--Amendment V to the Constitution of the United States.
My mama always told me to look for a silver lining in every cloud.
My latest dark cloud is the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Kelo v. New London.
I don't have a lot of major problems with the concept of eminent domain. It is, after all, enshrined in the Constitution, thus until an Amendment is passed removing the right of government to use eminent domain it is the law of the land.
I do have a major problem with the Kelo decision. It states that private property may be seized for the private use of other owners as long as the new owners make "more productive use of the property" to quote Justice Conners dissent.
That is about as wrong-headed as anythig else the SCOTUS has ever come up with.
However, in the spirit of lemonade from lemons and all that, let us consider what may be done with Kelo v. New London.
Specifically, let us turn our eyes towards a certain 18 acre riverside plot located in the quiet and comfortable Turtle Bay neighborhood on the East side of Manhattan Island. It is known to the locals as the "United Nations building" and to the rest of the U.S. as "Those damned furrin' idiots in New York."
This land -- and the buildings thereon -- does not belong to the government of the United States, and so far, has failed to do anything actually, you know, productive.
On this land are located four buildings, at least one of which may be converted quite easily into a hotel and thereby becoming productive, along with a library, an assembly/auditorium building, and a conference center.
None of these buildings, or the use of these buildings, is generating anything productive. Indeed the present owners of this property and these buildings seem to be hell-bent on not only not being productive, but are actually actively engaged on being a drain on the New York tax-payer -- the public -- as well as the taxpaying public of the United States in general.
Thus it behooves us, as citizens and as taxpayers, that we insist that the U.S. Government assert its right of eminent domain and seize this non-productive drain on the U.S. taxpayers and convert into something that will benefit the American public.
Given the SCOTUS decision in Kelo v. New London, I hereby humbly offer my services. I promise you, the American taxpayer, that if given this property, I will put it to far more productive use than the United Nations ever thought about.
"But, LawDog" I hear you say, "How will we, the taxpayer, offer just compensation to the United Nations?"
Easily. Various members of the United Nations owe the City of New York several million dollars in parking tickets. Under my plan, we shall generously write off these millions of dollars. Such compensation is about as 'just' as anything else to do with the United Nations.
"But, LawDog, what of the good that the United Nations does? How will they do that without a U.N. building to pontificate from?"
What good? Who cares?
"Surely you don't expect the U.N. delegates to leave on your say-so?"
You obviously don't have a lot of experience with the U.N.
However, I was considering borrowing a company of the USMC 26th MEUSOC and a gunny sergeant; with the USS Nimitz standing by. We can have the marines escort everyone who isn't USMC personnel in that building to JFK and put them on planes to Haiti. Then the carrier sailors can exercise by heaving all U.N. property onto the flight deck of the Nimitz.
Once the Nimitz docks in Port au Prince, the squids can heave all U.N. property onto the dock, and you U.N. types can figure it out from there.
"What can you do with the U.N. buildings that will possibly do as much good for the world as the United Nations does?"
Two 7-11's and a cathouse would do about three times as much good for the world in a week as the U.N. does in a year.
However, I figure a world-class trading port with a casino, hotel and shopping mall set-up will do quite nicely. In the spirit of
Profit for everyone!
Think about it.