Sunday Links

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

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57 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  BSK | 

    Even more reason for the police to be involved. Unless each homeowner privately and exclusively owns the sidewalk in front of their property, no one has any right to build on them without explicit consent from all involved parties. If the sidewalks are shared by all the residents of the development, than it is just as much the neighbors’ property as it is the maze-builders. As such, the maze-builder infringed his/her neighbors’ property rights and the cops were duty-bound to protect those rights.

    I understand much of the grief about LEO and big government. But if we don’t even allow them to protect the rights that are core to libertarian principals, then our message is not one of libertarianism but merely of anti-cop and anti-government.

  2. #2 |  Ben | 

    Ah, neighbor complaints to government agencies. I just got screwed by a neighbor (anonymously) and the DEP to the tune of $1300. I run a wood furnace. I knew that I wasn’t 100% in compliance with the arbitrary heights I needed to be, but I burned in such a way that the smoke was never a problem.

    Another neighbor decided it would be a good idea to start his furnace in August. Which pissed off somebody and they, instead of talking to the guy burning the stove, turned in everyone within a half mile radius. Which brought out the DEP, which brings fines if you don’t conform to the arbitrary numbers in the law.

    So now I go about trying to get the law changed. Good luck with that, though, since loosening restrictions is just about impossible.

  3. #3 |  PW | 

    #51 –

    Assuming that sidewalk is like most sidewalks, it was probably (a) city property but also (b) legally obliged to the homeowner for routine maintenance, and without any reimbursement from the city for performing that maintenance. I’m betting that this particular homeowner performs this task by edging the sidewalk as he cares for his own lawn and by generally keeping it free of weeds, trash, fallen leaves, and other debris for most of the year.

    And I’m also betting that if, say, some idiot drove down this guy’s street and deposited an old tire in the middle of that sidewalk, not only would the government that technically owns the sidewalk fail to pick it up, but they would also expect the homeowner whose house it was in front of to do so and likely penalize him if he failed to do so in a timely manner.

    Therefore in the larger scheme of things, I’m generally unmoved by a rigidly asserted “libertarian” property rights argument on behalf of a government that claims property rights on a sidewalk when it is convenient to do so but is generally unwilling to do anything to maintain the same property and in fact routinely places the costs and burdens of such maintenance onto private individuals who do not technically own it but would be penalized by that same government under force of law if they neglected to maintain that property which they do not own.

  4. #4 |  PW | 

    “I understand much of the grief about LEO and big government.”

    No you don’t, BSK. You only “understand” it when it happens to protected “minority” groups, and not out of concern for their individual rights but rather their collective group status.

    As for libertarian principles and sidewalks, I have a deal to offer you. I’d like to build a concrete pathway through the middle of your front yard. The sole purpose of this pathway will be to allow complete strangers to traverse your property at will at any time of their choosing. I will not be compensating you for the land I will take from you to build the pathway on, but that’s the part of the deal for me building it, which I’ll also be subsidizing through the taxes you paid me on that property last year. Once my pathway across your yard is built I will generally abandon it. But I will expect you to completely care for it in my absence, which means cleaning it of fallen leaves and debris, shoveling away snow, and picking up any litter that the random strangers using it to cross your property happen to leave behind. I also expect it to be edged and kept free of weeds. I will not be reimbursing you for any of these tasks, but you must do them anyway as part of your responsibility to me for confiscating your property so that I may build my path. And should you fail to do any of these things I will fine and prosecute you under cover of law. Also, don’t even think about obstructing my pathway in any way as I will prosecute you for that too. Sound like a deal?

  5. #5 |  BSK | 

    I was referring to KBCraig’s point that the sidewalk was likely owned by the community and was solely private property. If the homeowner himself owned it, they should use it as they choose. If it was shared by the community but remained private, then the homeowner should have acquired the necessary permission from his co-owners. Absent doing this, the cops were right to step in on behalf of the complaining neighbor.

    If the sidewalk was public property, the situation is complicated, for many of the reasons offered.

    Regardless, let’s deal with the facts that we DO know, since we don’t currently know the specifics of the ownership of the sidewalk. What we do know is that no one was prosecuted. The maze builder was simply told to build on his property, not on the sidewalk. Let’s not exaggerate for the sake of painting the cops or government as the villains. In this case, what exactly did they do wrong? They peacefully enforced a code.

  6. #6 |  Medicine Man | 

    I think that NYPD cop should have a Bud Light Real Men of Genius spot done for him.

  7. #7 |  Mannie | 

    Now, I’m all for cracking down on scofflaw bicyclists. I think that in most cases, summary execution would be appropriate, but hey, fair is fair. You can’t create a hazard and cite people for responding to it. There is certainly no shortage of real scofflaw cyclists to shoot.

    The City Ordinance says, “Whenever a usable path or lane for bicycles has been provided, bicycle riders shall use such path or lane …”

    If there is a cop car parked in the bike lane, there is no usable path or lane for bicycles. The cop obviopusly should be promoted to Captain, so he can impart his profound wisdom to (inflict it on?) the rest of the force.