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Property Rights Violated..... Rural America Under Siege
Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) ^ | 09-16-02 | Madeleine Fortin

Posted on 09/19/2002 9:18:45 AM PDT by AAABEST

Editor's note: The following is CSE member Madeleine Fortin's own story about how the federal government is confiscating her and her neighbors' property. CSE members from around the country and especially from Florida can support Madeleine Fortin and other Florida property owners by attending the Sawgrass Rebellion rallies in Naples and Homestead on October 17, 18, and 19. We will be sharing more information about these rallies in future CSE newsletters, as well as information about rallies across the country as convoys from Klamath Falls, OR, and London, OH travel to South Florida.


My name is Madeleine Fortin. I am the president of the 8.5 Square Mile Area Legal Defense Foundation and a member of Citizens for a Sound Economy. While I devote as much time as I can to CSE activities, I have been mostly dealing with an issue that involves my community and the Army Corps of Engineers.


Madeleine Fortin on her land in Florida.


I live in a small community in Southeast Florida, on the eastern edge of Everglades National Park called the 8.5 Square Mile Area. The Army Corps of Engineers has been ordered by Congress to provide my community with a small flood protection canal. Instead of doing this, the Corps has decided to condemn and acquire 2/3 of the community at three times the cost of protecting the entire community.


In spite of Congressional direction, radical environmentalists hiding in state and federal government agencies have caused my community to be flooded unmercifully since 1994 in an effort to force people to become "willing sellers." So far, there has been at least $1 billion in flood related losses and 14 flood related deaths throughout the urban and agricultural areas of the county. The agricultural community in the southern part of the County is literally on its knees. Fifty-year-old avocado and mango groves are dead. To the government, these farmers are just more "willing sellers."


Flooding has destroyed my community's way of life. Over half the 55 miles of unpaved roads in the community are no longer passable to regular vehicles. Year after year, people have lost crops, orchards and livestock. The flooding is not a natural event-it has been engineered by the government agencies that are supposed to be "restoring the Everglades." As one man who was forced by the flooding to become a "willing seller" said at a public meeting, "You use water as a weapon of terror!" Another man told me just before he sold his home to the government, "They've slaughtered the American Dream."


After dealing with this issue for years, I now find that hundreds of communities all across the country are involved in situations similar to those in my community. Unless you are personally affected, you may not be aware of the implications of the massive assault on Constitutional property rights that is taking place all across the county. If you live in an urban area you may feel that this issue doesn't affect you. After all, the government isn't trying to take your land. Unfortunately, when the Constitutional rights of any segment of the population are taken away the entire country suffers. Please consider the following: Property rights form the basis of a sound economy.


If people are not allowed to use their land free of intrusive governmental regulations or without fear of government acquisition, the economy suffers. When the government takes private property away from people, the local property tax base is reduced, thus placing a greater tax burden on the remaining property owners in a community. When people are denied reasonable use of their property the economy suffers also. Consider what happens when farm land is taken out of production. Not only the farmer is affected. The agricultural workers who worked the land are affected. The businesses that sold the seed and fertilizer are affected. The supermarkets that sold them food are affected. The same holds true for any business, whether it's a farm, a plant nursery, a dairy, or a cattle ranch. Property rights form the basis for our Constitution.


It is a fact of human nature that people will fight harder to protect what is theirs. The folks who wrote the Constitution knew this when they made property rights a central tenet of the Constitution. The right of free speech and free assembly and the right of an individual to own and use private property, free from harassment and fear of government acquisition provide the foundation of all our other rights. They are what gives each of us a stake in the "American Dream." It is impossible to envision a free America without these most basic human rights.


Now, all over the United States, the Constitutional rights of property owners and the economies of rural communities are being destroyed in the name of "protecting the environment". Based on junk science, areas like the Klamath Basin in Oregon, and the Darby Watershed in Ohio have had their economies devastated by environmental regulations that have done nothing to either protect or enhance environmental quality. Ranches have lost grazing leases. People are having their homes and farms taken away from them to provide "buffer zones" for national parks.


The situation here in South Florida has reached the critical stage. As a result of government's misguided project to "restore" the Everglades, people all over south Florida are having their land taken and their ability to earn a living ruined.


In an effort to bring these issues to the attention of the nation, Paragon Foundation is organizing the Sawgrass Rebellion. Thousands of people from all over the country will converge on South Florida in October for what we hope will be the biggest property rights rally ever held. As a CSE member I would like to urge CSE to actively support this nation-wide effort. We are attempting to form a nation-wide coalition of people and organizations in an effort to take our issues to Washington. It is only by working together that we can stop this governmental abuse of the Constitution and the assault on free enterprise.


