Express Car Wash Sues Charlottesville

Henry Weinshenk’s Express Car Wash has, with the help of The Rutherford Institute, filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Charlottesville over last year’s water restrictions, WINA reports. As a refresher, on September 17, emergency water rationing was put into place by the city when the water supply was forecast to be exhausted in 80-100 days. As the first step, outdoor water usage restrictions were put into place, followed by raising the price of water and ordering car washes to shut down. On September 20, Weinshenk announced that he had no intention of ceasing operations, believing that it was reasonable to use the dwindling water supply to wash cars. After being met with heavy criticism, Weinshenk issued a press release three days later, announcing that they had switched to a water-free system of cleaning the cars, thus remaining open throughout the drought. According to a press release by The Rutherford Institute, they are seeking to have the drought restrictions declared unconstitutional, plus damages. “Local businessmen should be able to operate free of fear that they will be arbitrarily shut down by government officials in times of duress,” declares Rutherford president John Whitehead in the release. Was this a case of unfair targeting, or was it a reasonable restriction in a time of emergency?

57 Responses to “Express Car Wash Sues Charlottesville”


  • It was a reasonable restriction in a time of emergency. The car wash contingent apparently wants to penalize *city residents* by seeking damages. How greedy can you get?

    The press release says "the City Council’s order to shut down Express Car Wash’s business operations last fall constituted an unlawful taking of property."

    What property did the city take? Does Weinschenk own the water? He wasn’t told to shut down. He was told to stop using water. He was still permitted and able to run his business by using alternative cleaning methods, which he did.

    This case is groundless.

  • He wasn’t told to shut down. He was told to stop using water.

    In addition he was, if memory serves, permitted to provide his own water. So if he wanted to have it trucked in, as a number of businesses did throughout Virginia, he was free to do so.

    I agree, this case is stupid. I’ve long appreciated the cases that Whitehead supports, although I have often disagreed with the plaintiffs. (Like the teacher suing the county schools over her right to post a picture of Christ.) In this case, though, I just don’t understand what he’s thinking.

  • When government takes charge, they should be held fully responsible. I can’t express my disagreement enough with folks that say you shouldn’t sue government since in effect you are making the people supporting the government pay. There must be recourse against government abuse or lack of due diligence, and in this case, financial damages are claimed, therefore financial resolutions would be equally appropriate.

    I am not sure how responsible cville government is for the problems we’ve had the last few years with water (although I tend to believe there is some plain old shirking of responsibility going on). But now, almost a year later after the last BIG ONE (drought), what has government done to correct this potentially disastrous situation from reoccurring? Have they built, conceived, financed additional reservoirs for our area? WHAT HAS BEEN DONE?

  • "I can’t express my disagreement enough with folks that say you shouldn’t sue government since in effect you are making the people supporting the government pay."

    Fine, fine, fine. But this case is still frivolous. In my opinion, the Cville gov’t didn’t "abuse" anybody or were not negligent. IN MY OPINION. They couldn’t predict that the drought would be as severe as it was.

    A case could be made that they could have done more to mitigate the effects of the drought by doing something about the local water supply, but does that give someone the basis to SUE the gov’t for monetary damages? If that’s the case, then every city resident should call up their lawyers. We all shared in the pain of the drought, not just poor little old Henry Weinschenck.

  • Mr. Weinschenck has a business that depends on a most basic material and service. He was financially affected by what could be, if the courts rule so, negligence on the part of government.

    Let me ask you this: let’s say local government cuts you off from getting to work because it has not taken care of some problem on the roads on the way to work. Instead of a 5-mile drive, you have to go 75 miles one way! I think you may consider damages.

    What happens if your electricity goes out for weeks because of incompetent power supplier? You don’t have a access to a fridge, your water well doesn’t pump so you have to go to a hotel and the bill is $1,000. You may consider damages there too…

  • If an electricity company were sooooooooooo imcompetent that it affected my business in a negative financial way, then yes, I’d sue. But the city was not imcompetent in my opinion in this case, and I feel confident in saying that any judge will react the same way.

