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Where are my rights?



July 08, 2011 – Comments (71)

How has regulation progressed to the point where people can't grow vegetables on their own property? 

71 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 09, 2011 at 12:04 AM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

Who's rights?  Society's or the individual?  What about the neighbors of that farm grower?  Perhaps they feel that allowing such diminishes the value of their property?

The aggrieved has a remedy, it is called seeking a variance.  And if it is denied then case over, move on.

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#2) On July 09, 2011 at 12:56 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


There is so much I want to learn about your conception of political theory.  It's so very thoughtful and compassionate.  Clearly, you have a deep sense of caring for your fellow man.  Teach me. I am your sponge.

Do societies have rights that are separate from individual rights?   Which neighbor's rights were violated?  How were they violated?  Do the neighbors have a right to a value for their property?  If so, who sets the value?  How do you propose to keep that value at this "level"?

Why should they seek a variance? Do they not already have a right to grow food on their property?  Is that not a right?  Do they need to get a privilege from the government? 

"To be GOVERNED is to be kept in sight, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right, nor the wisdom, nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality. (P.-J. Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, trans. John Beverley Robinson. London: Freedom Press, 1923, p. 294)"

David in Qatar

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#3) On July 09, 2011 at 12:59 AM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

Then this.

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#4) On July 09, 2011 at 1:29 AM, TheDumbMoney (77.80) wrote:

David, I think at root you reject the conception either:  a) that any governmental entity in America is truly democratically elected; or else  b) that a democratically elected government has any more right to regulate its citizens than an autocratic one does. 

If the former, that's a factual debate I'm uninterested in.  But if the latter, what is your basis for drawing absolutely no distinction between democratic and autocratic governments? 

In my worldview, the denizen of an open and democratic society has the right to make sure this story gets on Foxnews, as it has, thus p!ssing off the libertarian contingent in his or her open and democratic society, and ultimately exerting a lot of pressure to change the rule.  Or, work within the democratic system to get the rules changed.  Or, that failing, accept the result of the democratic process in that city, and either move or seek a variance.  (Or, learn about the rules in a particular city or state before choosing to move there.)

Also, do you believe rights exist totally independent of duties?  Or, do you believe that  every right is paired with a duty?   If the former, do you believe there are simply no duties at all?  And if the latter (or if you believe any duties exis at all), how should the inevitable failure of certain individuals (to honorably adhere to their duties be enforced?  

Teach me, oh master, I am your sponge. 

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#5) On July 09, 2011 at 9:08 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


I like to say that when a child mimics his daddy, it's a very proud moment. Thank for you the mimicry, son.

What you are referring to are PROCEDURAL differences.  Does it really matter, to the person whose rights are violated - whose life is destroyed - that a different PROCEDURE was used to justify destroying it.

Let's use a thought exercise to hammer the point home.  Let's try to imagine that your mother (god bless her) was trying to plant a garden.  Maybe your neighbors didn't mind and maybe they did.  But some bureaucrat at the county government sure did.  Me.  I minded.

So I sent an armed goon to your house to issue a fine to your mother.  Of course, she isn't going to pay such a ridiculous fine, just because my boss was democratically elected.  What difference does it make?

So I send the goon back, wearing a badge of course, and he kicks your mother's teeth in and drags her off to our custom built cages.  My goons are sometimes excessive.  Sometimes it costs them a job, sometimes it doesn't.  It never affects me, the bureaucrat, or my boss, the mayor, so we don't really care. 

Of course, you are irate, and rightfully so.  We just beat your mother to a pulp for no reason.  We violated her rights.  You post the story on Motley Fool.

awallejr comes along and says "she should have gotten a variance. Move on."  

I come along and say, "don't you see the difference between this government and a dictatorship. Be thankful you live under a democracy.  We can vote them all out!"

Would my comment make you feel better?

In fact, PROCEDURALLY there is little difference between what happened in the story Chris linked to and the House of Bourbon in 18th century France. These bureaucrats are not democratically elected.  They operate with almost complete autonomy.  What mayor, councilman, President, Senator, Representative loses his job because a bureaucrat under their watch went too far?  When does this ever happen?

So I'll let you quibble over the PROCEDURAL way in which the bureaucrat's boss assumed power. If you think that's the key issue to protecting the rights of mankind, so be it. 

I happen to see it just a wee bit differently.

David in Qatar

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#6) On July 09, 2011 at 9:49 AM, kdakota630 (29.50) wrote:

I see this as just one more case of government limiting food choice and not allowing individuals to grow their own.  I seem to come across similar at the rate of probably one per week.

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#7) On July 09, 2011 at 12:22 PM, TheDumbMoney (77.80) wrote:

"What mayor, councilman, President, Senator, Representative loses his job because a bureaucrat under their watch went too far?"

Just recently, near me, see here (LA Times broke the story and eventually the whole city government fell; Rizzo is on trial):

When bureaucrats do bad, they get pushed out.  When elected officials let bureaucrats do bad, they suffer: a major reason for the 2006 hammering of Republicans in American elections was the terrible job "Brownie" did on Katrina. Your answer as to the lack of distinction between bureaucrats in America and the House of Bourbon is so insufficient it is pathetic.  It is entirely prejudice-based as as opposed to fact-based. The use of ALL-CAPS does not change that.  So, "dad," one day I hope you will let the facts lead you to conclusions, instead of the reverse.

No individual duties then, or enforcement of them?  Or were you just unable to answer that one?

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#8) On July 09, 2011 at 1:40 PM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

Of course, you are irate, and rightfully so.  We just beat your mother to a pulp for no reason.  We violated her rights.  You post the story on Motley Fool.

awallejr comes along and says "she should have gotten a variance. Move on."  

I swear David you can be really ridiculous at times.  You are comparing someone getting a summons for violating City Code to a person getting beat to a pulp for no reason.  Seriously?

With that absolutely absurd comparison aside, you want to defend the farmer's individual rights yet then what about his neighbor's rights?  He gets ignored?

That is was laws are for.  All localities have land use laws. If you wish to do something that those codes say you can't do, you seek a variance.  End of story.  It is not a hard concept.

Now if a majority of the locals want to change the law they are free to do so through ballot and voting.

Look at that picture again, hell if I'd want that next to my house.  But hey no David is here saying she has an INHERENT right to farm away.  You don't David.  Maybe in you imaginery utopia you do, but not in a democratic Constitutional society.

How's that vision quest coming?

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#9) On July 09, 2011 at 1:51 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


I'm happy I gave you a way out, to find anecdotal evidence of the parasite class getting burned.  Aristocrats and bureaucrats occasionally fell on the sword during the House of Bourbon as well.  Just as then, these parasites will be replaced by another group and the beat goes on.  No safeguards ever put in place to prevent future abuses actually prevent future abuses.  In fact, they increase.

But, it allowed you to skip the fundamental issue raised, which is, why does the procudure of assuming power alter mankind's fundamental rights?  Why does bickering over procedure have any bearing on the question of whether a person's rights have been violated?


The VQ is going great. Thanks for asking!

You also skipped over the fundamental question.  Why does the procedure by which power is transferred having any bearing on whether rights were violated?

The person in the link is facing 3 years in a cage, so it's not a stretch at all.  If she loses in court and she refuses to go, she will be beaten and possibly murdered.

Finally, are you saying that man does not have a right to farm on his property?  Am I reading that statement correctly? 

