Lillian Duckett was a teenager when Baltimore officials bought the Mulberry Street home she shared with her eight siblings, parents and grandmother, and then tore it down.
The Ducketts were among the nearly 3,000 residents who were uprooted from their predominantly black West Baltimore neighborhood four decades ago to make way for a highway project to connect Interstate 70 with I-95. But construction stopped nearly as soon as it began, leaving a concrete bridge that rises near the site of the Ducketts’ former home and ends abruptly in a grassy slope.
Duckett sat in her current home, which overlooks the ill-fated project, on Friday as Gov. Martin O’Malley, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other officials announced a $2.5 million plan to demolish the hulking dead end that has become known as “The Highway to Nowhere.”
All of this being funded by Obama’s barrels of stimulus cash, none of which will ease the pain and resentment of being victimized by eminent domain abuse all those years ago. For the crime of destroying hundreds of people’s homes, not to mention a significant part of their economic activity, this seems like a pathetic Band-Aid.
Another example, in a long line of abuses, of how “the law” is really only to be exalted so long as it serves the purposes of the government. When the state finds itself losing the legal battle, it can always find or invent new uses for laws to get around such pesky impediments. In this case, the homeowner won court battles to protect his home, but the city simply called his property a “blight,” and not only demolished his home, but will likely send him a bill for it. The most immediate parallel which comes to mind is China’s policy of executing people, and billing the family for the bullet.
Interesting how the talking head can say that there are two sides to this story and avoid laughing. There are two sides to this story in the same way that there are two sides to an armed robbery.
From the Edmonton Journal comes news that some Greenpeace members rappelled off the top of Calgary Tower to hang a banner that read “Separate Oil and State.”
Scott Blasken got this shot from his office window Tuesday morning after Greenpeace unfurled a banner from the Calgary Tower.
Hey, I’m all in favor of separating oil and state. But that means no strategic oil reserves; no taxes, including carbon taxes; no cap-and-trade; no regulations; no moratoriums or bans on offshore or other drilling; no special protections of any kind, including caps on liability for actual damages to private property caused by oil companies; no eminent domain (ab)use; and no mercantilistic and imperialistic wars to make the world safe for domestic consumption of foreign oil. But somehow I don’t expect all of this is what the Greenpeace activists confusedly mean by “separate oil and state.” Alas and alack.
Building owner Ricky Wong is being shafted by NYC’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, but it’s his fault because he should have known better than to think that “the land of the free” was anything other than an empty slogan when it comes to property ownership. As the Real Deal reports: Five months after the Department of [...]