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June 08, 2007


Right on. I'm rushed at the moment and haven't read the whole post word for word, but I see where you are heading and I agree wholeheartedly.


I WILL read the whole post in the not too distant future however, didn't say that.



Brian: good article.

I derive no satisfaction from calling people names. Throughout this debate, though, when facts overwhelm the opposition, the result in innuendo and ad hominems. We have endured being termed communist when we use the word community.

So, with little satisfaction, I use the term "extremist." These people are extremists. Measure 37 - It's Too Extreme. Oregon is not a place for extremism, unless it is the scope of our physical landscape.

When I think of extremists, I think back to Gerald L. K. Smith and his ilk; not the elderly gentelemen at your table. But they are extremists.

In debates with another extremists in the SJ, I was constantly confronted with his faux law schoolisms, which, to the credit of extremists, sometimes contains elements that are persuasive, until you stop and think.

The faux law schoolism he loved to use is the idea that property rights are a "bundle of sticks." Property rights advocates (more on this misnomer below) try to use the analogy to show how their rights are diminished by various evil forces taking them away stick by stick (taxes, regulation, in addition to the voluntary leasing that the analogy is intended to describe).

If you are going to use an analogy, be prepared for others to take it to its logical conclusion. Some of those sticks go beyond your property line and when you tug on that stick, you find your neighbor has the other end firmly in grasp. Some of these sticks are shared in common. Some even go beyond your neighbor's property and go all the way to Rome (Oregon AND Italy). Those sticks shared in common manifest themselves as zoning regulations and comprehensive plans, just to keep it local.

Property rights: I have no idea whatsoever what this term means. In one sense it is redundant to the core: I have photography rights, garden rights, scratching my backside rights. Extremists want to describe property rights as being the same as government seizure of land, the taking of land away from you. That is B.S., but these extremists won't say what they mean because, I think, they will rightfully be held of for the ridicule they so richly deserve.

As another extremist used to say, let's turn over the rock and see what lies underneath.

good article. Property rights come from the dollar and that is the god of this particular group who value nothing but it-- no matter what they say. To accept it makes sense is part of the dumbing down of America which we see all round us :(

Dear Brian,

It is apparent that your "god" (so to [mis]speak) differs from the "god" of your opponents. Not only do different "interpretations" lead to different conclusions, so likewise do different a prioris.

Robert Paul Howard

A prioris; what an appropriate segue. An a prioris statement is a judgment or principle whose validity is independent of all impressions of the senses. Whatever is a priori is unmixed with anything empirical.

I am not sure why some of those at your table were at Envision Oregon. Thomas Hobbes described their vision 300 years ago as one that was nasty, brutish, and short. Hobbes is not the vision we strive to.

Pick at the scab that covers any of their arguments and you will find an anti-government troll. They do not like government and they certainly do not like either taxes or regulation.

They see any regulation as a taking. They see regulations as like being a little pregnant - always out there is the monster of socialism waiting to be born.

These people will read into the Constitution concepts that are not there. They will read Court decisions - they will read conclusions that are not there or reject conclusions that are to their disliking.

What are they doing? They are using the frameworks of community and society to undo both. So when we deal with these people, expose the disease, not the symptom. Most infectious organisms die when exposed to the light.

If they are not anti-government, then their position reduces to selfishness - again, something a true Oregonian does not value highly - after all, as we were told, we are the "benevolent irrationals."

There is nothing a prioris about the land use policy, comprehensive plans, and zoning. These concepts are the long, hard, carefully thought out frameworks of what we want our state, State, and future to be.

And I am not sure I agree entirely with Jefferson Smith. I think if you look back at the title to your property, it will be described as part of an original land grant. That grant came from, not King George necessarily, but from the rabble that seized power from him, and who defined the terms under which property, once granted, could be taken back.

I am actually pretty good friends with both Ross and Dave over at OIA and can honestly say I have never heard them say that property rights come from God.

I am not saying that they do or do not believe that... But that is not the point.

The point is that you linked to some Texas group that is making tha point and attributed THAT argument to the folks behind the property rights movement in Oregon.

Cute trick if you can get it to work. I wonder if that will be the catch phrase in what will be sure to be a deceptive (and probably ineffective) campaign to gut M37.

I sure hope so.

yip yip

Coyote, Jefferson Smith was at the meeting where Ross Day made the comment. I wrote down what Smith said at the Envision Oregon get-together.

I'm pretty sure I didn't misquote him. If I did, it wasn't by much. Why don't you ask Day if he's ever said that property rights come from God?

I can tell you that quite a few Measure 37 claimants believe this, having sat through several Land Use Fairness Committee hearings.

Brian, you did not misquote. If you look back at some of your previous blogs, you will find one person saying that land does come from a higher source. I believe it was Alex Davies who made that comment.

Where land comes from is the metaphysical basis for how you view what you can do with land. Its like reading your Locke or your Hobbes - theory as to how societies evolved and how social norms evolved.

That is all and good until you examine the title to your land and discover that you got your land as a result of a donation land claim. Where did that donation land claim come from: Congress, the government, the Feds.

That property came with strings attached including the powe to tax and to regulate. Whatever property rights types want, they keep coming up against that hard set of facts set out in the title to your property.

Metaphysics, political theory, and theology are great, but the bottom line is the title to your land, and the restrictions imposed upon it.

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