Sunday, February 27, 2005

Naboth's Vineyard, USA

Chris wrote:

This issue is exactly why some of our friends insist that America is in no sense a 'free' country anymore. Not only can things you might normally say and do (legally) be declared illegal in public areas, if a good enough 'case' can be made for it, but citizens no longer have any security on their own property, not even, necessarily, to KEEP their own property.

Most of us don't see this as many of the non-illegal behaviors now outlawed in cities don't appeal to us anyway. We're largely unaware of how far surveillance policies have gone. Only here and there are those cases of folks forced from their land so a richer person/developer/company may benefit (supposedly benefitting the whole civil body in the long run). Its rarely (just about never) put that way in the news. Most of us still feel reasonably to secure.

In one case, fairly locally, I heard a terrible story. I'll have to ask you to keep in mind that I am depending upon the word of people I don't really know for this. But, according to them, some poorer folks of minority heritage had built up by hand, over decades, a former marginal piece of swampy ground into something decent to live on. They had no direct access to the water and received no public services from the county, though they did have electricity & phones available to most locations. Some years ago, a developer had plans for the area & in anticipation of the improvements, taxes rose dramatically on these poor dwellings year after year. (That taxes business is all over btw.) Still there were hold outs, so a few years ago, the county used "eminent domain." Eminent domain for waterside mansions & a yacht club??? According to them their road didnt even go through anywhere! The state didnt even maintain it!

I heard all this directly from several of the dispossessed who happened to be visiting with one another (after their move) while we waited for our fabric bolts to be cut. Such public coverage as I saw was mostly along the lines of "x county is planning massive improvements to its watershed area thanks to the interest of a new developer which will draw in large investment & improved realty taxes..with promises to be environmentally friendly etc. Those families were depersonalized into 'existing properties,' 'current usages of the delicate wetlands' which would shortly be improved upon etc.

Naboth's vineyard returns :(

I don't think Elijah will be far behind.

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