I want to bust out laughing, but I will wait until you confirm that this is actually what you said.

David in Qatar

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#10) On July 09, 2011 at 2:17 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

I gotta add that when I was a little kid growing up in Chicago, my next door neighbor had a vegetable garden. It was awesome.  They often shared what they grew with the neighborhood as they always grew more than they needed. And our neighborhood, if any Chicagoans are familiar with Lincoln Square, was not much different than the one pictured in the link.

My neighbors were German immigrants and very sweet.  I don't understand, and heh maybe I'm just super dense when it comes to this newfound scientific progressivism, how the fact that someone voted for a mayor or councilman has anything to do with an unelected bureaucrat fining and jailing a person that wants to grow vegetables on their property.

David in Qatar

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#11) On July 09, 2011 at 2:28 PM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

David did you read the article?  City code says you can't farm on your front lawn.  Julie Bass was first warned.  She chose to ignore that warning.  She was then issued a summons.  She chose to ignore that summons.  She is now being tried under a misdemeanor violation.  How much further she will take this time will tell.

I am not going to equate that with the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam war protests. You engage in civil disobedience you should be prepared to suffer the consequences. You are certainly seeing that now in the Middle East.  People willing to give up their lives to force change.  But that is the choice they made and the price they are willing to pay to boot out dictators and create a democratic society.

Hate to tell you this but in the US you don't a right to do what you please on your land.  You are bound by laws.  Land use laws can be found pretty much everywhere.  From the article in question it appears she is only precluded from farming the front lawn.  I presume the backyard is permissable, since many local codes are like that.

So yes, that is what I and apparenty her own City is saying, Ms Bass does not have an inherent right to farm her front lawn.  And to try to create some kind of moral outrage over this story is asinine.  Ms. Bass doesn't have my sympathy because if I were her neighbor she is basically saying "screw you" to me.

And David stop taking the acid she is not going to get beaten and eventually murdered.  And if in a billion to one chance that did happen, THAT would be legitimate cause for moral outrage, not the code violation.

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#12) On July 09, 2011 at 2:52 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

City code says you can't farm on your front lawn.


Does property belong to the property owner or the city parasites? 

Is there a limit to the codes that can be passed by city parasites? What limits their power?

Were any neighbors rights violated? How were they violated? Do they have a right to the value of their property?

Does the procedure by which the parasites gained power (by a religious voting ritual attended by a tenth of the population, as opposed to other forms of power transfer) have anything to do with fundamental rights?

I remember you saying that you have met mafia members in your lifetime.  When you advocate the intimidation, extortion, and caging of private citizens simply because they wanted to farm on their property, how far from the mafia are you?

David in Qatar

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#13) On July 09, 2011 at 3:48 PM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

David she was given a ticket.  She wasn't dragged out on the streets and beaten.  She is the one being silly.  She is taking it to a needless extreme.  You keep ignoring the neighbors in this as if she should have superior rights to them.  Odds are it was one or several of them who made the complaint against her.

Did you ever own real estate in the US?  If you did odds are your deed says you take the land subject to covenants, restrictions and easements of record.  A couple amusing ones I have seen were you can't raise and slaughter pigs on your land, or you can't run a hotel for transients.

I am starting to repeat myself now so time for me to move on.

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#14) On July 09, 2011 at 4:43 PM, TheDumbMoney (77.80) wrote:

awallejr, that is because he has no conception of duties, only rights.  Rights are a religious article of faith for David.  And duties are to be ignored.  And he has also has no conception of rights limitations.  He believes all rights are absolute, on/off things (or that they should be).  

He also won't admit it, but he fundamentally believes a democratic form of government confers no more legitimacy on the government than an autocracy has.  Period.  Of course, he won't admit that, because he would be laughed at if he asserted that as a per se rule.  So instead he ignores reality and equates the operation of a democratically elected government with that of autocratic regimes.  

Make of it what you will, folks. 

The reality is, there are plenty of places in America where there is exceedingly little state and local government interference and regulation.  David apparently grew up in Chicago.  Chicago is not one of those places.  I grew up in Montana.  In Montana, except in some neighborhoods in the cities, nobody gives a f^ck what you grow anywhere.  You can have horses in your backyard and you can put an outhouse back there, too.  

Don't like things?  I joined a neighborhood council.  It's amazing what you can change if you get involved in the local community and operate through democratic processes, instead of whining about autocratic government and falsely equating a government by the people, for the people, with autocratic regimes.  Are things perfect?  No.  But David, you description of the world is so totally divorced from, and darker than, the world as it really is, that I honestly feel sorry for you.  Do you want to know what is REALLY cherrypicking?  Looking for these news stories about when bureaucrats do stupid things, blowing them out of proportion, and failing to look at the bigger picture, at the interaction of right and duty, at the give and take of deregulation and reregulation, at the true dynamic of the way a democratic society works, with a hundred thousand little towns and neighborhood councils, and people who actually do care getting involved and fixing problems.  Whereas it seems like you just are sitting in a dark room somewhere in front of yoru computer all day and whining about the imagined injustices of a world you know far less about than you think you do.


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#15) On July 09, 2011 at 5:46 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


I ignore duties but instead have a religious attachment to rights?

Now this is a new one. I'm definitely not leaving this conversation just yet. 

What duties? 
Who decided what my duties are?
When and where are these duties to be performed?
Do I have any say in carrying out these duties?

What rights am I religiously attached to?
What rights, if any, do you think I have?
When and where can I exercise these rights?
Who can abridge these rights and why?

Cmon, I"m serious.

And I wholeheartedly state out loud and everyone knows that I believe a democratic form of government has confers no more legitimacy than an autocracy.   I announced that I am anarchist more than enough times in my writings.

Is Democracy = Freedom?

"Simply put, freedom is the absence of government coercion...... Any government coercion beyond that necessary to secure those rights was forbidden, both through the Bill of Rights and the doctrine of strictly enumerated powers. This reflected the founders' belief that democratic government could be as tyrannical as any King.

Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn't be called taxes, they'd be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less.

The political left equates freedom with liberation from material wants, always via a large and benevolent government that exists to create equality on earth. To modern liberals, men are free only when the laws of economics and scarcity are suspended, the landlord is rebuffed, the doctor presents no bill, and groceries are given away.....

The political right equates freedom with national greatness brought about through military strength. Like the left, modern conservatives favor an all-powerful central state — but for militarism, corporatism, and faith-based welfarism." - Ron Paul, Democracy is not Freedom,

I would like to add to the good doctor's words that I have discovered that the Progressive Left loves war and mass murder (as long as its of brown people) just as much as the Conservative Right.

Democracy is your God, not mine.   

David in Qatar

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#16) On July 09, 2011 at 6:04 PM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

I am amazed how anyone can take the other side of this argument.

How can you ethically regulate the right for someone to grow their own food?

How does someone's garden lower someone else's property value and even if it did how does that trump someone's right to grow food?

Isn't being able to feed yourself a basic right?

Is it humane to regulate someone's basic right to feed themselves?


The city is claiming that the garden violates a city code which states that front yards must consist of suitable, live plant material to which Bass responds, "We think it's suitable."

"They say, 'Why should you grow things in the front?' Well, why shouldn't I? They're fine. They're pretty. They're well maintained," Bass told the station.

