrassing second amendment" Will now harkens back to the Battle of Brooklyn? "“Whatever right the Second Amendment protects is not as important as it was 200 years ago... The government should deconstitutionalize the subject by repealing the embarrasing Amendment.” Not a fan.
3 posted on 01/03/2010 6:32:04 AM PST by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: Kaslin

He wants to put the Nets there..talk about a “blight”..the WORST team ever..


4 posted on 01/03/2010 6:37:18 AM PST by ken5050 (Save the Earth..It's the only planet with chocolate!!!)
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To: padre35
" Not a fan."

Agree. Will showed his true colors during the last election as one of Obama's butt-boys of the right. His primary concern is interesting conversation over dinner on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A true dilettante.

He is like an African of a couple of hundred years ago: a novelty to be shown off at parties.

5 posted on 01/03/2010 6:38:29 AM PST by trek
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To: Kaslin
Bruce Ratner, a politically connected developer

Ratner - any relation to Ellen Ratner, or just the same last name?

6 posted on 01/03/2010 6:46:19 AM PST by Bernard (One if by Land, Two if by Sea, Three if by Government)
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To: trek

I think G Will appeals to Northeastern Republicans, which is a whatever for me at least, what troubles me about him is his lack of consistency, he more or less is a Romney Republican but yet here is trying to cloak himself in the Revolutionary War.


7 posted on 01/03/2010 6:48:47 AM PST by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: E Rocc

what happened to the effort to take Souter’s property in NH by eminent domain and build a hotel?


8 posted on 01/03/2010 6:52:51 AM PST by meatloaf
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To: trek
His primary concern is interesting conversation over dinner on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

I thought he still lived in Chevy Chase. When Reagan was president and wanted to have diner with someone, he had them over to the White House, with one exception: He often dined chez Will.

Give Will credit, at least he calls for repealing the IInd Amendment, unlike most pundits who object to it and call for courts to arbitarily nullify it. Whether of not I agree with someone on the specifics, as a matter of principle I am unwaivering on the issue of rule of law, and so is Will.

9 posted on 01/03/2010 6:54:42 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (The CRU needs adult supervision.)
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To: Kaslin
Speaking of Bruce Ratner...

How ACORN Profits from New York's Eminent Domain Abuse

10 posted on 01/03/2010 6:57:18 AM PST by mewzilla (Rick Santelli for Man of the Year!)
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To: padre35

I remember reading Will’s moronic screed against the Second Amendment and deciding right then and there that he wasn’t worth reading any more. He’s what passes for a “conservative” to the liberal elitists that think they own this country.


11 posted on 01/03/2010 6:57:44 AM PST by Hardastarboard (Maureen Dowd is right. I DON'T like our President's color. He's a Red.)
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To: mewzilla
And since I mentioned ACORN and Ratner, from '08....

Ratner backer once a pimp

12 posted on 01/03/2010 6:59:04 AM PST by mewzilla (Rick Santelli for Man of the Year!)
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To: mewzilla
Is ACORN's Atlantic Yards Connection the Real Scandal?

Paging Glenn Beck....

13 posted on 01/03/2010 7:00:29 AM PST by mewzilla (Rick Santelli for Man of the Year!)
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To: Liz

FYI ping in case you’d find this thread of interest :)


14 posted on 01/03/2010 7:01:25 AM PST by mewzilla (Rick Santelli for Man of the Year!)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
"Give Will credit, at least he calls for repealing the IInd Amendment, unlike most pundits who object to it and call for courts to arbitarily nullify it."

Hmmmm ... So we are to respect Will because he is open about his foolishness. Sorry, not buying it.

Will is just the kind of faux patriot who will get us all killed.

15 posted on 01/03/2010 7:01:35 AM PST by trek
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To: padre35
I also believe the 2nd amendment should be repealed. And replaced with a superior amendment.