    When you go into business, you accept that there are going to be risks involved, and a drought is one of them. The city should not have to pay up because the car wash businesses didn’t have the foresight in their business plan to know that if severe drought hits the area, then they might be affected financially. They’re a bunch of crybabies.

  • The thing to me is the City targeted car washes, who as I understand it don’t use nearly as much water as one might think. Typically, to reduce costs they filter and recycle their water, squeezing every last drop out of what they take from the collective supply.

    I would imagine that on a typical day a few restaurants use more water on a daily basis than a car wash, and when you consider how many freaking restaurants there are in the City, shutting off their water would have done far more to improve the water problem than closing a couple of car washes. It’s true that nobody has a constitutional right to get their car washed, but nobody has a constitutional right to eat out, either.

    In essence, this is indeed a "taking," I think, and that’s a constitutional issue the City apparently didn’t address.

    Whether they were right or wrong in closing the car washes (I think they were dead wrong), they clearly didn’t exercise any due process, much less due dilligence. I’m thinking the City will be settling this one as quietly as possible.

  • The Rutherford Institute said, in so many words, that it was "unreasonable" for the city to shut down the car washes. Express Car Wash came out and openly said it was going to disregard the ordiance/law and continue using water, until they kicked themselves in the head and realized they could use alternative cleaning methods. "Neccessity is the mother of invention," and Express Car figured that out and should have incorporated that into their business plan as part of their risk assessment.

    I would have to say that in a time of severe emergency, eating is more important than getting your car washed and the city asking the car washes to stop using water was entirely "reasonable."

  • We’re not in Central Africa. There is a reasonable expectancy of continuous water supply.

    The only question for the court is whether cville officials have done *their* job, given recent history and such. I mean, the government claims the need for a bunch of environmental analysis (I mentioned this last year to cvillenews.com readers after looking at the RWSA balance sheet). So we pay for all that data, yet officials just sit on it. They’re the ones that should know the risk and act upon it. They should be presenting the case for the need of additional infrastructures. If cville residents decide *after* being fully informed that they don’t want the expense, then either cville needs to have people and businesses sign a document of understanding of the risk of living/operating in the area (like docs are often in the real-estate world), or then cville may be liable (like in this case).

    There must be accountability. Even for local governments. I say, *especially* for government. You know, this is a fundamental difference in thinking between you (and a majority of Americans) and I: you don’t want government in so many areas of the economy because precisely, you don’t want to hold it responsible. From the outset, you don’t trust government. I, on the other hand, think more things should be managed by the collectivity (government), such as health care, children’s daycare… But, I feel this way because I believe government can and must improve dramatically. Accountability is the premier tenet to this end.

  • You are so right on this one. During the peak of the drought, in commercial kitchens, I saw staff with open faucets for minutes on end just flowing out to no real use. The restrooms displayed restricted usage signs, but in the kitchens, NOTHING.

    If government has the power to restrict and legislate, it must, within reason, be held fully accountable for their policies. Descriminating based on misunderstanding or misconceptions is same, to me, as legislating blacks and whites cannot use the same bathrooms.

  • The city didn’t ask the car washes to stop using water. This wasn’t a voluntary action. It was arbitrary, and it was directed toward an industry that, unlike most others, actually recycles their water

    As Whitehead said, “What we know is that all car washes in Charlottesville use about 0.6 percent of the city’s water, while hotels and motels use about 3.5 percent.”

    Express Car Wash employs 40 people, and they lost $60,000 in profit during the preventable emergency caused by the inevitible drought. I have no idea how that relates to gross sales, but I would think the top line number is significantly higher.

    Currently, our country is experiencing a little-known natural gas supply crisis. Suppies are lower than they have been in, apparently, decades. Should this continue, and the gas supplies made available to the city are reduced, and conservation becomes necessary, and local restaurants, who are among the largest users of natural gas, were arbitrarily told they couldn’t use any more gas, would you criticize local restaurants for not incorporating wood-burning stoves and ovens into their business plans when they complain that they’re being unfairly targeted without due process?

    Personally, I’m more concerned about the City, County, and RWSA not including meteorological drought into THEIR risk assessments. The poor planning was in their offices, not Express Car Wash’s. The people and political entities who mismanaged our resources and contributed to the shortage last fall need to be held accountable far more than the businesspeople who fought City Hall.

  • First of all, that ‘alternate cleaning methods’ is not that great. I certainly won’t wash my car regularly with a dry wash. So, not only was there a substantial loss of business, it cost the owner big money to obtain and operate that alternate method.

    Again, in my example of your road not being maintained to get to work, increasing your trip from 10 to 150 miles round trip every day, you could purchase and get the license for an ultra-light plane, rent a strip near your place of work, and get there almost as fast as before. Should you be forced to because of possible negligence from someone else?

  • Clearly, it was arbitrary and unfair to shut down carwashes. They used a tiny fraction of the city’s water. You’d never hear of the city cutting UVA’s water off because they are the 500 pound gorilla of our local economy.

    The city decided instead to pick on the little guy. There is NO precedent for cities in virginia shutting down carwashes. And the state guidelines showed that commercial businesses would be protected during the restrictions.

    Aside from that, I don’t think there is a constitutional claim here, the constitution is very narrow. Nowhere in the constitution does it say you cant pass a law arbitrarily taking property from anyone.

    The constitution says "denied property without DUE PROCESS OF LAW". That means if you pass a law, you can do it.

    This also means you can pass a law that says its ok to kill black people, or gay people, or any other group you choose. As long as there is a legal proceeding first.

    On top of all that, you don’t even get any rights from the bill of rights, it doesnt allow people to do things, rathar it prevents legislation from being passed.

  • I tend to agree with you (once is not customary). Every time a claim is made, people cry anti-constitutionality. This popular misconception of what constitutional law is, as a principle, grates me to no end.

  • It`s all about fairness. Seems to me the City assumed, in order to place emphasis on the need to stop "private car washing" (which probably consumes a lot more water than a car wash) they had to set an example by shutting down car washes while letting places as the Omni, run without sanction, albeit a few guidelines were published.

    If the above premise is true, and I believe there is reason to think so, then the city unfairly used carwashes as an "example" rather than study the problem from a fairness point of view,i.e., amount of water consumed

    Of course those that disagree might say, "Well the Omni supports buiness because of tourists, blah, blah, blah, –but that is then returning to the question of fairness among businesses.

    I stay pretty close to the view that City government is staffed with people and therefore prone to error which in this case one was made.

  • Although I will disagree with this:

    Nowhere in the constitution does it say you cant pass a law arbitrarily taking property from anyone.

    Although it’s true it doesn’t say you can’t pass such a law, it does say almost everywhere that property is an unalienable right (TJ was a property lawyer and broker, after all).

    But this case is not about property and this should be obvious to almost everyone. This, too, is a despicable modern truism: attorneys and courts are geared up for litigation and not the pursuit of Justice (and consequently Truth).

  • I would have to say that in a time of severe emergency, eating is more important than getting your car washed and the city asking the car washes to stop using water was entirely “reasonable.”

    that’s irrelevant. if you prohibit one type of business from using water, then you have to prohibit all businesses from using it, regardless of how “important” their business is. maybe a more fair thing to do would have been to limit the number of vehicles Express could sent through their wash per day. limiting their water use (which is basically what most other businesses did) would have made more sense. i hope they win their suit. maybe that will send a wake-up call to the city and the RSWA that they need to start using the $$$ from our over-inflated water rates to build a better infrastructure, rather than using it to print more “conserve water” stickers for their city vehicles.

  • My bad, I omitted a sentence. I must add; however, I see no constitutional issue here.

  • in a state of emergency, prioritization is foremost and certainly relevant. but, here, we were neither in a state of *critical* emergency nor was prioritization based on anything but the whims of our city officials, not on hard data.

    what pissed me off more than anything was that schools were flatly denied running water in the bathrooms to wash hands. that was a very stupid judgment call, especially in light of the waste in commercial kitchens.

  • So, last year Express Car Wash was a bad citizen by trying to use the last of our water, and this year is suing me. You know, I’m probably not going to buy anything from him.

    A number of people seem to be saying that it would be ok to restrict water if we restrict it for the largest users first.

    How many car washes are there in the city? Maybe 5? How many restaurants? Maybe 200? So 5 businesses use .6% and 200 businesses use 3.5%. Car washes still sound like a good first step.