"I could sell out and save my own self and just not have them bother me anymore, but then there's no telling what they're going to harass the next person about," continued Bass.


What's the next step outlawing carrots entirely? Taxing you for what your garden produces? 

This why veteran's can't fly the American flag on their own property. Apparently patriotism lowers everyone's property values as well. 




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#17) On July 09, 2011 at 6:35 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


This whole conversation is dripping with irony.

Here we have members of the Progressive Left (I think they are.... it's hard to tell them apart from Conservatives), that want to stop a person from growing their own food, locally,

I mean, think about it.  There are no bigger chest-thumpers about how they eat organic and think globally, shop locally and all that other nonsense.....

But when the government steps in and says "we have a law against that!" all of their principles melt away and they suddenly transform into hardcore authoritarians.

I am reminded of the time Thomas Woods explained why the Left will not join the libertarian anti-war, pro civil liberties movement.  They are statists through and through.   Authority is their overarching concern.  Everything else is meaningless window dressing.  When push comes to shove, all principles are gone and it's duty to the state!

I suppose our duty is to shop at Whole Foods* where  we can eat food that was grown locally...... as long as the state says it's ok.

David in Qatar

*yet another reason WF is one of my fav companies. It's a libertarian selling leftist b.s. right back to them for a profit


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#18) On July 09, 2011 at 8:09 PM, TheDumbMoney (77.80) wrote:

Obviously, we all understand the principle that pure democracy can lead tyranny.  In America, we of course do not have pure democracy, we have a democratic republic.

The only irony this thread is dripping with is that I'm not really a "Progressive Leftist," or a member of the "Conservative Right," either. I'm a fairly libertarian guy who thinks taxes in California where I live are way too high and who generally would rather cut than add government services and regulations.  I support legalizing marijuana.  I'm not totally pro-choice on abortion, because I view the fetus/child as having some rights, too, but neither am I anti-abortion.  I strongly OPPOSED going to Iraq.  Though I supported the surge, because I made a judgment call (you likely disagree) that Colin Powell was right ("you broke it you fix it"), and that it would be worse for Iraqis if we left, even if we were stupid to go there.  I think people trying to pass U.N. climate change legislation are insane.

I'm just not an extremist.  I think you are looking only at the coercive aspects of government.  I look at the extra freedoms and other benefits it provides me, that I would not otherwise have in a "free" anarchist society.  It's like marriage.  I would be "more free" if I were not married.  But I think the sacrifice of some freedoms, and the voluntary SHOULDERING of some duties, brings other benefits that outweigh the sacrifice of those freedoms.  Living in a country is the same way. 

Yes, the distinction is that we don't choose where we are born.  But we can always leave a city, state, or country if we don't like it.  There are probably 50,000 towns in America where they would not care if she did this, including mine (and I live in California).  They certainly would not care in rural Canada, or in Sudan.  If a city or a state does too many things that piss people off, people leave it.  That's what federalism is partially about.  And, if a country does too many things that piss its citizens off, they leave it.  That's why America is here in the first place.  That is why so many people still want to come to America.  For all of your whining, America still as a country does vastly less things to piss our people off and coerce them than do most countries.  In large part, that is because we are a democratic republic with deep citizen involvement in government, and with a government that still to this day, despite your worries, is still vastly freeER and more responsive to the concerns of its people than are all but a tiny few countries in the world.  We are laughably (or tragically) freer than Saudis, where women can't even drive cars, or Syrians, or Palestinians, or Burmese, or Chinese, or many, many more countries

Do I support Detroit putting the woman in jail?  Of course not.  I think it's stupid as heck.  But the correct response is not anarchy.  It's public derision of Detroit, and citizen involvement, which is what is happening.  As for this woman, the woman lives in Detroit.  That's her first mistake.  Also, if she bought the house after this ordinance was passed, I have much less sympathy (much less) than if she is a long time owner and this ordinance was subsequently passed.  The article doesn't say.  I bought a house in a city that requires you to get a permit before cutting down a non-diseased tree on your own property, and will fine you if you do not get the permit.  Difference is, I looked into that before I decided to buy here, and I decided I didn't care because I'm not going to cut down any trees for fun.  The city also used to have major zoning ordinances that required people to have real front lawns with grass (like Detroit does).  When xeroscaping took off, and when California got low on water, we forced the city to change that, and now the city literally pays people money if they take out their lawns and xeoroscape them.  It's all a cycle, dude.  And then there are people who grow vegetables in their front yards and nobody gives a sh!t.  In fact there is a house on my block that has three vegetable boxes, and I live on a fairly expensive block.  Heck, I have like nine strawberry plants, a quince tree, an orange tree, sage, two rosemary bushes, a raspberry bush, two blueberry bushes, and two bay trees growing in MY frontyard.  I just have made them all look decorative.  Anyway, I will bet you $50 this woman never goes to jail.  She has used the system.  The spotlight has been brought to bear.  So no, I'm not particularly upset.  They did petty, stupid things, they outstreteched their moral authority as a local government, and now they're going to get mocked.  (Again though, I have VERY little sympathy for people who affirmatively move to places like condo asociations, or cities, that already previously have onerous rules and THEN get upset about it.)

I value people like you, I really do.  Without you, I think the REAL statists really would c()ck everything up.  I just operate in an ideological middle; my mind is closer to where Ron Paul and Nancy Pelosi end up after they're done fighting and agree on where they're going to go have dinner.   I know people like you are out there who want to dismantle everything and have Bechtel bid on and run our police forces.  (Heck, there is one of you on the Supreme Court -- Justice Thomas, who literally would if he could dismantle almost all governmental regulations and Congressional statues enacted since AT LEAST when Lochner v. New York was overturned.)   I know people from my law school who are practically socialists and would like to nationalize Exxon.  To me, you're all a bit charming.  And you're all a bit nuts. 

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#19) On July 09, 2011 at 9:10 PM, wargame1 (< 20) wrote:


Just a quick note. The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic.

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#20) On July 09, 2011 at 9:24 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


When you write like this, where you actually open up, you are a much more likable writer.

I argue the position of liberty, no more and no less.  It has led me to the conclusion of anarchy, but that does not mean I will only advocate anarchy or people that are an anarchists.  I support Kucinich as well as Paul.  Neither are anarchists. I supported Grayson, when he was in office, for his work against the Fed.  That guy is most definitely no travelling fellow. 

I'm sure at some level you can understand that my confontational method of argumentation has been developed over years of attacks against my position - the simple position of liberty - that people scoff at. 

But that doesn't mean you have to be an anarchist to be a companion of mine.  And I sure as heck don't expect to see anything close to a Rothbardian system of liberty in my lifetime or my kids or their kids or their kids. Etc.

But each measure moves us in one direction or the other. It spurts and sputters. It pulls back and moves forward.  I have played my little, teeny tiny, infintesimally (sp?) small part to try and nudge people (shove) towards liberty and away from coercion, force, involuntary exchange, and violence.  Does it matter?  Absolutely.  I know it does.  Enough people have written in support, encouragement, and gratefulness that I know I did my little part.  If you don't agree, if you think it's silly and meaningless or cute, that's completly irrelevant.  When I can, when I have time, I will continue to stand up for idea of liberty whenever the opportunity arises.  For me, there is no other way to go.

Thanks for taking the time to write a thoughtful response. 

