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April 16, 2005

Ownership Versus Moonbattery

The failure of bureaucrats to grasp the concept of property rights — a concept absolutely essential for civilization to flourish, as communism proved — has once again resulted in waste and outrage.

The New York Times reports that John Grossi hideously defaced his own Staten Island house, spray-painting neon graffiti all over it "in vomitous colors."

But Grossi isn't crazy. Just a little POed. The lunatics are to be found at the Landmarks Preservation Commission — and in New York's City Hall.

Grossi bought the decrepit house, built in 1869, for the sole purpose of demolishing it and building something useful on the site, namely five attached townhouses. But his plans hit a snag when it was declared that the house wasn't just a ramshackle ruin taking up valuable real estate — the fact that no one had got around to tearing it down all these years made it a candidate for "landmark status."

Grossi spent $750,000 on the house. His plans are in keeping with zoning laws. The city pulled a bait and switch by not telling him about the "landmark status" trick until after he had made the purchase.

"I told them, 'Give me what I paid for it; buy the house,'" said Grossi. "They told me they don't buy houses."

Why should they buy houses, when they can take them for free?

Two days after going berserk with the spray paint, Grossi became contrite and covered the mess with a coat of white paint. But it's too late now; Mayor Bloomberg got wind of the issue. Predictably, he promised that the house would definitely be made a landmark, and now it has. Police cars were posted outside the house to protect it from Grossi.

The fact that Grossi owns the property counts for absolutely nothing.

Posted by Van Helsing at April 16, 2005 2:00 PM


Dear Mayor Bloomberg, if you want to preserve that house then buy it. Else sod off you communist lackey.

Posted by: Anna at April 16, 2005 2:23 PM

Sounds like a perfect time to exercise a little Second Amendment privilege .. eh?


Posted by: RightWingRocker at April 17, 2005 2:16 AM

I think we can leave the Second Amendment out of this one.

Posted by: Van Helsing at April 17, 2005 9:49 AM

No need to actually "take" the property. Then you'd have to pay for it, and the owner could fight back. You just let them retain formal ownership, while making the concept meaningless. (See also "protection" of "wetlands" and "endangered species.")

Posted by: Abe of Lincoln at April 17, 2005 7:14 PM