    And everyone believed that restaurant restrictions were coming. Restaurants themselves believed this and DRASTICALLY cut their water use hoping to avoid manditory restrictions. How much did the car washes voluntarily cut back? ZERO.

    Well, bring on Paula Jones’ lawyer — I was wondering, if he wins, can we agree that the settlement funds come from the Meadowcreek Parkway project? That’s something that deserves to be starved.

    By the way, anyone want to join me in suing the city for closing the Locust St Bridge?

  • Of those who believe that Express Car Wash is in the right here, what would you think of a suit by an area store specializing in car-washing supplies? You know, the special undercarriage hoses, sponges, soaps, etc. If people are barred from washing their cars at their homes, then they stop buying supplies, and those stores lose money. Is there a case to be made?

  • Hey Waldo was that question direct to the only pro-business guy in here which might be me? :P

    For me, it all depends. Express Car Wash has to prove that in other VA towns restrictations were not as rough againist other car washes. Then he might have a case. Like for instance, what if H-burg had a similar drought restrictions like CVille. Yet H-Burg allow their car wash businesses to operate but under certain rules. And they didn’t shut down their car wash businesses like CVille. Yet Cville was the only city in the state to mandate the closing of Express Car Wash, then this guy might be entitle to his losses.

    However, if car wash places all over the state was force to close do to the dought. This guy has no leg to stand on.

  • "When you go into business, you accept that there are going to be risks involved"

    THANK YOU for pointing this out. There’s a lot lipservice in this country paid to the idea of "personal responsibility," i.e., "you knew the risk of having unprotected sex, you stupid 15-year-old, so now you have AIDS–it’s your own fault" and "you knew the risk of not going to college, you poor person, and now your welfare check is being cut off, it’s your own fault," etc.

    And yet, when it comes to *businesses*, accepting the negative outcome of a risk seems somehow unfair. No, this isn’t Central Africa, but DUH anyone choosing to open a business that relies on a constant supply of water is an IDIOT if he doesn’t take into account that droughts happen, even in the US, and that restrictions get placed on individuals (my lawn died last summer, how about yours?) and businesses (though the infrequency of restrictions on businesses only demonstrates the impunity with which businesses get to operate, compared to the average individual).

    If I opened a carwash, I’d damn well know that it was possible that some day down the line there might be a drought and water-rationing might set in.

    I think it’s high hypocrisy that many of the same social conservatives who advocate letting individuals who’ve made "bad choices" languish in their misery as a way of sending the lesson that personal responsibility is paramount turn around and give a free pass to business owners who want someone else to pay for their refusal to take the consequences of their decisions.

  • "if you prohibit one type of business from using water, then you have to prohibit all businesses from using it, regardless of how ‘important’ their business is."

    why? are you saying that all businesses are automatically equal, that we can make no value judgments about which ones are critically important and which ones are frivolous? we sure seem to think that hospitals, for example, should get more leeway than, say, pet stores. what’s wrong with that? your reasoning here seems kind of kindergarten–if Billy can’t have a cookie, then no one can have a cookie. Only if everyone can have a cookie can any individual have a cookie. and the cookies have to be all exactly the same size.

    fairness is overrated, or maybe I mean to say that fairness has come to be seen as the only ideal that matters. as if (a) true fairness were actually achievable and (b) as if achieving true fairness were actually the best possible outcome.

  • Or, to put it another way, how about a store that sells pipes and bongs? If a government makes pot illegal, can they sue for lost profits?

    Or, can Segway’s company sue San Francisco for making it illegal to use one on the sidewalk, thereby making them useless in the city?

    Or can panhandlers sue a city that passes an aggressive panhandling law, thereby depriving them of profits?

  • "So, last year Express Car Wash was a bad citizen by trying to use the last of our water, and this year is suing me. You know, I’m probably not going to buy anything from him. "

    Me too, man! I see a lot of greed on the part of the local car wash businesses……..

