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L. Neil Smith's
Number 560, March 7, 2010

"Nicotine is one of the universe's little jokes."

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Orange County Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn
by L. Neil Smith, Steve Lynes, and other authors

Lately from The Libertarian Enterprise

Okay, neighbors, this one is a little complicated. The original source is a story in the Los Angeles Times online by Amina Khan, repeated Stephen Frank on his blog California Political News and Views.

Our friend Steve Lynes sent it on to me in an entirely appropriate mood of outrage as another blatant example of government evil and stupidity.

There are a couple of important questions that need answering here. The first is, what ever happened to conservative Republican Orange County and the value it's always accused by liberal Democrats of placing on the right to private property? Or is this just another case of right wing socialism at work, no different in its brutal and destructive effect on individuals and their rights than left wing socialism?

The other question: has it never occurred to the drooling retards (I said it and I'm glad) running this particular city government—as opposed to the drooling retards running yours and mine—that there are reasons why the economy of the state of California is in a state of collapse rivalling that of the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s?

When you can't turn around, blow your nose, or change your mind without begging permission from some bureaucratic parasite (and paying an associated fee, of course) it will inevitably slow the machinery of peace, freedom, progress, and prosperity down to a deadened crawl, rendering production all but impossible. Repeat that story 36,961,664 times, for each and every inhabitant of the state (I remember, as a kid, reading Robert Heinlein's Farmer in the Sky and thinking his estimate of 20,000,000 for California's future population was absurd; so it was, but in the wrong direction) and you have a perfect formula for perpetual violent conflict, vicious oppression, and hopeless destitution.

What California—and everybody else—needs to recover is freedom.

Nothing more, nothing less.


Here's Steve:

This is absolutely unbelievable!

How long are the people going to allow this sort of thing to continue? Here is the money quote from the article: "Compliance, that's all we've ever wanted," said Senior Assistant City Atty. Wayne Winthers.

Spoken like a true state-worshiping fascist, but, then, aren't they all? Their mantra is, "You MUST comply, you MUST submit, you MUST obey. Do not question my authority. You will do it because I say so. The law is the law. You MUST obey the law, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam."

Dickens had this to say about the law, "The law is an ass, an idiot."

I think he stated things quite succinctly.

"Can the law—which necessarily requires the use of force—rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone?

"I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right ... Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use if his faculties for physical, intellectual and moral self-improvement.

"Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation. This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them.

"A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free."
—Frederic Bastiat, The Law, 1850

The article and link are below. It is disgusting to see how totally out of touch the state apparatus has become with the concept of liberty.

Unfortunately news stories like this one have become all too common these days and this one is on the low end of the spectrum of governmental abuse of power. California has even attempted to outlaw the building of wood burning fireplaces in new homes as well as trying to mandate the installation of remotely controlled thermostats so that the bureaucrats can change thermostat setting when they deem it appropriate. Even though you may be willing to pay for the electricity and natural gas to heat and cool your home government feels they know better.

Heaven forbid you may actually want to be comfortably warm in the winter or refreshingly cool in the summer.


Seen on Stephen Frank's California Political News and Views on March 03, 2010, 12:28 PM.

Orange Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn

City codes require that live landscaping cover 40% of the yard. Quan and Angelina Ha say their water use has dropped 80% since they replaced the grass with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants.

By Amina Khan, LA Times, 3/2/10

Some Southern California cities fine residents for watering their lawns too much during droughts.

But in Orange, officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances by removing their lawn in an attempt to save water.

The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their frontyard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water—and hundreds of dollars—each year.

They said they were trying to do something good for the environment.

"We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future," said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book.

But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require residents to cover significant portions of their frontyards with live ground cover. On Tuesday, the couple is scheduled to appear in Orange County Superior Court to challenge the city's lawsuit against them.

Soon after the city complained about the yard, the Has placed wood chips on top of the dirt, with help from neighbor Dennis Cleek.

"It's their yard, it's not overgrown with weeds, it's not an eyesore," said Cleek, whose own yard boasts fruit trees. "We should be able to have our yards look the way we want them to."

But city officials determined the fix was not acceptable, saying city codes require that 40% of the yard be landscaped predominantly with live plants.

"Compliance, that's all we've ever wanted," said Senior Assistant City Atty. Wayne Winthers.

Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery -- lavender, rosemary, horsetail and pittosporum, among others.

They sent a photo of the yard to city officials in October. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards.

"They put up a nice fence, but [the photo] didn't show anything about how they had complied with code, as far as the frontyard goes," Winthers said, "nor did it include a site plan."

At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court.

"It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money," Quan Ha said. "Doesn't it waste funds to go back and forth in court, rather than sending pictures, e-mails and having phone conversations?"

Winthers said he hopes the city can work out a compromise. "We know times are tough, but we're willing to work with them, we'd be more than happy to," he said.

Meanwhile, the couple said they had reduced their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009.

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