It's All About the Parking

For years neighbors have been complaining about the swinger parties at a house near the intersection of Cedar Ridge Drive and Interstate 20 in Duncanville, Texas, a Dallas suburb. City officials didn't like the parties either, but they were powerless to do anything about them. "Although the city has regulations pertaining to sexually oriented businesses," The Dallas Morning News reports, "it has not been able to document business activities at the home." So this week the Duncanville City Council passed an ordinance banning "sex clubs" in residences. The ordinance defines sex club as "any premises, person or organization that is presented, advertised, held out or styled as, or which provides notification to the public that it is a swinger's club; an adult encounter group or center; a sexual encounter group or center; party house or home; wife, spouse or partner-swapping club; or that it provides permission, an opportunity or an invitation to engage in or to view sexual activity, stimulation or gratification, whether for consideration or not."

Although the ordinance is all about sex, city officials insist that it isn't:

"We are not addressing what activities are going on," [Councilmember Johnette Jameson] said. "We're addressing the traffic. We have to be good neighbors to each other."

Mayor David Green agreed that nearby residents have been bothered by the influx of cars coming to the home.

"People can't find parking," he said. "It's really detracting from the neighborhood."

If parking is the issue, shouldn't the ordinance apply to any regular activity that attracts a lot of people? What about cookouts, book clubs, and Tupperware parties? I guess the assumption is that only sex can attract the sort of crowds that create parking problems.

[Thanks to lunchstealer for the tip.]

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  • ||

    If it were really about parking, the ordinance would restrict parking. Stating the obvious makes me feel special.

  • ||

    I guess the assumption is that only sex can attract the sort of crowds that create parking problems.

    In Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver, there's a great paragraph where our hero Jack Shaftoe, in a haze due to the fever which recently cured his French Pox, is trying to figure out the reason why a raucous crowd of men has gathered. He decides that since they are galley slaves in Tunis and there are no women to be found, sex is unlikely to be the cause, and so there must be some sort of violence to be gambled on.

  • ||

    If parking is the issue, shouldn't the ordinance apply to any regular activity that attracts a lot of people? What about cookouts, book clubs, and Tupperware parties?

    I can see a distinction being drawn over the "...that is presented, advertised, held out or styled as, or which provides notification to the public..." part.

    Forbidding events in residential neighborhoods that involve advertising can be defended on the grounds of creating commercial-level impacts on the neighbors, like parking or noise. AFAIK, that's not how tupperware parties or cookouts work - they're by invitation only.

    But then, you still run into the problem of the swingers parties being singled out. You could still hold a cookout and advertise it to the public under this law, so it's obviously not content-neutral.

  • ||

    No, I think it was The Confusion, not Quicksilver

  • ||

    Let's see...
    any ... organization ... which provides notification to the public that ... it provides permission ... to engage in ... sexual activity...

    Check me here. Did they just outlaw church weddings?

  • Episiarch||

    I guess the swingers will have to rent a van and bus people in. I doubt this stupid ordinance will stop some swingers from getting their multi-partner groove on. Sex is a powerful motivator, group sex even more so.

  • ||

    So, do you guys seriously not understand why neighbors wouldn't want regular sex parties going on in their neighborhoods? They must have been pretty disruptive for people to have even noticed them or complained.

  • weee||

    You'd think that for people inclined to sharing that carpooling would be the obvious answer.

  • ||

    I know what you mean Dan. It's like when the niggers move into your neighborhood.

  • Episiarch||

    Whoa, Dan is a racist? I should have known.

  • ||

    Christians? Being nosy neighbors? Well I never...

  • ||

    Dan T., I don't think the participants would like it very much to hear their hobby described as "regular sex." Heh.

    But I can understand perfectly why people wouldn't want sex parties in their neighborhoods: because they're uptight prudes who can't mind their own business and make Santorum-level leaps of logic when the issue of sexual minorities comes up.

  • ||

    weee wins.

  • ||

    Like I said before...

    It's amazing, the lengths some people will go to, to try to stop other people from screwing.

    It won't work. People are just gonna keep screwing anyway, no matter what the Duncanville City Council does.

  • ed||

    My work-around is to advertise a cookout, with a special emphasis on the jumbo sausages.

  • ||

    "So this week the Duncanville City Council passed an ordinance banning "sex clubs" in residences. The ordinance defines sex club as "any premises, person or organization...or that it provides permission, an opportunity or an invitation to engage in or to view sexual activity, stimulation or gratification, whether for consideration or not."

    So does this mean that nobody is ever going to have sex in their own homes again, lest the home owner be guilty of providing the permission and/or oportunity?

  • Reinmoose||

    Uh huh. And how is this going to be enforced? Will they have a pig on the inside?

  • Jesse Walker||

    a pig on the inside

    I really didn't need to read that right after ed's reference to "jumbo sausages."

  • ||

    any premises, person or organization...

    It has taken me years, but finally I will have legal recognition of my one-man sex club.

    *wipes a tear*

    I would like to thank the Duncanville City Council, and the nosy, prudish bastards at 1426 Cedar Ridge Drive...none of this would be possible without all your interference and busybody, nannyish repressive laws.

    Thank You!

  • ||

    My work-around is to advertise a cookout, with a special emphasis on the jumbo sausages.

    Hmm, which house do you think it is? There seem to be quite a few cookouts going on.

    Well...let's try the house with no one in the yard and Nine Inch Nails music playing.

    Ding-dong.

  • Paul||

    For years neighbors have been complaining about the swinger parties at a house near the intersection of Cedar Ridge Drive and Interstate 20 in Duncanville, Texas

    Google mapping...now!

  • ||

    joe | November 9, 2007, 12:16pm | #

    I can see a distinction being drawn over the "...that is presented, advertised, held out or styled as, or which provides notification to the public..." part.

    Forbidding events in residential neighborhoods that involve advertising can be defended on the grounds of creating commercial-level impacts on the neighbors, like parking or noise. AFAIK, that's not how Tupperware parties or cookouts work - they're by invitation only.