  • Letting my imagination run a bit… there is some ongoing bad blood between Express Car Wash and the city because Charlottesville may likely in the future build an overpass near the intersection where Express Car Wash is located, which would obscure the view of the business from the highway to an extent, which may result in its profits decreasing (theoretically). The feuding ties in to the Route 29 Bypass, which has been effectively killed, and Express Car Wash’s strong interest in it being built. Sounds like somebody is a little vindictive and wants to undermine the city as much as possible, and this lawsuit would serve to do that if it succeeds.

  • But this case is not about property and this should be obvious to almost everyone.

    I’m not sure about that. I’m not a lawyer, but I do recall from school that due process is guaranteed by the 5th and 14th amendments, and that due process guarantees that property may be taken by the government only for public purposes, and that owners of taken property must be fairly compensated.

    I’m sure it can be argued (perhaps successfuly, perhaps not) that while the water that was essentially refused to the car wash was not the car wash’s property, preventing the car wash from having the water greatly diminished and devalued the property rights of the owner, clearly shown by the claim that the property lost $60,000 in PROFITS directly as a result of the City’s actions.

    So let’s say for the sake of argument that a good lawyer can prove that this IS a property issue. In that case, since no other types of business were targeted, can it be argued that the water was witheld for the benefit of other businesses that were NOT forced to get by without water? And is the car wash due compensation?

    The City handled the entire water problem about as inelegantly as possible. The City government was as responsible for the long-term water crisis as anybody was – FAR more responsible than a few car washes. Their unaccountable lack of foresight was and is reprehensible. Crisis has passed, water rates are up, looks like they dodged another one.

    If the City loses this, and has to cash out to Henry, don’t fault Henry, and don’t fault the Rutherford Institute. Blame the defendant.

  • Hey Waldo was that question direct to the only pro-business guy in here which might be me? :P

    That’s hardly true. I own two small businesses, and I’ve started a third. I know for a fact that a half dozen other regulars here also own small businesses. I don’t imagine that any of us could ever be rationally referred to as anti-business. I believe we may just define “pro-business” differently.

  • So, last year Express Car Wash was a bad citizen by trying to use the last of our water, and this year is suing me. You know, I’m probably not going to buy anything from him.

    You know, I thought that until they went to the dry wash. After that, I figured that they were good citizens. I got my first-ever car last weekend, and I figured that when I was going to get it washed, I’d make a point of going to Express Car Wash. There goes that.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought Express Car Wash was that big one in the Seminole Square shopping center (across from Chili’s). If so, that seems far enough from the potential overpass that I wouldn’t think he’d be concerned about it–surely that overpass wouldn’t encroach that far up 29? Maybe it would. I was thinking that car wash with something to lose vis-a-vis the proposed overpass would be the one in KMart’s parking lot. Plus the quickie mart and the import auto sale places directly on the corner.

  • Express Car Wash has said in the past that the potential overpass would hurt their business.

  • Well, I agree with you. And even on the potential of the legal “property” approach. But my point wasn’t that it can’t be used in court, rather that it’s sad it can’t just employ straightforward honesty, describing the issue as you yourself presented it (below) b/c it certainly would not yield fair and just judgment from our court system:

    The City handled the entire water problem about as inelegantly as possible. The City government was as responsible for the long-term water crisis as anybody was – FAR more responsible than a few car washes. Their unaccountable lack of foresight was and is reprehensible. Crisis has passed, water rates are up, looks like they dodged another one.

  • Boy, now this one takes the cake! What a bowl full of shit! First, basing a governmental edict on the smallest body b/c what? they can’t do anything about it is the most lame thing I’ve heard in a while. Since when, in America, are the many’s rights worth more than the few? Second, by your own [lack of] reasoning, shutting down 5 instead of 200 businesses was not going to yield much in the way of results. Especially since the carwashes make use of water much more efficiently. Third, bozo, the restaurants’ (most of them) so-called voluntary water restrictions were more in the way of restricting customers from using bathrooms and being served water more than actual changes in their kitchens. Did you go and check them? It was fukkin’ lip-service and self-convenience.

    I think you and Paula Jones share more than the first few letters of your names…

  • I repeat: Why are you asking questions for which the answer is of no use to you? You think this primary lawsuit is frivolous, so obviously you think corollary suits are w/o merit de męme. What’s your angle? Trying to confuse the poor schlocks like me on this site? You know what that’s called? It called demagoguery.

