Property Rights

Brooklyn Drinkers Say No to Eminent Domain Abuse


Earlier this week, two of the Brooklyn activists fighting the Atlantic Yards' eminent domain abuse case appeared on Fox News' Fox & Friends to explain why real estate tycoon Bruce Ratner has no right to seize their beloved neighborhood bar Freddy's. Check out the clip below for promises of civil disobedience (including patrons chained to the bar!) and for some classic advice from Judge Andrew Napolitano, who says, "I'm not suggesting you break the law, but…":

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  1. They had better hook up catheters in order to stand their ground against the bulldozers.

  2. A howitzer solves so many problems.

  3. It’s not ‘abuse’, it serves a ‘publc purpose’. Bruce Ratner will put the land to better use.

    1. Better according to whom?

        1. i wish top men would come and make all my decisions for me! life is so hard!

    2. There’s a better use than a bar? A privately held bar.

    3. this is a joke right?

    4. I’m not familiar with Paul or his posting history, but when something of that nature is posted here without accompanying anti-capitalist snark (as is done by Chad, Tony, Crayon and the other trolls), you can safely assume it’s humor.

      1. I’m not familiar with Paul or his posting history

        I think my feelings are hurt.

        It wasn’t really humor so much as a statement of dispair.

        For those who didn’t get it… Eminent Domain transfers for “public purpose” vis private-to-private transfers of functioning, tax-paying property owners are fucking evil, and the perpetrators of such scam, both government and pivate parties engineering such transfers should be hung in a public square a la Moussolini.

        1. What is evil is to give up a huge profit-making opportunity in trade for a crappy, dime-a-dozen bar.

          Does that make you guys happy?

          Btw, still waiting on a clear explanation on how any major project would ever get built in an urban area without eminant domain. Unless you honestly believe that no such project would ever be profitable, you are admitting that the ability of any random jackhole to stop any project is a market failure.

          1. Screw major projects!

          2. When I-25 was first built in Albuquerque they required a large curve. Why would they put a curve in the main route thru town? They had to go around some crappy old building that some Preservation Society had a fit over. (BTW, that building is now a run-down warehouse.) If they want to build a new freeway and some “jackhole” doesn’t want to sell then build the freeway *around* him. Similar deal for a guy at the north end of town who didn’t want to sell when the area was building up as an industrial district. Soon he’s living in the middle of a bunch of factories. He sold out a few years later.

            Short answer: build around the “jackhole”.

            I explained your question, now you explain to me how the taking of private property is not theft.

            … Hobbit

            1. Some things can’t be built around the jackhole(s). Are you thinking someone’s crappy bar would fit into the middle of a football field?

              Actually, the preservation gimmick also messed up the expressways in the city near where I live. Getting to one of the “cool” areas in town is hell because no expressway can get near it from the direction of the city center. You either have to either take miles of surface streets or take the expressways in a big circle around to the backside.

              1. If you want to build a football field, buy enough land for a fucking football field. If you cant do it downtown, maybe you should build the fucking field in the burbs.

                My town is building a new basketball arena. While I oppose this on general principles, if they are going to do it, they should do it right. At the fairgrounds, where the current arena is, there is plenty of room to build (even if they dont tear down the old one, which is hella-useful for horse shoes and etc, due to its unusual design) and there is ample parking. Also easy interstate access. But, its not downtown. Its not near the convention center, its not near the entertainment district that the city is trying to prop up. So, at about 10 times the cost, they are building the new arena downtown. So there wont be parking. And it will be hard to get to.

                Fucking brilliant.

                1. horse shoes

                  RCs law strikes again.

                  That is shows, of course.

          3. That makes me ecstatic. I’m so happy you could cut diamonds with my hardon when “crappy, dime-a-dozen bar[s]” make money instead of giant assholes.

          4. Random jackholes used to have property rights. Those were the days.

          5. “You ain’t no kind of man if you ain’t got land.”

          6. Btw, still waiting on a clear explanation on how any major project would ever get built in an urban area without eminant domain.

            Japan doesn’t have eminent domain. At all. That hasn’t seemed to stop them from concreting over all their urban areas with public works projects.

