Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wow...Are People Finally "Getting it"?

The US must be a melting pot – not a salad bowl.
By Lawrence E. Harrison

Vineyard Haven, Mass.

Future generations may look back on Iraq and immigration as the two great disasters of the Bush presidency. Ironically, for a conservative administration, both of these policy initiatives were rooted in a multicultural view of the world.

Friday, February 22, 2008

George Washington's Birthday.

Before the meaningless "president's day" this country used to celebrate Washington's birthday - and unlike "MLK" he was worthy of a national holiday - it was traditionally celebrated with balls and dances. I can remember, in recent memory my grandmother and mother putting silhouettes of GW in the window, and draping flag bunting as one would on the 4th.

It really should make a comeback - often - as the weather is proving today - this is the bleakest time of the year. But perhaps a meaningless government and meaningless 'nation' should have meaningless holidays like politically correct MLK day.

What would the father of our country, who warned us to stay out of foreign affairs, say about neocons?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Is Ratner In Trouble?

If there is a hell, he certainly is, but that's another on earth, rumors fly of the Nets moving the Newark -perhaps the players will be a bit more comfortable playing in an arena where local government takes security a bit more seriously. I sure as hell wouldn't want to be playing basketball in what, if built, will be one of the easiest open terrorist targets in the US.

Perhaps Bruce Ratner & Forest City see the see headlines like this:
Fed Reins in Growth Forecast and are starting to get a little ansy about having a red blot, which isn't going to go away any time soon - on the ledger....

Perhaps they see the collapsing finance market, plummeting revenues and empty condos...perhaps they are beginning to see what opponents have realized for a long time -Atlantic Yards is a very very bad idea.

Ooops. When We Say Freed-dumb for Everyone, we Don't Mean Anyone...

Yet another illustration why our duplicity is so unpopular in the rest of the world.
Washington rejects Palestinian-Kosovo comparison

17 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States on Wednesday rejected comparisons between the Palestinian situation and Kosovo, after a senior Palestinian official called for a Kosovo-like declaration of independence.

Kosovo is a "unique" situation, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. "It is not a precedent for any other situation around the world."

Why the enthusiasm to throw Christian Serbia to the Muslims? It may have something to do with the background of most neoconservatives, whose hatred of East Europeans far exceeds any hatred they have of muslims...well they pretty much hate/fear everyone but that's another story.

Gates of Vienna:
In any case, the Clinton administration started us down the path that led to today’s events. The Bush administration gladly took over the Kosovo project and pursued it vigorously. After 9-11 it was especially important to demonstrate that we weren’t anti-Islam, that we were willing to allow Christians to be ethnically cleansed and killed in order to benefit Muslims.

We’ve got nothing against you, Islam, and Kosovo proves it. So now do you love us? Well, do you?

An independent Kosovo is one of the most grotesquely wrong-headed policies ever pursued by the United States, ranking up there with Jimmy Carter’s love-feast with the Sandinistas in 1979.

Friday, February 15, 2008

On Colonel Napier, Vs. Archibishop Rowan.

Following Customs

Over at Crooked Timber, they don't hyperventilate about the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent controversial statements. The entry is accompanied by (currently) 213 comments, and Crooked Timber's respondents tend to be smart and/or entertaining. The post itself includes this anecdote, which I enjoyed:
In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee"—the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

I also note, Napier was devoutly Christian, even evangelical, if I recall Lawrence Jame's book "Raj" correctly.., so any forgiveness for Rowan's behavior on those religious doesn't cut it. Christianity doesn't mean supine.

The Double Standard, Exposed.

from Vdare:
Why Do Only Whites Lose Jobs Over Racial Remarks?

By Peter Bradley

In his 1993 book Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism, the late Sam Francis wrote, "the practice of ruining a white person once a year in honor of Dr. [Martin Luther] King is becoming a national tradition." Sam, who would soon become one of those ruined white persons, mentioned the well-known cases of Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder and Al Campanis, who lost jobs for their theories about blacks and sports. He also described the 1986 case of a Maryland school teacher who was suspended (though not fired in those lax days) for telling someone in a private conversation (correctly) that King was a communist sympathizer.

The pace of ruining white people for allegedly racist remarks has picked up in the last 15 years - and even in the three years since Sam passed on.