    But then, you still run into the problem of the swingers parties being singled out. You could still hold a cookout and advertise it to the public under this law, so it's obviously not content-neutral.


    Joe,
    Firstly, you don't really think that swinger's parties aren't "invitation only", do you? Second, this condition, "or which provides notification to the public" means that inviting anybody, orally or in written communication violates this ordinance. This law is clearly about singling out those who like to screw more than one someone a night in the same house.

  • Russ 2000||

    a pig on the inside

    It's all about the porking.

  • ||

    Kwix,

    I don't know very much about swingers parties.

    What I know is that the law used language about advertising the public, and no, inviting a specific number of individuals is not the same thing as "advertising to the public" under the law.

    Obviously, this law is about singling out swingers - that's what I wrote.

  • ed||

    Kwix's syntax makes me dizzy.

  • Paul||

    So, do you guys seriously not understand why neighbors wouldn't want regular sex parties going on in their neighborhoods?

    Dan T., there are lots of things that I probably wouldn't like my neighbors to do, but that doesn't mean they don't have a right to do it.

    For instance, one might object to any of the following activities in which a neighbor might engage:

    o homosexual sex
    o ownership and storage of firearms
    o backyard barbecueing (damn that good smelling smoke interferes with my vegetarian sensibilities)
    o Viewing of pr0n where I might see the tv via an open window.
    o Smoking Pot (oh, that's already illegal, my bad)
    o Smoking Cigarettes when their children are about.
    o Having political meetings
    o Having Union meetings

    If the parties are disruptive, then they can have the party stopped using existing ordinances. For instance, everyone's been to a party while the attendees may have been expressing too much "youthful exhuberance" and got broken up by five-oh. What this tells us is that the parties may not have been disruptive, but the neighbors got a strong feeling about what was going on and simply didn't like it. Then, after weeks of investigation, spying through windows and careful, I say again CAREFUL documentation of the activities going on inside said house, they complained to officials.

  • Paul||

    singling out swingers - that's what I wrote.

    Or swingling out singers.

  • ||

    Also, as I have pointed out elsewhere on the 'Net, this law would have additional unintended consequences. To wit:

    "any premises ... that it provides permission ... to engage in ... sexual activity ... whether for consideration or not."

    This effectively bans any hotel, motel or private residence that houses guests unless you explicitly tell the guests, even married couples, that they may not fuck while on your property. It would never be enforced, but it's a great legal crowbar to tear this law apart.

  • ||

    Ed,
    Just be happy that you are reading my syntax in a typeset form. My handwritten script has been known to kill people.

  • ||


    Obviously, this law is about singling out swingers - that's what I wrote.


    Oh, I know. Just concurring.

  • ||

    Kwix,
    See my comment at 12:17

  • Abdul||

    Who knew that the downside of group sex would be the parking? I always thought the downside would be being nekkid next to other unattractive nekkid people.

  • ed||

    Do NOT get in the hot tub.

  • ||

    Warren,
    Doh! I could have just cut and pasted your stuff and claimed it as my own. Damn!

    I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling libertarians.

  • ||

    OK then. I concur with your concurance.

  • ||

    If parking is the issue, shouldn't the ordinance apply to any regular activity that attracts a lot of people? What about cookouts, book clubs, and Tupperware parties?

    Glenda Moses, 30, who said she has been attending the swingers group for three years, said 60 to 70 people are regulars at the house on the weekends.

    My guess is that if you had 70 people at a party, cookout, or Tupperware Party every weekend for the entire weekend for three years running that the city and the neighbors would take an interest.

    That said, banning sex clubs is idiotic. Typical government bungling. The real problem is noise and parking. That is where the focus should have been.

  • ||

    Abdul, I always thought sex was what parking was all about. At least when I was 17.

  • ||

    Frankly, it's the Tupperware Parties that piss me off.

    People who are into plastic are so creepy.

    ;)

  • ||

    But I can understand perfectly why people wouldn't want sex parties in their neighborhoods: because they're uptight prudes who can't mind their own business and make Santorum-level leaps of logic when the issue of sexual minorities comes up.

    Kind of like how H&R commenters can't mind their own business regarding the rules of neighborhoods they don't live in?

    Free minds, as long as you're not a "prude".

  • e||

    Imagine if more Americans lived in walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods. The parking issue would be moot.

  • ||

    Now that I've RTFA:

    Glenda Moses, 30, who said she has been attending the swingers group for three years, said 60 to 70 people are regulars at the house on the weekends.

    I'd say that probably any house that hosts years of regular parties with 60-70 guests is going to eventually be considered a nusance, regardless of what kind of activities are going on there. I suspect many of you guys would probably lose your libertarian idealism if it was your next-door neighbor hosting them.



    I suspect many of you would not

  • ||

    I've been going to swing parties for years in the same location, and the hosts (lawyers) make sure we all park at least 3 blocks away to defuse the neighbor complaints.

  • ||

    Prudes, by definition, do not have "free minds".

  • ||

    Note to self - Check Housing Association bylaws & introduce explicit "No Swinging" amendment at next meeting.

    But seriously, these guys are advertising sex-parties at their home in the suburbs ? Whatever happened to the surreptitious "business weekend" in the City where you cheat on the wife ? Jeez, it's hard being an old-fashioned pervert these days.
    OTOH, I did read an article recently by some guy who had researched Swinger Clubs. Apparently, its all regular folks because, well, if you are Mick Jagger, then you don't need to join a club to get laid at will.

  • ||

    What about in-home parties where sexual devices are sold? Schtupperware parties?

  • ||

    Kind of like how H&R commenters can't mind their own business regarding the rules of neighborhoods they don't live in?

    Well Dan, it's sort of like what you wrote on the Iran thread: So basically if you feel that an injustice exists, your only morally acceptable recourse is to not participate in it yourself? I'm not sure anybody really believes that.

    The libertoids believe someone is being unjustly harmed when zoning laws restrict their activities, so they complain about it.

  • Paul||

    be considered a nusance, regardless of what kind of activities are going on there. I suspect many of you guys would probably lose your libertarian idealism if it was your next-door neighbor hosting them.