David in Qatar

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#21) On July 09, 2011 at 11:10 PM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

They did petty, stupid things, they outstreteched their moral authority as a local government, and now they're going to get mocked. 

Thank you! That is exactly the type of comment that I thought I would get.

I want to repost this part 1 more time...

The city is claiming that the garden violates a city code which states that front yards must consist of suitable, live plant material 

First even in the most democratically elected government in the world, city codes like this usually are not put in place with a public vote. They are put in place by by elected officials yes, but a city code this vague would normally not make it through a public vote. Special interest groups would point out the fact that you could spend thousands of dollars on landscaping only to have the city make you pay even more to rip it out because the city finds it "not suitable" after you have planted your trees and shrubs.

I brought this up with tomlongrpv about the city charter his town wanted to impliment. There is only one reason for a law to be this vague is that a politician wants the power to abuse it for his wishes. If there is a clearly defined problem and a clearly defined response, it can't be abused. But in this scenario, a senior on a fixed income could suddenly be required to spend thousands to remove trees from his front yard that the city finds "not suitable".

My second problem is that any time that you remove someone's rights, you should at least address those rights in the legislation. Maybe they did. I didn't see the actual city code, but I would think if they did, a politician would have pointed that out in an the article. To take away someone's rights without even addressing them just demonstrates that you don't value their rights. By simply adding "but a homeowner has the right to..." would have done wonders in this case. It would have still been wrong in this case, but it wouldn't have been so unbelievably wrong.

The third problem I have is how pervasive this law is. I would argue that you actually lowered the property value of everyone in that neighborhood more than the original damages would have been for allowing the garden. Investment dollars will be steared away from that area specifically if Miss Bass loses this case.

If 50% of your land is Front yard, your property is worth 50% less than communities without the code.

The last thing that bothers me is that there simply must be some type of barrier on your rights that can't be plowed through by any government. The fact that there isn't outrage of this specific infringement leads me to think that people are to the point where they complacent enough to having their rights violated that they will eventually lose all of them.

dumberthanafool, as far as the "you can always leave" scenario. Not many people have researched that scenario as much as I have.

You can leave but...

You must still pay taxes that support the abuse of rights of others, including your loved ones that stayed or you must renounce your citizenship, pay the costs of obtaining new citizenship, and take your chances of ever seeing the love ones that stayed here ever again. In other words, even your right to leave is regulated.





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#22) On July 09, 2011 at 11:34 PM, Valyooo (35.54) wrote:

David although I agree with you, I think it is hard to find true enlightenment when you start off your response to a comment by getting angry and mocking, or just calling people stupid and turning a discussion into an argument.  If you want to just debate, it could still be annoying because it will turn into a shouting match.  If you want to inspire, it is useless.   I remember when I first started questioning you, you used to just attack me, and it made me disagree with you even more.  When you were more responsive to my questions is when you turned me into an anarchist.  I am not trying to really judge you at all, do as you wish, I will still be a big fan of yours...just saying that if you want to free your mind, save the fights for when somebody attacks you  often and harshly, not just when you disagree...I have learned such the hard way

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#23) On July 09, 2011 at 11:37 PM, Seano67 (24.45) wrote:

whereaminow, get over yourself. To think you've played any kind of role in swaying anything at all is just proof of your vastly inflated ego. I'm glad you're in Qatar. Please stay there, because America doesn't need you here.

 I'm not some flag-waving super patriot by any stretch, but I did serve with great pride in the armed forces of these United States and I would do so again in one moment if ever called, and I find the pervasive anti-Americanism exemplified by David in Qatar and Chris Graley and many others on this site to be utterly despicable. It's not about anything so trite as some stupid garden, as that means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. It's about if you hate this place so much, then get the f*ck out and don't come back. Just leave. Go, and if you're already gone, then stay gone, because your whining and puling asses are a detriment to those of us who love this place and wish to make it better from within. 

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#24) On July 10, 2011 at 12:12 AM, Valyooo (35.54) wrote:


nobody on here is anti-america.  they are anti-government...America is just the easies to pick on since we are most familiar with it. I don't support the armed forces in anyway.  Is that something to be proud of?

My one concern with anarchy is the only one I know of currently existing is Somalia...which is not such a great place.

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#25) On July 10, 2011 at 12:13 AM, Seano67 (24.45) wrote:

And to those of you claiming to be 'anarchists', I say, "yeah right". That's a joke.  We'll see how anarchical you feel when the rule of law falls apart and social order decays, when there's wild mobs roaming the streets, and when those strangers try to enter your home to take from you and yours. Hey, that's anarchy right? It's beautiful sh*I*t in theory, until it happens to you, and then it becomes quite the opposite of beautiful. That's true terror, and then you'll see all those pretty sugar-plumed visions of 'anarchy' vanish just like that, and you'll understand what fear is truly all about.

You're not anarchists, none of you. None of you have the guts, and you flatter yourselves by pretending to do anything at all beyond whine and pule on a message board. You do nothing. You do nothing and you make nothing better at all. You're simply discontented pukes whining like little b*tches in a world full of discontented pukes whining like little b*tches, dreaming of things which will never be and which would shiver your balls if they ever did come to pass. You're pathetic, and a disgrace to call yourselves Americans.

I'm sorry, but I fricken cannot abide your outlook.

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#26) On July 10, 2011 at 12:25 AM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

Sean why am I anti-american?

The fact that I find that it's un-american to not allow people to grow food on their own land or not to allow a veteran that fought for this country the right to fly an American flag on his own land?

Is your argument that I'm un-American because I question when someone tries to take away my rights? The rights that I fought for?

Do you realize that both David and I also served in the armed forces as well?

I'm still fighting for your rights in this thread that you're codeming. I'm still fighting for the right for you to say that I'm not an American, but that right will eventually be taken away because if you're un-American if you question your rights being taken away, then eventually they will all be taken away.

Please explain to me why it is un-American to want to let Miss Bass grow her cucumbers?

Is the country brainwashed to the point that I'm despicable and un-American for wanting to allow Miss Bass the right to grow cucumbers? 

I fly my American flag in my front freaking yard because I fought for the right to do that and I'll be the first to show up at the city council meeting where they discuss taking away that right. If you think that un-American for that, then you get the f*ck out! You are one of the stupid zombies that are part of the problem. 



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#27) On July 10, 2011 at 1:13 AM, Seano67 (24.45) wrote:

Chris, I just see the work of insidious malcontents such as yourself and especially David in Qatar as being damaging to the cause, like niggling little termites worrying at the works. Nothing more than an annoyance, but I've had about ef*ckingnough of the lot of you, and I get tired of all your efforts to undermine this place.

And no, I'm not some zombified moron, I'm actually quite smart. I grew up a punk rocker, and my answer to those redneck idiots whose reply to everything was "America, love it or leave it!", was always a robust two middle fingers in the air and a giant 'F*CK YOU' to such redneck idiocy. However, I've changed. I served and saw things which changed my perspective dramatically, and I have gotten older. I support this nation unconditionally, and I support the rule of law much further and in a much more draconian manner than even we dare to go. I've become a hardliner, such that I'd support locking David in Qatar up if I could for his detrimental efforts to undermine America, and there he could dream of anarchy and abstract political thoughts while safely ensconced behind bars. You wouldn't like my iteration of America, that much is sure.

