In the privacy of your own bedroom?

I hate to be a bore, and I have no idea whether readers enjoy reading my libertarianish, anti-government kvetchings, which tend to be endlessly expansive simply because the government bureaucracy grows endlessly more intrusive.

Anyway, consider yourselves warned. The fact is, I hate government butting into people's lives, and as long as I have this blog and the ability to complain, complain I will.

A close friend (whose name and location will remain nameless, as he's an apolitical artist who does not want more bureaucratic trouble than he already has) rents a unit in a small building which he has done much to lovingly restore. The rent is dirt cheap, because the place was a total wreck when he moved in, and the landlord realizes how lucky he is to have this very talented artisan living there. The other units are also rented by artist types, and all have benefited tremendously from the low rents, and my friend's repairs.

The problem, of course, is the city government. Now that the place has been transformed from a slumlord eyesore to a very cool place, the same building and fire inspectors who ignored it when it could have been condemned have descended on the building like predatory jackals. It's as if some people in high places want the building torn down, or else think slum properties should remain slum properties until torn down by developers. (Precisely the pattern in much of the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.)

After nitpicking to death over code violations none of the tenants had complained about, the building inspectors then sent in the fire marshal who demanded that the landlord remove ("unsafe") security bars from windows and cut down every tree on a charming old property. This outraged the tenants, because it's a high crime neighborhood and they liked the bars (the old kind you can't buy anymore), and the trees looked pretty, and yielded shade and avocados. Now there are ugly stumps, and the building gets much hotter in the resultant direct sunlight. The tenants were very upset (with one reduced to tears) and naturally, the landlord did not want to do any of this. Never mind that the city has an official policy of "preserving trees" and people can be arrested for illegal tree removal; this is the fire marshall!

What kind of government can come in and mess with a perfectly harmonious, working landlord-tenant business relationship built on mutual consent?

As if that wasn't bad enough, what outraged me the most was that the fire marshal demanded that my friend remove his large (120 gallon) aquarium from his bedroom! Apparently, the concern is that my friend might have trouble getting out in the event of fire, because the aquarium is in front of the window. Never mind that the apartment is a one-bedroom ground floor unit, never mind that the aquarium is full of water and in the event of an emergency it could easily be smashed, allowing easy access to the window and dumping a large amount of water (hardly a flammable substance).

That an aquarium in a bedroom can be considered the legitimate business of the government pushes all my libertarian buttons.

Whatever happened to the idea of keeping government out of the bedroom, anyway? Is the rule, like, it's OK to screw to your heart's content and expose yourself to whatever dangerous diseases you want, but God forbid that you have too big a fish tank!

Speaking of bedrooms, what a lot of people tend to forget in these situations is that there's still such a thing as the Fourth Amendment, and there's no exception for certain busybodies. Just as you don't have to allow the police into your bedroom without a warrant, barring "exigent circumstances," the same applies to fire inspectors in your bedroom.

I know it's an old rant, but when your home is no longer your castle, then government has become the enemy.

posted by Eric on 02.25.09 at 02:59 PM


I would have started trying to find out if a developer is interested in knocking down buildings in that block. Such sudden interest and nitpicking sounds like the prelude to condemnation/annexation to sell to a developer. I'd be prettey suspicious.

plutosdad   ·  February 25, 2009 3:59 PM

The Government has become the enemy. Kelo was just another "unmasking" of the insidious relationship between the government and its business partners.

Expect government condemnation of the building and a forced sale to developers within the next year.

R. Ford Mashburn   ·  February 25, 2009 4:04 PM

"everything private is public"

"everything is political"

cries from the left, and feminists..
(redundant point).

they are also pushing equality of outcome..

"Feminism, Socialism, and Communism are one in the same, and Socialist/Communist government is the goal of feminism." - Catharine A. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (First Harvard University Press, 1989), p.10

right and left are false arguments in a free state with no royalty (which was one of the dominant form of state at teh time things were concieved)..

from destruction of teh family as a goal from the start of modern leftist communist feminism... to sexual mediation of the staet in relationships... no fault divorce changes... and tons of other things...

