Eminent Domain

Will Little Pink House Become the Erin Brockovich of the Eminent-Domain Abuse Movement?

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Former Reason TV producer Ted Balaker and his wife Courtney Balaker are producing a movie based on the travails of Suzette Kelo, whose fight against eminent domain abuse resulted in the landmark case Kelo v. City of New London. The film, titled Little Pink House, is slated for a 2015 release. 

Kelo lost her battle against the city seizing property and turning it over to private developers but the court case actually jumpstarted pushback against eminent-domain abuse around the country. In USA Today, the Balakers talk about what they hope to accomplish with their movie about Kelo:

The powerful bullying the powerless — that's the opposite of inclusion. And how about diversity? Eminent domain abuse typically strikes poor and minority communities. Not at all compassionate, but it encapsulates the Barclays Center's dodgy backstory, in which officials flattened a neighborhood that was more diverse than powerful to erect a massive complex that has enriched developers and the NBA franchise that calls the facility home.

How to tame the ugly spirit of eminent domain abuse and cronyism? We suggest turning to a force mightier than politics: culture. We are producing a feature film based on Kelo's historic saga, and we hope to achieve some of the impact garnered by Erin Brockovich, another underdog film about a real-life working-class woman.

Erin Brockovich showed how culture can elevate otherwise obscure issues to drive reform. Cultural depictions played an important role in the recent shift in public support for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization, and Kelo's courageous struggle could likewise help viewers understand the human cost of eminent domain abuse.

Read the whole column.

The production is being made in conjunction with the Institute for Justice, the libertarian public-interest law firm that represented Kelo.

For more on the case and the movie, check out the Facebook page for Little Pink House.

In 2000, Walter Olson picked apart all the errors and misrepresentations in the movie Erin Brockovich. Having worked with the Balakers, I'm confident Little Pink House will actually be an honest retelling of the tale.

NEXT: On the Border: What to Do About the 'Humanitarian Crisis'?

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  1. “I’m confident Little Pink House will actually be an honest retelling of the tale.”

    So then, not at all like Erin Brockovich?

    1. Erin Brockovich told an important revolutionary truth about the evils of corporations as well as empowering tale of a lone woman.

      1. :::tap-tap::: {Check sarc meter]

      2. Look, it needn’t actually be true to spark an honest dialogue about the evils of capitalism. The important thing is to inspire and challenge people with a compelling narrative.

        #culturalmarxisminanutshell

      3. And cleavage.

        1. They’re called boobs, Ed.

  2. The powerful bullying the powerless ? that’s the opposite of inclusion. And how about diversity? Eminent domain abuse typically strikes poor and minority communities. Not at all compassionate

    How to tame the ugly spirit of eminent domain abuse and cronyism? We suggest turning to a force mightier than politics: culture

    It’s funny. They think by using the buzzwords of the progressives, they can get the progressives to care about this stuff. But that’s where they utterly fail to realize that progs don’t give two fucks about this shit. All the prog buzzwords and talk about the poor and whatnot is just a stalking horse for their own pet issues, which are usually class envy and hate.

    The more you contort yourself to sound like a prog to try and court them, the bigger your failure. Because it will never work (because the progs really don’t give a shit unless it can be twisted in some way to hurt and bring down the people they hate), and in the meantime you’re now playing their game, with their language and their rules.

    Big fucking mistake.

    1. The more you contort yourself to sound like a prog to try and court them, the bigger your failure.

      Yep. Never equivocate, never apologize. Because progs certainly won’t.

    2. Now I realize why my lefty friends just laugh when I bring up issues like zoning laws hurting the poors, the WOD disproportionately affecting minorities, speed bumps killing more than they save, etc. Plus I’ve been trying to frame Obama’s actions as counter to progressives’ stated goals and never gotten anywhere with that tactic either.

      1. You need new friends.

  3. No. The bad guy isn’t some evul kkkoporation.

  4. but the court case actually jumpstarted pushback against eminent-domain abuse around the country.

    Yes, and literally tens of small jurisdictions and states passed laws which said that they will pinky-promise not to take anyone’s land with eminent domain unless there’s a really really strong compelling government interest.

    1. Ya, no kidding. Talk about throwing a revolution and no one came.

    2. Some states amended their constitutions to specifically disallow the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Kelo to count.

      It has had some impact. Some cases were won on that basis.

