I read your whole post. Starting out I was wondering if this was your
doctoral disseration in urban anthropology.
By the time I read about the pies I understood what you were talking about.
If a person buys property in a restricted area where the subdivider has
placed limitations on what the buyer can do with
his land, that is one thing. Only those who agree will buy. When
government officials decree such things for existing landholders that
is something else entirely. It seems to me that the city fathers will
be demanding alleys or else much larger lots for future subdivisions. I
how they can make it stick for existing subdivisions.
This shows one major defect in representative government. Somehow there
are a few people who really get satisfaction out of
controlling others, and they make a life's work about gaining positions
where they can do what they enjoy. It would be great
if elected officials didn't fancy themselves as being the arbitors of
taste and truth for the rest of us.
Here in south Texas there was a story on the local news last night. A
poor fellow with medical problems that make him use
a positive pressure device when he sleeps moved onto his rural land with
a large travel trailer. It is his only home. Because he
doesn't have running water the County won't let the power company
connect his electricity. He is using car batteries and an
inverter to power his positive pressure breathing device. The County
says their policy is to ensure that citizens will have a better
life style. Explain how they are helping that poor fellow live a
I live in the country with a few other houses nearby. My house has a 40
foot porch and a detached garage.
We have a variety of neighbors, most of whom we know pretty well. I
guess we're exceptions, you and I.
>I have long lamented the passing of "community friendly" architecture,
>in which neighbors see each other almost daily from their front porches.
>It's a by-gone era, though, brought to a close by the automobile.
>It used to be that poor folks built house-barns, in which they kept
>their livestock and themselves, out of a need to conserve labor and
>materials when building and also to share the heat gain in winter from
>all those hot bovine bodies under one roof. Of course, when folks got
>wealthy enough, they built separate buildings for the animals. This
>improved the air quality in the house, and reduced the noise level as
>well (I once stayed in the Philippines in a bamboo nippa hut with a
>corragated tin roof. The family's hogs, which I could see through the
>bamboo floor, were quite vocal when they got amorous. It didn't smell so
>bad, unless it rained, and it rained in the P.I. at 4:00 p.m. every day).
>When horses and carriages were the main mode of transportation, rich
>folks built mansions for themselves, cottages for the hired help, and
>stables for the animals. The cottages and stables were usually in close
>proximity, and both were kept a respectable distance from the house.
>When the rich folks received guests, they'd arrive at the stately front
>door, and the hired help would escort the horses back down to the
>stables. Folks knew a guy was rich because of the wide expanses of
>manicured lawn and the miles of white board horse fences that ran
>alongside the road.
>Today, our homes have been adapted to accommodate a new mode of
>transportation -- the automobile. At first, garages were (and some still
>are) built separate from the house. Perhaps it was out of habit that
>they built the stable separate from the house, and I suppose the exhaust
>fumes were just too hard to air out in the wintertime. Anyway, we soon
>developed cleaner cars and started building the garages either with
>breeze ways connecting them to the house, or attached outright to the
>house. It didn't take long before the one-car garage was made to look
>poor by folks who built two-car garages, then three- and four-car
>garages. Nowadays, folks assume the wealthy are the ones with the garage
>complexes that make the house look puny by comparison. You drive into
>modern community developments, and all you see are garage doors.
>Sometimes you have to search for the front entrance.
>But let's be honest -- the front entrance isn't what it used to be.
>Folks hardly knock on the door anymore. Oh, maybe the postman, the
>occasional salesman, or a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses, but not much else
>by way of socializing. Front porches are gone. Most people don't need
>'em, and most don't want 'em. No one's sittin' out on the porch to cool
>off, where maybe they can wave at passers by, chirping friendly
>greetings as they go. No, people are all inside, enjoying their central
>air conditioning, or maybe they're not home yet, stuck in traffic or
>working extra hours to pay for the boat they put behind Garage Door
>Nobody knows their neighbors much anymore. They drive home and hit their
>remote control button before they even finish their turn into the
>driveway. They glide up into the maw of the garage and click the button
>again. The neighbors probably didn't even noticed who has come and gone.
>Nobody really knows anybody anymore. We're all isolated in on our own
>private property, leading our own private lives.
>But that's all a lot of folks want to do. And it's their right.
>A town ordinance that says you can't build your stable next to your
>house is an invasion into a person's private affairs. Whose business is
>it anyway whether you know your neighbor or not. Surely, neighbors can
>think of other ways to get to know each other. All it takes is a chat
>over the back fence or a knock on the front door, maybe with a fresh
>baked blueberry pie, made from berries you picked right out of your own
>landscaping. I don't have ornamentals -- they're all fruit trees and
>berry bushes -- and I made all my neighbors cherry jelly, from my
>homegrown cherries. So I know my neighbors, not from passively sitting
>on my porch watching the parade of life go by, but from making an effort
>to go and greet them.
>Maybe the city leaders in Franklin, Tennessee should encourage block
>parties instead of blocking the kinds of homes people build. Instead,
>they say no garage doors may face the front of the property, and only
>the front door can be the main point of attraction. Okay, I live on a
>corner lot, so I can comply. But what're my neighbors on either side of
>me going to do? We don't have alleys behind our houses here. City
>planners laid out the roads, and it just isn't possible to move all the
>garage doors around back. Seems like the city leaders in Franklin will
>have to come up with a whole new street grid for their town. I wonder if
>they'll resort to eminent domain, chopping peoples back yards in half,
>in order to put in alleys.
>I suppose that'll be the next bone-headed ordinance to come out of
I'm a libertarian by logical necessity because I'm a Christian.