Property Rights


Support This Effort


2002-2003 Archives    2004 Archives     2005 Archives    2006 Archives    2007 Articles

You Must Know These 3 Definitions: Property, Land, Premises 
October 24, 2007
By Julie Kay Smithson, property rights researcher [email protected]
In order to protect your property rights, you must first know the difference between the definitions of property, land, and premises. If you do not know their meanings, you cannot effectively protect your property rights, i.e., your freedom. Premises, a recently touted definition, is being used to implement the "National Animal Identification System," or "NAIS." Substituting "premises" for "property" effectively renders property rights null and void. This use of a term (and its meaning, which is often not publicized) is no accident. Property is by far the most powerful legal term, but you can lose your property rights -- your ability to admit or deny access, utilize your property, sell or mortgage it, etc., if you do not know the three meanings and the context in which they are employed.
This is why property rights champions, researchers, activists, etc., are so adamantly opposed to "NAIS" and any other restrictions to their property rights.
Government agencies -- from various Department of Interior branches (Bureau of Land Management, or BLM; National Park Service, or NPS; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, or USFWS / FWS / "the Service," etc.) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (FS), Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and others -- regularly refer to property as mere "land" and property owners as mere "land owners." If left unchallenged and uncorrected, this spells the extinction of property rights. Sleeping on one's rights is no excuse in the legal and judicial worlds.   
Property rights are vital to your freedom and inseparable from it. Without them, you are nothing more than a tenant paying taxes on property over which you have lost some, most, or all of your rights.
Property - Something that is owned or possessed. Property may be real (land), personal, tangible (touchable), or intangible (such as the interest in a play or other creative work). - U.S. Treasury OTS (Office of Thrift Supervision, in charge of banks, savings and loan associations, etc.)

Land - Real property or any interest therein.

Premises - A physical location that represents a unique and describable geographic entity where activity affecting the health and/or traceability of animals may occur. In cases involving non-contiguous properties, the producer/owner should consult with his/her State Animal Health Official or Area Veterinarian in Charge to determine whether there is a need for one or multiple premises numbers. - National Animal Identification System (NAIS) A User Guide And Additional Information Resources Draft Version November 2006 - Glossary
"The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave." - George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.



"The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave." - George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.


The amendments, which have occurred to me, proper to be recommended by congress to the state legislatures, are these: First, That there be prefixed to the constitution a declaration that all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That government is instituted, and ought to be exercised for the benefit of, the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. - James Madison, Proposed Amendments to the Constitution, June 8, 1789.

I once wondered if our founding fathers were keenly aware of their opportunities and the times in which they lived, and I longed to have been part of the creation of our Christian Republic. Now I have a special opportunity, not unlike those I for which I once yearned. - Julie Kay Smithson, September 2006.

A right undefended is a right waived. The protection of property rights is fundamentally the preservation of civil liberties. - Wayne Hage, February 13, 2001.

"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." - Aldo Leopold. (anti property rights)

"My recommendation to any concerned local property owner is to dash down to the court house and get their “exhaustive chain-of-title” completed!  I would also recommend that anybody testifying remind the county that the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution applies to all subdivisions of government.  A taking is reached when a government entity destroys the NET income from prohibiting some of the rights to USE the property.  A couple of things to remember about title:  an exhaustive chain-of-title creates FULL title, not color of title.  A title company only provides “color of title”.  Once you trace the property back to the patent or treaty of origin and collect all property transfer documents in between, you have obtained full title.  Then a property owner can, if they want to push the matter that far, tell the governing authority that they are not required to get their permits, etc., because they have full title.  If the governing body still wants to push the matter, the property owner can tell the entity to show up with their checkbook and expect to pay highest and best use value for the property.  In these battles, full title is your big stick." - Ramona Hage Morrison, daughter of Wayne and Jean Hage, Nevada ranchers. July 26, 2004

The biggest thing people must understand is that, if people want the government to take care of them, they have no absolutely property rights -- they have only relative rights, i.e., their property is pledged to the social insecurity debt. Therefore, they must perform to the dictates of the government. - Lee Brobst, September 4, 2003

"Neither 'property' nor the value of property is a physical thing. Property is a set of defined options ... It is that set of options which has economic value ... It is the options, and not the physical things, which are the "property" -- economically as well as legally ... But because the public tends to think of property as tangible, physical things, this opens the way politically for government confiscation of property by forcibly taking away options while leaving the physical objects untouched." - Thomas Sowell

"If we don't know our rights (under the Constitution), then we don't have any." - Jane Taylor, New Jersey

Never consider the Reich secure unless, for centuries to come, it is in a position to give every descendant of our race a piece of ground and soil that he can call his own. Never forget that the most sacred of all rights in this world is man's right to the earth which he wishes to cultivate for himself and that the holiest of all sacrifices is that of the blood poured out for it. - Adolf Hitler, excerpt from Mein Kampf, written in 1933, published in 1939. Evidently Hitler was more interested in private property for every German than our government is today for Americans. In reading Mein Kampf I see many parallels of 1900-1940 Germany and1950-2002 America. - Allan Hampton

If we don't stand our ground now, whose will we stand on in the future? -
Joanne Cline, July 19, 2002

In a time when the world is in turmoil, the biggest war [property rights, i.e., freedom] is right here at home. - Monty Fisher, Sunriver, OR. 4-19-2002

Excerpt from Arthur Young's "Travels" - 1787. An astute observer, he noticed the differences in American and England land management styles by concluding, "[G]ive a man the secure possession of bleak rock, and he will turn it into a garden; give him a nine years lease of a garden, and he will convert it to a desert....The magic of property turns sand into gold."

Dixie Lee Ray regarding William Riley of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)

Fall 1992

"There is a deliberate and quite outspoken attack on the whole idea of people owning private property. Mr. William Riley, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has said publicly on a number of occasions that he does not believe that people should have the right to own private property.

To use his words, 'The ownership of private property is a quaint anachronism.' He has called for a repeal of the fifth amendment as it affects the right of private property. There are two laws that have been passed by the Congress that are being used to take property away from people. One is the Endangered Species Act, and the other one happens to be the Clean Water Act." - Dixie Lee Ray, scientist, recipient of the United Nations Peace Prize and former Governor of Washington State, in an interview with the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, Special Edition, Fall 1992.

Full interview at: