Corruption

Bruce Ratner: "Building the community from the ground-up" by Bulldozing Homes and Businesses

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Serial eminent domain abuser and corporate welfare queen Bruce Ratner took out a full-page ad in today's New York Times trumpeting his despicable Atlantic Yards stadium project in Brooklyn as a glorious opportunity for "building the community from the ground-up." It's an ugly yet revealing way to put it—though I suppose Ratner is feeling cocky about things since he's planning a ceremonial groundbreaking today at 1:30 PM. (I'll be there and will report back later with scenes from the event and the protest.)

Here's something you should never forget: The 22-acre footprint for Ratner's proposed "urban utopia" isn't a blank slate. Before Ratner partnered with the state government in order to seize private property via eminent domain, the area was home to private residences and successful businesses. Homeowner Daniel Goldstein, who has led the fight against this shameful eminent domain abuse, bought a condo for nearly $600,000. Now the government says his property is "blighted" and therefore ripe for condemnation. If that's what qualifies as blight, no property in the state is safe.

So Goldstein will be displaced while Ratner collects an estimated (by NYC's Independent Budget Office) $726 million in subsidies and tax breaks in order to build a basketball stadium for the worst team in professional basketball. And Goldstein isn't the only one to lose everything to the state. The invaluable Atlantic Yards Report recently profiled several of the innocent Brooklyn residents who have had their lives ruined by this atrocious boondoggle. Here's a little bit from Dan Saks, who finally moved out last December:

"Years of intermittent unannounced utility shut-offs, deafening construction noise just feet from our front window and extreme amounts of dust led us to feel that this was an environment too hostile and toxic to consider raising a family in," he said….

"Feeling like we had no alternatives we accepted their offer and left, fearing that we'd either be evicted with nothing or forced to postpone family planning on account of pro basketball," he reported.

And finally, it's worth repeating that it's the taxpayers, including those who could care less about basketball, who are paying Ratner to bulldoze homes and businesses, ruin lives, and build a money-making stadium for Ratner's Nets to call home. Those same taxpayers are also helping Ratner to take out offensive full-page ads in the New York Times, which typically charges in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for the privilege. As usual, it's the victims of eminent domain abuse that pay the real price.

For more on the fight against Ratner's Atlantic Yards, check out Reason.tv's "Billionaires vs. Brooklyn's Best Bar."

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  1. I hadn’t seen a picture of Ratner before, and i didn’t realize his mom had fucked an elephant seal.

    1. And the ugliest one in the herd no less.

    2. Christ, if I looked like that, I’d make a billion dollars too, just so I could get laid. But what’s your excuse, Xeones? Why aren’t you a billionaire yet?

    3. He looks like he rapes otters.

    4. What’s with his lips. I just want to hit him, over and over again.

      *cue Rob Riggle*

    5. That is one ugly bastard. He looks a lot like the Fantastic Four villain, the Mole Man.

      1. Pity the women who fuck him for money.

    6. Alt text:

      “Yeah, that’s right sweetcheeks…I own this now…yeah, you want me now. Don’t you? DON’T YOU?!

      Cue Human League.

    7. Xeones wins. No need to try and top it.

  2. I assume the NYT donated that ad space as a “public service”.

  3. His mom wasn’t a looker, either…

  4. And finally, it’s worth repeating that it’s the taxpayers, including those who could care less about basketball

    Shouldn’t that be “who couldn’t care less?”

    1. How kind of you to put that in the form of a question.

    2. I’m glad other people are as bothered by that idiom as I am. Perhaps it’s irrational of me, but people saying “could care less” is possibly my greatest pet peeve.

      1. If that’s your greatest pet peeve, you’re living a pretty sweet life.

  5. Hey, what’s the problem? Subsidies are the price we pay for civilization.

  6. Shouldn’t that be “who couldn’t care less?”

    Them too. All of ’em.

  7. Backpfeifengesicht.

    1. I believe there’s also a Russian phrase “[his] face asks for a brick”

  8. The text of the fifth amendment does not grant the state the power to take the property of a non-consenting owner. If the framers had desired to grant the government the power to take the property without the consent of the owner, it would have so said. It did not. End of story.