If even one person in the United States is not protected by the Constitution, then no one is safe. If even one person loses their home to the government, then the homes of every American are at risk. If the government can do this to us, it can (and will) do it to you! Please support the Sawgrass Rebellion!


Contacts: billames@prodigy.net, sflaherty@cse.org


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Free Republic; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: army; communistmanifesto; ecowars; envirocreeps; greenlacosanostra; landgrab; propertygrabs; socialistgoons

1 posted on 09/19/2002 9:18:45 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: backhoe; sauropod; Issaquahking; Black Agnes; countrydummy; newriverSister; brityank; forester; ...
ping
2 posted on 09/19/2002 9:20:18 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: TonyWojo; Joe Brower; My Favorite Headache; nunya bidness; sauropod; Teacher317; Nuke'm Glowing; ...
Eco-wars ping.
3 posted on 09/19/2002 9:20:58 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: AAABEST
Stop the attacks on our Freedoms by the wacko, extreme left-wing, lunatic fringe, dirt worshipping Green Jihadist, enviro-nazis terrorist's and their toadies in the media !!

Freedom Is Worth Fighting For !!

Molon Labe !!

FMCDH !!

Fighting Irresponsible Radical Environmentalism !!
4 posted on 09/19/2002 9:22:16 AM PDT by blackie
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To: AAABEST

Click on the Honorable Mr. Washington
The for more info on the Rebellion.

Click on the banner to go
the Sawgrass Rebellion website.


5 posted on 09/19/2002 9:22:29 AM PDT by Joe Brower
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To: AAABEST
The situation here in South Florida has reached the critical stage. As a result of government's misguided project to "restore" the Everglades, people all over south Florida are having their land taken and their ability to earn a living ruined.

Welcome to the club!!! And a big thanx to the environmentalists.

6 posted on 09/19/2002 9:25:29 AM PDT by alaskanfan
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To: AAABEST
A 'thanks for the ping' bump!
7 posted on 09/19/2002 9:26:43 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: *landgrab
Index Bump
8 posted on 09/19/2002 9:35:19 AM PDT by Free the USA
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To: AAABEST
Property Rights Bump
9 posted on 09/19/2002 9:41:19 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: AAABEST
I see a post like this and I get so riled, I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with Madeline several times. She is just your average hard working American. She is a nurse and works the night shifts, now her second job is fighting government and NGO's just to keep her home.

She should be getting paid for this ongoing plight that she has devoted now many years of her life.

Should set up a trust fund so she can be compensated for her efforts.


10 posted on 09/19/2002 9:45:07 AM PDT by TonyWojo
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To: AAABEST
This is why I will no longer own property (because I won't/can't really own it)? Forget the American dream in this respect. I guess buy gold???
11 posted on 09/19/2002 9:45:49 AM PDT by widowithfoursons
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To: AAABEST
Land Grab BUMP!
12 posted on 09/19/2002 9:49:39 AM PDT by Damocles
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To: AAABEST
this is what statism is like. Stop telling yourself that you are free. Be brave, and look objectively at the state of liberty in the US today. Slowly, over decades, in a manner that by its nature prevents current generations from knowing of past liberties lost, this situation has encroached upon us.

If avowed conservatives won't grasp this, then they are merely statists themselves.

13 posted on 09/19/2002 10:03:53 AM PDT by galt-jw
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To: AAABEST
Could you add me to your Ecowars ping list? Thanks!
14 posted on 09/19/2002 10:06:38 AM PDT by bootless
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To: bootless
done
15 posted on 09/19/2002 10:08:50 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: AAABEST
Federal agencies are making a habit out of ignoring the constitution. They know that the "Fair Takings" clause in the 5th amendment of the constitution is rendered meaningless if the federal government refuses to abide by it. Federal agencies know that the litigation necessary to obtain compensation for private property takings is too complex, expensive, and time consuming for the vast majority of America's citizens.

Federal officials swear an oath to uphold the constitution of the United States. When an sworn public service employee blatantly violates their oath of office, they should be removed as fast as legally possible.

16 posted on 09/19/2002 10:14:58 AM PDT by Got a right to Life? . . Huh?
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To: AAABEST; Fearless Flyers
Here 'ya go Matt .. Our favourite division of the FEDGOV is at it again ! Our favourite bastard child with the shredded constitution in hand .