    We might, Dan. And you may be right, that 70 people would be a nuisance. You don't have to have a sex party to be a nuisance- 70 cars showing up at the house, blocking all the driveways can be nuisance enough to shut it down. Why do we need dangerously vague legislation that tells you that nuisance be damned, you're not allowed to engage in this activity within your own home?

  • ||

    There have already been legal clashes between neighbors over families that use their homes to host religious services or church-related meetings. Heck, under the Stratford, CT zoning mentioned in the linked article, a thrice-weekly family dinner attended by me, my siblings and my Mom could trigger that ordinance!

    Kevin

  • ||

    Given the harm it causes, I think the government has an absolute duty to regulate sex trafficking. [Thank you, I'll be here all week]

  • ||

    The libertoids believe someone is being unjustly harmed when zoning laws restrict their activities, so they complain about it.

    Fair enough. And the Prudes believe that having 60-70 people showing up for parties every weekend is harming the quality of life in their neighborhood, so it's hardly an inability to mind their own business.

  • ||

    The libertoids believe someone is being unjustly harmed when zoning laws restrict their activities ...

    What's harmed is freedom of association, freedom of commerce, property rights, liberty in general.
    But nothing to see here. Move along.

  • Reinmoose||

    Fair enough. And the Prudes believe that having 60-70 people showing up for parties every weekend is harming the quality of life in their neighborhood, so it's hardly an inability to mind their own business.

    So your argument is that the libertoids are trying to limit the rights of the prudes to limit the rights of the sex-partiers?

  • Paul||

    Imagine if more Americans lived in walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods. The parking issue would be moot.

    I'm assuming you're being funny, e. Because I live in a city of dense, transit-oriented walkable neighborhoods and parking is an effing nightmare.

  • ||

    This is similar to the current tactic in Fairfax County, Virginia where they target brown immigrants with occupancy ordinances and "boarding house" ordinances. They justify it as a way of addressing when there are too many cars parked on the street, but you won't see any ordinances or enforcement against the white family that has a large collection of cars and guests' cars parked in front of other peoples' residences.

  • ||

    Dan T.,

    And the Prudes believe that having 60-70 people showing up for parties every weekend is harming the quality of life in their neighborhood, so it's hardly an inability to mind their own business.

    If their complaints are limited to the traffic impacts, absolutely.

    But given the language of that bill, I suspect that traffic and parking are pretexts. In my years as a city planner, I'd say that 90% of the complaints about traffic impacts from people in the suburbs are pretexts.

  • ||

    Paul,

    I think the point was that people could walk to the sex parties.

    Although whether they could walk home again is a tougher question.

  • Reinmoose||

    Although whether they could walk home again is a tougher question.

    ewwwwwwwww

  • ||

    Is anybody here NOT creeped out my group sex? Standard libertarian disclaimer #2 applies, but the thought of performing in public gives me the willies.

  • ||

    Swinging is not the same as group sex, but both are all-adult, consensual activities.

  • ||

    So your argument is that the libertoids are trying to limit the rights of the prudes to limit the rights of the sex-partiers?

    Sort of, if you want to put it that way.

    But really this is just another of the seemingly endless situations where the rights of the individual are in direct conflict with the rights of the community.

    IMO, a proper balance has to be struck, and that's where I differ from libertarians who seem to think that only the rights of the individual matter and the community's collective concerns simply are of no consequence.

    So yes, it does seem that if an individual wants to host sex parties in his house, he should have that right. But it also seems that if a group of people living together wants to live in a neighborhood without sex parties, they should have that right as well. Striking that balance is not always easy and usually will leave both sides feeling slighted.

  • ||

    Is anybody here NOT creeped out my group sex? Standard libertarian disclaimer #2 applies, but the thought of performing in public gives me the willies.


    J sub D,
    Spicegurl is right but even so, my answer to your question is no, I am not creeped out by it.

  • ||

    Dan T,
    Your "collective social contract" bullshit drives me nuts. It's not like these people are leaving the drapes open for the entire neighborhood to see. These people are engaging in a private act on private property, not in view of neighbors. Short of the traffic issue, it isn't affecting anybody in the neighborhood.

    Since the traffic is the supposed problem the ordinance should have addressed traffic, not sex parties. I have few problems with city ordinances that dictate traffic flow/congestion issues, particularly the usage of areas adjacent to private property not owned by the party thrower (eg. people parking along the street in front of other houses).

    I however have serious problems with city ordinances that tell me what I can/cannot do with MY private property when it does not affect my neighbors in any appreciable way. If I want to put a 15 foot inflatable snowman on MY lawn, I should be able to. If I want to invite 70 people over to MY house for a swinger's party it shouldn't be any different.

  • ||

    Now, that having been said, a real simple way for these people to show the town for the bigots they are is to hold a backyard BBQ. Invite friends, coworkers, neighbors, and yes, even swingers. Make it known to everyone in the house that this is just a BBQ, nothing more. Once the house is packed place an anonymous complaint to the police about the traffic congestion and when they arrive, show them that the ordinance says not one iota about traffic. Then sue the city for harassment.

  • ||

    "Is anybody here NOT creeped out my group sex? Standard libertarian disclaimer #2 applies, but the thought of performing in public gives me the willies."

    I admit it. It creeps me out but everyone can do what they want with their own culo.

  • ||

    But really this is just another of the seemingly endless situations where the rights of the individual are in direct conflict with the rights of the community.

    The community has NO rights. Each individual in the community has individual rights. Any time someone says "The Town of so-and-so has the right..." what they are talking about is not that every person in So-and-so has this right, they are speaking of the rights of the Town Administration, or Gov't.

    So, what community rights are you talking about? What rights apply to the group of residents on a street that do not apply to the single resident? If noise bothers one neighbor of mine, but not the rest, am I violating the rights of the community, or of one person?

  • ||

    Dan T,
    Your "collective social contract" bullshit drives me nuts. It's not like these people are leaving the drapes open for the entire neighborhood to see. These people are engaging in a private act on private property, not in view of neighbors. Short of the traffic issue, it isn't affecting anybody in the neighborhood.