As Don Imus, James Watson, Michael Richards, Dave Seanor (former Golfweek editor) and Kelly Tilghman (Golf Channel anchor) can attest, the practice is now much more common than once a year.

Whites on the hard-right and (especially) the race-realist right have long lost jobs or appointments over their racial views or remarks. A brief list would include Mel Bradford, Sam Francis, Chris Brand, Andrew Fraser, Kevin Lamb and Frank Ellis. Academics such as Michael Levin, Philippe Rushton, and the late Glayde Whitney were harassed for their scholarly work on race but managed to keep their jobs because of tenure....more....
and the "money quote:
Perhaps there will come a day when whites tire of this double standard and start pushing back.

best blog i have read in a long time.

Via Isteve..stuffwhitepeoplelike

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Suit Against New Campaign Finance Law Claims Racial Bias

Suit Against New Campaign Finance Law Claims Racial Bias

Published: February 12, 2008

The real estate industry and lobbyists, who together provide millions in campaign cash for city candidates, are trying to overturn a new law that would vastly reduce how much they can donate.
The 96-page complaint was filed by James Bopp Jr., a lawyer who successfully challenged Vermont’s campaign finance restrictions before the United States Supreme Court in 2006.

In an unusual tack, Mr. Bopp claimed that New York’s limits would make it more difficult for minority candidates to run, because they tend to come from poorer areas where their neighbors cannot contribute, so they must turn to business interests for donations.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Albany Cutting Budget:

From Ratner's Partner:"To keep the budget in balance, the governor is proposing several new spending cuts, including further paring back increases in Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers, and dipping into the state’s environmental protection fund more than had been expected."

Apparently there's still plenty of cash to finance Ratner's boondoggle which will increase health and environmental problems.

Guess this is the 'blight' 'crime' they were talking about.

From Atlantic Yards Report:

MTA cop tries to stop videographer at Atlantic Yards site

Though a good number of photographers regularly shoot around the Atlantic Yards footprint and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Vanderbilt Yard, a video artist/teacher on the first week of her visit to Brooklyn found herself on the wrong side of an MTA police officer Sunday.

He attempted to confiscate her camera, questioned whether she was part of an anti-AY organization, and more than once reminded her that the project was proceeding, according to her account.

Katherin McInnis, who teaches video and photography in San Francisco and is visiting Brooklyn on sabbatical, told me she was hardly traumatized by the encounter, because she knew she had the right to shoot video--and blurry, “arty” video at that--from the Pacific Street sidewalk bordering the Vanderbilt Yard. (On her AV Diary, she posted some stills, some of which are reproduced here.)

In response, photographers met Sunday to take some snaps. I took a few and sauntered off back home.:
NoLandGrab reports:The photographers recounted their own personal stories about being turned away by Ratner rent-a-cops, site foremen, and MTA employees and then spread like the plague to take some pictures.

Funny how the MTA can have two full time $50,000 a year (at least) officers hanging around harassing photographers, but can't hire a $12.00 an hour laborer to pick up the trash from the 'blight'.

What is disturbing about this, and an earlier incident when the son of one of the property owners on the footprint was tossed in jail for removing RATNER's cameras from HIS property, is the MTA seems to be, no, not seems to be, is, acting like they are the personal arm of Forest City Ratner.
Note: In Ratner's "publicly accessible space" this won't even be an issue. Ratner's security will be able to ban who they please, when they please. They won't even need the flimsy 'security' excuses.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tiresome Errol Louis Earns His Paycheck From Mort Zuckerman.

From the Castle Colition blog;:

In which abusers become victims and vice-versa…

Abuse of process. That’s the accusation of the New York Daily News against the property owners in the Atlantic Yards mess:

On Friday, a federal appeals court summarily tossed a wacko attempt to block the state from using eminent domain to buy a handful of privately owned properties on the site. The opponents argued that Ratner had co-opted or corrupted every official who likes the idea of building 2,250 units of affordable housing there, along with a ton of market-rate housing and a home for the Nets.

Such is the nonsense that the opposition, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, has peddled for four years.


Now, the opponents are getting set to appeal again - and appear determined to wait the maximum of nine months before filing papers. This is the height of cynicism. The group is dragging its feet for one reason: to try to delay Atlantic Yards to death.