Do they want us to revolt ?

17 posted on 09/19/2002 12:05:13 PM PDT by Ben Bolt
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To: TonyWojo
Has anyone considered filing a class action lawsuit against the NGO's?
18 posted on 09/19/2002 12:36:48 PM PDT by LORDLOBO
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To: LORDLOBO
An even better idea is to challenge jurisdiction. What's an NGO anyway, just a piece of paper (probably a corporation) that was created by another corporation, most likely the UN.
People must begin to realize our very existence as (supposed) free people is being threatened by fascists within the gov't/corp, structure.
19 posted on 09/19/2002 1:31:45 PM PDT by american spirit
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: rabidone
Her property is being flooded BY the government in an effort to 'restore' the everglades to a lake which they never were in order to 'save' a bird that isn't really endangered. Her property was fine until the government decided to flood it.
21 posted on 09/19/2002 1:41:12 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: rabidone
It is known as CERP Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program.

It is a program to restore the everglades to GOD knows what. Filling it with water so all of the non native species that have been introduced into the eco system can thrive. Like tilapia, and Oscars native to South America

Maybe they can restore the Grand Canyon and refill it to the plateua it once was before the Colorado River flowed through it.

Better yet maybe we should have Madeline drawn and quartered publically in downtown Miami for having bought property in something other than a smart growth gated urban development community.
22 posted on 09/19/2002 1:52:40 PM PDT by TonyWojo
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To: rabidone
Who the heck are you talking to? I was responding to the initial post.
23 posted on 09/19/2002 1:56:38 PM PDT by american spirit
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To: rabidone
I live in a small community in Southeast Florida, on the eastern edge of Everglades National Park called the 8.5 Square Mile Area. The Army Corps of Engineers has been ordered by Congress to provide my community with a small flood protection canal. Instead of doing this, the Corps has decided to condemn and acquire 2/3 of the community at three times the cost of protecting the entire community.

Rabid One learn to read and comprehend, try doing some research before you make foolish statements.

It is the Army Corp. Of Engineers and the enviroweenies that are picking the pockets of the Tax Payers for their own special interests in this case.

The Glades Restoration has nothing to do with water or restoring the Everglades. It is all about the destruction of rural live styles and the forced incarceration of Floridians in urban hell holes.

You remind me of a sniffling keyboard warrior.

24 posted on 09/19/2002 2:54:28 PM PDT by Fearless Flyers
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To: rabidone; TonyWojo; Black Agnes; Fearless Flyers
Hey Lady- You live in a swamp!!!!!

STFU you silly commie goon druid fraud.

Anyone who bothered to read your posting history wouldn't have bothered to respond to a full blown pinko such as yourself. Leftists are always duplicitous liars, since they can't accomplish anything otherwise.

Normally I'd suggest cutting that forked tongue of yours out and shoving up your anus, but you're so damaged you'd probably like it.

25 posted on 09/19/2002 10:52:58 PM PDT by AAABEST
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To: AAABEST
While I am against any Federal grabbing of private land, I'm always amazed at people who choose to build their homes in a flood plain.
26 posted on 09/20/2002 5:30:46 AM PDT by taxed2death
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To: AAABEST
I am sickened by this type of thing and it really is happening all over. The media just doesn't report it. Our people and their rights don't even matter to our government.
27 posted on 09/20/2002 10:09:04 AM PDT by Red Jones
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To: taxed2death
It wasn't ever a "flood plain", there was no flooding whatsoever. The flooding didn't start until the ACOE and non-governmental environmental real estate barons decided that they wanted the people gone.

Would you mind if I asked where in the world you got the idea that she built a home in a "flood plain".

28 posted on 09/20/2002 10:20:25 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: galt-jw
you nailed it galt-jw;

