April 24, 2006
February 9, 2006
TALLAHASSEE — Riviera Beach’s billion-dollar waterfront redevelopment project took a beating Tuesday during a meeting of a House committee that is studying ways to limit the use of eminent domain in Florida…
Riviera Beach already has been in the national spotlight since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the city of New London, Conn., could take homes along the city’s waterfront for development by a private developer.
City residents have been featured on national news programs as the next possible example of a city taking private land solely for “economic development.” …
“That’s exactly what they’re doing down there,” said Rice, who has proposed a constitutional amendment that would severely restrict eminent domain powers. “You’ve got your mayor down there in Riviera Beach on national TV admitting that they’re taking those parcels of land to increase the tax value. He said it.”
America’s founding principles are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This is derived from John Locke’s theories, which included property rights in place of the generic “happiness.” The Constitution sets out clear purposes for the government to exercise eminent domain: the Fifth Amendment says “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
This implies that the government has the power to take your property, but that there are rules that apply to such taking. In Kelo vs New London, the Supreme Court disregarded over two hundred years of tradition, the clear reading of the Constitution, and common sense, when they said that “public use” could mean “public purpose,” that purpose being, increased tax revenues for the government.
This is tyranny. This is akin to Robert Mugabe throwing landowners off their property in Nigeria, except without the violent deaths.
January 28, 2006
So, The Amazing Jake has been busy lately, and hasn’t had much time to post, much less keep up on the news of the day. Stuff I’ve wanted to comment on for the last week or so include:
Judge Cashman reconsiders the molester sentence, but is still still woefully inadequate in handing down a appropriate punishment.
UPDATE: Preschoolers tear-assing through the house and various weekend chores interrupted my Saturday morning blogging. More to come when time permits.
January 6, 2006
Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston admitted to sexually assaulting a young girl for four years, but was ordered by Judge Edward Cashman to serve only 60 days in prison.
The Burlington Free Press and WCAX-TV reported that prosecutors wanted an eight-year sentence and the state Corrections Department wanted three years. But the judge also was told that Hulett would not get any counseling for the crime until he was released because he was deemed unlikely to offend again.
Vermont state Republicans held a press conference to introduce minimum sentencing guidelines today.
Republicans held a news conference Friday to introduce a bill that would require judges to impose a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and second and subsequent offenses for lewd and lascivious conduct with a child younger than 12.
“Republicans are committed to providing a legislative correction to make sure this never happens again,” said House GOP leader David Sunderland.
Instead of working to change the legal system through the political process when he disagreed with the law, Judge Cashman instituted his own judgment by meting out this particular “punishment.”
Worldnet Daily quotes the judge at length:
The judge said that when he began 25 years ago, he handed down tough sentences but now believes “it accomplishes nothing of value.”
“It doesn’t make anything better; it costs us a lot of money; we create a lot of expectation, and we feed on anger,” Cashman explained to the people in the court, WCAX reported.
“The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn’t solve anything. It just corrodes your soul,” Cashman told a packed Burlington courtroom made up mostly of people related to the victim.
The judge is apparently more concerned with the rehabilitation of the offender than the safety and mental well-being of the victim, and the safety of the community at large.
According to the Center for Sex Offender Management, part of the US Justice Department, the 25-year recidivism rate for child molesters is 52% and for rapists is 39%. I don’t know how Mark Hulett would be categorized in this study (news reports label him a child rapist as opposed to molester), but either way you look at it, he needs to be off the streets, NOT getting treatment.