Friday, July 28, 2006

Battle to Save Property Rights

There’s an interesting article in the Houston Chronicle by Lisa Gray, “Battle to Save River Oaks Center”. Actually, Lisa Gray sent her article to me via email; I suppose because I’d commented about another article she’d written applauding her efforts she has supposed that I would jump on the band wagon, any band wagon.

I can only guess, having read the article (linked via title bar), that Lisa Gray is of the opinion, as are many others in our community, that property owners have to get permission from all their neighbors prior to exercising ownership rights. In case you were wondering, ownership rights include renovations and use of property for whatever lawful purpose might be reasonably expected or even sale of property to whomever regardless of race, religion or sex and things like that.

Enter the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance, a group of self absorbed and self appointed property police. These folks are all upset because an old building, the River Oaks Theater, a building that no longer generates a significant profit for its owner will be torn down in order to satisfy the owner’s desires, that being to better utilize that property as determined by the times and the owner’s decisions to improve the chances of making a profit. Golly darn, they forgot to say, “Mother May I” or check to see if “Simon Says”.

Maybe the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance should, instead, try to salvage what’s left of Property Rights. Maybe they should read the historic documents that made Property Rights here in the United States of America something worth preserving. Maybe they should start by reading the Magna Charta, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and things intended to explain the importance of individual ownership rights as opposed to arbitrary governmental impositions on Property Rights.

Here’s a solution that would work; have the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance offer to purchase the property which they are so intent on salvaging for time and all eternity in its present state. This is, after all, America where if you have enough money you can buy what your heart desires. Once the deal is signed they can rest easy, knowing that the River Oaks Theater will operate in the red forever.

If the owner refuses to sell, the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance might attempt to have the property seized under Eminent Domain by the City of Houston and turned over to them since they know better than the current owner how important that old theater is to the community. The property battle could be drawn out for years in the courts, ensuring the status quo for quite some time.

While I’m on the subject, maybe we could get those who claim to be leaders in our government; you know, legislators, senators and justices on the Supreme Court; those folks should read about property rights too. We could start a “movement”, as Arlo Guthrie sang in his song, “Alice’s Restaurant”; “the anti eminent domain and property rights for the individual movement”. Just think, if two of you went into City Hall humming a few bars of it, in harmony, they might think you were a couple of faggots; but if three of you started singing, can you imagine, a whole group of you singing the entire version of the anti eminent domain and property rights for the individual movement?

My most sincere apologies to Arlo Guthrie for taking liberties with his lyrics; “You can get anything you want…”, just waiting for it to come around again. . . Who’d of thought an old retired cop would enjoy a song written to make fun of cops?

Edited July 29, 2006

TMH Bacon Bits has something similar to Rush's "Open Line Friday", an invitation to link articles.
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