I realize I've gone too far and that's exactly the opposite of what America's supposed to be about, however I wonder if that's not where we need to go and where we need to be. It seems right almost intuitively, and at any rate that's where I'm at. 

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#28) On July 10, 2011 at 1:14 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


Thanks for the heads up.  I really didn't get angry at anything this post.  But if it come off that way, sorry.  Mocking?  Oh yes.... But c'mon ROFL, have you ever read any of dumberthanafool's blogs? You'd think the guy that got a kick out of writing this blog (and we all know he did, because I would enjoy writing that too), wouldn't mind my mocking tone.

But ok, don't stoop. I hear ya.


So I have to stay out of America, even though all I want to do is to talk about liberty with people (important to note: I plan on being a part of no rallies, no civil disobedience of any kind, or promoting any of that when I return to America.  Just not my style)..... just work (I'm an IT professional... that's valuable, right?), and maybe do a little writing.... you want me to stay out?

but the parasites in the Detroit city council get to stay?

Are you really sure this is how you want it all to shake out?

David in Qatar

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#29) On July 10, 2011 at 1:19 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:



You became a "America Love It or Leave it" guy because you hated rednecks around you that said "America Love It or Leave it"?

Do realize what you just said?

Besides the part about saying you want to lock up a peaceful person that never harmed a fly.

(btw, 10 year Marine veteran. I don't have any interest in exercising those skills on you. I know it's an empty threat to "lock me up", but I'm not a pacifist.)

Are we sure you have identified the right person "with the problem"?

David in Qatar

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#30) On July 10, 2011 at 1:23 AM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

The problem with you Sean, is that you decided that you hated me before you read the message and then decided you could comment without reading it. I've jumped out of perfectly good airplanes to give you that right, a couple of times in countries that you didn't see a lot about on the news. I've met plenty of loud and stupid people just like you in the Army and know exactly how to deal with you. If you were born in 67 then we are about 2 years apart in age. If you want to call me a whiny b*tch to my face. You'll be able to get away with it. Once.

You can now explain to me why you fought for the ability to deny Miss Bass the right to grow cucumbers. If you have the right to deny my citizenship, you can demonstrate it by showing me why it's ok to pick on Miss Bass. Show everybody why her rights or my rights don't matter. Explain to people why this was exactly what you were fighting for. 

If you are going to question my motives, then you have to at least display yours.  Fire away there greatest American Hero. If it's American to pick on old ladies then don't be afraid show why. 

I'm sure that you can display your military decorum past the point of throwing stones and then climbing back under your rock.

I'm sorry to everyone else that I let this thread degenerate, but one of my buttons was pushed this time. 

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#31) On July 10, 2011 at 1:30 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


I know you're upset, but I have to tell you that I am laughing my butt off right now.  In fact, getting someone so angry that he blindly threatens to jail me has been one of my goals :)

I just sent out the following email to a few close friends:

"I finally got someone to threaten to lock me away for my anarchist poisoning of Americans!

So yeah, now this a good day.  Have fun with it.  It's gotta be one of the craziest things that's ever happened here.

David in Qatar

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#32) On July 10, 2011 at 1:57 AM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

Yeah, the you're not a patriot thing usually gets to me. If the punk rocker only knew. I think he thinks that I'm an anarchist too. That doesn't bother me much other than the fact that if you are going to argue my point of view to the point of me being an insidious malcontent, you should at least know what my point of view is.

Let's see if the guy that wants to lock up the people that have different ideas has any ideas of his own.

I'm sure that he does. He told me that he wasn't stupid. 

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#33) On July 10, 2011 at 2:13 AM, Seano67 (24.45) wrote:

Well it's good you're laughing. It's good to laugh. I'm laughing too.

And I realize I'm just as powerless as you. I'm just one guy in a world full of billions, with wife and kids, just trying to live and get by. I'm nothing in the grand scheme of things and am positively dwarfed by the immensity of the world and universe around me, and am fully aware of that fact and ever humbled by those things.

But I have a head full of thoughts just as you, however mine would seem to tend to a polar opposite direction than any of yours. I long for fascism in America, an iron rule, an iron will, a country ruled ever by an iron code of law. I've always been attracted to that, though I always tried to deny it and even felt ashamed of it, though I'm not sure why or if I even should. Is that really any more illegitimate than Communism or Socialism or any of the other one thousand and one forms of authoritarian rule? At any rate, I'm pretty sure I came into this world with reasons to feel this way.

I'd like to see order above all, and to see dissidents such as yourselves jailed, exiled, or permanently removed. I say that with no hate, but simply filled with the rightoeus need of what needs done. If you're not with us, if you're not on board, then you need removed. The problems need removed, so goodbye in whatever form that might take.

I wonder if we as a nation will ever have the will to get there? 

I have no idea, but I should probably stop right now. 

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#34) On July 10, 2011 at 2:30 AM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

Wow! I've got to at least give you props for the guts to admit that your a fascist.

So you are for no rights.

I understand why you are so upset now. 

I'll agree with your point that there isn't a whole lot of difference in the grand scheme of things between your views and socialism or communism, especially if you are a left wing fascist.

I don't have to argue any more. I couldn't quote your last post and make it appear to be any more damaging than you did yourself.

Ok, maybe just this little bit. I could give you a slogan if you're interested.

"Fire up the gas chambers again! If you're not on board, you're removed in whatever form that my take." I'm sure you can say it with no hate though.

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#35) On July 10, 2011 at 2:35 AM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

Lol this thread drew a lot of blood lately.

And ChrisGraley you know, if the lady said she was doing it to feed her family because her husband lost his job I would be sympathetic and she actually might have a shot at getting a temporary variance.  But I didn't get that impression from the article.  Sounded like a basic "screw you" neighbor argument.  So be it.  She is taking her stand and time will tell when reality hits home to her.

I am telling you now, flat out, as an attorney who has practiced law for decades, you do not, let me repeat, you do not have an absolute right to do what you please on property you may own in the United States.  Decry all you want.  Pay a ton of legal fees in defiance.  Go to jail if you must.  But in the end majority rules until you convince that majority otherwise.  And Ms. Bass won't be doing that I suspect.

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#36) On July 10, 2011 at 2:56 AM, thomgonz (< 20) wrote:

Even though you admit going too far Sean, you really think David should have a pack of armed men come and force him into a cage for a period of time, because he writes stuff that you feel undermines YOUR vision of the USA? Even though YOUR vision violates the constitution that defines this country? You are an idiot and someone obviously swayed by peer influence. "Hey guys look at me I'm a totally awesome punk rocker, oh we aren't doing that anymore, look at me guys I'm a totally cool hardliner."

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#37) On July 10, 2011 at 3:00 AM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

No, in this country you do not have the right to do as you please, but you should have some basic rights on your own property. Those rights shouldn't be continuously infringed upon at every opportunity either and regulation of those rights should be the last resort and clearly defined. 

I still want to no why she's screwing her neighbors by growing vegetables? Is there really anyone out there that will pay less for your property if your neighbors grow vegetables?

So awallejr, it would only be a temporary variance and her husband has a little bit of time to get a job before they are thrown in jail?  What if she is thrifty instead of poor. What if she's putting a kid through college? Should the judge tell her that it's better for her to tell the kid to forget his dreams? That's the problem with stomping on people's rights. You also start taking away their decision making ability? Now a judge gets to decide if her motives to grow food are worthy. 