Here's the original:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Here's my improved version:

The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed

16 posted on 01/03/2010 7:03:37 AM PST by Huck (The Constitution is an outrageous insult to the men who fought the Revolution." -Patrick Henry)
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To: trek

It’s not his honesty, it’s his respect for the rule of law. Most elites try to have the courts impose their preferred “solutions” by judicial fiat. The entire liberal agenda would have died on the vine if it had to go through the excerise of representative democracy.


17 posted on 01/03/2010 7:04:48 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (The CRU needs adult supervision.)
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To: Bernard
It's her brother--same rat faced profile. Her self righteous posturing about helping the poor has always made me want to vomit. BTW Ratner's the one who commissioned the politically correct bronze statue of 3 firefighters--a white man, a black man, and a female--to represent the real firefighters (2 white guys) who hoisted the flag at the WTC right after 9/11--he thought it was a tribute but it was rejected after a howl of protest and removed to an undisclosed location--LOL!!!

I live about 8 blocks from the site in question--it is an outrage that they are attempting to seize such a massive parcel of land in the middle of a transportation hub--it will turned downtown Brooklyn into a traffic clogged and unmanageable magnet for trouble. There is a dormant railyard below street level on Atlantic Avenue (less than 20% of the targeted area) but the surrounding area consists mainly of brownstone buildings and other residential properties and small businesses. The stadium will not only consume large parts of the surrounding residences but it will also create a spacial nightmare as it will sit in the middle of 5 interesections that criss cross and connect 5 different Brooklyn neighborhoods and provide access to the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges several blocks away. The environmental impact will be disastrous for the residents. Ratner is a pig.

18 posted on 01/03/2010 8:50:44 AM PST by foreshadowed at waco
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To: Kaslin
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion--when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing--when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors--when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you--when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice--you may know that your society is doomed.Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.

Every once in a while Will gets one right.

19 posted on 01/03/2010 9:28:00 AM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Kaslin
Interesting article on a story with a long history.

There are a couple of points to remember here . . .

1. This Atlantic Yards situation pre-dates the Kelo case in New London by some years. There have been various plans in the works for something or other on this Atlantic Yards site for decades. I may be wrong about this, but I believe this was where the Brooklyn Dodgers wanted to build a new Ebbets Field -- and the City's failure to provide the necessary land use and/or zoning permits is what led the Dodgers to move to Los Angeles -- in 1958.

2. The Kelo case exposes some serious dangers for governments that engage in specious eminent domain condemnations on behalf of private developers. Several years after the infamous Supreme Court decision, that project is basically dead. The lands were condemned, the owners chased away, and the properties removed from the city's tax rolls. And now the project is indefinitely on hold because it was recently announced that one of its main components -- a major office/research center -- won't be built because the prospective occupant (I think it was the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer) is scaling back its operations Connecticut and maybe leaving entirely.

Item #2 should not be overlooked. The underlying collapse in commercial real estate may kill the Atlantic Yards project in a way that nobody ever envisioned.

20 posted on 01/03/2010 9:43:13 AM PST by Alberta's Child (God is great, beer is good . . . and people are crazy.)
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To: mewzilla

“...And the cash doesn’t stop there. In May 2008, the news broke that Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, had embezzled nearly $1 million from the organization back in 2000. And as the New York Times reported, this crime had been “concealed by senior executives until a whistle-blower told a foundation leader about it in May.” That’s eight years of concealment by senior ACORN executives, a deeply disturbing scandal that scared away donors, dried up support, and, combined with ACORN’s notorious tax troubles, threatened to ruin the organization financially.”

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So THIS is the “Bruce Ratner” who bailed out the Rathke’s little embezzlement embarrassment. I recall the name but I never knew the connection.

Hey! In Obama’s America it’s all about who you know and who you do favors for that counts, not talent and hard work.

“You must join the party, pay your dues and attend all the meetings and rallies if you want to move up in the world,
comrade”.


21 posted on 01/03/2010 10:07:07 AM PST by sinanju
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To: foreshadowed at waco

Oh now, get on with you. This is no worse than what those Rockefeller boys did forty-five years ago to build their wonderful World Trade Center.

