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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 30, 2005 / 23 Sivan, 5765

Your home can be Pfizer's castle

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Americans who want to keep government out of the bedroom, beware. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that makes it too easy for the government to seize your bedroom — and kitchen, parlor and dining room — then hand your precious home over to a corporation.

The Fifth Amendment stipulates, "... nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Lawyers call it the Takings Clause.

In its decision, the Supreme Court expanded the concept of "public use" to apply it not to a highway, or school, or railroad, but to economic development sanctioned by a government entity.

The city of New London, Conn., found itself in economic doldrums. Redevelopment was supposed to be the bromide. State and local officials created the New London Development Corp. That unelected entity decided to increase tax revenues by pushing middle-class families out of their waterfront homes and using eminent domain — the other E.D. — to make way for a revitalization project, anchored around a Pfizer Inc. research facility.

Some families in the redevelopment area agreed to be bought out. Susette Kelo and Wilhelmina Dery, who was born in her home in 1918, were among those New Londoners who balked.

The city didn't contend there was any blight in the neighborhood to warrant government action. Why should they move out because Pfizer wanted in? In a 5-4 ruling on Kelo written by Justice John Paul Stevens, the Big Bench answered the why question: Because the government says so.

Connecticut law says economic development constitutes "public use." And that's that. If states want to write laws that stipulate otherwise, they can do so. But don't expect America's top court to hold land-use commissions to the same standards they save for police.

As Justice Clarence Thomas quipped in a sharply worded dissent, "Though citizens are safe from the government in their homes, the homes themselves are not."

Another dissenter, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, noted that if governments can kick people out of their homes under the banner of economic development, "the specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."

Thomas noted that when governments seize homes to enrich their own coffers, the poor and the black are likely to lose their homes.

"It's desperately hard to believe that in this country you can lose your home to private developers," New London homeowner Bill Von Winkle told The New York Times after the ruling. "It's basically corporate theft." But it's corporate theft that will enrich New London, so Von Winkle's home could become Pfizer's castle.

The libertarian-learning Institute of Justice, which represented Kelo, Von Winkle and their neighbors, held a press conference Wednesday to announce a new effort to fight back, as it champions the thousands of homeowners it believes are the targets of overreaching eminent domain. The campaign's name: Hands Off My Home.

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Another victim of this government-run-amok trend, Denise Hoagland, who owns a home on the Jersey shore, told reporters: "Our homes are not blighted. This can happen to you." Institute for Justice spokesman John Kramer noted governments' appetite for seizing waterfront homes and figured their philosophy must be, "The poor don't deserve a view."

The Institute for Justice is well aware of the fact that both liberals and conservatives are appalled at the Kelo v. New London ruling. San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi told me he was "fearful of" the ruling, as it may adversely affect "people who are not able to defend themselves." Meanwhile, Thomas' dissenting opinion addresses the inequities of a policy that falls hardest on "the least politically powerful'' — that is, owners of lower-end homes.

Institute for Justice attorney Dana Berliner argued that New London could have had its development project and still accommodated the homeowners.

New London, she noted, "doesn't need these homes." But the New London Development Corp. didn't want these older homes in its tony project. So the homes must go.

On July 5, protesters will ask the New London City Council to spare the homes of Kelo, Dery and their co-litigants. New London should comply. Why? The New London Development Corp. wants to seize these homes for the worst reason of all: because it can.

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© 2005, Creators Syndicate

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