The last great domain of the average man taken away by the Supreme Court.
Joran Van Der Sloot's father arrested!
Three boys missing in New Jersey.
We end the week with this gossip/speculation/rumination.
Cruise and Shields go at it again. Oh...and about that "engagement"..
Also, life after American Idol.
And what has the ladies on The View all atwitter?
It's the weekly Delaware post.
We have mobile home owners with no land to live.
A "reduction" in the gross receipts tax.
It's time for the pic of the week.
We have a cow.
Sporting the latest rage.
Might affect our milk supply, who knows?
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Daily Update Below.
Click on the 6.05 archives on the sidebar to review the rest of June's Blog posts.
The Supremes Strike Down Property Rights
It's a thorny issue.
And it isn't as if this country hasn't dealt with the various issues of private property ownership rights before. During the railroad golden age, the issue of individual property rights had been endlessly debated.
The rise of "eminent domain" came to be and this was accepted with a shrug of equanimity by the public.
It's not that property owners would not be, under eminent domain or the new law of the land courtesy of the Supreme Court yesterday (6/23/05), would not be reimbursed for the fair value of their property should the property be land better used for social good. Such as for public schools. Or railroad tracks.
Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling, based on a 5-4 vote as they all are of late, has deemed that property can also be seized for private economic development, ie: the "public good".
It's just that private property owners on land deemed better suited for economic development can't demand ridiculous prices for their property beyond fair market. A tactic many private property owners used to deny developers use of their land for that next super-duper shopping mall.
Developers had no right to the rule of eminent domain as then defined. They either had to pay the asking price or walk away.
Now the government can broaden eminent domain classification to include private property better suited to economic development.
It's still a dangerous game.
Though there are several considerations for rumination before dismissing the notion out of hand.
If the only thing preventing a big manufacturer from building a plant that would employ thousands is the owner of a small townhouse who refuses to sell, then the local politicos, including the citizens, might favor classifying the home as eligible for sale under the new rule favoring economic development over the rights of the town home property owner.
But suppose my small community, located in fact not far from a bubbling tourist area, was determined to be the perfect place for a happening shopping center in sales-tax free Delaware. And suppose the local elected official responsible for such decisions receives a nice donation from the shopping center developer to his/her political PAC?
It's no great stretch to see how such a scenario could result in almost totalitarian tactics against an honest, peaceful property owner.
Another conundrum for this country is, hey, the times change. Where a once handsome home sat majestically on a large plot of land becomes a ramshackle eyesore in what has become a busy metropolitan area.
Allowing individual property owners to tie up the change that is so often necessary for our growth as a city, state and nation, for reasons nonsensical (remembering money is not necessarily an issue here), might be considered allowing individual freedom to go a bit too far.
If I could believe our politicians, even if just a majority of them, were decent, honest and genuinely looking out for the greater good, I might be more acquiescing to this notion.
As is the nature of the beast, a politician wants to get elected.
There's the priority and it's not at all congruent with this notion of a "greater public good".
WASHINGTON (AP) -- -- The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private economic development.
It was a decision fraught with huge implications for a country with many areas, particularly the rapidly growing urban and suburban areas, facing countervailing pressures of development and property ownership rights.
The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.
More information available at CORNELL.EDU
Paulus Van Der Sloot Arrested
The more interesting development here is not that Joran Van Der Sloot's father was arrested. It's how it came to happen.
Joran is the 17 year old male most under the cloud of suspicion in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba in late May.
For I've read the eloquence of the pundits who marvel at ability of the Aruban police to keep investigations totally veiled from the press.
"In America," the pundits might scream, "the press demands access to a sensitive investigation and the police bow to their wishes. Arubans have it right."
Indeed all across the United States local police departments hold regular press conferences about crimes then being investigated. Something they are not obligated to do. And while there are FOIA items that must be released upon demand, the investigators do have a strong hand in determining when such information is released.
While the Arubans, God Bless Them, give the press the Dutch finger and refuse to talk to the press/public at all.
On the surface it seems noble enough.
Except that little bugaboo of human nature. And how it popped its head during this Holloway investigation, rearing up to smack the Aruban closed investigation techniques to mockery.
Because no law in no land can effectively stop people from talking. When a heinous and strange crime is upon, people talk. They want to know. They discuss events under the hairdryers and they expect the news shows to deliver them more information.
It was Greta Van Sustern who caught a plane to Aruba and has been there all this past week.
Turns out the Aruban players in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway wanted to talk as well.
The investigation be damned, the characters in this international mystery have stepped up to the podium and said their piece.
Throwing any eventual prosecution of this case into sheer chaos.
It would have been far wiser for those Aruban yahoos to craft carefully worded press releases, to hold regular and tight news conferences, to appoint one spokesperson and tell that spokesperson exactly what to say.
Remember this next time the pundits beat their breast and proclaim the Americans have it all wrong.
For it is the press and the public's curiosity that has propelled the direction of that investigation instead of the other way around.
If the Aruban investigators had taken complete control of this case, if they had a prosecutor dealing with the victims' family, if they had held press conferences releasing only what investigators want released, they would have had more control over the suspects. As it is the Van Der Sloots finally relented to an interview by the press. Something no American lawyer would ever have allowed them to do under the same circumstances. Not to mention that the Van Der Sloots told tales of investigator mistreatment of their son, Joran, to which they have no platform for rebuttal.
Human beings, no matter if American or Aruban, like to talk, indeed some may call it gossip. It's not going to stop no matter how it might be condemned.
All of the players in that Aruban saga had no coordination, no guidance, no idea what was allowed and what was not.
So they stepped up to the plate and goodness now I can't imagine the chore an Aruban prosecutor is going to have sorting it all out.
It's no coincidence that Paulus Van Der Sloot was arrested the day after his interview with Greta. He likely said something during that interview that he hadn't said during his interview with the police.
The Aruban/Dutch investigators simply have no control over anything in this investigation.
And casting aspersions on America's methods isn't making things any better.
This post is also available at Blogger News Network.
Missing New Jersey Boys
This just passing by the radar. Three young boys are missing in New Jersey. There's little available on it even across the mighty Internet but yon Grandmother Blogger snooped out some info.
The boys have been missing since Wednesday night and have been seen playing by a New Jersey river.
From the NJ Courier Post Online:
By THOMAS J. WALSH
and TOM LOUNSBERRY
Nearly 140 police officers, cadets and firefighters have joined the search for three boys who were last seen playing outside a home Wednesday night.
The search is stretching across the city's Cramer Hill neighborhood from the Delaware River out to River Road, as well as into Pennsauken near Petty's Island.
A Cherry Hill police dog was tracking one of the boys' scents near the Delaware River by Farragut Avenue, authorities said at a noon media briefing.
Police identified the boys as Jesstin Pagan, 5; Daniel Agosto, 6; and Anibal Cruz, 11. Family members last saw them around 5:15 p.m. playing outside Cruz's home in the 900 block of Bergen Avenue.
"I turned my back for two seconds and they were gone," said Jessica Pagan, Jesstin's mother, who brought her son from their home in nearby Mount Ephraim to the city to visit friends.
TV Events of Note
Bill Clinton Speaks
Tom Brokaw looks at the U.S. war on terror; CIA Director Porter Goss; President Bill Clinton discusses relief efforts in South Asia after the tsunami disaster.