Every month costs Ratner $12 million, and financing has become increasingly difficult in the subprime mortgage credit crunch. The developer has asked the Appellate Division to force Develop Don’t Destroy to make its case on an expedited basis.

So, in the upside-down world of the editors, you’re “wacko” if you defend your property from being seized for the purpose of private development, any argument made against such a plan is “nonsense,” and, really, the developer, is the victim of abuse here. Hmm…

Moving on to Errol Louis’ column in the same paper:

There’s a real possibility that up to 100 construction and demolition workers could be laid off in the near future, thanks to the delaying tactics being employed by opponents of the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.

It’s enough to make the blood boil.

The fact that real people could lose real jobs moves the proposed $4 billion development beyond an abstract debate over the process by which city and state agencies and businessman Bruce Ratner shaped the project.

One wishes the thought of real people losing real homes and businesses would have caused Mr. Louis’ blood to boil a while back.

I am glad Castle Colition, Atlantic Yards Report, No Land Grab and DDDB did the heavy lifting, there are too many good writers writing to waste time on Louis. I gather Errol Louis is paid not because he's a brilliant thinker (he isn't) but because he's a perfect 'face' for Mort Zuckerman and his friends to push their views, or rather mask their greed as public benevolence. Do we really believe that Louis, or Zuckerman, or, of course, Ratner care about the well being of 100 workers anymore than they do about the homeowners - or the 1500 factory workers that lost their jobs during Ratner's first failed boondoggle - "Metrotech".

The lies no longer shock me, nor the stupidity, nor the muddled, illogical thinking, nor blatant hypocrisy - it's all become par for the course for Ratner's people. What has become disturbing is the extent to which they believe they can lie and get away with it. Its long passed over into hubris, rather than simply mis-report or ignore, the Daily News, and to a lesser extent, the New York Times now celebrate and champion corruption and stamping out our rights.

ps: i recall Louis once claiming that he had free reign to write what he wanted, and that Zuckerman was 'hands off' about the News. Perhaps this laughable fiction is what Louis needs to tell himself to keep out therapy or hitting the bottle. Should he wish to wake up to reality, I suggest he right a column about, oh I don't know, the plight of the Palestinian people, and see how 'hands off' Zuckerman is.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

From The Brussels Journal::

Why Not Send Them to Runnymede?

News that the British Government are going to send two pupils from every six form on a trip to Auschwitz just shows how skewed Britain’s education system has become. Coming fast on the heels of calls to take pride in British history out of the classroom this just shows the government at it's shallow worst.

Again, I must ask....Who, why?

...and the next president will be even worse.

with each administration, individual rights erode- the democrats will be just as bad, under the guise of 'hate speech' - and central authority increases.

Bush: Uniter, Decider, and Now, Interpreter
by William Fisher

When George W. Bush signed the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act into law last week, he again thumbed his nose at Congress by taking a second now-familiar step: he issued a "signing statement" – a declaration that effectively asserts his authority to ignore parts of the law he disagrees with.

His action brought harsh criticism from dozens of legal scholars and advocacy groups who point out that U.S. presidents have the authority under the Constitution to veto or approve acts of Congress – but not to modify them.

Bush's latest signing statement declares his right to ignore sections of the law establishing a commission to investigate U.S. contractor fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan, expanding whistleblower protections, requiring that U.S. intelligence agencies respond to congressional requests for documents, banning funding for permanent bases in Iraq, and prohibiting funding of any actions that exercise U.S. control over Iraq's oil revenues.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Making Friends Across the Globe

Shaya Boymelgreen seems to always be connected with low-lifes, in Brooklyn with Ratner and in Isarel with Leviev. ...perhaps because he's a low-life himself....

Shaya Boymelgreen and Lev Leviev:
destroying communities and violating laws in Palestine and New York City.


Israeli American real estate developer Shaya Boymelgreen and Israeli businessman Lev Leviev are building destructive projects in New York City and in the Occupied West Bank in Palestine. Leviev and Boymelgreen are building strategic settlements in the Occupied West Bank which violate international law and aim to ensure Israeli control over key areas in the West Bank, rendering peace between Israelis and Palestinians impossible. In Palestine and in New York City they are committing similar abuses: expelling low-income, local residents from their communities, violating laws, and exploiting laborers.

