Manassas Gives a New Meaning to Family

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The city of Manassas has declared that aunts, uncles, and cousins are not really relatives. That may sound like good news for people who dread attending family functions, but it's bad news for extended families sharing a house. Under a new ordinance aimed at Hispanic immigrants, inspectors are instructing relatives the city considers unrelated to move. The official rationale is to prevent "overcrowding," but insufficiently related family members have to go even when the total number of occupants is below the legal limit. In addition to redefining family, Manassas seems to have redefined overcrowding to mean "too many Hondurans."

[Thanks to Myron Pauli for the tip.]

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  1. So, if they’re below the legal limit, does that mean that it’s illegal for unrelated and unmarried people to live together in the city?

    I used to share an apartment with a grad student who was neither my spouse nor a relative. Good thing we didn’t live in Manassas.

  2. We used to flirt with this problem in some other Northern Virginia suburbs as recent college grads. Depending on the town/county, there was a limit of 3-4 unrelated people under one roof. There were some big old houses up there and we would frequently have 5-6 people in one house. Whether we got hassled was all based on the neighbors… But kicking out nephews seems a bit ludicrous.

  3. I’m just waiting for someone to point out that this idiocy happened in a state to the south of one’s own.

  4. I’m just waiting for someone to point out that this idiocy happened in a state to the south of one’s own.

    As a Maryland resident, I’ll oblige you.

    This happened in the state immediately south of the one that I live in.

    Happy? 🙂

  5. The interesting bit in the story was that the law is enforced by complaint, and almost all the complaints have been against Hispanic immigrants.

    If the government explicitly targeted them, it’d be plainly illegal, but if they just change the law to let the white neighbors target them …. sigh.

  6. I can understand it if a house is a clown-car of people coming in and out at all hours. But in the case described in the story, it was only 7 people living in a 5-bedroom house. Doesn’t add up.

    And, for the love of Christ, can people make the distinction between racism and bigotry? Although Hispanics have some “native” blood, there is also a lot of Caucasian in their lines. It isn’t fucking “racism”.

  7. Feeling pedantic today, Mr. Nice Guy?

  8. This sounds to me like a really easy race-discrimination lawsuit. If the city busts Hondurans for having a nephew in the house but leaves Anglo room-mates alone, then the city has a really, really big problem. My mother grew up with her parents, grandparents and great aunt living in one house. Somehow I imagine the Dickson arrangement wouldn’t be an issue for Manassas, VA.

  9. New city slogan: “Welcome to Manassas, where we don’t care if you marry your aunt.”

  10. What sort of legitimate reason could the state have to prevent overcrowding beyond trying to keep excess crap from the sewer system?

  11. Yet another reason why we have a homeless problem in this country; the government mandates X square feet of living space per person, regardless of whether or not that person can afford it.

    If I want to save money by living in cramped conditions that’s nobody’s goddamned business but my own.

  12. Now, I thought the Great American Mythos involved a house with multiple generations living under the same roof. Y’know, families take care of their own elderly and provide baby-sitting and pass on traditions…and that the great evil of the 20th century was the loss of this utopian lifestyle.

  13. Weird legal factoid to appease Eric –

    When I was an undergrad, PA had a law that declared that a house with three unrelated females residing in it to be a brothel, and hence a public nuisance. This was always a concern for sororities, although only in small, rural college towns (you know, the “Alabama” between Pitt and Philly) where the fundies were in control.

    Not sure if it has been repealed, but as far as I know, it’s still on the books.

  14. “Now, I thought the Great American Mythos involved a house with multiple generations living under the same roof.”

    There’s an addendum that explicitly states brown people who talk funny are exempted.

  15. Okay, t, don’t forget I know where you live.

    Seriously, the politics of race/ethnicity isn’t “pedantic”, in my option. Both the left and right conspire to divide us and have us at each other’s throats. It makes it much easier to control us.

    To scream “racism”, in this case, portends fundamental differences between the two groups of people in question. These “differences”, I argue, are simply fabricated, and distracts from the discussion.

  16. MNG-

    I understand the difference between race and ethnicity. But I’m sure we’d both agree that bigotry based on either category is just plain stupid. Ideally, of course, they’d be described by two different words: racism and ethnicism. But, in practice, the two forms of bigotry have fallen under the same word in common parlance. Considering the similarities between the two forms of bigotry, I don’t see this as a big deal.

  17. Mr. Nice Guy,
    You are correct. Actually, there is no such thing as “race”. Humans do not have an easily identifiable “subspecies” due to globalization and as such do not have “races”.

    That having been said, I am a “culturalist” (I hate gangsta rappers and rednecks equally regardless of color) and a bigot. I am suspicious of all thoses White people from Europe and all the Black people from New Orleans. I am also very hate filled at Yellow people named Michelle Malkin.

