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Your Views: How does demolishing homes serve Janesville's ‘greater good’?

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March 15, 2014

The headline Gazette article Tuesday, March 11, “Station options advance,” was nothing less than horrifying. Primarily the comment from Councilman Sam Liebert, “…But it’s part of what we do in a civilized society. It’s making a difference for the greater good.” Mr. Liebert was referring to those folks who could lose their homes under the proposed plan to build a new fire station.

What is horrifying about Mr. Liebert’s comment is that at one time people believed that the good was a concept to be defined by a code of moral values, and that no man had the right to seek the good through the violation of the rights of another. Mr. Liebert appears to believe that he may sacrifice anyone’s property in any manner he pleases for the sake of whatever he deems to be the “greater good.”

Such seizures, under the protective guise of law, in a civilized society are repulsive. If Mr. Liebert believes he may seize property simply because there is a need, then Mr. Liebert is acting quite similarly to any burglar. The only difference is the burglar does not ask anyone to sanction his theft.

It is the absolute duty of any government to protect the individual rights of its citizens, never to take them away. Mr. Liebert, and every “greater good” council member, needs to explain to the folks whose homes may wind up on the demolition list precisely how they can justify wrecking anyone’s life for the “greater good.”

JAMES OUSTERHOUT

Janesville



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