Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sauce for the gander?


It's top-notch guerilla theatre: Logan Darrow Clements of Freestar Media, LLC, wants to use eminent domain to confiscate Supreme Court Justice David Souter's home and develop a hotel/museum complex.

Souter, who voted with the majority in the court's Kelo v. New London ruling certainly would have no grounds for complaint ... the ruling holds that if a city governent stealing someone's home and turning it over to private developers would result in greater tax revenues, it's acceptable. Clement's tourist attraction would easily pass that test.

Clements proposes to build the "Lost Liberty Hotel," with an attached museum that would focus on the loss of American liberty characterized by things like the Kelo ruling. That connection, of course, establishes why Souter's home, in particular, is a good development plot -- it's real estate that's connected to the topic. The seizure story alone would enhance its value in that respect.

Here's where I'm going to get all contrarian, though. Guerilla theatre? Sure -- let's do it. Raise some awareness, sell some t-shirts for whatever worthy project, make the point.

But where the rubber meets the road it's important to establish that while Souter, as a Supreme Court justice, may not respect the property rights of Americans, libertarians do -- even if the American happens to be David Souter.

Hopefully, Clements will manage to get his proposal in front of the Weare, New Hampshire board of selectmen ... and then take advantage of his bully pulpit to argue against that proposal and for a commitment from the city to never, ever use eminent domain as corporate welfare.

Because, you see, we are not like them.

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