    1. nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

      I’m not sure what meaning can be applied to the term “taken” that doesn’t include a unilateral (that is non-consensual) seizure of the land.

      If this only means that the state can take land with the owner’s consent, then its pretty unnecessary, isn’t it?

      1. It does not say that the land can be taken without the owner’s consent, does it?

        At bottom, if one is inclined to read implied powers, one is going to see them even in the absence of explicit language.

        1. It does not say that the land can be taken without the owner’s consent, does it?

          nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

          Have to agree with RC here. That’s exactly what it says. Sadly, the founders assumed “compensation” was the only issue.

          Turns out the “public use” part was the more important part that needed further clarification.

        2. “What’s not clear about that? Every citizen has the right to mount a pair of bear arms over their mantle.”

  9. The power of the state to confiscate property or infringe any liberty can not be “implied.”

    1. apparently it can

  10. Maybe Ratfuck should give all the Displaced Persons free season passes to the Nets. Who would refuse THAT inducement?

    1. Anyone who actually enjoys watching basketball.

    2. Hehe. Pretty much anyone, I think – unless they draft Wall (or maybe Evans) AND lure a top-tier free agent (presumably via mind-controlling drugs and/or compromising photos.)

      1. They cheer on as the nets get slaughtered to last place.

  11. “…while Ratner collects an estimated (by NYC’s Independent Budget Office) $726 million in subsidies and tax breaks…”

    i’m surprised NYC’s budget deficit is only $2 billion.

    1. The deficit for the year is 2bil. His 0.726bil in tax breaks are probable over 5-10 years or more.

  12. But what’s your excuse, Xeones? Why aren’t you a billionaire yet?

    I’m too goddamn pretty.

  13. And not to mention by taking the Nets away from Jersey, he is using eminent domain to punish people in another state who probably help fund the arena there to get them in the first place.

    Why doesn’t comish Stern put a stop to it. His league will be stained by this, right? Doesn’t that give him the right to intervene?

    1. Are you kidding? Stern’s been one of the biggest proponents. He’s been desperate for the Brooklyn move to go through since it was first discussed.

  14. It’s reading stories like this that make me wish there really was a Hell and people like Ratner would be sent there when they died to have pineapples shoved up their anuses for the rest of eternity.

    1. That expression on his face is enough for me to wish the same.

  15. …it’s worth repeating that it’s the taxpayers, including those who could[n’t] care less about basketball, who are paying Ratner to bulldoze homes and businesses, ruin lives, and build a money-making stadium for Ratner’s Nets to call home.

    I couldn’t care less about basketball. Yet I imagine that even people who care about basketball couldn’t care less about the Nets.

  16. And they call us parasites…

  17. Well, you know when you’re building something “from the ground up” it usually does involve bulldozing whatever was there before.

    I could make an analogy to progressive activists here.
    Bulldoze everything that people have already built to pave the way for your new utopian scheme. People? Rights? Liberty? Just more trash to be bulldozed from your path. See health care reform.

  18. I don’t care what this guy looks like on the outside, but he’s a thug using his political pull to get what he wants.
    I’m a believer in STRONG property rights – i.e. eminent domain should NEVER be legal, and if someone doesn’t want to sell their property to the state, or anyone else, well TOO DAMN BAD. If you can’t say no to a buyer, you don’t own your property.
    (and yes, I know we realistically don’t own any property already, but the media and civics classes claim that WE DO.)

    1. +1

  19. I meant to say “…TOO DAMN BAD for the would-be buyer.” – if that wasn’t obvious.

  20. If the property is condemned, does that mean they are not getting just compensation? I mean, the guy who paid $600k, is he getting far less than that? I mean, it’s heinous anyway, but even more so, if they really aren’t getting the value of their propety because it was condemned and thus deemed to be worthless.

  21. He got himself into the Post and Daily News too. One of them had a multi-page insert, too.

  22. This only proves that we’ve become too gotdamned civilized for this to be the end of this saga.

    Ratner should be living in fear for his life from repercussions from his victims Every. Single. Day.

  23. When and where is the demonstration?

    Hmmmm…lots of comments w easy-to-make snide remarks. Comments w ideas on how to stop eminent domain abuse, not so much. C’mon folks!

