By ann summers
The Oregon Bird Sanctuary Siege continues and Fluffy Unicorn remains in charge despite being surrounded by Federal minions. The question the militant group now asks is whether they should be treated like Rosa Parks even though they are armed with assault rifles and snacks. Liberating public land for private ownership and exploitation is a recurring Western theme with some interesting questions related to the 19th Century demography of the United States. Counterfactual history will be taking a beating over the coming week(s).
There is no truth to the rumor that the Unicornists will demand that they be designated a tribally based self-governing homeland called bantustan, although it now seems possible that for the Department of Homeland Security the Bush 43 administration had the South African definition of homeland in mind.
On a related development there is no truth to the rumor that the occupiers will be submitting to DNA testing or subscribing to Ancestry to determine their eligibility for oppressed status. Apparently, essentialist philosophies will also be taking a beating in the coming weeks.
And despite the presence of many F-150 pickups, the Rolls Royce of American trucks, there are less than 93, quashing any rumors of the occupiers’ fealty to the Rancho Rajneesh
The occupation reached a fifth day Wednesday with no end in sight to the conflict that started as a peaceful protest in support of two local ranchers sent to prison for setting fires on federal land. Bundy, (son of ) a Nevada rancher, and more than a dozen supporters took over a bunkhouse and say they won’t leave until Dwight and Steven Hammond are freed from federal prison.
Bundy also wants federally owned land in Harney County returned to the people who live there, saying his group was sifting through property records to find instances of federal officials seizing land from private owners.
Earlier Wednesday, Bundy compared the ranchers’ occupation of the refuge to the civil rights battle waged by Rosa Parks.
“We are doing the same thing as Rosa Parks did,” Bundy tweeted. “We are standing up against bad laws which dehumanize us and destroy our freedom.”
The term “eminent domain” was taken from the legal treatise De Jure Belli et Pacis, written by the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius in 1625, which used the term dominium eminens (Latin for supreme lordship) and described the power as follows:
“… The property of subjects is under the eminent domain of the state, so that the state or he who acts for it may use and even alienate and destroy such property, not only in the case of extreme necessity, in which even private persons have a right over the property of others, but for ends of public utility, to which ends those who founded civil society must be supposed to have intended that private ends should give way. But it is to be added that when this is done the state is bound to make good the loss to those who lose their property.”
Some U.S. states use the term appropriation (New York) or “expropriation” (Louisiana) as synonyms for the exercise of eminent domain powers.