- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First edition (September 15, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312123337
- ISBN-13: 978-0312123338
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty First Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
A critic of governmental hypocrisy in his exposes The Fair Trade Fraud and The Farm Fiasco , Bovard over-extends himself in this libertarian broadside against government interventions such as school condom-giveaway programs and the minimum wage. He makes worthy points, however, arguing, for example, that only those who can afford to sue can protect their property rights and that the need for drunk-driving checkpoints results from police incompetence in controlling previously convicted drunken drivers. But Bovard proffers sweeping statements like "Civil rights law has gone from letting black people sit at luncheon counters to entitling people with infectious diseases to prepare and serve them lunch." Another shocker: "The federal tax system has turned individuals into sharecroppers of their own lives ." A bit less bluster and more discretion would have produced a more effective polemic.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Publisher
Praise for James Bovard's Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty:
"Remarkable...Mr. Bovard's unrivaled research has resulted in a virtual encyclopedia of modern government abuse." --The Wall Street Journal
"There may be no more cogent critic of today's welfare state than journalist James Bovard...Lost Rights is his finest work yet." --National Review
"A gold mine...a virtually bottomless pit of government incompetence, dishonesty or outright repression at all levels." --The Washington Times
"I would go out of my way to recommend the remarkable book--400 densely packed pages about the mounting war on poverty and contract, the tyranny of taxation, and the growth of federal power in the guise of expanding our rights. In this field, Bovard is surely the leading researcher in the country...Brilliant!" --American Spectator
"Chilling...James Bovard has collected in one volume the evidence of what Americans' willingness to trade freedom for security has cost them...Bovard's catalogue of petty tyrannies is worth your attention. Read it to be reminded why eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." --Los Angeles Daily News
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Top Customer Reviews
Bunker purchased a dilapidated, historic farmhouse and barn in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania in 1983. The property's deed had a "covenant agreement" (an historic easement) on it by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a large quasi-private, government-sanctioned Trust in Washington DC. After Bunker had spent about 40 years meticulously preserving and fixing up the house and barn -- even employing Amish craftsmen for intricate reconstruction -- the National Trust decided that it wanted Bunker to "contribute" his house and barn to their general neighborhood preservation project, a multi-million dollar project that included three other buildings and a mill.
After many years of negotiation, Bunker and the National Trust were unable to arrive at an equitable agreement. The National Trust then hired local lawyers to find a way to acquire Bunker's property, with or without his cooperation. To this end, they found a minor infraction on the "deed covenant" and used this to open a series of legal actions. The National Trust claimed that Bunker had installed some "non-historic" windows in his house. Bunker countered that he had express authorization from the National Trust's chief architect to install the windows. He further explained that the windows were temporary to keep destructive weather out of the house while he focused his attention on restoration of the Barn, much of which was missing a roof. See short video tour of the barn at [...] In reaction to this, the lawyers for the National Trust forbid the chief architect from having any further communications with Bunker and proceeded to use the windows to build their case.
To facilitate their acquisition plans, the National Trust then requested Bunker post an intimidating $400,000 bond and comply with a growing list of dictates. When Bunker was unwilling to comply, they used this as further "grounds" to step up their legal harassment for another four years. This may have caused Bunker serious health problems, for this legal harassment culminated in the National Trust physically sending in a small armada of lawyers, armed guards and a constable to literally throw him and his fiancée out of his house. As this abuse was escalating, Bunker and his family hired an MAI appraiser to evaluate the house, barn and 1.5 acres. The appraisal came in just over $400,000 but in August of 2011, the National Trust, without consulting Bunker as to listing price -- or even getting his signature on the sale agreement -- sold the house and barn for $145,000 -- just enough to cover their legal fees and other expenses, such as the police powers they improperly used against a citizen.
We are now seeking counsel, on a contingency basis, that would able and willing to bring legal action against the National Trust ([...]) and possibly the "receiver". We believe the National Trust has no Constitutional authority to deed restrict or confiscate private property no matter what "social good" is claimed and the court-appointed receiver may have violated her fiduciary responsibilities when she sold the property for way under market value. Media, research professionals and legal counsel interested in helping us with this case should contact us at 212-933-9374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, I think the other reviewer missed the point of whole book. Yes, Bovard cites files lawsuits but he also cites plenty of examples where judges have ruled in favor of the plaintiff, then cited examples of what can only be judicial incompetence or legal ignorance. The courts today are far from being the protector of our rights even if the occasional judge does do the right thing, and Bovard cites enough examples of that to prove that he indeed gives credit where credit is due.
But to the book, with Bovard's judicious use of examples and what we find is tat he builds a powerful case against the federal and in some cases local, governments. The examples he uses are all true and he by no means cites every example, but he sure cite enough to show a distinct pattern. An indisputable pattern.
What more powerful evidence can there be but to cite the facts of government abuse of citizens and the abrogation of the rights. There it is in black and white undeniable and irrefutable.
I also don't agree that Bovard is a champion of government regulation of the S&L's. I think the point Bovard made in the book was that the FDIC was insuring these S&L accounts and along with that insurance should have been some rules much like when you buy auto insurance, the insurer has the right to require certain things of you like having a drivers license.
I think What Bovard is saying here is that stupid regulations and failure to force the S&L's to behave responsibly as a condition for the FDIC coverage was the root of the problem. What if someone said to you in Las Vegas to bet as much as you like and not to worry, that someone else will cover your losses while you will keep you winnings. Imagine anyones behavior after being made an offer like that. Thats is basically what happened with the S&L's. If the S&L wanted FDIC coverage they should have had oversight. No oversight - no FDIC. Would you put your money in a non-FDIC bank? Maybe, maybe not but at least you would aware of the risks.
Overall Bovard makes a powerful case that no one can really challenge on the evidence. I would look forward to someone reviewing this book and citing a few examples that disprove his assertions. Yes I will accept anecdotal evidence.