    Well, if it's not affecting anybody in the neighborhood, why are they complaining to such an extent as to get the city council to outlaw the parties? Of course this situation is going to seem like an injustice to you if you start out with the assumption that a person's complaint about what goes on in his neighborhood has no value whatsoever.


    I however have serious problems with city ordinances that tell me what I can/cannot do with MY private property when it does not affect my neighbors in any appreciable way. If I want to put a 15 foot inflatable snowman on MY lawn, I should be able to. If I want to invite 70 people over to MY house for a swinger's party it shouldn't be any different.


    Well, no offense but it's not all about you. And keep in mind that if you freely choose to live in the town of Duncanville, then you are agreeing to abide by the rules of the community. (And no, I'm not saying that the community can literally pass any rule even if violates your humans rights. But you don't have the right to do whatever you want.)

    Sorry if you think the social contract is BS but I doubt you want to live in a place that doesn't have one.

  • Reinmoose||

    Dan -
    It's not like Duncanville is a community of 100 people, and all 100 people agree on everything... until one day, a swinger comes to town!

    Libertarians have little respect for "majority rules." We absolutely believe that groups of people have rights... if they enter into an agreement at the beginning of a relationship. If this swinger-party-haver had entered into a HOA and signed a contract saying that they could not have a swinger party, there's no issue here. However, laws enacted to shut down peoples private activity, activity that was previously allowed...

  • ||

    Affecting someone else is not a rights-violation.

    Harming someone is.

    Aside from traffic, which is not even addressed in the law, who is being harmed by the conduct of the people who are gathering?

  • robc||

    But you don't have the right to do whatever you want

    Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. Im sure swingers parties falls under 2 of those.

    P.S. You already live somewhere without a social contract. They dont exist.

  • ||

    Spicegurl-

    You are the MVP (Most Vivacious Poster).

    Long may you reign!

  • ||

    Libertarians have little respect for "majority rules."

    Yes, and that's probably why the majority rejects the philosophy. But I'm curious as to how you think laws should be enacted if not democratically. Is Libertopia ruled by a benevolent dictator?

  • ||

    Dan T.: The laws that we need already exist. The concepts of non-aggression, non-coercion, as-it-harms-none etc. take care of all basic interactions between individuals. Libertopia is your basic "social contract". Come on Dan, you have been here long enough to know the answer to your question. Majority rules is mob rules.

  • ||

    Not that I completely agree with Dan T. But I think he has a point.
    Would no one here be bothered having a neighbor who consistently had people over, for whatever reason? Or no one dares admit it? I mean 60 to 70 people is not your average Sunday afternoon family cookout. And, cum'on (pun intended) these people have got to make some noise.
    Its not uncommon for my neighbors to have parties with blarring music until 7am on the weekends. Honestly, I want to go over and shoot 'em but they would just better armed. So I barely sleep and curse all night. It sucks.
    I once called the cops. I think they went over, took off their bullet-proof vest and joined the limbo dance.
    Living in anarchy is not as fun as you would think...

  • ed||

    I wonder if they get any trick-or-treaters on Halloween?

  • ||

    Living in anarchy is not as fun as you would think...

    Only if you aren't invited to the party.

  • ||

    Captain Obtuse Wrote:

    But I'm curious as to how you think laws should be enacted if not democratically.


    How about not having any petty laws that don't address the infringement of rights?

    Protecting my basic righs = good law
    Satisfying Nosy Prudes = bad law

    If you can't (or won't) see the difference, I shall promote you to Lt. Colonel Obtuse. Remember, failure falls upward.

  • ||

    Dan T. is comfortable with the concept of "mob rules." Only he cloaks it in cushy language, like "social contract" and "democracy."
    Dan T. has no problem, theoretically, with fascism.

  • ||

    Sure I would be bothered, but I would get over it. I am sure that the smell of a coal fire and the sound of me hammering hot steel are not the first choice for my neighbors, but I hate the sound of screaming kids and barking dogs, which is why I don't have any. However, I allow them some leeway, and they have extended that same courtesy to me.

  • ||

    Last post was towards rana.

  • ||

    Dan T. is comfortable with the concept of "mob rules." Only he cloaks it in cushy language, like "social contract" and "democracy."
    Dan T. has no problem, theoretically, with fascism.


    Equally true is that libertarians are against democracy, meaning that they think a small group of elitists should decide the laws - since if you let the people decide they'll just behave like a mob and kill everybody who disagrees with them. Libertarains have no problem, theoretically, with fascism.

  • lunchstealer||

    My problem is that they're targetting a specific activity that has nothing to do with the problem. Having a party and allowing people to have sex is not the neighbors' business. The parking problem may legitimately be the neighbors' business, but if so this is a terrible solution. This rule is so broad that it will apply to people who weren't causing the traffic problems the neighbors complain about, but having smaller, unobtrusive swinger parties. Simultaneously, this law lets anyone else in the city have any other kind of party that would be equally disruptive, so long as there's not sex.

    It seems to me that if the neighbors are upset about parking, and nothing else, then the ordinance could be written in the following way:

    Any premise, individual, or organization that advertises to the public any gathering of more than 40 people on more than four days in a month, or more than two gathering of more than 40 people of longer than 12 hours duration within a month, shall be considered a public nuisance.



    That gets the college guys who have the annoying all-night keggers at their rental house every weekend, it gets the swingers, and anyone else who regularly creates a parking problem. But it lets someone have a private wedding, or even a swinger party, as long as they aren't doing it so often that they cause a repeated problem.

    As its written it's a vindictive persecution of a minority interest, rather than a sensible, sober response to a disagreement among neighbors.

  • ||

    Rana,
    The issue was not the number of people in attendance or the noise level. The supposed problem was the amount of traffic generated. A reasonable concern in any developed neighborhood and one that a typical community might be expected to address via ordinances as it directly impact the quality of life of the residents of said community.

    That is not the law that was enacted however and what was addressed was the "type" of party that was occurring.

    Think of it this way, it's like the town in Footloose banning Break Dancing but allowing Salsa. Anybody else can have a party of any size (Tupperware™, sex toys, church social, hoedown, etc.) neighbors be damned, but if you have a party that "permits sexual activities" well then that's illegal, size of party or amount of traffic being irrelevant.

    If Captain Obtuse was addressing the concerns that actually affect the living conditions of the neighbors (traffic, noise, light levels, etc.) then he might have a point. But he isn't, he is playing the "but I don't want it in my neighborhood even though I can't see it" card, and it's a load of shit.

    I don't like seeing my neighbors park Fords in their garages either but you know what, I'm not going to get the City Hall to draft a law forbidding it.

  • ||

    Except that the few laws that we (libertarians) support do not demand or dictate specific behavior, except to say that your conduct/actions may not harm another, and you may not coerce another person to act/not act against their will. Can you say the same of democratically enacted laws?

  • ||

    Well said Lunchstealer!

  • Reinmoose||

    Equally true is that libertarians are against democracy, meaning that they think a small group of elitists should decide the laws - since if you let the people decide they'll just behave like a mob and kill everybody who disagrees with them. Libertarains have no problem, theoretically, with fascism.

    This is not it at all. ThePeopletm would vote (almost) unanimously for property rights and other rights that we consider to be "basic." Once those numbers start falling from 100% they become less justifiable to legislate. Just because something is approved by 51% of people does not make it a just law.

  • Reinmoose||

    As its written it's a vindictive persecution of a minority interest, rather than a sensible, sober response to a disagreement among neighbors

    And Dan T recognizes this lunchstealer. He just seems to think it's the "community's" "right" to legislate against it.

  • ||

    Reinmoose, I agree. Please see 3:23 post. Groups have no rights.

  • ||

    Just because something is approved by 51% of people does not make it a just law.

    But why to the 49 percent's opinion count more?

    I think you guys confuse the fact that democracy is hardly perfect with the fact that it's better than whatever kind of elitist system libertarians would prefer.

    If the majority doesn't rule, then who does?

  • ||

    Groups have no rights.

    So a corporation cannot own property? Interesting...

  • ||

    If those Texans weren't such a bunch of whining Commies, they'd privatize the streets. Individual property owners could then grant or deny permission to park according to their whim.

  • Reinmoose||

    Thank you P Brooks. I was going to go that route too but then I got distracted...

  • ||

    Corporations are individual entities under law, which may employ groups of people. If my company buys a car, I do not own part of that car. The individual corporate entity owns it.

  • ||

    Dan T:

    I have tried very hard not to resort to any kind of ad hominem attack, but you are playing dumb, and I dislike that. it is dishonest and a waste of my time to try and converse with you.

  • ||

    Lt. Colonel Obtuse Wrote:


    If the majority doesn't rule, then who does?


    How about each individual to his or her satisfaction?

  • ||

    If those Texans weren't such a bunch of whining Commies, they'd privatize the streets. Individual property owners could then grant or deny permission to park according to their whim best interests.

    Fixed for reality.

  • ||

    "So a corporation cannot own property?"

    A corporation is a legal fiction that acts to bestow rights upon groups. You can take this to mean that groups have no legal rights (and therefore need a legal work around) or that groups have de facto rights under these legal fictions.

    Suffice to say, traffic wasn't the issue here because no attempt was made to restrict traffic or parking. Instead, the event itself was banned. This seems an unconstitutionally broad remedy.....assuming that the real purpose isn't to stamp out randy sex.

  • ||

    dangerman,
    That is the nature of the Dan T. He exists to "pierce the intellectual vacuum" that is HnR. In other words, he finds the most obtuse positions and fires back volley after volley of inanity.

    A fascinating phenomenon the Dan T is. If you didn't remember that it doesn't learn, you might be tempted into a real argument with it. You should really read the Wykkiade entry on it someday. Fascinating.

  • Reinmoose||

    Lamar,

    Dan recognizes that the real purpose was to stamp out randy sex. He just thinks that if 51% of the "community" (whatever that's defined as) doesn't like other people having randy sex, they should be able to legislate against it.

  • ||

    Edited by a blacksmith! Is there no indignity too odious to befall me?

  • ||

    Why assume that the real purpose is anything but what it obviously is, which is to keep people from engaging in consensual activities. If they town wanted to address parking, they would have.

    They did not, so they did not.

  • ||

    Lunchstealer,
    I agree.
    Kwix,
    I understand the point and I fully agree that the way the law is spelled out is deliberately singling out a group of people (swingers).

    Where I think Dan T. has a point is that there must be a balance in the community, in this case a residential area.
    Individuals do not get to do anything they want on their property. This is even more evident in the U.S. with the "lawn Natzis."

  • ||

    Lamar,
    Agreed about the broadness of this law, or more specifically the lack of broadness in addressing the supposed issue. This ordinance should be brought before a court and if it is, it will most definitely be struck down.

  • Reinmoose||

    Individuals do not get to do anything they want on their property. This is even more evident in the U.S. with the "lawn Natzis."

    Rana -
    please keep in mind that for many of us, the difference has to do with who's enforcing the rule, and whether or not the person willingly entered a contract saying that he/she would keep their lawn to a certain condition, etc.

  • ||

    P Brooks: It's mostly a hobby (I don't sell my work). My other hobby is editing blog comments. My neighbors hate that as well, but we have reached a friendly agreement without the need for a law that bans typing.

  • lunchstealer||

    Dan recognizes that the real purpose was to stamp out randy sex. He just thinks that if 51% of the "community" (whatever that's defined as) doesn't like other people having randy sex, they should be able to legislate against it.

    He doesn't care what he thinks. He knows that by saying it, he can get a rise out of people here. He could give a fuck, so long as he pisses people off. Being a dick is his goal, not espousing an actual idea. The idea is irrelevant, the dickery is all that matters.

  • ||

    He doesn't care what he thinks. He knows that by saying it, he can get a rise out of people here. He could give a fuck, so long as he pisses people off. Being a dick is his goal, not espousing an actual idea. The idea is irrelevant, the dickery is all that matters.

