Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pondering In Texas About No Condemnation Without Representation No Eminent Domain For Private Gain

I'd been stuck at the computer til 2, or thereabouts. I had need to do some pondering. Pondering works best, for me, while wandering. So, I wandered around Village Creek Natural Historic Area, while I pondered.

What has me pondering is all the eminent domain abuse taking place in Texas. Well, actually an element of the abuse, which only recently was pointed out to me.

I was barely moved to Texas when I was shocked by my first exposure to eminent domain abuse, that being the taking of Hurst citizen's homes so the Northeast Mall could expand its parking lot.

The next abuse of eminent domain happened in Fort Worth when hundreds of low income citizens were booted out of the Ripley Arnold apartments so that Radio Shack could build a new corporate headquarters it could not afford and which is now a branch of Tarrant County Community College.

Next up was the dislocation of over 1,000 people, the taking of dozens of homes, apartment complexes and businesses, so Jerry Jones could build a new football stadium in Arlington. At least out of that worst case of eminent domain abuse in American history the mayor of Arlington, Chuck Cluck, wised up and said there'd be no more use of eminent domain, by the city, in cahoots with Jones.

And then it's back to Fort Worth, where eminent domain is being abused to take homes, businesses and land for something that goes by various names, Trinity River Vision, Trinity Uptown Project, or Fort Worth's Biggest Boondoggle. This use of eminent domain for a project ostensibly for the greater public good, has not been voted on by the public.

And then we stay in Fort Worth for what I think is the worst abuse of eminent domain yet. The scale may be smaller, but the abuse is greater. Courtesy of Chesapeake Energy and the City of Fort Worth.

The Steve Doeung & Carter Avenue versus Chesapeake Energy and Fort Worth case.

This is the one that has me pondering.

Chesapeake Energy has evoked eminent domain to take Steve Doeung's home. Steve decided to fight this in court. As is his right.

So, how is it right that a private company, like Chesapeake Energy, can put a private citizen, like Steve Doeung, in harm's way, via the installation of a non-odorized natural gas pipeline under his land, using the legal system to do so?

A citizen is thus forced into the position of having to defend himself, from this assault on his right to peace in his own home. And this defense is at his expense. How is that right? It is as if you are being metaphorically raped, by the very government that is supposed to protect you, and while you are being metaphorically raped you can not get any legal help to stop the metaphorical rape.

I would think it only common sense that if a private company wants to put a private citizen in harm's way, via the use of eminent domain to take their property, well that private company should have to provide funds so that the victim of their metaphorical rape at least has a fighting chance.

I don't know, for example, Chesapeake Energy files whatever legal documents they file to initiate eminent domain. As part of that filing Chesapeake puts up a bond of some amount sufficient to cover the legal help for the victim they are metaphorically raping.

I can not imagine how violated I would feel, suddenly having my home under assault by a corrupted city and a company the city is in cahoots with. And then to find that there is no mechanism in place to balance the playing field, to make it fair, to make certain the little guy does not get squashed by the big evil guy.

Just a couple days ago, or was it just yesterday, someone added a famous quote to a comment. The famous quote that goes something like "All it takes for Evil to prevail in the world, is for the Good people to do nothing."

I'm getting the sense that there is a rapidly increasing number of good people in the Fort Worth zone who are soon going to be prevailing against the evil in our midst. I'm often very intuitive about matters like this.


Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

I've recently heard from an Anadarko employee that Chesapeake Energy is hurting for money...hurting so bad in fact that they like their mafia like counterparts could be filing bankruptcy...another government welfare protection for big business.

I've also heard that certain promises were made to Chesapeake...promises like there would be no resistance from the residents of Fort Worth. I suppose the "powers that be" were mistaken.

Durango said...

I was told Chesapeake had to borrow $4 billion to stay afloat. I have no idea if this is true or how such a loan would come to be made to a sinking company.

Anonymous said...

Come on, Durango. If this sociopathic corporation's CEO could steal a whole NBA franchise from a large venue to a small one in the shadow of Dallas sport franchises, he can lie and cheat his way into getting a big bad loan. Recall how he managed to get punished with a $50+ million bonus after the share prices nearly tanked last year. I would not let this dude near my dog cuz he's bound to steal the fleas off the the dang dog--just because that's "how he rolls" as the kiddos say it. They're not called Cheat-sa-peake for nothing.