Monday, September 15, 2003

Things might get real interesting in Bay Township, Michigan.

Let me pre-face this by giving you an idea of how libertarian I am: I find no solid convincing reason in any argument I've ever heard on the subject that could justify making a person pay for the local governments' permission for building a structure on their own property. Therefore the threat of force to enforce these types of laws is, to me at least, nothing more than common thuggery.
Merely because a person is elected & sends his agents to commit an act of thuggery in no way justifies that thuggery, nor is it reasonable to insist that the victim of said thuggery makes appeals & supplications to the thugs in question for mercy. If a person feels he/she should stand up to thugs then I will not condemn them, no matter how disasterous the consequences of their actions may be for them. To me it is no different than defending yourself & your property from a robbery attempted by a common criminal.

What the hell am I talking about? This:

"Lyle Barkley received authorization to place two 12x60 manufactured homes (mobile homes) on 4 acres in Bay Township. Permits were granted by the County. Once on the property, Barley began a building project to join the two homes via an enclosed walkway. It was then that former township supervisor, "Bud" Chipman filed a complaint to stop further construction and have the homes removed. (Chipman was recalled from his position. Reason unknown).
County Court Judge May found in favor of Chipman's complaint and issued an order to Barkley to remove the homes by September 18th."

& what does this very questionable act by the county & judge in question have to do with my previous rant?

"I've had enough. I'm going to fight!' Charlevoix County Businessman, Lyle Barkley, has been ordered to remove two manufactured homes from a 4-acre parcel in Bay Township by September 18. Barkley says he will not comply with the illegal and unconstitutional order of the court but will defend his property with arms if necessary. Barkley, 55, owns B&B Excavating in Boyne City. He is presently bulldozing fortifications around his property in preparation for the standoff he promises will come if officials attempt to remove the homes from his land."

So one man against a local government. Not much of a contest, right?

"His cause has drawn the attention of Rick Stanley, leader of an organization called Mutual Defense Pact 2d American Revolution Militia who offers to send more than 600 armed defenders to Barkley's aid once the standoff has begun.
Barkley contacted Norm Olson, a well-know Michigan Militia figure for help up until Stanley's organization arrives."

So that's at least 600 people willing to put their own necks on the line to help out someone who is about to be victimized by thugs.

Yes, legally he is on very shakey ground. The courts have usually condemned the use of any sort of force in stopping agents of the government from doing what they want to do. The proper response, according to judges, lawyers & most government employees, is to not resist or cause any kind of physical confrontation & try to settle the matter in a court of law. Many of you who read this will agree: the best thing for Mr. Barkleyto do would be to hire a good attorney & try to use the courts to correct the situation, even if that meant moving his homes until the courts could rule in his favor.

I feel differently. It's not the correct thing to do in every situation, but when someone threatens to violate your Rights going to court cannot take back the violation that occurred. It is similar to rape in that once it happens it happens. You can do what you can to punish the perpetrator & try to make sure it never happens again, but the scars will remain with you no matter how favorably a court rules.
Stopping someone from raping you is the preferred option. Similarly stopping somone, even an agent of government such as a police officer, from violating your Rights is the prefered method.

If you read this article you may feel that Mr. Barkley has some rather eccentric ideas about the law & how it works. & you'd probably be correct. However if you take away the 'patent land' arguments Mr. Barkley seems to be using & reduce it to simply an argument of who actually owns the property, then it's not hard to be sympathetic.

What do I mean by "...who owns the property..."?
Well if Mr. barkley in fact owns the property then no law should restrict him in doing as he sees fit with his property so long as his actions do not cause harm or the immediete threat of harm to others.
However if an entity can step in & dictate to Mr. Barkley what he may or may not do with the property then they are attemtping to exercise control of either the property in question or perhaps Mr. Barkely himself.

Mr. Barkley is doing what he feels is right. & I do believe he is correct to an extent. He does seem to have some of those 'conspiracy theory' arguments that are usually the subject of much ridicule from those who do not believe in them. But most of those 'conspiracy theories' that I've heard have had some basis in fact. They usually err in using overly elaborate explanations to justify things. & considering the complexity of our legal system & the departure from apperent logic it seems to take far too often I can't really fault them for thinking its more complex than it is.

So yes, Mr. Barkley should have hired an attorney to begin with. & yes, his arguments should have been less far-fetched (although I am unfamiliar with the 'patent land' issues he raised, so it's possible that he might have had some solid ground to stand on. I just do not know enough about the subject) & more simple. But the fact remains that his property is being threatened by his local government. & the use of force is something that any government is not shy about. Hell, some people have defined government as force.

In fact I offer you this:

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." -- George Washington

& this as well:

"Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it." -- Woodrow Wilson

& finally this:

"Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race." -- William Howard Taft

Mr. Barkley is attempting to defend his property. Even if you disagree with his methods I hope you understand the principle involved: a persons' property should not be subject to thuggery, even government thuggery.

I'll try to keep you updated on this.

No comments: