Posted by Rojas @ 7:10 pm on December 28th 2008

Douchebaggery most foul

A group of relatives of the victims of Flight 93–the plane hijacked on 9/11–want to build a memorial at the crash site in Pennsylvania. So far, so good.

They want the ground to be broken soon, so that there can be a memorial by the tenth anniversary of the crash. Okay, fine.

In order to facilitate this, they want the Bush administration to empower the Department of the Interior to seize the land from its current owner. Uh…what?

Svonavec Inc. owns one of the last large chunks of land needed for the 2,200-acre memorial, including the area where the plane crashed Sept. 11, 2001. Svonavec’s treasurer Mike Svonavec has said the park service has not done enough to negotiate a deal.

White said Svonavec has not been willing to negotiate, and called that unacceptable.

“We’ve certainly sought to do this within in the process, following protocol as much as we possibly can,” White said Saturday. “It has gotten to the point where we fear we’ll lose significant momentum.

This takes emiment domain to a whole new level. Here we’re not dealing with an instance of a necessary public good like a roadway, or even at the prospect of increased tax revenue for local government. No, in this case the power of the federal government is being marshalled to seize private property solely for the purpose of making a group of aggrieved people feel better.

White, whose cousin Louis Nacke II died on Flight 93, said the group would favor Bush giving the interior secretary or director of park services the power to take the necessary steps to acquire the land before the administration leaves office in January.

He said the families understand that the outgoing president has plenty to do in his final weeks in office. But White pledged that the group would carry its fight to the Obama Administration, if needed.

“I think the rest of the family members and I feel there is no point at which we will stop,” White said. “Whatever it takes. As long as it takes. Whoever it takes. To do anything less would be doing a disservice to those that we love.”

One wonders how much of their own money White and the other relatives are willing to pony up towards an offer on Svonavec’s land. Or does this obligation to their deceased loved ones extend only to other people’s property, not to their own?

Losing a loved one doesn’t entitle you to become a douchebag. And even if we were to make allowances along those lines, seven years is enough time to get past any douchebaggery thus incurred.

I’ll add that, of all the many species of fascist roaming the American landscape, the Compassion Fascists are just about my least favorite variety. At least your standard thug just flat-out makes demands; he doesn’t pollute otherwise noble sentiments in the course of his thievery.


  1. Am I the only person that thinks the monument doesn’t really need to be exactly at the crash site? The land is private and, from the looks of it, not for sale. I don’t blame the landowner for that. Is it not feasible to relocate the memorial nearby the crash site?

    Comment by Cruise — 12/28/2008 @ 7:31 pm

  2. And by the looks of that poll, as un-scientific as it may be, shows that the majority of people voting agree.

    Comment by Cruise — 12/28/2008 @ 9:25 pm

  3. You are absolutely correct, Cruise. Is the US Holocaust Museum at Auschwitz or another location of like carnage? No.

    The travesty of a judgment that the SCOTUS scudded us with a while back with regards to eminent domain certainly forced open our collective mouth to this kind of slow poison. That ruling is going to bite us all hard one day.

    Comment by James — 12/28/2008 @ 10:19 pm

  4. Very topical post. Not like there isn’t a small country using US weapons to kill hundreds of people making the US even a greater target of terrorism and requiring us to eliminate even more of our constitutional liberties to protect us from that terrorist threat. (Not to mention spend more dollars and probably more lives).

    Is the US Holocaust Museum at Auschwitz or another location of like carnage? No.

    Of course not. They are not trying to influence polish voters and politicians.

    They put it there so US pols, citizens and journalists would be more likely to keep their mouths shut when such attacks by Israel take place.

    Comment by daveg — 12/28/2008 @ 11:26 pm

  5. I am gonna leave that one alone, daveg, because I am not going there with you. Your lucky day.

    Comment by James — 12/29/2008 @ 12:27 am

  6. Land is only ownable after its been stolen from the commons.

    Comment by Jerrod — 12/29/2008 @ 12:42 am

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