I don't know if Bruce Ratner is engaging in the same bi-continental bad behavior, but it makes me wonder about a post I read earlier today:

Theories about conspiracies theories

DDDB On The Daily New's Editorial

Abuse of Reality by Daily News Editorial Board

From Atlantic Yards Report:
Daily News's "Abuse of process" editorial an abuse of facts
An editorial in today's Daily News about Atlantic Yards, headlined Abuse of process, deserves a close look because of the numerous errors.

Norman Oder goes on to actually discuss claims made in the legal briefs rather than claims made in Forest City Ratner press releases. Continue reading...

The Daily News has an editorial today which is so ironic, starting with its headline, and so rife with fabrications, exaggerations, and nonsense that we have to respond here (there is at least one example per paragraph). Note that the editorial, as editorials are, is unfortunately an anonymous voice, so our response is to the whole board-- though there is a question we have for the paper's publisher, developer Mort Zuckerman: How many legal suits have you filed in your lifetime?

Mort Zuckerman, an aggressive, expansionist zionist, who has defended all of Israel's land grabs in his papers, seems to have difficulty discerning between what he and his friends want and what others own. So it's no surprise that he goes to bat for his buddy, Bruce Ratner.

Naturally, as DDDB points out, the lie of the editorial is an outrageous, big lie - private homeowners defending Ratner's boondoggle is indicator of a 'flawed' system. Not the MTA rigged bid, not the rigged EIS, but middle class property owners defending their homes is some sort of 'threat'. Perhaps Ratner, Zuckerman and their lackies (oh yes, I am thinking of meaner words as I type) think so, but if anything it represents just how out of touch they are with reality- and just how corrupt and self serving our elite have become.

DDDB's paragraph by paragraph analysis of this flawed, silly article here.

Multiculturalists/Globalists Openly Ignore the Law...

the latest? polygamy:
LONDON: The Gordon Brown government has reportedly cleared a proposal that will allow husbands with multiple wives to claim extra welfare benefits.

According to the Sunday Telegraph , bigamy is regarded as a crime in Britain and is punishable by up to seven years in prison, but this decision allows for recognition of polygamous marriages so long as such weddings take place in countries where it is legal.

Why would they do this? This ruling will cost British taxpayers millions of pounds, so tax revenue is no longer the answer. It will help enforce a culture and peoples where women have second class status so equality is no longer answer. Do our elite simply hate us that much? Who, why?

Diversity Is Kenya's Strength.

Another diversity + democracy success story:

Kenya violence: 'We waited, now we'll chop them to bits'

THE tragedy of Kenya’s violence was etched on the face of James Kamau, a softly spoken 43-year-old biology teacher, as he steeled himself to search Nakuru city mortuary for his murdered brother-in-law this weekend.

“We are glimpsing an enormity of evil in Kenya larger than any of us imagined,” he said. “Look how they have destroyed our people.
Immediately after the re-election of Kibaki, the violence was directed against his tribe, the Kikuyu, whose political and economic domination of Kenya since independence in 1963 has exposed them to widespread resentment. But in the past week Kikuyus have hit back at Luos, Luhyas, Kalenjin and other tribes supporting Odinga, who is himself a Luo.

Good thing we're considering electing a Luo for president. He'll no doubt be fair and disinterested in Kenya....and non interventionist....his biography makes it clear he doesn't like white people very much (i wonder if the cheering, glassy eyed whites I saw outside Brooklyn Tech today, holding up "OBAMA 2008" signs realize this), and he belongs to a black nationalist church (another glaring hypocrisy ignored by main stream media) so I don't doubt he'll look after his own at the expense of others.

Say Goodbye To Hollywood?

From Borjos Blog:

Say Goodbye To Hollywood?

Marc Andreessen has written the most insightful analysis of the writers' strike that I've seen. It's a must read. He argues that the big studios are in a suicidal battle and that a new Hollywood will likely be reborn, along the lines of Silicon Valley, where writers and actors own the content and distribute it widely and freely over the Internet.