  • Don’t get all bent out of shape and worked up, dude. It’s just a discussion. I can just imagine you can’t type your comments fast enough, can you? You’re just sittin’ there, your face all red and your pumpkin head about to explode…..

  • Although I certainly can get intellectually worked up about things within these discussions, only physical exertion will significantly raise my blood pressure. In fact, blowing off idiots online tends to be therapeutic for me. Why do you ask? Has your fruit-head exploded from too much mental stimuli?

  • you got it pal.

  • The Cavalier Daily story included a photo that might help.

  • I’m at a loss as to how Waldo trying to facilitate a discussion is useless. I can’t imagine that you, of all people, would be opposed to others asking thought provoking questions and attempting to poke holes in another’s argument. Big fat whatever.

  • Why are you asking questions for which the answer is of no use to you? You think this primary lawsuit is frivolous, so obviously you think corollary suits are w/o merit de męme. What’s your angle? Trying to confuse the poor schlocks like me on this site? You know what that’s called? It called demagoguery.

    What? Had it occurred to you that I’d like to know what people think? Or that my mind, like everybody’s, can be changed? Further, it’s a discussion site. I serve to facilitate discussion here. That’s pretty much my job. So that’s what I’m doing.

    Sheesh. Don’t get all bent out of shape.

  • But do you realize that by resorting to personal attacks, you make your entire post sound like, as you put it, a "bowl full of shit," even if it contains valid points?

    You’re not doin’ yourself any favors with ad-hominem attacks.

  • From WINA:

    “The Albemarle County Service Authority is spending $182,000 so that a half-dozen homes in Ivy can get water. These six families will contribute about ten per cent of the cost, with the Authority paying the rest. The Authority is asking nearby businesses if they are interested in joining the hook-up plan, but will proceed without them.”

    That’s about $30k per house, with the homeowners picking up about $3k of that cost.

    Not a bad deal – I wish the County would contribute $27,000 toward getting my house on municipal water. Let’s see, at perhaps $50 per month in usage, they’ll get that money back in, say, 540 years.

    Nah – there’s no water mismanagement around HERE! I mean, seriously, what idiot bean counter decided this would be a good investment of the ACSA’s financial resources?

    Seriously.

  • I thought his bowl full of shit was worth my fill of kaka!? Oh well, I’ll take this under advisement.

  • It’s not like they couldn’t easily build water wells!!! The next question is: who are these golden 6? Any ties with city or ACSA officials?

  • Oh, excuse me for questioning your holy facilitatorship!

  • The important question is:

    Where are the investgative reporters on this story?

  • Well, that’s a question and an answer at the same time. You see, IMHO, a lot of what’s wrong in America today is in no small part connected to our no-longer free press (and other media). Most white crime villains, particularly the highest ranking, get away scott free.

  • Hi Sympatico

    OK – How about you, me, and a lot of others email or write or call the ACSA and our local Supervisors and Cville Council members and ask for an explanation as I will do.

    Power to the People (at least sometimes).

    PS I can`t wholeheartedly agree with your IMHO statement as I think people have more to do with it than corporations but then that`s merely MHO.


  • Although it’s true it doesn’t say you can’t pass such a law, it does say almost everywhere that property is an unalienable right (TJ was a property lawyer and broker, after all).

    That’s just so wrong. In so many ways. Ok, where do we start… First, the word inalienable.

    Inalienable: incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred

    Obviously property can’t be inalienable, it is bought and sold every day.

    Second, The word “unalienable” doesn’t exist anywhere in the constitution or the bill of rights, you’re thinking about the declaration of independence. “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”

    Third, if you read the constitution, you’ll find the following in the fifth amendment:

    …nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Without DUE PROCESS OF LAW. That means if they pass a law they can take your property, or even your life. So you see, property is not a “right”. Everything you own is on loan from the government until such point that they decide you can’t have it anymore. In a way, you don’t really own anything at all.

  • Yes, yes, and yes. But they wont win. Any more questions?