Only their little outfit was called the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Development Association.


22 posted on 01/03/2010 10:11:03 AM PST by sinanju
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To: Alberta's Child
I may be wrong about this, but I believe this was where the Brooklyn Dodgers wanted to build a new Ebbets Field -- and the City's failure to provide the necessary land use and/or zoning permits is what led the Dodgers to move to Los Angeles -- in 1958.

That's the area; it includes the Long Island Rail Road's Flatbush terminus, and Walter O'Malley was thinking of all the Dodger fans who moved out to Long Island proper---the site accommodated both LIRR commuters and car commuters who would have had an easy access to the area off the Belt Parkway. (The compelling reason why O'Malley wanted out of Ebbets Field---the swift enough growth of the neighbourhood around the park choked it in; no new parking could be built and the park itself had gotten old before its time, thanks largely to neglect during the family feud that nearly destroyed the franchise in the wake of Charles Ebbets's death, neglect Larry MacPhail and Branch Rickey could only address so far when both made some park improvements in the 1940s. Nostalgic though it may have been and beloved though it may have been, Ebbets Field had turned into something of a trap by the time O'Malley began casting a longing eye on that new property.)

But the real mover and shaker behind the city's stonewall against Walter O'Malley looking to build a new park there was Robert Moses---who wanted to all but jam down O'Malley's throat a site in Flushing Meadows where he planned to build a new multipurpose stadium. (Never once did O'Malley, contrary to the mythology, tell Moses or anyone in New York officialdom, "You build a ballpark and give it to me.") Moses, in fact, was quoted in those years as saying there'd never again be a privately built and owned sports facility in the city or state of New York so long as he ran the building and planning show for both.

You can get the whole story in two splendid books: Neil Sullivan's The Dodgers Move West; and, Michael Shapiro's The Last Pennant Race, a marvelous juxtaposition of the politicking that ended up pushing the Dodgers out of Brooklyn with the last Dodger pennant in Brooklyn, in 1956.

Among the questions nobody thought about as the years went by---if Moses was that bent on shoving a city-owned facility down some baseball team's throat in Queens, why didn't he suggest to the New York Giants, who also needed a new ballpark but couldn't afford to build one themselves as O'Malley could, that they think about moving into the Queens facility? Unlike the Dodgers, the Giants didn't have borough-specific identification and they wouldn't have had to wrestle with the kind of feeling inferred in the famous O'Malley rejoinder, "If we play in Queens we won't be the Brooklyn Dodgers anymore."

In due course the stadium got built and a baseball team did make its home there---the New York Mets who, ironically enough, spent their first two seasons of life in what was left of the Polo Grounds while awaiting the late Shea Stadium's completion . . .

23 posted on 01/03/2010 10:18:14 AM PST by BluesDuke (Let sleeping dogs lie, and you leave them open to perjury charges.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

That’s a universal of the Liberal Agenda, from Roe v Wade/Doe v Bolton on up, it’s all been through the courts. There hasn’t been a single gay marriage initiative that has ever passed by referendum.

Too many of us like to claim it all started with Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, striking down school segregation but technically that was vacating an earlier SCOTUS ruling, the odious Plessy vs. Ferguson.


24 posted on 01/03/2010 10:18:14 AM PST by sinanju
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To: Kaslin

The elites and oligarchies don’t like rules or impediments to their doing whatever they want. Constitutions are bothersome impediments. Laws and rules are for us peasants.


25 posted on 01/03/2010 1:45:39 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: trek
Yes. Exactly why I call him and his ilk Dinner Party Conservatives Even when he is right he takes care to give no offense, and offer no challenge--prompting no thought and changing no minds.
26 posted on 01/03/2010 4:31:36 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: BluesDuke

That’s a great post, BluesDuke. Thanks for the education!


27 posted on 01/03/2010 8:26:38 PM PST by Alberta's Child (God is great, beer is good . . . and people are crazy.)
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