Young people who've been indoctrinated in public schools and in the universities are so incredibly ignorant. They have no idea what our country was like just 40 years ago. We had far less unemployment. Finding jobs that would support families was easy relative to today. We didn't need two incomes to support a family back then. Housing was very affordable given the paychecks people were making as compared to today. The minimum wage in 1965 was higher than what it is today after adjusting for inflation. Throughout our nation's history we've always had a situation where the average person enjoyed a much higher standard of living than the average person in just about any other nation, including the european nations. Today that is changing. We are becoming like them. Our people are becoming wage slaves on a treadmill where the goal posts keep changing, where government oppresses us and we ask for more oppression every time we vote for either a republican or a democrat. The whole cause for these negative economic trends is that government has attacked industry after industry after industry ever since 1970. The republicans and the democrats are equally to blame. The only president since JFK who reversed the trend was Ronald Reagan. LBJ, Nixon, (Ford's presidency was so brief), Carter and Bush 1 were all very bad for the economy. They did these bad things to please the liberals. If they didn't do these things, then they'd have been attacked like Reagan was. Bush 2 is following his father's footsteps and bashing the americans to please the liberals. Bill Clinton was a liar, a traitor and a crook. But he did not have the same propensity to destroy the economy like the others. Clinton would only destroy an american industry (like he did with the Colorado coal mine) if he could make money at it, he didn't do it out of ideology like the others. The percentage of the GDP that is federal government actually shrank under Clinton. Clinton did not impose a heavy dose of regulatory burden and taxes on the economy like Bush 1, Carter or Nixon did. The economy in fact did prosper under Clinton. The unemployment rate under Clinton almost made it down to what was normal prior to 1970. Forty years ago our unemployment rate was 2.2%. A high school graduate could find a job that would support a family easily. Today that is a pipe dream. And the young people victimized by this situation have been indoctrinated to believe that the americans who lived in 1960 were evil because they lived in 1960 america. If Clinton hadn't been a scoundrel the liberals would've attacked him and then he'd have had to change or be kicked out of office.

Our young people have been mesmerized by the political correctness indoctrination which is communist in nature and our nation is being killed over it.

29 posted on 09/20/2002 10:29:32 AM PDT by Red Jones
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To: AAABEST
Read second paragraph.
30 posted on 09/20/2002 12:20:45 PM PDT by taxed2death
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To: taxed2death
They need a flood protection canal because the ACoE has been flooding them in their effort to 'restore' the Everglades to the lake it never was. In their joyous desire to condemn and 'take' as much property as possible towards the goal of 90% of FL off limits to people, the nice people have blocked the building of this canal that would have protected this area against the actions of the ACoE. Before this 'restoration' project began, there was no need for a flood protection canal. This protection is being denied and used as an excuse to condemn these people's land and make them 'willing sellers'.
31 posted on 09/20/2002 12:26:38 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: taxed2death
Sir, her home was there well before the intentional flooding by the ACOE began. That is, it never was a "flood plain" until they began purposely flooding it. These people were high and dry.

Before they began the useless flooding, they were ordered by congress to provide protection to this community. That was until they decided that following the law was too inconvenient and the multi-billion dollar envirocreep real estate investment orgs decided they wanted dominion over everything.

32 posted on 09/20/2002 1:53:19 PM PDT by AAABEST
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bttt
33 posted on 09/20/2002 2:40:03 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Black Agnes
Thank you for explaining that to me. The article leads one to believe that there was a flooding problem BEFORE the Gub-mint got involved......since is says they came in to build flood control. One might assume there were floods, hence the need for flood control. Interesting mess down there.
34 posted on 09/20/2002 2:52:24 PM PDT by taxed2death
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To: taxed2death
You're welcome :)
35 posted on 09/20/2002 2:55:33 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: taxed2death
Get someone to read the second and third paragraphs and explain them to you.
36 posted on 09/21/2002 2:35:34 PM PDT by RipSawyer
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To: AAABEST
This kind of Ecoterrorism will be attempted all over the country. Groups are active all over the country. Here in Ohio there is a group who’s goal is to restore a good portion of Northern Ohio, some of the best farmland in the US to swampland. I copied a small part of there website below. As you can see they are using the power of the state to assist them. Because they are very active politically they have shaped tax laws to their benefit and are using the tax law to take farmland and idle it in the name of “open spaces and wild life conservation. Remember when you do your Ohio taxes not to check the box marked Donate to Wild Life Conservation.

http://www.wcnet.org/~bsc/

Northwest Ohio was once called the Great Black Swamp. This expanse of wetlands and woodlands stretched from Ft. Wayne, Indiana to Findlay, Ohio. Beneath a dense canopy of oaks lived a rich diversity of plants and animals. When settlers discovered the agricultural value of the soil, they cleared and drained much of the swamp for farming.

What We Do

How we preserve natural spaces:

Advise farmers and landowners regarding the techniques and estate-planning benefits of land preservation.

Act as a permanent guardian for the land's conservation values, backed by the office of the Ohio Secretary of State.