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#38) On July 10, 2011 at 3:03 AM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

Well with all the name calling aside, and getting back on topic, if Ms Bass sought my advice I would tell her plead to an ACD (Action in Contemplation of Dismissal), restore the front lawn and grow the farm in the back yard.  End of saga.

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#39) On July 10, 2011 at 3:07 AM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

And Chris decry all you want, in the end things will work out bad for her.  You prefer giving her good advice or bad? 

You and I know exactly what your intent was with this thread, you tried to create a moral outrage scenario when none really existed.

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#40) On July 10, 2011 at 3:07 AM, thomgonz (< 20) wrote:

Wow you posted again before I finished my last one. What happens when your iron fist machine (no lube of course) decides it doesn't like people who are "dwarfed by the immensity of the world and universe around me, and am fully aware of that fact and ever humbled by those things." Oh, and the new rule of the land is the iron fist monarch gets to sleep with your wife, hope you don't mind, rules are to be followed after all. Oh, I see you didn't get a permit for you kids, we are going have to process them as undesirables, have a wonderful day citizen.

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#41) On July 10, 2011 at 3:13 AM, thomgonz (< 20) wrote:

Awallejr, how is there no moral outrage, we've gotten to the point where we can't grow food on own property? Even though the rule she violated was " that front yards must consist of suitable, live plant material" What is unsuitable about vegitables? Are they unsuitable for human consumption...oh wait no that's grass.

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#42) On July 10, 2011 at 3:29 AM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

You really are arguing a moral outrage argument over local code saying grow your food in the backyard instead of the front lawn?  You so miss the point of the civil rights movement.

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#43) On July 10, 2011 at 3:31 AM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

And what if she has no back yard?

And what's the difference between growning them in the front or back yard? If she has no fence, can't the neighbors still see the offending vegetables in the back yard?

Awallejr your advice is sound for her given the law, but I think that you are wrong about my motive to create moral outrage. I'm simply shocked that it isn't already there. Maybe it's that two of you are lawyers and have seen enough things like this to not be shocked, but to me this has to be one of those things that government should try to avoid regulating and this case seems like they are regulating without a just reason, without much thought and with deliberate vaugeness to extend this regulation farther. Do the pick the least popular rosebush and outlaw that next in your front yard?

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#44) On July 10, 2011 at 3:45 AM, thomgonz (< 20) wrote:

Oh you mean that civil rights movement that took away my property rights? I don't like hippies, never have never will. I don't want them in my business, why? Well because they are stupid hippies, yet I will get thrown in jail if I bar them from my business? Yea, that one was a huge victory for my rights.

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#45) On July 10, 2011 at 8:25 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

The racist Left is going preach to us now about their con job Civil Rights movement. This should be fun.  How many more black people can they put out of work in the name of helping black people?

Remember, the Civil Rights movement is where the racist Left used the power of government to fix a problem caused by government (Jim Crow laws) and then applied all those evils of government to business in a Marxist reach around to take away business property rights.

And put black people out of work and dependent on the state.

Just a shining beacon of courage and honor, the racist Progressive movement.

But those of us who want to live and let live, in peace. We're evil in this upside down Progressive world.

David in Qatar

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#46) On July 10, 2011 at 9:47 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

As the iconoclast (and real Progressive) Thad Russell puts it:

"I’m a man of the left. I was raised by socialists in Berkeley. I’ve always been on the left. I stumbled upon about three years ago. . . . This is what the left should be doing. This is what the left should be saying. . . . Libertarians like, like Ron Paul, have been the leading voices of the antiwar movement. They’ve been the most principled, the most consistent, no matter who’s president. They’ve been saying again and again and again: "These wars are disasters. The empire must end." And the left shuns them because they either think they’re shills for corporations or they're racists or they don’t care about people. How could they not care about people if they’re the leading voices against killing people in our name?"

David in Qatar

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#47) On July 10, 2011 at 9:50 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

You and I know exactly what your intent was with this thread, you tried to create a moral outrage scenario when none really existed.

This is the Left right here.  The only moral outrage allowed today is egalitarian admission standards into the mass murder machine.

Want to grow your own food?  Not worth our time to defend, says the Leftist. Want to kill brown poeple but you're gay? Well, now, there's something we can't let stand!

David in Qatar

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#48) On July 10, 2011 at 10:14 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

I am telling you now, flat out, as an attorney who has practiced law for decades, you do not, let me repeat, you do not have an absolute right to do what you please on property you may own in the United States.  Decry

And instead of seeing this as a problem, you defend the state that took these rights away?  Wow.  Is that what it takes to be a lawyer? 

My favorite thing about lawyers is how they secretly know that they have little value in the marketplace. The less onerous the state, the less lawyers are needed to fight and bicker over the state's crumbs. 

So they spend their whole lives (outside of a few noble criminal defense attornies) using the state to earn their living, agitating for a bigger state so they can make even more money. 

They understand nothing about markets, nothing about people's interests, nothing about social behavior, etc.

And all that wouldn't be so bad if they didn't stick their righteous Progressivism in your face as if without them, we'd all be racist murderers, when in fact these lawyer Progressives are the biggest freaking phonies and racists I have ever seen.

Tell me more fairy tales about the blessed lawyerly Left.  I wonder what law school is like, if the Professors really teach this kids that the State is the solution to every problem, that no rights exist, and that as long as you defend the cause du jour, you can claim moral superiority even when you have no morals.

David in Qatar

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#49) On July 10, 2011 at 11:13 AM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

David, I think he's trying to tell me it's not important because it's not one of the rights that he cares about. That's what human rights have truly become after all. Whims of whatever party is in charge at the time.

awallejr, that's not an attack. I do think that you really don't see what the problem is. It's just simply way too sad.

If however, she was ordered by the city to remove her solar panels out of her front yard under the same ordinance, you would be lining up to defend her right to save the planet pro bono.


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#50) On July 10, 2011 at 12:48 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


I don't know if awallejr has really thought that through. As it stands now, I'm just trying to get under his skin, so we probably aren't going to find out anyway.

Another thing I found interesting:  Obviously Seano went way overboard, but there is an element to his statement that resonates with people.  Basically, many people do not want their "picture of America" disturbed.  I think Seano probably mananges to block out a lot of negative images that interfere with his "picture of America", an idealistic land of freedom. 

But what is weird is that people like Seano think they are in the majority.  They are the tiny minority.  Congress has about a 15% (?) approval rating?  So roughly 5 out of every 6 voting Americans thinks lowly of Congress.  The number is probably higher for a city government like Detroit.

If Seano got his wish, and all the malcontents were shipped out, America's populatiion would drop by at least 2/3rds!  So much for democracy lol.  You'd have to wonder if the wrong set people were getting shipped out!

Or perhaps it is just about voicing your opinion, and were we to quietly acquiesce like so many other people unhappy with our government's lack of respect for human dignity, that would perfectly fine with him.

He's over the top, probably a little drunk, and kind of creepy, but there's a strain in his argument that some people probably agree with.  Sadly.

David in Qatar

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#51) On July 10, 2011 at 1:04 PM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

Maybe they could isolate the crazy people like me that actually value human rights to our own country inside the U.S. where we wouldn't be able to let our crazy talk effect others. That will teach us!

