Saturday, November 25, 2006

Property Rights? We Don't Need No Stinking Property Rights

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Property rights? We don' need no steenkeen property rights!

The San Francisco Chronicle ran a New York Times article by Randal C. Archibold, November 24, 2006, Illegal immigrants fight border monitor in court. The article begins:

For years, Roger Barnett has holstered a pistol to his hip, tucked an assault rifle in his truck, and set out over the scrub brush on his thousands of acres of ranchland near the border in southeastern Arizona to hunt (illegal immigrants).

(Roger Barnett), after boasting of having captured 12,000 illegal crossers on land he owns or leases from the state and emerging as one of the earliest and most prominent of the self-appointed border watchers, Barnett finds himself the prey.

The New York Times article, by using the phrase “self-appointed border watcher” to describe a rancher protecting his property, is clearly slanted towards the American rancher being the bad guy, and the thousands of self-appointed illegal crossers over his land the victims.

But wait a minute, before you Liberals throw the illegals the rope to string Barnett up. The first thing, do property rights mean anything? I always thought that if you were on someone else’s property, you were either there with permission or you were trespassing. Does being an illegal immigrant give you a “Trespass Free” card?

I know up here in Northern California, our Limousine Liberals are just like the rest of us when it comes to property rights. They are all “self-appointed property-line watchers.” If you cross onto their property, they snarl at you like a junk-yard dog.

Not long ago Alice innocently rode her bike down a loop of Old Highway 1, and just at the end where it rejoins Highway 1, it crosses through a driveway/parking lot of the former (burned down) Old Milano Hotel where my Uncle Walter and family lived when we originally came to the area in 1949. A woman rushed out and rudely stopped Alice and ordered her to go back the way she came, rather than letting her cross the last hundred feet to Highway 1 through what looked like a public access road to the hotel parking lot.

For decades abalone pickers could not go to some of the most inviting areas because they bordered a large cattle ranch. American citizenship did not prevent the ranchers from chasing away anyone found on their property without permission. One of the best fishing and abalone diving areas near the ranch is still off limits, because it borders the old Loran Station now owned by Mendocino College.

Of course, property owners rightfully guard against trespassers on their land, who in this area are primarily tourists seeking access to the ocean across land for which the owner paid a lot of money to secure both the ocean frontage and privacy. That still doesn’t stop the public from considering that they have all the rights of the owner of the property, except they don’t have to pay any of his exorbitant property taxes.

Meanwhile, on the Arizona-Mexico border, a rancher who legally owns and leases thousands of acres to raise cattle is subject to legal jeopardy and Liberal ridicule because he wants to prevent illegal immigrants from trespassing on his land. Quick, one of you Liberal lawyers. Tell this dumb rancher how he will lose everything he owns if one of the illegal alien trespassers is killed or badly injured because of an unsafe condition on his ranch. The fact the trespasser had no right to be in the country, let alone on his ranch, isn’t going to save the rancher from liability, is that not so?

Who reimburses the rancher for loss or damage to his equipment or livestock caused by the trespassers? Or pays claims for death or injury to the trespassers? If you say insurance, are you sure? And who pays his premium and deductible? What insurance company knowingly would insure property, livestock, and equipment that is exposed to the illegal passage of tens of thousands of immigration law breakers?

The New York Times reported that Mr. Barnett was sued for “(T)hreatening two Mexican American hunters and three children with an assault rifle and insulting them with racist epithets, (and that the law suit) ended Wednesday with a jury awarding the hunters $98,750 in damages.”

Apparently, you now get in trouble if you are armed and confront armed trespassers on your own property. Why would Mr. Barnett go about armed on his property? Have any of you been reading about confrontations between law enforcement and illegal drug producing illegal “immigrants” in California?

Of course, being armed on your own property here in Northern California might not do you much good. The meth lab workers and marijuana growers are usually more heavily armed than the police. Since they are illegal in all ways, they bring their firearms with them when they come across the border, and probably more than a few come through Mr. Barnett’s property.

By the way, law-abiding hunters, which include all the members of the National Rifle Association, always get permission to hunt on the property of others, and follow all the owners’ rules, such as closing gates behind them. It is very hard to find illegal aliens and drug workers with the same ethical standards. Therefore, if you find unauthorized armed individuals on your property, you can bet they have broken and are breaking a high stack of laws.

Do they have hunting licenses? Are their firearms registered? Are they in the country legally? Do you know where they live? They know where you live. Will they take it calmly and philosophically when you tell them you’re going to report them to the police if they don’t get off your property? When the police come poking around, will they know who tipped off the police? When they lose millions of dollars worth of marijuana plants or methamphetamine, will they be PO’d?

Is it time for you to move far away?

Is that the message we’re sending to Mr. Barnett and the other ranchers and farmers in the path of the illegal alien “immigrant” invasion?

“You ranchers may think it’s bad now, but do anything to try and stop the illegals, and an army of their free lawyers will descend on you. You’ll have to pay for your own lawyers, so even if you win, you lose.”

Now that Democrats are in charge, think it’ll get any better?

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