Here is one key passage that neatly summarizes the short-run economic issue that triggered the strike:

Due to amazing historical circumstances around the birth of the VCR in the early 1980's, television and movie writers are currently paid approximately 4 cents for each DVD sold -- bearing in mind that the average sale price for a DVD is over $10, and the cost of manufacturing a DVD is less than 50 cents. The writers want that residual rate doubled to 8 cents per DVD, and the studios are refusing.

Currently, writers are not paid for Internet downloads via online video stores like iTunes and Amazon Unbox. The studios want to extend the current 4-cent DVD residual formula to Internet downloads; the writers are holding out for more.

As always, there is a Law of Unintended Consequences: the strike is keeping writers away from the keyboard and preventing them from writing yet more stuff that's guaranteed to keep moviegoers away from the theaters.

The Archaeology of Globalism

Great article on the "new religion" of globalism:
The Archaeology of GlobalismWherever we turn, we hear of globalization. Former Ambassador Robert Strauss recently donated $7.5 million for a globalism research center at the University of Texas. Rich Lowry, in "Global Capitalism Saves Children," implores, "let’s save the world – help it grow." And Thomas L. Friedman, in The Lexus and the Olive Tree, writes that this great panacea "increases the incentives for not making war and increases the costs of going to war in more ways than in any previous era in modern history.’’ Neoconservatives and neoliberals alike warn us that if we turn our backs on the great project, we are doomed. Or worse, we are evil, as charged former World Trade Organization Director-General Mike Moore:

There is also a darker side to the backlash against globalization. For some, the attacks on economic openness are part of a broader assault on internationalism - on foreigners, immigration, a more pluralistic and integrated world.

But what is this new religion of globalism? It has become such a pervasive ideology that no single camp exists. Almost all elitists seem to buy into it – whether one is a neoconservative supporting war, a Wall Street investor backing free trade or a Hollywood liberal adopting God knows how many children from around the world – although they disagree on some points. Ad minimum, globalism presupposes international integration. Thus, we infer three basic tenets of globalism: (1) interventionist foreign policies, (2) free trade and (3) mass immigration (illegal or legal).

Regarding the first point, not everyone in the world (e.g. conservative Muslims) wants to be integrated into an internationalist order. But whereas a George Washington or Edmund Burke would let them go their own way, the globalist feels the imperative to assimilate them, thus sensationalizing a charge (e.g. supporting terrorism, ethnic nationalism or hating freedom) as a pretext for intervention, which usually begins with global sanction and often ends in invasion. Although globalists may disagree on the target region (Serbia, Iraq or Darfur) or what type of punishments must be meted out (a harsh scolding, sanctions or invasion), they all agree it is our business to intervene in the internal affairs of sovereign nations.

Burke & Washington, are no doubt, anti-semitic Racists for not wanting to bomb the @$%# out of Iran, and open our borders to all who would come (no doubt why Neocons agree with liberals in marginalizing the past (except WWII) and vilifying the founding fathers). The stupidity of this ideology never ceases to amaze me, nor its impracticality, but then again, Neocons, usually from urban backgrounds and cultures who had no relationship with nature, probably doe not have the mental capacity to even conceptualize what a United State with a half billion people would be like.

Mad World of Globalists: Imans Get Swedish Taxpayer Funding:

Over the weekend Dymphna wrote about the British government’s announcement that it is willing to pay Muslim men for their extra wives. And now the Swedes are going to use taxpayer funds to pay for the training the country’s imams:

Swedish state to train imams

The Swedish government is to set up an inquiry to look into the possibility of using state funds to provide training programmes for imams.

Muslim religious representatives should be able to benefit from Swedish tax kronor in the same way as Christian priests and ministers, according to Minster for Higher Education and Research Lars Leijonborg.

The former Liberal Party leader also believes that the move will help stem the development of radical Islam in Sweden.

And, of course, Christian ministers are jailed for calling homosexuality immoral and the swedish national flag is banned from many schools.

Monday, February 4, 2008

an unserious people in a serious time.

From Pat Buchanan:
It was to be the year of change, of new ideas, a new politics.

Yet, as of today, it appears the Republican Party will be led into the future by a Beltway favorite of the media and Washington insider who has spent the last quarter of a century on Capitol Hill.

And the Democratic Party appears about to build a bridge to the past by nominating the spouse of the last Democratic president who has herself been a Washington insider for almost 20 years.