    PARTIAN HACK!!

  • ||

    *partiSan*

    Damn, those who cannot spell should not throw about witty posts.

  • lunchstealer||

    Damn, those who cannot spell should not throw about witty posts.

    Oh, so should we warn you if we think you're starting to get witty?

    :P

  • ||

    Yes please. I'd hate to distract from the otherwise sober and adult discussions that occur here, or so I'm told.

  • ||

    "...we have reached a friendly agreement without the need for a law that bans typing."

    Absent lawz how can one possibly know how to behave?

  • ||


    Where I think Dan T. has a point is that there must be a balance in the community, in this case a residential area.
    Individuals do not get to do anything they want on their property. This is even more evident in the U.S. with the "lawn Natzis."


    Rana,
    I think this is where you and I will disagree to a point.

    If I wish to paint my house electric purple (to honor my love of Prince Rogers Nelson) is there anything in that act which prevents you from living your life as you see fit? Sure, it may be an eyesore but are you, and your day to day life, actually affected by it? Could you maybe plant a hedge to screen it out? Perhaps I would even pay for the hedge. Does it keep you from using your property as you like (installing that faux Mediterranean style pergola in back)? If not, then there should not be an ordinance against it.

    Now, you could argue that my hideously purple house painting job would affect the resale of your house in the event you attempt to sell. That may very well be and it is a valid point. In that instance you could take me to court and attempt to prove your loss. Still, no infringing ordinances (laws) needed to remedy the situation.

    Lawn "beautification" laws are the same way. Indeed, here is an example of one that, while well intentioned is equally ludicrous. In my previous locale, I was cited numerous times for failure to maintain my lawn. It was very amusing as I had no lawn. 1/4 acre of property and almost all of it was planted in vegetable garden. But somewhere along the way the city enacted a "beautification program" that stated that I had to have the front of my house sodded and maintained.

    Regarding the issue at hand, the impediment to traffic that these "swinger" parties were supposedly causing. That is a real issue, one that affects the navigability of the (publicly owned) streets and the potential ingress of emergency vehicles. That is a real quality of life problem and one that I would agree is worthy of an ordinance, but only on the traffic pattern not on the type of party being held in a private residence.

  • ||

    I, for one, would enjoy listening to the testimony at a zoning hearing to consider a permit to build a parking garage for this establishment.

  • ||

    Absent lawz how can one possibly know how to behave?

    How would I know? I am just a simple blacksmith. If you need help with Irish folk demons, fettering Hel-hounds, or that double-crossing Old Scratch, let me know. I don't shoe horses though. Miserable creatures, horses.

  • ||

    assuming that the real purpose isn't to stamp out randy sex.

    I like Randy sex.....

  • ||

    "Rana,
    I think this is where you and I will disagree to a point."

    Kwix,
    Actually, you are wrong. I completely agree with you. In fact, I have gotten into trouble for not maintaining my lawn, for noisy parties, and barking dog.
    I guess many people might think I wasnt the best neighbor.
    But their rules were ridiculous:
    1. perfectly manicured lawn (who has the time for that?)
    2. No noise/parties/(heck, they could have added the word "sex" here) after 10p.m. (after 10pm? that's when the party gets started).
    3. No barking dogs (poor thing barely barked, but he did bite, had to put him to sleep).

  • ||

    I, for one, would enjoy listening to the testimony at a zoning hearing to consider a permit to build a parking garage for this establishment.

    Or a plan for light rail, to include hourly shuttles and a bus route to downtown.

  • ||

    But all of that "bad" behavior was when I was living in the U.S. I've matured. ;)
    Now, I have to put up with REALLY noisy parties until 7am and barking dogs at all hours.

    Karma is a bitch.

  • ed||

    Dan, are you a real person or some sort of retarded bot?

  • ||

    Kind of like how H&R commenters can't mind their own business regarding the rules of neighborhoods they don't live in?

    Yeah, like all those neighborhoods that used to have rules barring blacks. Everyone should have just minded their own business, right?

    I'll take it from your post that you believe neighborhood rules barring blacks, gays, Jews, or whomever they happen to hate are ok with you as long as they're "democratic" right? I mean it seems clear from your "logic" that you would have to mind your own business about such rules. Or do you just make up your "logic" as you go along to suit the circumstances?

    Once again, you are unable to distinguish the most fundamental of concepts - being left the fuck alone (i.e. real freedom) from "freedom" to impose one's racist, prudish, ignorant, or otherwise idiosyncratic beliefs, on those around you. Not altogether surprising though.

    I'd say you're embarrassing yourself but I'm fairly sure that is simply not possible.

  • miche||

    Frankly, it's the Tupperware Parties that piss me off.

    People who are into plastic are so creepy.



    We have "Fuckerware" parties in my neighborhood. Just like Tupperware except dildos and massage oils. I invite the neighbors so the cops don't get called.

  • ||

    Kwix,
    Actually, you are wrong.


    The I am happy to apologize. :D

    Regarding the noise ordinances thing. I can see where it affects day to day life (particularly sleeping patterns), but I feel that most towns approach it all wrong.

    Why is it "after XYZ PM"? I mean, what about all those third shift workers that don't get to sleep until the sun comes up; are they sol?

    I suppose if you have to have noise ordinances it should be along the lines of "not to exceed X db for X amount of time as measured X distance away from the primary exterior wall of the dwelling or adjoining wall in multi-unit dwellings".

    I figure that Xdb + Xtime will eliminate 24 hour raves while leaving billy bob and his surround sound home theatre untouched for two hours to watch a movie. The distance should be measured as the normal person sits, so in an apartment, say 3 feet into the room and a house, say at the property line. This gives those who own stand alone homes the ability to crank the music up louder but its only because it is harder for them to directly affect people.

    Again, I am not a fan of ordinances like this, particularly because they are quite often arbitrarily enforced. A backyard BBQ with a radio blaring can be just as noisy as a rolling boombox but quite often it's the car that gets cited more so than the stationary partiers and you can count out things like construction sites, backyard chainsaws, etc.

