L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 325, June 26, 2005
"We're All Indians, Now"
We're All Indians, Now
Exclusive to TLE
What goes around comes around.
If any of us had an honest grounding in history, we learned that long before any of us were born invaders from the European continent began and pretty much successfully concluded a systematic genocide against the aboriginal natives of the American continents. Despite the fact that we filed the serial numbers off of their own government system and used it as the basis for our own United States, the "Indian savages" weren't exactly treated kindly. Entire tribes were wiped out, memories of those tribes and their leaders occasionally survive today as names of our public schools or a river. Other tribes were forced west by better-armed populations, to be eventually confined in government-established reservations.
But a government promise dies swifter than the waning moon at times, as discoveries of gold, silver, copper, iron, uranium and other resources usually resulted in the appearance of a BIA agent backed by a US Army Cavalry Battalion to shove them away and onto a different piece of ground deemed worthless by those in power, there to start all over, if they could.
On Thursday, by a vote of five to four, the Supreme Soviet of the United States, whom I refer to as "the nine whores in black robes" (an insult to both black robes and honest working girls), has declared every last one of us to be an Indian. By a vote of five to four, one of the more important parts of the 5th amendment has been repealed.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Its simple enough to follow, unless you've been appointed to the Supreme Soviet.
The Supreme Soviet has declared, in effect, that there is no such thing as private property. If someone, government representative or not, desires to take your land and your home and do something with it, it can be done so long as the thief can demonstrate improvement to the public good. Property taxes, effectively rent paid to your local government, were bad enough. Now they've come right out and said that you no longer own your home. If some developer wants to tear up a place you've spent 40 years putting your heart and soul into so he can build a Wal*Mart, you have no defense, no recourse, and no hope. Just like the Indians one or two centuries ago, men with guns will appear to shove you away and onto a different but worthless piece of ground to start over. The rationale may be specious, but you'll be the one holding a cashier's check, trying to find enough refrigerator boxes for you family to spend the night. Why refrigerator boxes? You don't think these thieves will pay fair market value, do you? They will low-ball the initial offer and go crying to their paid-for politicians when you refuse, who will then file the paperwork to take your home for even less.
Make no mistake, with this ruling local government officials have been handed yet another legal protection racket and its open season on the middle class, with no bag limit. Filing a challenge to your property assessment may result in a court order of eminent domain tacked to your front door. If you want to keep your home, your options may boil down to paying the increase, or making a massive contribution to your aldermen in the hopes that they will remember and find someone else's home to steal. Or possibly both. But don't count on it. There are no honest politicians (ones that stay bought) anymore. Your home is now effectively on the block to the highest bidder and I can pretty much guarantee it won't be you. Nor will you be the one reaping the benefits of that highest bid.
One possible unintended consequence of this ill-considered decision may be a decrease in home ownership in favor of renting. Tax breaks and pride-of-ownership fail in the face of an overshadowing government threat to take what is not theirs for the promise of payola. Why bother going through the hassle when some government flunky can take your home on a whim?
The worst part about this is that the ruling is so overbroad that real estate is not the only property at risk. It may be more than PETA or ELF forcing the sale of your hunting lands at a dime on the dollar. Got "too many" guns in the eyes of a superannuated jackass with the title of "Mayor"? Now he might convince a judge to take them for the 'public use' of the police department, leaving a rubber check that might not cover the true value of the firearms. Got an old car, or worse, a classic car the local Bill Gates is drooling over? You may be forced to sell it to the junkyard or the aforementioned BG to "improve air quality", not even receiving so much as the cost of your last repair. Got a power boat the Nature Conservancy doesn't want on 'their' river? Gone. Got a cheap space launch vehicle that doesn't need NASA featherbedding to get into orbit?
You get the picture.
Thomas Jefferson warned against vesting sole authority for interpreting the Constitution in judges. He warned that they would turn into an oligarchy and a tyrannical one at that. Turns out he was more right than we knew.
The Indians fought back, for a time. Sometimes they were effective, sometimes they died. Some are even canny enough to find back doors into the court system today to attempt to right past wrongs over a century old. I wonder if the people in New London and elsewhere are willing to do likewise? As the old song goes, "Freedom's just another word for 'nothing left to lose.'" Kicking people out of their homes like a villain in a bad silent movie is something no decent person should tolerate being done in their name and there should be loud cries of righteous indignation over this ruling. Honest police officers should refuse to carry out orders to remove these people, but I doubt there are any left, at least not in New London.
If the situation were slightly different, I might suggest a real-world reenactment of the Little House On the Prairie finale. Unfortunately that would just make the thieves' jobs easier. Stronger, and more direct, methods are called for, if the state legislatures can not be convinced that this is just plain wrong.
The Liberty Tree is literally starving, and I know where some fertilizer can be found. It's time to go "off the reservation".
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