With two-thirds of the nation saying the country is on the wrong course, the two parties are offering candidates both of whom played major roles in setting that course. And neither probable nominee has advanced ideas to deal with the crises America faces, nor even shown any great awareness that the country is in crisis.

The first crisis is fiscal, with the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs about to break the bank as the baby boomers reach early retirement. Add the other entitlement programs, defense and interest on the debt, and this consumes perhaps 90 percent of the budget.

No one is proposing cuts in any major component of the budget. Indeed, Mrs. Clinton is promising universal health care and McCain is promising an expansion of the military. Both favor a stimulus package of roughly $150 billion. As our savings rate is about zero, where are we going to borrow the money for all this?.....

Invade the World, Invite the World -McCain - the Ultimate Neocon

The Madness of John McCain

A militarist suffering from acute narcissism and armed with the Bush Doctrine is not fit to be commander in chief.

by Justin Raimondo

John McCain’s reputation as a maverick is no recent contrivance. The senator first captured the media spotlight in September 1983, not long after he’d been elected to his first term in the House, when he voted against President Reagan’s decision to put American troops in Lebanon as part of a multinational “peacekeeping” force. One of 27 Republicans to break with the White House, the freshman McCain made a floor speech that reads as if it might have been written yesterday—by Ron Paul:

The fundamental question is: What is the United States’ interest in Lebanon? It is said we are there to keep the peace. I ask, what peace? It is said we are there to aid the government. I ask, what government? It is said we are there to stabilize the region. I ask, how can the U.S. presence stabilize the region?... The longer we stay in Lebanon, the harder it will be for us to leave. We will be trapped by the case we make for having our troops there in the first place.

What can we expect if we withdraw from Lebanon? The same as will happen if we stay. I acknowledge that the level of fighting will increase if we leave. I regretfully acknowledge that many innocent civilians will be hurt. But I firmly believe this will happen in any event.

Now insert “Iraq” where McCain said “Lebanon.” It’s as if McCain the Younger foresaw our present predicament and taunted his future incarnation, showing that wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age.

The media is strongly behind McCain (the New York Times endorsed him) voters are misled by his outright lying about cracking down on illegal immigrants - apparently they have already forgotten that he co-authored the amnesty bill with Kennedy. While the New York Times and other mainstream media is busy spreading lies about Ron Paul and meticulously going over his news letters from 20 years ago, they ignore the pluthra of scandals McCain has been involved in, and take his word and statements at face value, while ridiculing or obscuring Pauls.

The media has become the conduit that people learn about the candidates and they are outright lying and tipping the scales in favor of candidates who will carry out personal agendas.

If the election comes down to Hillary and McCain, buy a gun you'll need it in few years.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Will the State Really Use Emient Domain?

If this decision fails appeal...will the state actually seize the properties in question? The court indicated that the Atlantic Yards "deal" does have the odor of corruption and impropriety. Knowing this, will the state still proceed? If the actions of the ESDC are any indication -vigorously defending the deal in court, then we can guess, yes. But with the new financial and credit realities emerging everyday, this further tarnishing of the ESDC and Spitzer's already tarnished administration nay not be a wise idea, and might serve no purpose but to add another negative mark to Spitzer's report card. In short, Atlantic Yards has never a good investment for the state to make in both financial and moral capital, but with the credit and real estate markets in their current state, it may not be worth it.

Lowering the Bar (even more) For Developers.

No land Grab posts an excerpt from the Castlecolition article about the Goldstien vs. Pataki decision:

2nd Circuit dismisses Atlantic Yards Suit

CastleWatch Daily

The main argument lawyers for the property owners tried to make was that the main purpose of the Atlantic Yards project was to benefit a private party, that is, the development company Forest City Ratner, and that benefits to the public, like new park space, some affordable housing and improvements to the transit system were pretextual.

For those who don’t wish to read through the opinion, the court basically admits that the mere presence of a small public benefit is sufficient to disprove the pretextual taking. They admit that the properties in question aren’t blighted, that the development plan was concocted by Bruce Ratner and that there might have been some “irregularities” along the way that might indicate that there was some collusion between Ratner and local officials, but nevertheless, there is a whole 5% percent going to affordable housing, while the rest will be luxury condos, and a stadium, by definition, is a public benefit, even if Ratner has a 100 lease for $1 and will profit from events held there. In the end, the court would rather defer to the state legislature than possibly examine the sentence in Kelo majority that states a city wouldn’t “be allowed to take property under the mere pretext of a public purpose when its actual purpose was to bestow a private benefit.”


