Seize the day and everything adjacent

Shut up, serfs, your betters have the floor:

Some years ago, I spoke against a proposed town ordinance that would have granted the town the power to confiscate items found in a private home’s yard and fine the owner. I pointed out that that would amount to an arbitrary seizure power, extending to anything ever found outside the home’s front door. The town’s attorney immediately rose to protest that “we would never use it like that!” They were only interested in eliminating “eyesores” that were upsetting one or two querulous residents.

“We would never use it like that,” as lies go, ranks right up there with “The check is in your mouth” and “I won’t come in the mail.” And just in case you might have thought otherwise:

[T]he town council’s decision … was to pass the ordinance in the dead of night, at a secret session.

A governmental unit operating at that level of chicanery is far worse than a mere eyesore.


  1. McGehee »

    1 April 2013 · 8:17 pm

    The dead of night is when they’ll have to use that seizure power, because I suspect a sizeable percentage of eyesore residents won’t take too kindly to having people just help themselves to their stuff — even if it’s a 1965 Dodge up on blocks they found one day while mowing the lawn.

  2. CGHill »

    1 April 2013 · 10:38 pm

    I suspect they’re not too proud to work the night shift if it means Free Stuff.

  3. fillyjonk »

    2 April 2013 · 7:17 am

    So I guess if my lawn gnome goes missing sometime in the future, it’s not just pranksters I have to suspect?

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