Rights



Bureaucrats, evidently with nothing better to do, are taking a Michigan woman to court on a misdemeanor charge … for growing vegetables in her front yard.

Bass’ garden is a little unique because it’s in her front yard.

“We thought it’d be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help,” she said.

Bass’ cool garden has landed her in hot water with the City of Oak Park. Code enforcement gave her a warning, then a ticket and now she’s been charged with a misdemeanor.

As usual, the dispute centers on interpretation of an unclear ordinance.

“That’s not what we want to see in a front yard,” said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski.

Why? The city is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. The big question is what’s “suitable?”

The bureaucrats of Oak Park define “suitable” as “common.”  That sort of thinking leads to cookie-cutter blandness.

Welcome to the Nanny State Militant.

Via http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/julie-bass-of-oak-park-faces-misdemeanor-charge-for-vegetable-garden-20110630-wpms

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In 1878, railroad millionaire Charles Crocker decided to buy up the lots surrounding his mansion on San Francisco’s Nob Hill to improve his view of the surrounding vistas. He reached agreements with all the neighbors except for German undertaker Nicholas Yung, who refused to sell.

“I would have been happier than a condor in the sky,” Crocker wrote, “except for that crazy undertaker.”

His solution was pure spite: He built a 40-foot fence around Yung’s cottage on three sides, spoiling his view in hopes that he would sell. The fence can be seen behind the central mansion in this photo; only the chimneys of Yung’s house project above it.

“How gloomy our house became, how sad,” Yung’s daughter later wrote. “All we could see out our windows was the blank wood of the rich man’s fury. … The flowers in the garden all died, and our lawn turned brown, while inside the house everything felt perpetually damp.”

Yung held out nonetheless — according to some reports he mounted a 10-foot coffin atop the wall facing Crocker’s house — and the two maintained a senseless deadlock for years. Yung died in 1880 and Crocker in 1888; only then, when the mansion was sold to a new owner, did Yung’s heirs relent and sell their lot.

You didn’t mess with Chuck Crocker!  But my sympathies lie with the Yungs.

Imagine Crocker trying to get his “spite fence” approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission today.

Via: http://www.futilitycloset.com/

From The New Yorker, September 2, 1972. anticipating the TSA by almost 40 years:

News Desk: Before the Junk Jokes: Airport Security Cartoons : The New Yorker.

The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.

– F.A. Hayek

A friend just pointed out that the telephone numbers (home, cell) of its users are shown on Facebook.  I do not know whether this is something new.

If you want to see your friends’ phone numbers: Go to the top right of your FB screen, click “Account,” then “Edit Friends”.   Then go to the left side of your screen and click “Phonebook.”

Given the number of marketing trolls who try to get accepted as friends, this could be a problem.

If you want to control access to your phone numbers: Go to the top right of your FB screen, click “Privacy Settings,” then “Customize Settings” (near the bottom-middle of the table displayed).  On the Customize  Your Privacy Settings page, cursor down to “Contact Information,”  where you’ll see buttons on the right that let you choose among levels of public disclosure.

In general, it is a good idea to review your FB privacy settings from time to time.

This is explosive.  So watch the mainstream media ignore or downplay it.

Background: the Dept. of Justice had substantively won a civil rights case for voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party.  Nonetheless, the Obama DOJ suddenly dismissed the case,  to the consternation of the judge and several career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division of DOJ.

Now, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is investigating whether the DOJ refuses to prosecute violations of voting rights if the victims are white.

The Justice Department is ignoring civil rights cases that involve white victims and wrongly abandoned a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party last year, a top department official testified Friday. He called the department’s conduct a “travesty of justice.”

Christopher Coates, former voting chief for the department’s Civil Rights Division, spoke under oath Friday morning before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, in a long-awaited appearance that had been stonewalled by the Justice Department for nearly a year.

Coates discussed in depth the DOJ’s decision to dismiss intimidation charges against New Black Panther members who were videotaped outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 dressed in military-style uniforms — one was brandishing a nightstick — and allegedly hurling racial slurs.

The case has drifted in and out of the limelight over the past year as the commission has struggled to investigate it. Former Justice official J. Christian Adams fueled the controversy when he testified in July and accused his former employer of showing “hostility” toward cases that involved white victims and black defendants. Nearly three months later, Coates backed up Adams’ claims. In lengthy and detailed testimony, he said the department cultivates a “hostile atmosphere” against “race-neutral enforcement” of the Voting Rights Act.

In general, I think a Republican take-over of the House and/or Senate could help Mr. Obama’s 2012 reelection prospects, due to the potential for triangulation that it would offer him.

However, Republicans in control of either house could hold hearings to investigate matters such as DOJ’s alleged refusal to protect the civil rights of white victims.  Those hearings would be political dynamite.

via FOXNews.com – Voting Rights Official Calls Dismissal of Black Panther Case a ‘Travesty of Justice’.

The love story of Nikolai Bukharin and Anna Larina, and what Stalin did to them and their infant son.

One of the most interesting interviews I’ve ever heard, with the author, Paul Gregory, at: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2010/07/gregory_on_poli.html

Same day, I ordered the book.

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