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On the Edge

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, February 25, 2005
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The best in last week's editorials from college campuses around the nation

French cowards no allies of United States

HOUSTON - Surely this isn't anything new to Americans, but France is full of cowards. Jacques Chirac doesn't have the guts to stand by the Americans as we attempt to rid the world of terrorist groups. In speeches and meetings he might say America is an ally to France, but once all doors are closed, his tail goes between his legs.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Chirac to designate Hezbollah a terrorist group, which he declined. If France were to do so, the terrorist group would not be able to raise money in Europe. Giving terrorist groups the opportunity to raise money is like giving convicted murders loaded guns.

Hezbollah has been linked to numerous terrorist attacks against America and Israel.

With that in mind, one would think Chirac would jump at the chance to shut down funding of Hezbollah in Europe. Being the coward he is, Chirac will not proclaim Hezbollah a terrorist group.

The United States saved France twice last century. At the end of the first and second World War, America saved the unappreciative country. When Rice asked President Chirac to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group, Chirac could have bettered the world by ceasing funds to Hezbollah in Europe.

In March of last year, the French ambassador to the United States, Jean-David Levitte, at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches gave a speech in which he claimed France is grateful to America.

Referring to the Americans who gave their lives on D-Day, Levitte said, "They sacrificed their lives for freedom, liberty of France and all of Europe. And all the French people, on that day, will say, in one voice, 'American friends, we will never forget. Thank you America.'"

If French people want to thank America for protecting their weak nation, they can start by helping the world fight terror. The French people that supposedly say, "Thank you America," need to raise their voice and demand President Chirac condemn all terrorism, as well as call Hezbollah members what they are - terrorists.

America has to do something about the French. President Chirac is no ally to America when it comes to terrorism.
- from the University of Houston's Daily Cougar

Last call for individual rights to property

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Supreme Court heard a case Tuesday that will help define the role of social utility in American property rights. Either every landowner's property will become the potential victim of any economic redevelopment, or private individuals will find they do retain individual rights in spite of governmental lust for tax revenue.

Eminent domain is a part of the U.S. Constitution - in the Fifth Amendment, "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." It has been further defined through time by the 14th Amendment to protect individuals against states taking property without due cause and by judicial rulings through U.S. history.

The question here is whether economic redevelopment can be included among the defined public uses by which a government can claim land. The New London, Conn., City Council voted to redevelop a 90-acre peninsula. While most of the landowners in that area sold their property, seven families with emotional ties to their property are holding out against the government.

If the court rules in favor of the city, landowners will find themselves in a country where "the government can take somebody's land simply under the prospect of getting more tax dollars out of the new use," said Scott Bullock, attorney at the Institute of Justice, according to National Public Radio.

A large part of the argument against the New London City Council is its open admission that the project is for economic development. Since we are living in a capitalist democracy, these property owners should be able to hold onto their property and let the government sell the land around them to developers. Of course this is a less attractive prospect for developers, but that should drop the value of the property until the point at which the land is worthwhile for investors to purchase.

In a non-socialist country, such as this one, there is no justification for governmental participation in business. Why should the government get involved to protect its citizens from economic downturn while it does nothing to protect those same citizens from health problems or poverty?

Tax revenues? Not a laudable goal.
- from the University of Illinois' Daily Illini

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