Monitor easements on an annual basis to assure terms of the easement are upheld. Scheduled visits with the landowner for review of the easement.

Educate future landowner(s) of the terms of the easement.

Secure and enforce conservation easements.

Acquiring-through donation or purchase-natural or agricultural land that is left undeveloped.

Work with local and state officials in the coordination of conservation efforts.

Educating the public about the need for and the benefit of land management and preservation.

37 posted on 09/21/2002 4:27:21 PM PDT by Pontiac
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To: Pontiac
Gee, I bet the farmers in that area can't wait for that wonderful "plan" to commence.

There's a convoy leaving from your area. Are you getting involved.

38 posted on 09/21/2002 4:44:59 PM PDT by AAABEST
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To: AAABEST
Virtually all of Florida is so low as to be called a flood plain, by those of us who live in more curvaceous terrain. Agriculture all over the USA is without a doubt THE most government subsidized, socialistic part of our economy. This is probably due to the boom-bust nature of farming....dependence on weather, flood control, large price fluctuations, etc. When it comes to flood control--the government is almost always heavily involved...from the beginning. Parts of Florida would be uninhabitable swamps, but for drainage of those swamps and extensive flood control began generations ago, by of course the government....

I for one am reserving judgment on this one. South Florida, if I'm not mistaken, is the heart of one of the most notorious pork-barrel agriculture supports in the nation, namely the subsidies and protectionism given to sugar-cane plantations. Cane sugar would be something like half the price it is in the stores but for government intervention.

We've only heard one side of this argument....so even though the Army Corps of Engineers is often wrong, I simply cannot take sides.
39 posted on 09/21/2002 4:50:40 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: Pontiac
I really don't hear anything alarming in your post, in quotations from the Ohio site. An easement is a VOLUNTARY contractual restraint on a use of property. It's one of the best private, free-market ways of encouraging particular usage. Historic property for example will sometimes have an easement VOLUNTARILY donated by the PRIVATE OWNER in the deed of the property, that say, the house cannot be torn down or externally remodelled, unless the easement holder (usually a state based historic group) approves. In this way--with NO GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION, certain limits or uses of property can be obtained. This is MUCH less intrusive to freedom than zoning laws for example....where the government uses its big hand to force particular land use....

Easements are VOLUNTARY, by the land owner....and organizations must convince land owners its in their own best self-interest to grant particular easements. The state or private interest groups have no power to demand such easements. Zoning is something much greater to fear, rather than easements.

I used to be a Realtor involved with historic property...so I know what I'm talking about.
40 posted on 09/21/2002 5:05:06 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: AnalogReigns
I really don't hear anything alarming in your post, in quotations from the Ohio site. An easement is a VOLUNTARY contractual restraint on a use of property.

You are of course correct I left out some important details that were also left out by the website and are mostly unknown by the voting Ohio public. In the State of Ohio land taxes are not exceptionally high by national standards but with urban sprawl encroaching on what was once rural farmland what was once cheap farmland is now valuable prime development land. Under the guise of saving open spaces and family farms the laws have been passed that in return for these easements preventing the development of open land tax breaks may be had. Another tool of the Ecoterrorist is purchase agreements in which the aging farmer agrees to a purchase of the farm by the Ecoterrorist group, which allows the farmer to occupy the farm until his/her death on which the Ecoterrorist group takes ownership. The Ecoterrorist are designing legislation (tax and other) to facilitate the confiscation of land at the expense of private ownership. And I believe that it is an end to private ownership of real property that is their true goal.

41 posted on 09/21/2002 5:30:27 PM PDT by Pontiac
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To: AnalogReigns
I simply cannot take sides.

Who cares what side you take? Then sit on the sidelines, watch and be useless. Which is in essence being useful to socialist land barons.

You obviously didn't read more than one sentence in the article. If you did you'd have learned that the ACOE is in direct violation of the law.

You also know not the first thing about CERP, if you think that those who are trying to put a stop to this on on the side of the sugar companies. The sugar companies love CERP, because much of it was designed to allow them to suck even more water out of the sheetflow. Thanks to their millions in campaign contributions.

If you think this has anyting to do with anything but money, power and control you are sadly mistaken. Sadly mistaken or full of it.

Since you "simply cannot take sides" and this is some great moral dilema for you, would you mind telling us what you think the ACOE's and the land snatching eco-conglomerate's side is in all of this?

42 posted on 09/21/2002 5:53:33 PM PDT by AAABEST
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