Posted by amy at February 3, 2008 10:49 AM | Permalink

With Kelo, the Supreme court expanded the definition of public benefit. With this decision the pretext of benefit is all that is necessary. As those of who have been following this boondoggle know, Ratner doesn't even have to provide the affordable housing.

Developers like Ratner, who get away with whatever they can- can now start to use this precedent they same way they abused affordable housing set asides and tax breaks. The court has given them the message that they don't have to provide real benefit they just have look like they are trying.

Companies like Forest City, whose bottom line is the bottom line and nothing else, will do just that, and nothing else; If the law requires only a pretext, then it would be foolish to waste money on actually providing anything. Atlantic Yards creates overcrowded schools? Use eminent domain to build a school. But of course the 'school' will be a few rooms crammed into a megadevelopment high rise that, since it is a 'public school' will be allowed to override historic district and zoning laws 'for the public good'. Not enough park space for the thousands of new residents? Seize a megablock of brownstones from 'selfish' 'nimbies', cram a "publicly accessible" tennis court on the rooftop of 50 story development.

Is this a fantasy? There is considerable evidence that Bruce Ranter tried to kick out Brooklyn Tech school students, steal the building, cram them into one of his poorly built, empty metrotech buildings. He was then going to convert the building to condos, and possible raze it, even thought its in the middle of an historic district, it is a public school building, which is not subject to historic district limitations. Yes, he is that ruthless and that greedy and that corrupt.

It's difficult to imagine the founding fathers, always miserly about giving the government power, envisioned this, its even more difficult to imagine that the 'justices' really believe this is 'justice'. It sure as hell is not the sort thing that happens in a healthy republic.

Welcome to New York,

Where your second amendment rights are ignored, and the Fifth Amendment is so broadly defined, that property rights de facto do not exist. So why are we pouring billions into Iraq trying to impose our peculiar version of 'freedom'?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Interesting Tidbit about the Decision:

From Atlantic Yards Report:
Judicial deference to elected officials

The court concluded the 24-page opinion: This case has been very well litigated on both sides. At the end of the day, we are left with the distinct impression that the lawsuit is animated by concerns about the wisdom of the Atlantic Yards Project and its effect on the community. While we can well understand why the affected property owners would take this opportunity to air their complaints, such matters of policy are the province of the elected branches, not this Court.

Wow, since when did judges, which ordered busing, raising taxes, race quotas, told the Massachusetts legislature it had to institute gay marriage, and constantly nullifies local edicts that crack down on illegal immigration, and in fact expanded politician's 'right' to steal private property from citizens -thus further curtailing citizen's property rights - which led to this mess in the first place.....all the sudden respect the line between the judicial and legislative branches? Oh, when it involves corrupt politicians, back room deals and turning over private property from middle class homeowners to a greedy billionaire developer. Yeah, God forbid they might want to send a message to politicians that they could not get away with shady back room deals and abusing public trust.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Failed System, Failed Elite

link: Statement on Eminent Domain Decision

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2008

Circuit Court Rules Against Homeowners, Business Owners and Tenants in Atlantic Yards Eminent Domain Appeal

Plaintiffs Intend to Ask US Supreme Court to Hear Their Case

Plaintiffs Will Seek All Legal Remedies to Protect Their Homes and Businesses From Seizure by New York State

New York, NY— The Second Circuit Court today ruled against 14 homeowners, business owners and tenants in their appeal of their lawsuit alleging that New York State's use of eminent domain to take their properties for Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project violates the United States Constitution.

The state, courts, judges and politicians have shown they have no interest anything but fulfilling the voracious greed of Bruce Ratner. No sensible person could believe the pretense of public benefit but the judges would like us to do just that.

With this ruling, our elite have tipped the scales on an already tottering system, which is now going into overdrive to wipe out the middle class, transfer power, money and property to an already powerful super-elite.

Though this is black day, and times will become blacker still it is the begining of the end of Ratner and his ilk. No society can survive when custodians abuse the trust bestowed on them.