Eminent Domain, Obama, and the little guy

Cross-posted from Faultline USA

Yesterday three minor news stories came together into one story, and then the story really got interesting. Hang in there and read on. Don’t you want to find out why Obama positioned himself in alignment with the rotation of the earth?

(1) Congress was opened for the first time by a Hindu prayer. The Hindu cleric’s prayer to open Congress was disrupted by some Christians. Read three different takes on this from Christian Newswire, Religion Clause, and the lefty Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

(2) Eminent Domain Reform was introduced in U.S. House of Representatives. The Castle Coalition reported yesterday that Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2007 to stop taxpayer funding of eminent domain abuse. . . “It prevents Americans’ federal tax dollars from being used to kick them off their land for private development, while allowing federal money for traditional public uses like roads and post offices. ” According to Steven Anderson, director of the Castle Coalition, “Unsurprisingly, tax-hungry governments and land-hungry developers prey on those that are less likely to be able to defend themselves.

It is vital that the federal government stop subsidizing this blatant abuse of power.”

Eminent Domain reform is desperately needed following the disastrous Kelo vs the City of New London Supreme Court ruling. This reform should have broad bi-partisan support. Lefty groups, however, are a bit too fond of portraying the “little guy” as an inner city minority or a member of a “marginalized” group. In fact, the little guy is just as likely to be a farmer or rancher who will lose family land to the NAFTA highway, to some kind of questionable “city” government, or to big money private development.

Read about the consequences of Kelo vs City of New London. “In Kelo v. City of New London, the U.S. Supreme Court held that anyone’s home or business can be taken if the government thinks someone else can make more money with the land. The floodgates to eminent domain abuse have busted open. However, there is a silver lining.” Also read The Impact of the Kelo Decision from reason.org.

(3) An Iowa farmer is being threatened with Eminent Domain by the Maharishi Vedic City. Bob Palm and his two brothers have 149 acres of farmland that has been in their family for 115 years. After the Palm brothers announced plans to raise hogs on the farm, the Maharishi Vedic City became upset because the city does not allow the sale of any non-organically raised product (that means only vegetarian). The city offered to buy the farm to build a park after appraising the farm’s value at $2,675 per acre. The Palms refused to sell and the “peace-loving” cult threatened to bring Eminent Domain proceedings.

Currently they are at a standoff.

I am really curious. Isn’t this America, the land of the free and home of the brave? How did Maharishi Vedic City become a genuine city in Iowa? Aren’t all American cities held to some basic standards of freedom of diversity? Apparently not so! In Maharishi Vedic City no one is allowed to sell non-organic products. The city is vegetarian. The official language is Hindu Sanskrit. Need I go on? So how can this so-called American city even be considered a real city much less bring Eminent Domain proceedings against a neighbor?

For some history on the Utopian, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and his Transcendental Meditation cult read Heaven on Earth .

Living in the hope of spending the afterlife in heaven is a definite waste of the glorious gift of human life. So every individual must try to create a heavenly environment on earth, and one Hindu spiritual leader thinks it’s very much possible to build heaven on earth!
He is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi — the notable Vedic teacher and celebrated guru of transcendental meditation, and the vital force behind such Vedic institutions as the Maharishi University of Management and the Maharishi International University.

According to a 2000 article by Rick Ross it’s all about big money and politics:

Today, amazingly, the Maharishi is still purveying bliss – only to the gentry, not below stairs. He has become a fashion icon. His sly smile no longer looks down from a thousand college notice boards, but he is the pin-up of politicians, accountants, doctors, businessmen and journalists. In this era of anxiety, his New Age message is the antidote to executive stress.

What is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Natural Law party?

According to the Natural Law Party (U.S.) “50-Point Action Plan to Revitalize America,” “there are simple, humane, cost-effective, scientifically proven solutions to all of America’s problems. The Natural Law Party was founded to implement these solutions immediately in government.” The discussion of their actual policy in their printed material and web site, while quite lofty, is extremely vague. Nowhere in the literature they mail to prospective members do they mention that all of these “solutions” are based on products of one controversial group. But in actuality the Natural Law Party is a global “political” front — with organizations in 80 countries — for the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement.

The Maharishi is a Hindu monk who began teaching TM in the 1950s. The public best knows him for his association with the Beatles, who learned TM from him in the late 1960s. It’s interesting to note that in 1957, the Maharishi claimed he would bring the world to enlightenment within 10 years — and would then retire to the caves of the Himalayas to spend the remainder of his days in quiet meditation. Yet, today he governs a world-wide spiritual empire worth over $3.5 billion dollars.More details and source documents.
Return to top.

Also read Secrets of the Natural Law Party. Here’s an excerpt from the chapter Unnatural FAQs:

. . .Since the 1970s, the Maharishi has touted TM as a secular form of meditation that does not conflict with any religion, philosophy, or governmental system. But in fact, insiders report that TM is secretly a very fundamental form of Hinduism. According to former Maharishi International University professor Anthony D. DeNaro, the Maharishi once snapped, “When America is ready for Hinduism, I will tell them.” The Maharishi incorporated his original movement as a religious organization with himself as its “spiritual head.” He has said that he chooses the names of Hindu gods as mantras for his followers. Four U.S. courts have found that TM is religious or a religion. . . .

All the more reason why this city isn’t an American city and should not have the power of Eminent Domain!

Obama woos Vedic City, folks! Also see Politico Blog. Here’s an excerpt from with bold added by me.

FAIRFIELD, Iowa-Sen. Barack Obama drew his heartiest welcome of a two-day swing through Iowa in the state’s capital of inner peace. . .Obama had positioned himself in alignment with the rotation of the earth, in accordance with the teachings of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whose followers moved en masse to this small Iowa city more than 30 years ago.The Maharishi’s transcendental meditators, along with vacationing pilgrims from the East Coast, turned out in large numbers in the town’s traditional green square to hear the Illinois senator deliver his stump speech on the night of July 3-more people, Fairfield’s sheriff said, than had come out to greet a sitting president.“I saw him and I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is somebody who could lead us into a new era,’” said Nancy Watkins, an international student adviser at the Maharishi University of Management.

A liberal’s take on the event. Here’s an excerpt. Highlights added by the liberal:

Meditating Iowans At Peace With Obama CBS News, NY turned out in large numbers in the town’s traditional green square to hear the Illinois senator deliver his stump speech on the night of July 3 — more people, Fairfield’s sheriff said, than had come out to greet a sitting president. ….. “Somehow we have lost the capacity to recognize ourselves in each other,”” Obama said, to an intently nodding crowd of at least 1,000. “You know, people talk a lot about the federal deficit, but one of the things that I always talk about is …an empathy deficit,” he continued, to applause. …… Obama spoke as Washington wallows in a summer of intense conflict. Subpoenas are flying from the Hill to the White House. ….. In some of his speeches, he didn’t even mention President Bush. …..

This is a central gamble of Obama’s campaign for President. The loudest voices in the Democratic Party — from Chairman Howard Dean to former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Clinton — have been sounding steady notes of confrontation with the White House. Clinton and Edwards argue that they will win the partisan wars. ….. Obama argues that the country, and even partisans, are tired of partisan warfare. …. a suburb — the fist new city incorporated in Iowa in decades — called Maharishi Vedic City, in which all buildings face East.

Now I wonder if the crowd was nodding in agreement with Obama or just head-bobbing in transcendental meditation? No matter. It sure looks like Obama won’t be visiting any farmers facing Eminent Domain these days, now does it? Obama’s got more bread to butter and he knows exactly where to find it!

H/T to Iowa Voice “Gurus Love Obama” (from someone living in the midst of these folks) . . .

Oh, by the way…you know what that “Yoga flying” really is? They cross their legs, go into a “trance” (some “herbs” might be involved, if you get my drift), and then proceed to hop/bounce around a gymnasium. They barely get a few inches off the floor, yet they think they’re actually flying. And that’s just stage 1! Pure freakin’ nutjobs.

So if they want to be supportive of Obama, more power to ‘em. But I’ll just bet you won’t see any “Endorsed by The Maharishi University” on any campaign flyers anytime soon.