            1. Japan doesn’t have eminent domain. At all.



              1. I exaggerate. It exists, but it’s much weaker than in the US or other countries. That Wikipedia article you cite lacks references. Note how it’s blatantly contradicted by this Wikipedia article.

              2. Also, if you look at the discussion page for the Law of Japan article, you’ll see that it’s widely criticized for having original research with no citations and factual errors. It badly misrepresents Japanese law.

              3. More specifically, the process by which land is used for public purposes with compensation paid to the owners is so sufficiently different that observers use a different name for it, like land readjustment, as here or here.

                So, it’s not eminent domain by the US definition at all– it requires a super-majority of property owners to vote in favor of the proposed settlement. It is a method of gathering support for public works, though.

            2. Japan does not have a system whereby the government can compulsorily purchase land against the wishes of the majority of existing landowners. They do have a system for organizing proposed land redevelopment for public use and a system for compensating landowners, but it requires a super-majority of landowners to vote in favor of redevelopment plans.

              That’s so different from the US system as to be worth a different term. It goes far beyond Kelo.

          7. How do you do that, Chad? Seriously, how the fuck do you do that? You’re somehow able to stuff more bogus concepts into one short utterace than most people do in a lifetime.

            I’m guessing that you don’t live in an urban area. Because if you did, you’d see your skyline dotted with cranes, and I’ll bet you that 99% occurred without eminent domain. In fact, speaking for my city, the projects which relied on eminent domain never got off the ground.

            1. I live just outside of one….and their sure ain’t no cranes.

              I am not talking about high-rises, which build up, not out, and therefore usually don’t need to purchase land from many owners, and can be usually be put in any of several locations.

              1. Developments that need land can be built where the land is, on the outskirts of the city. Cheaper, can buy the land in bulk, all without imminent domain. While I dont know the area well enough to be sure, someplace like East Rutherford, NJ might qualify (well, in the 70s).

          8. Lets all remember this post for any future occasion where Chad accuses libertarians of being corporate lackeys.

            Never Forget

            1. Priceless.

  4. I want a tshirt with the russian version of the lil posters. They hould start selling them online. Imagine a few other bars might pick up the cause.…..-8gn5qaceY

  5. If I lived in the area I would be there even though I normally do not visit bars. I wish them luck. We need more civil disobediance in this once free country.

    1. Civil disobedience could very well be the key. Look at how much attention the various Tea Party protesters attracted just by peacefully assembling. Wouldn’t it be a glorious thing if the citizens actually did start to “take back” their country? With the right kind of leadership it could become unstoppable.

      1. Haven’t you heard? The “Tea Party” protestors are dangerous right-wing radicals (or maybe left-wing – extreme centralists? anyway, dangerous people whose opinions can be ignored by the Government)

  6. I have to respond to the above comment …”a crappy, dime-a-dozen bar.” below are some of our reviews…

    Thank you
    Donald O’Finn
    Esquire Mag: Freddy’s voted ESQUIRE’S BEST BAR’S IN AMERICA.

    Time Out NY: “It’s possible that Freddy’s is as near a perfect saloon experience as you’ll ever encounter.”

    Village Voice: Freddy’s voted “One of the 10 Best Bars in Brooklyn.”

    N.Y. Gamble Guide: Freddy’s voted “One of the 10 Best Dive bars in N.Y.: A Brooklyn classic… Also one of the best bars in N.Y. City for Sunday afternoon drinking.”

    New York Mag: “Greatness lies behind these doors.”

    Village Voice BEST OF – BEST VIDEO ART IN A BAR: 2001-2008: “Donald O’Finn’s feverishly edited encyclopedically strange video collages

    The Brooklynite: “Freddy’s is one of the borough’s most vital cultural hubs.”

    Village Voice NYC Guide: “Freddy’s hosts some of the city’s most original readings and performances.”

    New York Mag: (Best Of) “The great Freddy’s…seems to sizzle with life.”

    NY Post: “… the first to turn his local watering hole into something trendworthy – that honor could go to Donald O’Finn, manager of Freddy’s …”

    AV Club: * 8 Neighborhood Bars worth leaving your Neighborhood for: (# one on the list) It doesn’t get more Brooklyn than it does at Freddy’s, which is both basic and adorned with pretty much everything you could want in a neighborhood bar. The crowd is communal and social (if you want it to be), the decor is old and decidedly not fussed-over, and that elusive quality known as “vibe” abounds for whatever mysterious reason.