  • What’s your beef? I said explicitly there’s no mention of *not* being able to pass such a law. That said, Amendment 14 — the 5th being way over-used, as you are doing, and is mostly reserved for persons accused of a crime — specifically forbids “any State” from depriving “any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” defined, itself as:

    «a course of legal proceedings carried out regularly and in accordance with established rules and principles»

    …which means the U.S. Constitution does explicitly protect a person’s possession from being summarily taken away. What? I crossed-transferred the most contemporary term “unalienable (also: inalienable) right” and that’s a problem to you?

    As for your comment:

    Obviously property can’t be inalienable, it is bought and sold every day

    …it only shows you want so bad to be right. It’s not the property that unalienable, but the right to property. Get it? Not the object but the possession of the object. In plain English, concerning this matter, until you buy my property, or I cede it in any way, it’s mine, not yours. *Inalienably*. If the state should want it, I could defend my ownership rights in court using the U.S. Constitution as my defense. The state would have to have some very solid public needs arguments to be able to take it away and I should be fairly compensated in return. This is a prime tenet of U.S. beliefs and itself, concerning property matters, a descendant from Roman Edicts.

    Now your conclusion is Lars all over:

    Everything you own is on loan from the government until such point that they decide you can’t have it anymore. In a way, you don’t really own anything at all.

    What are you smoking? Or was you tax bill too much to swallow this season? In any case, your desire to knit-pick does what it seems to always do to you: you can’t see the forest from the trees.

  • Hi Cornelius. Besides probably being a waste of time and energy, there are other endeavors I am more devoted to. However, should you want to investigate this matter further, and would require moral support, I would more than happy to provide it.

    P.S. As we are not philosophically bound by common beliefs regarding white crime and accountability thereof, I feel it’s better we do our "political engaging" separately; for now, at least.

  • Without DUE PROCESS OF LAW. That means if they pass a law they can take your property, or even your life

    Actually, due process means a hell of a lot more than merely passing a law. The legislature passes a law establishing a death penalty. That doesn’t give the government the authority to go around taking out people they don’t like. You still need a trail, hearing, or some other procedure to assign the actual penalty, or in this case, taking of property. Even in cases where property is actually being taken for the public good (a highway, landfill, whatever), there are hearings, and there is compensation at “fair market value.”

    None of that happened here.

  • MY reasoning sounds kindergarten? you’re comparing a hospital to a pet store. that’s like comparing apples and elephants in this case.

    sure, maybe fairness is overrated. but my point is that Express has a valid complaint here. the city prohibited them from using water without even looking into their ACTUAL consumption. rather they based the decision on their perceived consumption, and the notion that during a drought, washing one’s car isn’t as important as, say, eating. however, just because one needs to eat does not mean that one NEEDS to go to a restaurant. i’m sure city residents could have helped conserve water by eating at home and using disposable plates and cups, which i didn’t see a whole lot of restaurants doing last summer. so why didn’t they cut off the water to the restaurants? which, as someone pointed out earlier, were far bigger abusers of water last summer than i’m sure Express Car Wash was.

    the bottom line is the city failed to come up with a legitimate basis for determining the line between "essential" and "non-essential" business water use. but then, city council hasn’t made an educated decision in years, so who would expect them to start now?

  • OK

    I wasn`t suggesting a summit meeting merely setting forth a method of combating whatever forces of evil materialize.

    I wrote my little note to the ABOS and await a response.

    I suppose your PS alluded to a previous post but I can`t at the moment bring details to mind so have no direct response.

    I appreciate the offer of moral support.

    Thanks/Cornelious

  • I’m not comparing a hospital to a pet store. I’m saying that hospitals and pet stores are different, that by extension there are differences among businesses, and we do in fact make distinctions among businesses–some, we say, are more essential than others, and some deserve to keep operating during times of crisis while others can be shut down. We do this, as a culture, already.

    You were suggesting in your earlier post that some principle of total "fairness" must prevail, that we can’t distinguish among businesses (you’re essential, we won’t cut off your water, you’re non-essential, we will cut off yours). where did I see you saying this? I quote from you:

    "if you prohibit one type of business from using water, then you have to prohibit all businesses from using it, regardless of how "important" their business is."

    and I say that’s baloney. that’s not how we do operate and that’s not how we should operate.

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