I am in receipt of your favor of the 24th instant, conveying the gratifying intelligence that I have been made an honorary member of the Free Trade Club of Concord, Massachusetts, and I desire to express to the club, through you, my grateful sense of the high compliment thus paid me. It does look as if Massachusetts were in a fair way to embarrass me with kindnesses this year. In the first place, a Massachusetts judge has just decided in open court that a Boston publisher may sell, not only his own property in a free and unfettered way, but also may as freely sell property which does not belong to him but to me; property which he has not bought and which I have not sold. Under this ruling I am now advertising that judge's homestead for sale, and, if I make a good a sum out of it as I expect, I shall go on and sell out the rest of his property.
"Though the city could not take petitioners' land simply to confer a private benefit on a particular private party, see, e.g., Midkiff, 467 U. S., at 245, the takings at issue here would be executed pursuant to a carefully considered development plan, which was not adopted "to benefit a particular class of identifiable individuals," ibid. Moreover, while the city is not planning to open the condemned land--at least not in its entirety--to use by the general public, this "Court long ago rejected any literal requirement that condemned property be put into use for the ... public." Id., at 244. Rather, it has embraced the broader and more natural interpretation of public use as "public purpose."
"...the Court today significantly expands the meaning of public use. It holds that the sovereign may take private property currently put to ordinary private use, and give it over for new, ordinary private use, so long as the new use is predicted to generate some secondary benefit for the public--such as increased tax revenue, more jobs, maybe even aesthetic pleasure."This means, she said, that there is now no constraint on the eminent domain power.
"The Constitution's text, in short, suggests that the Takings Clause authorizes the taking of property only if the public has a right to employ it, not if the public realizes any conceivable benefit from the taking."
...The Takings Clause is a prohibition, not a grant of power: The Constitution does not expressly grant the Federal Government the power to take property for any public purpose whatsoever. Instead, the Government may take property only when necessary and proper to the exercise of an expressly enumerated power.
"Thus, the importance of the war in Iraq for keeping terrorists at bay from the centers of civilization. The BBC broadcast piece shows how the “flypaper strategy” for attracting terrorists to Iraq is working. Instead of subverting European countries or attacking America, potentially at the cost of thousands of civilian casualties as we've seen before, jihadists are flocking to Iraq, where our military can kill them in detail.
It's also worth observing how the suicide bombers we hear about every day in the news from Iraq are actually arriving from abroad. From the reports I've seen, essentially none of the fanatics willing to blow themselves up taking many Iraqis along with them are Iraqis themselves. So much for the idea that it's primarily the Iraqis who hate Americans and the Coalition and want us out; rather it's radical Islamofascist foreigners from around the world who are desperate to prevent Iraqis from taking destiny in their own hands to establish a modern, decent democratic society in the heart of the Muslim world."
I was both amused and anchored by Justice Stevens's paean to the democratic process as the appropriate avenue of relief for advocates of medical marijuana at the end of his opinion. Every Justice who joined Stevens's opinion voted to prohibit states from regulating homosexual sex in Lawrence [which created a fundamental right to engage in homosexual sodomy] and (if they were on the Court at the time) voted to limit the government's power to regulate abortion in Casey [which reaffirmed Roe v. Wade]. Why was the democratic process not the appropriate avenue of relief for the victims of overzealous government regulation in those cases? It seems we do to some extent live under a system where the personal preferences of the Justices, having nothing to do with the history, text, or logic of the Constitution, dictate when the Supreme Court will or will not intervene to overturn particular regulations.It appears for the time being that what appeared to be a states' rights revolution in the 1990s has fizzled out. Any further progress toward restoring proper controls on government will depend on future appointments to the Court.
The Sox' favor of the small ball approach has garnered widespread acclaim precisely because many in the press despise the challenge to their hegemony and ritualistic clichés that the sabermetric, OPS-oriented approach has encouraged, as covered previously in this space at length. There's no end to belittling the sabermetric fans as computer nerds who can't possibly appreciate the true spirit of baseball, as though understanding statistics and loving the sport were mutually exclusive (Buzz Bissinger said as much in his new book Three Nights In August, a splenetic and thinly veiled response to Michael Lewis' 2003 bestseller Moneyball). The Sox are becoming poster children in this increasingly absurd drama. The actual reasons for their success are secondary to this story.In the interest of full disclosure, I care nothing for this controversy. I only mention it because I am amused that the kingdom of sports coverage is just as prone to promote its own pet issues--or for that matter, to stroke their own sense of self-importance and superiority--as are media elites covering more mundane events.
Over the last few decades, American liberals have lauded the German model or the Swedish model or the European model. But these models are not flexible enough for the modern world. They encourage people to cling fiercely to entitlements their nation cannot afford. And far from breeding a confident, progressive outlook, they breed a reactionary fear of the future that comes in left- and right-wing varieties - a defensiveness, a tendency to lash out ferociously at anybody who proposes fundamental reform or at any group, like immigrants, that alters the fabric of life.Hmm. Makes me wonder if the West may be growing more amenable to suggested reforms of the modern welfare state. At home, the success of reform rests with the majority party, if they will just have the cajones to get something done.
This is the chief problem with the welfare state, which has nothing to do with the success or efficiency of any individual program. The liberal project of the postwar era has bred a stultifying conservatism, a fear of dynamic flexibility, a greater concern for guarding what exists than for creating what doesn't.