Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Good news and bad news. The good news is that a New York appellate court has ruled against the plundering of private property.

The court determined that New York State cannot use eminent domain to grab land for Columbia University’s expansion project. According to the ruling, assertions that the neighborhoods to be grabbed are “blighted” are mere sophistry, cooked up to justify a decision that had already been made — hardly a shocking revelation to longtime students of eminent domain abuse.

Property owners in the threatened area are jubilant about the ruling. Nicholas Sprayregen, an owner of self-storage warehouses who has refused to sell to the university, says he was “always cautiously optimistic.” But he also knew that “we were going against 50 years of unfair cases against property owners.”

Unfortunately, an appeal of the decision will be heard in the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, which just ruled six to one that the state was justified in grabbing land to turn over to a Brooklyn developer for the so-called Atlantic Yards project.

Columbia already owns some 95 percent of the land they wanted for their multi-billion-dollar project. As Sprayregen notes, they could easily proceed without the 5 percent owned by the holdouts. But to avoid a little inconvenience, university officials seemed willing to violate the rights and destroy the livelihoods of others.

It’s sad.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Rubicon says:

    Americans really do need to wake up to the reality that government control of our nation, is out of control. Many who see government as the solution, also think its OK to take property from one, to give to another, just because the latter can or might generate more taxes. That is as despicable as it gets because anyone can always claim an ability to pay more taxes, so any property, even the newest, can be condemned for an even newer property taker. Its a vicious circle that amounts to declaring there are NO private property rights & all property is up for grabs by whomever has the most political pull within the judicial system, since courts seem to be deciding all of these issues as the final arbiter.
    It is stunning a court that typically rules for the property grabbers, this time, ruled for the property owners. Then again, this same court knew their decision would be immediately appealed to a court known for its rulings in favor of property grabbers. Maybe the lower court just wanted to editorial letters to stop for awhile, so they gave ‘the folks’ one ruling, knowing it was doomed once in that higher court. Lets face it, now the higher court will get the bad editorial letters.
    Once we allowed Supreme Court rulings that ate away at our primary constitutional rights & protections, we should have known those doing the taking would expand on their garbs by incrementally stealing even more. Its a matter of give em an inch & they want a mile.

  2. Could not agree more with Paul Jacob here. One thing that disturbs me among many regarding this land grab is the fact that the government would delve into defining what “blighted” means. Seems obvious that one person’s “blight” is another person’s home. This is one of many “slippery slopes” in this eminent domain abuse. Great article. Spot on. Bravo.

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