  24. Hey, will we be able to smoke in the new stadium?

  25. How many places are there on Long Island or in Conneticuit or in Pennsilvania that you can build a community from the ground up within driving distance of New York without emininet domain abuse?

  26. Well, all I can tell you is I have known Bruce my entire life, He is my godfather, he was my dad’s best man and my dad gave the key note speech at his 50th birthday. Bruce puts on a nice show, but he is a pedaphile who badly abused me and when I tried to come out and get him to tell the truth he sent Latin Kings who work for and are related to a guy, Loise Ocasio who works for him to make death threats to me on myself and loved ones until I got upset and he came after me for that. He touches children in a sexual way, and if I were you I would steer clear of he and his daughter.

  27. . Rebbie Ratner and her boyfriend of many years, JOSEPH MEISSNER also a criminal: http://landrumcreations.smugmu…..o22/Medium have broken into my home on a number of occasions but they have USDOJ protection so I can get no answers. Bruce will answer no questions. He is a hustler who uses death threats and the USDOJ to do his dirty work

  28. Beware of Bruce Ratner. He touches children in a sexual way, and if I were you I would steer clear of he and his daughter. He is currently shaking me down using his Nephew Mathew Ratner of the USDOJ and they are guilty of widespead racketeering as well as making death threats over the Whitehouse website as seen here: http://myfamilyonenoexceptions…..-post.html

  29. Well, all I can tell you is I have known Bruce Ratner my entire life, He is my godfather, he was my dad’s best man and my dad gave the key note speech at his 50th birthday. Bruce puts on a nice show, but he is a pedophile who badly abused me and when I tried to come out and get him to tell the truth he sent Latin Kings who work for and are related to a guy, Loise Ocasio who works for him to make death threats to me on myself and loved ones until I got upset and he came after me for that. My father who was his Harvard roommate and best friend for years calls him a criminal and my mother who has never said a bad word about anyone says he is dead to her. Currenlty Bruce Ratner and his daughter are tapping computers and breaking into homes. Rebbie Ratner and her boyfriend of many years, JOSEPH MEISSNER also a criminal: http://landrumcreations.smugmu…..o22/Medium have broken into my home on a number of occasions but they have USDOJ protection so I can get no answers. Bruce will answer no questions. He is a hustler who uses death threats and the USDOJ to do his dirty work

    Beware of Bruce Ratner. He touches children in a sexual way, and if I were you I would steer clear of he and his daughter. He is currently shaking me down using his Nephew Mathew Ratner of the USDOJ and they are guilty of widespead racketeering as well as making death threats over the Whitehouse website as seen here: http://myfamilyonenoexceptions…..-post.html

  30. Bruce Ratner is after me because he sexually molested me as a child and now I am a huge liability to him. Well, all I can tell you is I have known Bruce Ratner my entire life, He is my godfather, he was my dad’s best man and my dad gave the key note speech at his 50th birthday. Bruce puts on a nice show, but he is a pedophile who badly abused me and when I tried to come out and get him to tell the truth he sent Latin Kings who work for and are related to a guy, Loise Ocasio who works for him to make death threats to me on myself and loved ones until I got upset and he came after me for that. My father who was his Harvard roommate and best friend for years calls him a criminal and my mother who has never said a bad word about anyone says he is dead to her. Currenlty Bruce Ratner and his daughter are tapping computers and breaking into homes. Rebbie Ratner and her boyfriend of many years, JOSEPH MEISSNER also a criminal: http://landrumcreations.smugmu…..o22/Medium have broken into my home on a number of occasions but they have USDOJ protection so I can get no answers. Bruce will answer no questions. He is a hustler who uses death threats and the USDOJ to do his dirty work

    Beware of Bruce Ratner. He touches children in a sexual way, and if I were you I would steer clear of he and his daughter. He is currently shaking me down using his Nephew Mathew Ratner of the USDOJ and they are guilty of widespead racketeering as well as making death threats over the Whitehouse website as seen here: http://myfamilyonenoexceptions…..-post.html

    Sam

  31. this pigf–ker is also responsible for that tin-can monstrosity by the Brooklyn Bridge. . .

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