A Sting in the Tail
by Jim Davies, 9/21/2010
In a particularly nasty post-script to the Koran-burning affair the city of Gainesville, FL is billing Pastor Jones for $200,000 for the extra work it was caused. He says it will bankrupt his church and it will have to move. Possibly, that was exactly the intention.
Now, on balance I don't think it was a good idea to plan to burn Q'rans, even from his point of view. Before it was taken down by the host, Rackspace, (boycott them for that!) his web site published ten reasons to burn, and here I've analysed all ten. I admire his stand against everyone and his uncle, but think he could have been more effective had he just extended his work of offering Muslims in Florida extra carrots, instead of that stick. But of course, it's his choice, and supposedly this is a country where speech is free, along with religion.
But in Gainesville, after the fact, it seems to cost a couple of hundred grand.
The city fathers harrumph that all the fuss moved them to provide extra "security" for nearby residents and malls, but I didn't read that Jones or anyone at the Dove World Outreach Center had asked for that. If the government wants to monopolize provision of security against disturbances, knowing full well in advance that in America, anyone can say anything he wants, then that government can pay the costs. If it doesn't like the heat, let it get out of the kitchen, and leave the job to for-profit security firms working under contract. The only person obviously in danger, during the first couple of weeks in September, was Terry Jones himself, for he received over 100 death threats; and I've seen no mention that he asked for government bodyguards. Even if he did, Gainesville City is supposed to provide them without extra charge; that's the essence of the communist theory to which government people subscribe - "to each according to his need."
Jones says he'll fight the $200K bill in court, and good luck to him. His first line of defense might be that there exists no contract by which Dove promised to meet any unusual expenses of the city in relation to the bonfire, and did not ask for any unusual services. The trouble will be that the only court available will be a government court. He might reasonably move that its judge recuse himself for blatant conflict of interest, but it won't work. Courts don't exist to do justice, they exist to enforce government rule.
In the coming zero government society, that will radically change.