    Black Book Mag. Night life guide. “When God created the bar, he named it Freddy’s.”

    National Public Radio: on Opera night, “the local watering hole for murderers and tyrants, adulters and virgins, Don Juans and divas.”

    Shecky’s Bar Guide: “This worn-in classic..a delectable known as a fringe art space.”

    NY Times: “a friendly barkeep, good beer on tap and a generous’s an exceedingly comfortable joint… a little bit blessed.”

    Zagat: “loads of atmosphere”…. “this place oozes Brooklyn pride.”

    N.Y. Sun: (on Diva Night) “…raucous and sublime… un-elitist, imperfect, and fun…”

    Time Out NY: “This is the perfect neighborhood bar.”

    SOMA: (South of Market Arts-San Francisco) “a warm Brooklyn vibe … Freddy’s is mellow while still being interesting…. but most of all the place is comfortable.”

    Village Voice: BEST BROOKLYN BAR WITH A SMALL TOWN VIBE: also “Most comfortable hang.”

    CitySearch: Freddy’s is a great bar, all the beer you’d expect on tap, weird stuff on the walls, TVs showing bizarre sleazy movies, it’s got it all.

    CARA, Aerlingus Travel Mag: “undiscovered treasure…classic dive”

    Spin Mag: (on Cringe night) “The funniest night out in N.Y. City.”

    ESPN: “Freddy’s is one of the great dive bars in New York City….a far nobler institution than you are likely to find in proffesional sports” “Hip…yet unyuppified” “a Mecca for artists and writers with no stomach for hipster poseurs or overpriced drinks. “This storied speak easy represents the best combination of dive bar and underground cultural Mecca.”

    NY Magazine’s New York’s best of nightlife: “The best spelling bee for Adults”

    No Tourists Guide Book: (Best OF) voted Best Backroom.

    NOB (Not Only Brooklyn) Arts: Freddys…is both wondrous and free, presenting a diverse selection of artists simultaneously down home and excellent.

    Continental Air Lines Travel Mag: “Freddy’s…casual, free swinging atmosphere.”

    AM NY: “One of the Cities most popular Dive Bars”

    Metro (Mix): Freddy’s is all you would want (and more!) in a dive bar. The beer is cold. Their calendar is chock-full of interesting and offbeat events, including tons of live music, a diorama/craft night and something called “strip club.” There is always something interesting on the TV sets, including amusing B-movie footage that you’ll have to see to believe.

    Freddys Bar & BACKROOM

  7. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was prescient in her Kelo dissent when she wrote that “the fallout from this decision will not be random . . . the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more.”

    What property owners are seeing with Atlantic Yards and elsewhere is that the notion of “public good” is corrupted in today’s interpretation of eminent domain; plus the fact that there is a lot of play in the “just” of just compensation.

    New York and Pennsylvania, among other states, will see more eminent domain “takings” thanks to the rising interest in natural gas drilling in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale. With more drilling comes more pipelines and more underground gas storage fields — and that (pipelines & storage fields) always means eminent domain.

    The excellent Institute for Justice (of Kelo fame) declines to intervene in energy/utility “takings” because, they told me, of the “public good” premise.

    But property owners can fight back. Our two-year battle against Houston-based Spectra Energy which seized our property rights for an underground gas storage field led to the development of a website which has begun to attract whistle blowers inside the energy industry. We are collaborating and helping property owners in many states. For info, visit the site:

    By the way, our new neighbor, Spectra Energy, has received two Notice of Violations for “unlawful conduct” related to emergency shutdowns and emissions at its storage field in Bedford County, PA. Reports of contaminated water supplies are on the rise since they began operations.

    The ripple effects of eminent domain are never over.

  8. Just would like to add that yesterday (MLK day) ny state was planning on shutting down the homeless shelter that’s a few blocks away from Freddy’s. Stealing private property and tossing out the homeless during the coldest time of the year? Shameful.


    Also, Freddy’s is a wonderful neighborhood bar. Even if it wasn’t a wonderful place, this type of ruling should really be scaring home and business owners into action.

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