  5. Oh, but ain’t that America
    For you and me
    Ain’t that America
    Something to see

  6. Socialism 2014 convention sounds just super fun.

    Ben Norton @HeartsMindsEars
    Follow
    Capitalists “are making it clear that they are trying to exterminate us like roaches” via racist gentrification -speaker at #Socialism2014

    When white people leave the city, it’s racist because of white flight. When white people move into the city, it’s racist because of gentrification.

    White people should stop moving.

    Ben Norton @HeartsMindsEars
    Follow
    Claiming hipsters are the primary problem behind gentrification is a neoliberal idea, and must be combatted. -@sunischicken #Socialism2014

    Not A Jelly Donut @TheReal_JDT
    Follow
    Shout out to panel speaker for calling out hipster hate. A better Marxist analysis is needed #Socialism2014

    ? and ? @RedPleb
    Follow
    Our goal is to make a society where everyone has the freedom to create art – @sarahljaffe #Socialism2014

    Red Wedge Magazine @RedWedgeMag
    Follow
    @sarahljaffe: “We need a universal basic income for people to create the art they want to.” #Socialism2014

    Young Unprofessional @YungUnprof
    Follow

    Reminder: @MSGunderson is kickass. “We need to call ourselves teacher workers. Not teacher professionals.” #Socialism2014

    1. Young Unprofessional @YungUnprof
      Follow
      Imagine if every future teacher came out of the student movement. #Socialism2014

      Is that some kind of threat?

      1. When my wife graduated college, she was a stereotypical super-lib SWPL. Her first teaching job was on an Indian reservation in the middle of Bumfuck, New Mexico, where white people are barely tolerated. After the first year, which entailed many days of being verbally berated for the most innocuous shit by natives who mainly sat around waiting for the next welfare check to clear, she dropped a lot of her prog pretensions and is slowly becoming more of a liberaltarian.

        Drop these idiots in a similar situation and that will beat a lot of the ginger out of them, because they aren’t used to not being patted on the back for their good intentions.

    2. This reads entirely like parody. I can’t distinguish full-retard socialism anymore.

      1. There never was a distinction.

    3. This reminds me of one of my all time favorite comments:

      I was in touch with Rhonda [Shearer, Steven Jay Gould’s widow] about a year ago when she came across my articles on “Collapse” and “Guns, Germs, Steel” at:

      http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/…..cology.htm

      I am not a trained anthropologist, but I have been trained in Marxism. I regard Diamond as a very good writer, but as a thinker only second-rate.

      There’s at minimum seven hilarious concepts/assertions in those three sentences and one URL.

    4. White people should stop moving

      Stasis! A constant theme for these folks.

  7. Holy fucking shit.

    Through the eyes of public school teachers fighting for the benefit of all their students, SCHOOLIDARITY tells the interwoven story of the two most significant workers’ rights struggles of our time: the weeks-long 2011 mass occupation of the Wisconsin capitol, and the Chicago teachers strike of 2012. SCHOOLIDARITY provides a history of the issues surrounding the privatization of urban public schools in the US. By documenting the ascent of the activist teacher caucus CORE, Chicago’s public schools crisis is analyzed through the lens of the assault on public sector unions, where defeats are just as important to study as victories in order to insure education justice for all.

    1. insure education justice for all

      What does this even mean?

      1. It means that there’s no need to teach children how to read so long as they all can’t read to the same degree.

      2. See this:
        …”Chicago’s public schools crisis is analyzed through the lens of the assault on public sector unions,”…
        If means the teachers are pissed about people calling them on their union and they have to make up distractions!

  8. This is the worst chatroom ever.

    1. A/S/L?

      1. After all those pics I sent you, it seems like you’d know S.

        1. They were stored on Lois Lerner’s computer 🙁

        2. Damn, pictures?! How come no love for everyone else?

  9. Aaaaaaaand we’re back.

  10. I wanted to post some links in PM links that I thought were interesting, but I couldn’t and now I’m butthurt about it. When/where is the weekend links thread?

  11. What’s the ‘true story’ Brokovich is supposedly based on?

    1. It’s the story of a litigator managing to extort a couple hundred mil (back when a couple hundred mil meant something) out of a utilities company, shower what was left after extracting their fees on the claimants in a Californian town, then throw themselves a massive cruiseliner party with some of the judges who presided over their arbitration.

      It’s also the story of why Americans are suckers for a David v. Goliath story.

    1. Can we get a “Kids react to: Vice: kids telling dirty jokes” montage?

  12. OK wow lets jsut hit those mountains running.

    http://www.WentAnon.tk

  13. Kelo is truly one of the most disgusting decisions ever. Made all the more disgusting by the fact that the lot the house was on is now an empty lump of dirt. “good job” by the gov’t once again…

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