  • ||

    Regarding "fuckerware" parties:

    I invite the neighbors so the cops don't get called.

    Heh. miche, I would guess the effectiveness of that strategy depends on what kind of neighbors you have. :)

    Also, I presume you don't live in Texas.

  • miche||

    I do live in TX. Right outside Dallas.

  • ||

    I do live in TX. Right outside Dallas.

    Really? So what ever happened to the Texas sex-toys ban? Did they ever repeal, or strike down, the law that prompted this 2004 story?

    DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) -- Joanne Webb is a mother of three, a Baptist, a booster of the town of Burleson, Texas, and a former schoolteacher. She also faces trial for being a smut merchant.

    Webb, 43, was arrested in November by two undercover police officers for selling sexual toys and charged with violating Texas obscenity laws. She could face up to a year in jail and a fine of $4,000 if convicted.

  • Robert||

    I guess the meaning of "encounter group" has changed in the last 30 years.

  • miche||

    Still against the law but the parties happen all the time. I think the case you mention just quietly disappeared.

  • ||

    "No barking dogs (poor thing barely barked, but he did bite, had to put him to sleep)."

    They come for my beagle and they might as well come for me.

  • miche||

    Found a link:

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-119455761.html

  • ||

    Beagle: Hound of Satan.

  • ||

    Ah, thanks for the info miche. Besides the fact that there shouldn't even be such a stupid law, you'd think the police would have better things to do than go after sex-toy parties. But then again, if you read H&R and Radley Balko, you know having better things to do is no bar to police going after consenting adults for all manner of things that shouldn't be illegal in the first place. I suppose you know the level of risk there better than I, and seems more recently they've moved on to busting poker parties so hopefully you're safe! :)

  • ||

    "Dan, are you a real person or some sort of retarded bot?"

    He's Gypsy's half brother. Sort of sad, really.

  • ||

    Well, between the ban on speech, the ban on associating with like-minded people, and preventing the pursuit of happiness, they've pretty well trashed every founding document this country has.

  • Paul||

    But really this is just another of the seemingly endless situations where the rights of the individual are in direct conflict with the rights of the community.

    Dan T., something's coming into view here. Wasn't it social conservative thought and a particularly conservative Supreme Court judge that made some argument about the right to set "community standards" when debating limits to the first amendment?

  • ||

    Since all the Good swingers clubs started up nearer Dallas only the fat ugly people go to this one anymore anyway. Problem is we don't want them coming to the nice places in Dallas! The REAL irony is that we're talking about a sloping, dark, gravel roadside no one EVER walks on or parks on anyway aside from the swingers!!!!!!! NO ONE from the club would EVER want to be seen alongside the roadway there anyway and they always quickly make their way to the club or to their car. TRUTH is its all about moral indignation (jealousy with a halo) from those jealous bible thumpers whose ideals pollute the halls of freedom by their very existence.

  • ||

    "Beagle: Hound of Satan."

    Hey, they bark a lot--it's fun! You should try it sometime, howlin' at everything that goes by.

    ...and as a general rule, people shouldn't buy dogs that are smarter than they are. People who can't beagle proof a trash can, shouldn't get a beagle.

    With that said, beagles are the ultimate life form. ...and if they want to come for my dog, they better get ready. What would the beagle do if they came to take me away?! You mess with my dog, and you're messin' with me. Screw Texas! ...Do not mess with my dog.

    There's no Constitutional right to not hear barking. ...just like there's no valid law that says I can't be annoying. A lot of people find the things I say annoying. I find some people annoying myself--the way they speak their stupid minds. Compared to that, what my dog has to say is much more interesting and much less annoying.

    Do people have a right to say what they want so long as no one else can hear it? Of course not, they have a right to speak their minds no matter who can hear them. I have a right to a howling, yowling beagle too--it's all the same thing. Besides, after you acquire a taste for it, beagle barking starts to sound like music. After a while, beagles start to smell good too.

  • Neu Mejican||

    This seems like a thread in need of a definition.

    Right-noun n.

    *That which is just, morally good, legal, proper, or fitting.

    *Something that is due to a person or governmental body by law, tradition, or nature.

    *A just or legal claim or title.

    *an abstract idea of that which is due to a person or governmental body by law or tradition or nature; "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"; "Certain rights can never be granted to the government but must be kept in the hands of the people"- Eleanor Roosevelt; "a right is not something that somebody gives you; it is something that nobody can take away"

    *something a person is, or ought to be, allowed to have, do etc

    *1 a : qualities (as adherence to duty or obedience to lawful authority) that together constitute the ideal of moral propriety or merit moral approval b : something that is morally just 2 : something to which one has a just claim: as a : a power, privilege, or condition of existence to which one has a natural claim of enjoyment or possession -see also NATURAL RIGHT b : a power, privilege, immunity, or capacity the enjoyment of which is secured to a person by law c : a legally enforceable claim against another that the other will do or will not do a given act d : the interest that one has in property : a claim or title to property -often used in pl. -see also REAL RIGHT e plural : the interest in property possessed (as under copyright law) in an intangible thing and esp. an item of intellectual property 3 : a privilege given stockholders to subscribe pro rata to a new issue of securities generally below market price -right·ful /-f&l/ adjective -right·ful·ly /-f&-lE/ adverb -of right 1 : as an absolute right 2 : demandable or enforceable under the law


    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Right

  • Neu Mejican||

    On collective rights:

    Collective rights are rooted, therefore, in an understanding of the human being both as individual but also as a part of a larger whole. It assumes that it is impossible (at least at the present time) to ensure that all people will be treated fairly and equally as individuals and that people will continue to be associated with the groups that they belong to. It also assumes that, in a representative system, there must be some commonality between the representative and the represented to ensure access...There are both positives and negatives to group rights. On the positive side, it can ensure that all groups are represented and have access to political and economic power. On the negative side, it discriminates against individuals and makes the conferring of benefits be based not only individual merit or achievement but on group identity.