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#52) On July 10, 2011 at 2:07 PM, TheDumbMoney (77.80) wrote:

I think my fundamental problem with you, David, is you seem to refuse to acknowledge the relative ways in which America is freer than almost any other country in the world.  (If I'm wrong about that, just tell me you do acknowledge it.)  

I strongly suspect your libertarianism and your "anarchism" is in part just a cover for deeper anti-Americanism.  It is possible that that anti-Americanism is just a response to the majority "exceptionalist" narrative of America.  But even so, I think it is objectively true that America is still freer than at least 95-99% of other countries, and unless you acknowledge it, I really just can't take you that seriously. 

Also, it was no mistake, David, that I said I viewed both you and my socialist friends as charming and insane.  Both socialism and anarchism are, in my view, highly immature/idealistic, and impractical political philosophies.  Socialism is impractical because it denies the reality of how economics works.  Anarchy is impractical because it denies the reality of how the human psychology of power works.  No anarchist society has lasted even as long as any socialist one has.  In fact, I would argue there is no such thing as an anarchist society.  In the absence of a state, power simply devolves to familial or tribal heads that substitute and are far more coercive, dictatorial and cruel. 

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#53) On July 10, 2011 at 2:21 PM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:


I found the following quote by accident not five minutes ago and immediatly thought of this blog.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

- Cato



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#54) On July 10, 2011 at 3:08 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

I think my fundamental problem with you, David, is you seem to refuse to acknowledge the relative ways in which America is freer than almost any other country in the world.  (If I'm wrong about that, just tell me you do acknowledge it.)  

A blanket statement that Americans have less liberty than non-Americans is wrong.

However, a blanket statement that Americans have more liberty than non-Americans is also wrong.

For most measures of liberty (economic and social), America is near or at the top.  I have never denied this.

The problem is, and what most of my friends want to talk about, that America used to be hands down the most liberated. 

To go even further, America did not lose its place at the top because other countries moved to liberty.  They lost it because America has moved away from liberty.  So the trend of liberty for Americans is in the wrong direction.

That's what I want to talk about. That's what most people I know want to talk about.  Liberty is a universal concept that once you learn it, you can pretty easily look at any government's policy and say "yeah or no" in whatever language they speak.

So people who have studied liberty and want to discuss it probably aren't going to spend a great deal of time talking about how it is abused in other countries.

Just like I understand baseball and love talking baseball, but I don't spend a lot of time talking about the Nippon Leagues.

David in Qatar

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#55) On July 10, 2011 at 3:46 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Of course, just as there as some areas that America is very respectful of liberty and property, in other ways...

Full list

These are the ones I find to be problematic for a country that used to be the most free:

#1 The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the largest total prison population on the entire globe.

I don't know how you spin this to make it seem that America is relatively freer than other countries.... 

#5 The United States has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.

LOL, go Drug War :) 

#10 The United States also has more police officers than anywhere else in the world.

If you understand human nature, you understand that police officers and laws only make more crime, not the other way around. 

#17 The United States spends 7 times more on the military than any other nation on the planet does. In fact, U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined.

#18 The United States has far more foreign military bases than any other country does.

#19 The United States has the most complicated tax system in the entire world.

Those can't be good things, right?

#20 The U.S. has accumulated the biggest national debt that the world has ever seen and it is rapidly getting worse. Right now, U.S. government debt is expanding at a rate of $40,000 per second.

It's all going to work out just great, I'm sure, as long as the big bad anarchist keeps quiet ;)

David in Qatar

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#56) On July 10, 2011 at 4:15 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

 Meet Roscoe Filburn, a modest farmer who grew wheat in his own back yard in order to feed his chickens.

Because of this US Supreme Court decision in 1942, it now means the federal government can order you to halt food production in your own back yard by arguing that when you grow your own food, the amount of food you purchase from other food providers is reduced, meaning that your food production impacts interstate trade and therefore can be fully controlled by the federal government. Think about THAT! 

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#57) On July 10, 2011 at 4:51 PM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

Well this thread is getting a little too wacky now for me but I did want to address a couple points with Chris.  As for David we went down a similiar road on other threads of yours so best to just point you back there.

Governments in the United States, Federal, State and Local have the power to regulate and restrict land use provided it does not violate any Constitutionally protected rights.  If Ms Bass wants to take this case to the ultimate extreme by paying a lawyer a good chunk of change arguing that somehow the City Code restriction and or application against her is unconstitutional then God Bless.

But please don't equate that with cases where African Americans were hung in open fields by the KKK.  Or when police pull over and brutally beat up people simply because they feet like it.  Or where police outright shoot people without legitimate cause.  Those were the driving forces behind the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

k, carry on ;p

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#58) On July 10, 2011 at 5:56 PM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

That's coming in my next post awallejr. Surrendering basic rights is a slippery slope. We are getting closer to the fascism that Seano67 is hoping for.

If your best arguments are "You can't fight the government" and "At least it's not as bad as the KKK", forgive me if I don't feel less queesy.

As far as the government not infringing on Miss Bass Constutional rights, you don't have to read too far into the Constitution to get to the part about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" I would argue that the city code could violate all 3. There isn't an apparent reason for excercise of this code and it's vaugue enough to promote abuse.

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#59) On July 10, 2011 at 8:00 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Or where police outright shoot people without legitimate cause. 

This still happens, all the time.  And the police still get away with it, all the time. 

Because it is not openly racially motivated, however, Progressives think it is not worthy of their time.  That it is somehow less a crime because race was not an element in the decision making.  As if somehow, a person is less dead if he was killed by a non-racist.

Let's use another thought exercise to hammer the point home (awallejr loves these):

Scenario 1: 

I am a police officer.  I have a gun in my hand. I declare that I am a member of the KKK and I don't like blacks.  I then use it to shoot a black man right between the eyes. 

This is a no-no accourding to Progressives.  Of course, this is a no-no to pretty much every other person on the planet, so I don't understand why they think they are the only ones who find this repellant.

Scenario 2:

I am a police officer. I have a gun in my hand.  I make no declarations.  Through the administration of my duties I carry out a no-knock warrant on the wrong house.  I kill the homeowner, his dog and taze his hysterical wife for good measure.  No racism was involved.

To a Progressive, this is nothing to be outraged about. The government surely will discipline me, and if they don't, then I must have been right. Case closed.

To everybody else on the planet, this is seriously f*cked up.

I hope that helps explain the difference.  As long as the government clears you of wrongdoing, and you are not a racist, then you did no wrong.  No moral outrage. The Progressive has better things to do, like defending Obama from Ann Coulter, and making sure that gays have the privilege of having their marriage blessed by the state.

(Speaking of which, and now I am clearly rambling, the Progressives don't actually fight for gay rights.  They fight for gay privileges.  There is a difference, not that I expect any statists to understand it.) 

David in Qatar

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#60) On July 10, 2011 at 11:07 PM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:


If your best arguments are "You can't fight the government" and "At least it's not as bad as the KKK", forgive me if I don't feel less queesy.

I didn't say that at all. I said Ms Bass has a loser, but she is free to fight it as far as she wishes.  And seriously don't equate plant growing with brutal hangings.  The best point was made in comment 53. 


This still happens, all the time.  And the police still get away with it, all the time.

While it does happen, trust me talk to the mayor of pretty much any City bemoaning the costs they have to pay as a result of civil rights violation lawsuits.  You know of a good case? Just refer it to an attorney.  It doesn't have to be racially motivated. Believe me municipalities will fire any police engaging in unlawful conduct these days simply because the jury awards wreak havoc to their budgets.  And THAT was the main purpose behind the Civil Rights Act, to eventually deter. And it has to a large degree.


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#61) On July 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

I agree that the best point was made in #53, but it was a point that agrees with Miss Bass.

I haven't tried to equate plant growing with brutal hangings. You brought the KKK up to try to diminish sentiment and then tried to play it as I'm trying to equate the 2. The only time I've brought it up in in response to your posts, I haven't tried to link the 2.

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#62) On July 11, 2011 at 11:51 AM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

I can't discuss things with you anymore Chris, because you really don't understand what is being said.

No one ever said Ms Bass doesn't have the right to challenge the issue.  You receive a ticket for parking next to a fire hydrant.  You are free to fight that ticket as far as you wish.  But you will lose assuming the ticket was written out correctly.

And as you said:

but I think that you are wrong about my motive to create moral outrage. I'm simply shocked that it isn't already there

Enough for me here, good luck.


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#63) On July 11, 2011 at 12:18 PM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

Let's try this....

My point...

This is a shame and an abuse of her rights.

Your reply...

She can fight it, but will lose.

This isn't as bad as other abuses of rights.

Some of her neighbors might not like her veggies.


Do you think that this is wrong or is it a direction our government should continue? How many other parts of her life should we regulate?


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#64) On July 11, 2011 at 6:53 PM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

Fine I'll be pulled in one more time for clarity.  I view this as a petty issue.  Had she sought legal advice, the lawyer would have advised she could fight the summons and then decide what to do after the resolution, or she could seek a variance.

It appears she is doing neither since she is somehow being tried on a misdemeanor charge and I am only assuming here, since the article had little details, that that is for ignoring the summons.

I've also told you that property restrictions are permissable.  And that the code in question is one of them.  Now if Ms Bass could somehow convince a judge that it is unconstitional, then it would be struck down.  I don't see any successful constitutional argument based on the article.  Perhaps someone brighter than me does.

Now if she is going the civil disobedience approach then she must be prepared to accept the consequences.

People know I dislike Peter Schiff.  But I actually tip my hat off to his dad.  He chose the civil disobedience route and refused to pay income taxes and went to jail.  While personally I think he is crazy, he accepted the consequences of his actions for standing on his perceived principles.

Now to start asking what else should we regulate, etc. then you are asking things that books are written about and would be pretty difficult to address in blog threads, especially in light of all the inevitable digressions and ultimate Godwin law invocation.

As the quote in comment 53 implied, you are free to do what you will, but be prepared to suffer the consequences.


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#65) On July 12, 2011 at 5:17 PM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:


LOL, We are getting closer.

So legally you think that the city is not overstepping it's bounds with the ordinance. You think that she may have made a mistake (according to the limited info that we have) by not going to a lawyer who would have told her to move it or seek a variance. (I disagree there)

You do think that if she can argue the constitionality of it and wins that it should be shot down. (I agree)

We also agree that if she goes the civil disobedience route she must face the consequences if she fails.

What I'm asking about is what you think of this particular ordinance. Not exactly what we should regulate and what we shouldn't. There has to be a point where you say "That's simply too far!" If there isn't, it's hopeless because we will all be enveloped by endless regulation.

My point is that the ordinance is too vague to be binding. A sidewalk in your front yard is not live suitable plant material. Now if Miss Bass has a wheelchair, she has a pretty damn good case against that. What if she has a friend in a wheelchair though?

I understand that your neighbors have a greivance if you have a yard full of garbage but wouldn't other health and safety laws apply?

Can you actually regulate someone's tastes?

Are their colors that I can't paint my house?

Can I get a ticket if my car is rusty and not very stylish?

Are we to the point that we can actually regulate someone's free expression?

If she pulls the garden and plants flowers instead, can her neighbor sue the city for triggering his hay fever? 

All I know is that come election time, those same politicians that wrote this ordinance are going to be knocking on her neighbor's doors asking if they can put their campaign signs in her neighbors yards and I hope that she points out that they are not "live, suitable, plant material"



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#66) On July 12, 2011 at 7:32 PM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

I am not saying she made a mistake of principle, since that is personal to her.  And if you click the continuation link she does say she is doing it on principle.

At this point I don't know where she really is at procedurally.  I am sensing that she just ignored everything until she was charged with a misdemeanor. If that is the case she might have lost her chance to address the substantive question if whether her garden in fact violates the code in question.  Her chance to have done so normally would be in challenging the initial summons. It is quite possible she could have succeeded depending who she was in front of I suppose.

Any responsible attorney would lay out the client's options and the odds of success and the costs involved.  The client ultimately makes the choice.

As for my personal view of the ordinance, I don't have a problem with it.  I honestly think her little wood planked sectioned off farm looks ugly.  Yes beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I suspect many of her neighbors feel the way I do but won't say it publicly.  One did come out and make the point that she could have planted it in her backyard (so she does have one).

There are tons of different land uses laws, both part of your deed and munipality created.  You can only address them one at a time in the end.

I would drive passed this one block when I am going to the highway.  It is a quaint block with lovely cape houses.  One day one was knocked down and someone built a tremendous brick "fortress" that basically covered every square inch of that plot's land.  Shortly thereafter another one was built on the other side of this one man's house.  So now instead of open areas his house in the middle of 2 gigantic fortresses.  Eventually I saw a for sale sign on the lawn of the middle guy which lasted for ages.  As a result of that an ordinance was made preventing such future building constructions (they had to now meet certain setback limitations). 

I guess what bothered me about the case is if I was planning on doing something "not common" on my block I would ask for my neighbor's opinions first out of courtesy.  I don't think that ever entered her mind in doing.

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#67) On July 13, 2011 at 7:59 AM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

But you will never be able to please all of your neighbors, no matter what you do, with or without ordinances.

Those ordinances that regulate anything but the extreme are damaging to the community as a whole.

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#68) On July 13, 2011 at 2:23 PM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

Nope you won't that is why it is all about "majority rules" or just plain courtesy.  I don't see how the majority of ordinances would damage communities, it would be the extreme ones or ill thought out ones that would or could.

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#69) On July 14, 2011 at 6:27 PM, ChrisGraley (28.73) wrote:

The ordinance is not majority rules.

It's one neighbor complains and you're ripping up your front yard.

There should be some type of threshold to show that my actions on my own property causes you damage.  If you can't at least prove that I harmed you, why are you allowed to harm me?

This isn't even the tyranny of the majority coming into play. This was put in place by politicians not voters, maybe with the influence of campaign contributions, but I can't imagine any signs saying "Vote yes on issue 11 and ban food!"

This is simply too far and I'll submit that if you ran a poll a majority of the people would be on the side of Miss Bass. 

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#70) On July 19, 2011 at 2:09 AM, awallejr (56.08) wrote:

Sorry for being late, I missed your last reply.  Ordinances always are about majority rules.  That is how they are created.  It doesn't matter what an outside poll will favor.  It ONLY matters what a given locality favors.  Deny this all you want but that is the law.

Food isn't being banned, just its location.

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#71) On August 02, 2011 at 5:26 PM, kdakota630 (29.50) wrote:

Don't know if anyone is still following this, but it looks like the charges were dropped:

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