"No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one." -- Interview with Simone de Beauvoir, "Sex, Society, and the Female Dilemma," Saturday Review, June 14, 1975, p.18

"Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the Women's Movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage." -- Sheila Cronan, "Marriage," in Koedt, Levine, and Rapone, eds., Radical Feminism, p. 219

"How will the family unit be destroyed? ... the demand alone will throw the whole ideology of the family into question, so that women can begin establishing a community of work with each other and we can fight collectively. Women will feel freer to leave their husbands and become economically independent, either through a job or welfare." -- From Female Liberation by Roxanne Dunbar

i would say having the state step in and regulate things in all your spheres as a socialist political point would drag the state into every aspect of ones life.


so the state now, with permissino and promotion by feminists, is regulating all our relationships...

cant look or talk to women... (harrasment, as well as a new law they are working on in queens ny).

state can enter your home, and take your children and put them up for adoption on a hearsay or ideological argument, and needs no warrant, or due process...

the majority public doenst like the way the state is defining the private, but too bad, socialists are totalitarians, and so the women have dictated how it will be...

"If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males." -- Mary Daly, former Professor at Boston College, 2001

"My feelings about men are the result of my experience. I have little sympathy for them. Like a Jew just released from Dachau, I watch the handsome young Nazi soldier fall writhing to the ground with a bullet in his stomach and I look briefly and walk on. I don't even need to shrug. I simply don't care. What he was, as a person, I mean, what his shames and yearnings were, simply don't matter." -- Marilyn French; The Women's Room

"All men are rapists and that's all they are" -- Marilyn French, Authoress; (later, advisoress to Al Gore's Presidential Campaign.)

"The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race." -- Sally Miller Gearhart, The Future - If There Is One - Is Female

"The nuclear family must be destroyed, and people must find better ways of living together. ... Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process. ... "Families have supported oppression by separating people into small, isolated units, unable to join together to fight for common interests." -- Functions of the Family, Linda Gordon, WOMEN: A Journal of Liberation, Fall 1969

the only way to make these changes against the wishes of the people and most women is to put the state in charge of our private life.

they succeeded... and you didnt realize what they meant when they said what they said... and most never read what they wrote..

then again, most never read the koran, marx, gramscis nine books, mein kampf, lenins texts, stalins texts and such... i have, which is why i know that others ahvent...

since feminists leaders have declared they are making a communist state, and such a state is totalitarian, is it any wondwer that there is no privacy for the people in the new world under construction for over 70 years?


artfldgr   ·  February 25, 2009 4:28 PM

forgot, the post was in response to this missive.

Whatever happened to the idea of keeping government out of the bedroom, anyway?

artfldgr   ·  February 25, 2009 4:31 PM

See THX 1138 as soon as you have finished reading "Brave New World", "1984" and "Anthem".

This is all old news.

Larry Sheldon   ·  February 25, 2009 4:39 PM

start demanding a search warrant from these agents of the state - "inspectors"

dre   ·  February 25, 2009 6:48 PM

Perhaps your friend misunderstood the situation. Was the Fire Marshall fishing for a bribe? Perhaps a discreet inquiry is in order, if it is not too late.

colderwater   ·  February 25, 2009 9:58 PM

This is exactly the kind of post I missed while you were away. Other than the cute pics of Coco, your libertarian rants are the reason I'm here. And I suspect I'm not the only one.

Melissa   ·  February 26, 2009 12:14 AM

"What kind of government can come in and mess with a perfectly harmonious, working landlord-tenant business relationship built on mutual consent?"

The short answer is; the kind of government we elect, of course. Hopefully, the current episode of "You are There" that we are ;iving through will cause more rational, reasonable, common-sense using, liberty minded folks to PAY ATTENTION before during and after elections, and call to account those in office, and vote out the bums who are found lacking.

I've been reading this site for years, and I am glad that you and Simon keep making your points based on reason and resist emotional outbursts.

Rob   ·  February 28, 2009 8:36 PM

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