  • Neu Mejican||

    From a lecture
    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/5357/ihr6a.html

  • Neu Mejican||

    Focusing on the tension between the rights of the individual member of society and the collective rights of certain groups, Felice argues that the protection of human dignity requires an expansion of our understanding of human rights to include those collective group rights often violated by state and global structures. He advocates a third way, between liberalism and Marxism, to move toward a world in which decision-making is based on norms of meeting basic human needs and true equality.


    http://www.eckerd.edu/academics/irga/faculty/suffering.php

  • Neu Mejican||

    More on rights:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rights-human/

    Having set out a general idea of human rights with eight elements, it is useful to consider three other candidates which I think should be rejected. The first is the claim that all human rights are negative rights, in the sense that they only require governments to refrain from doing things. On this view, human rights never require governments to take positive steps such as protecting and providing. To refute this claim we do not need to appeal to social rights that require the provision of things like education and medical care. It is enough to note that this view is incompatible with the attractive position that one of the main jobs of governments is to protect people's rights by creating a system of criminal law and of legal property rights...

  • Neu Mejican||

    And more:

    Is equality best achieved, he asks, by difference-blindness (i.e., by ignoring human differences and treating all individuals and groups equally) or by recognition of difference (i.e., by giving attention to differences in the needs of different individuals and groups)?...To answer the question posed in the title of this brief article, it is clear that human rights are both individual and collective. Thus, equality is best achieved by "difference blindness" as well as by "recognition of difference". While tension will probably always exist between these two forms of recognizing difference, judicious application of the cardinal principles of freedom, equality, and dignity is absolutely necessary to resolve this tension and to facilitate the achievement of equality.

    http://pcerii.metropolis.net/Virtual%20Library/ConferencePapers/abulaban-1-96.pdf

  • Neu Mejican||

    http://ohchr.org/english/about/publications/docs/FAQ_en.pdf

    Are there differences between individual rights and collective rights? Yes. Sometimes the equal worth and dignity of all can be assured only through the recognition and protection of individuals' rights as members of a group...Human rights claims are generally made most effectively by people acting together as a group. For instance, while we are all entitled as individuals to the right to freedom of association, it is only when that right is asserted collectively that it can meaningfully be realized. But in certain specific cases the right in question protects a common interest which the group-rather than any specific individual- is entitled to claim.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sorry about that.

    I just find the semantics of "rights" claims interesting.

    How anyone can make a strong claim that "rights" are well defined, have only specific characteristics (e.g., are negative, are individual) is beyond me.

    Rights are a complex issue because they are about subjective claims, not logically derived principles. Attempts to logically derive definitions of the boundaries of legitimacy for those claims have a long history, and one that has not led to anything close to consensus on some very basic issues.

  • ||

    How anyone can make a strong claim that "rights" are well defined, have only specific characteristics (e.g., are negative, are individual) is beyond me.

    Well, I think there is something to recognizing that the concept of "rights" is subjective and open to debate, but I think they can be arrived at logically, in principle, at least. The real problem, it seems to me, is that to arrive at anything logically you need to start from a moral philosophy based on a set of fundamental axioms and ultimately we will not all agree on what those axioms are. Now all that is again "in principle" as I doubt anyone has a fully-formed self-consistent moral philosophy built from the ground up. But I guess the point is that arguing about a word like "rights" tends to obscure the more fundamental questions the lead us to give a particular meaning to that word. Plus, given its history it comes with a lot of un-stated baggage that makes getting to the real issues difficult.

    Having said all that, I will take issue with the part where you (and the long passage you quote) seem to say that rights, whatever they are, are both individual and collective. In my moral philosophy that isn't so and never will be. For me, only individuals matter because of the simple and undeniable truth that only individual have the consciousness to feel pain, pleasure, suffer, form intentions, have desires, fears, etc. In other words there is one conscious entity - the individual.

    Trying to assign any of those characteristics above to a group of more than one person is inherently impossible - there is no group consciousness. The fact is that groups have no existence outside of some individual's decision to define one. Trying to assign rights to a group that is a creation of the human mind to begin with ought to just scream out with danger since you're talking about allowing some individual to ultimately decide what a group is and who qualifies for it's group treatment (whether that treatment is good or bad). That idea should worry everyone.

    And that idea also leads directly to the pragmatic reason to avoid thinking of "group rights." Almost all of the evil done to people in this world since mankind evolved has stemmed from a belief that you could attribute substantive characteristics to groups. Of course those characteristics were always used to justify all manner of "special treatment" of the individuals that some person decided to assign to that group. So, even if one could argue that some benefit could come from thinking of a collective right, the history of what that kind of thinking makes possible is so bad that I'd be willing to give it up for that reason alone (even if I wasn't certain to my core that it is simply morally wrong and impossible to do).

  • ||

    Rights Theory Schmites Theory--don't mess with my "Hound of Satan"!

  • Neu Mejican||

    Brian Courts,

    A well considered reply.
    I'll cogitate on it.

    I recognize the primacy of the individual in any talk of rights, but the problem, which you note and recognize, is that individuals are too often treated according to their status as members of particular groups. rights violations are often the result of group membership.

    In addition, the manifestation of some rights (such as freedom of association/assembly, states rights, etc...) are conceptual founded upon the concept of a collective.

    Humans are social animals that are never in any meaningful sense individual agents. They are always part of social networks, and all of their actions depend upon and impact the other individuals in those networks.

    Talk of rights without recognition of that fundamental fact will be suffer from questions of validity, imho.

  • ||

    What was that address again?

    I guess they could run a shuttle bus from the nearest park and ride.

  • ||

    Every time I've seen the term collective right, it is used to exclude an individual from exercising a right.

    If an individual of the said collective can not exercise a right, then the collective its self does not have that right. How many members of the collective need be present in order to exercise it?

    """"Humans are social animals that are never in any meaningful sense individual agents. They are always part of social networks, and all of their actions depend upon and impact the other individuals in those networks.""""

    Sure, we are social, but if a right applies to the human collective, it is useless unless an individual of that collective is free to exercise it. However, if you base rights on how they impact others, you end up with no rights at all.

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