  18. Jennifer nearly finished a whole post without swearing.

  19. What sort of legitimate reason could the state have to prevent overcrowding beyond trying to keep excess crap from the sewer system?

    Legitimate? Not many. It’s more a bow to wealthier neighborhoods who like their single-family homes kept to the nuclear family.

    Seriously, the politics of race/ethnicity isn’t “pedantic”, in my option. Both the left and right conspire to divide us and have us at each other’s throats. It makes it much easier to control us.

    I’ll agree somewhat with that. I’m “White Anglo-Saxon” (England/Wales) on the paternal side and “White Hispanic” (Spain via Chile/Peru) on the maternal side. I’m always told to mark as many options as I want under race, even though I am 100% white. Yet, when I get to ethnicity, I must select between “Hispanic” and “Non-Hispanic,” even though I am 50%/50%. I always end up marking “Other.” I get so annoyed as to the classification , why it matters, and how it seeks to balkanize folks.

    I’ve even been told I should not mark the Hispanic box because (1) my mother’s family gave up the language on arrival to the U.S., and (2) my family were “Peninsulares” (from Spain) so we were the bad guys (i.e. it’s the victimization that matters, not the racial/ethnic percentage).

  20. Bigot:

    One group I really hate are Eskimos. I can’t stand them. They buy refrigerators to keep meat from freezing? Twenty different words for “snow”? Please.

    Freak’n ‘mos..

  21. worked more than one job — she at two laundromats, he as a cook — and eventually saved enough to buy the house on Liberia Avenue in 2003 for $270,000. Now, faced with the loss of rental income and with a $3,500 monthly mortgage to pay, Chavez said, they are going to sell. The family will never buy a house again, she said.

    Aha, this is the key. The issue really is economic; it is completely unreasonable to expect one or two normal-income people to afford a house in the markets that are heated up, N. Virginia being one of them. The only way to afford anything is to have extended family pitching in, or take in renters. My landlady currently rents out 3 rooms of her 3 room house and lives in a converted shop in the back.

    And what about the size of the house? It’s a frickin’ *5* bedroom house! It *should* have *at least* 7 people in it.

    If I were under scrutiny I would tell the neighbors that for every person in my house they make me kick out, I will procreate or adopt two or three more. When I have 10 screaming 6 year olds running around the cul-de-sac, they’ll regret it. (And so will I…)

  22. Why am I convinced that Manassas is run by GOP?

  23. New city slogan: “Welcome to Manassas, where we don’t care if you marry your aunt.”

    ?as long as you don’t live in the same house.

    Question; If a man is forced to move from his cousin’s house, are they still husband and wife?

    Thank you! Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

  24. What about that guy who is his own grandfather?

    “We were stymied by families who met the existing definition,” Smith said.

    Damn law abiding citizens! Them and their stymying!

  25. Wow. What a bunch of dicks.

    This sounds to me like a really easy race-discrimination lawsuit.

    Unfortunately, many immigrants take a long time to assimilate into American culture, which includes the predisposition to file lawsuits at the drop of a hat. In this case, it’s a suit I’d happily endorse.

  26. “Goddamned” isn’t swearing, X; it’s punctuation.

  27. Humans do not have an easily identifiable “subspecies” due to globalization

    Humans do not have a subspecies because we never did get that far away from one another (not just because of globalization). You made it sound like we used to have “races” but now we don’t, when in fact we never really did.

  28. I can’t help but wonder if the story wasn’t followed by one about the lack of affordable housing in a newspaper somewhere. Manassas is a DC suburb and property values are unreal.

    The sad part is that Prince William County is rapidly becoming Democrat controlled, so you get the traditional bigotry combined with anti-sprawl nonsense.

  29. As usual, there are no easy answers to situations like this. Many pretend that this is just racism at work, and that those lily-white neighbors are all just Stepford spouses/kids and they just object to anything different next door.

    If I were a homeowner and the house next door filled up thirty of forty (eskimos, pollocks, honkies, negros, various ..cans, what the fuck ever) I would be quite annoyed, and I think rightly so. I agree that seven people in a five bedroom house seems quite acceptable though.

    Here in California (in case you have forgotten, this is where a whole lot of the “benefitting” from illegals starts) it is quite common for the police to be called to a three bedroom home and discover 40 people living there. I will admit that real estate prices have gotten absurd here so maybe we will all soon be living 40 to a house and hot-bunking with three others, but this does not make for a peaceful neighborhood.

  30. Happy? 🙂

    Very.

    Weird legal factoid to appease Eric –

    Appease me? No, factoids like that are why durn smug Yankees get my Irish up! 😉 (And I have no Irish, so that’s serious.)

  31. “Why am I convinced that Manassas is run by GOP?”

    I dunno, why?

    Can you even imagine what would happen if a Republican had evicted a Democrat. I think that it would be front page news in the NYT, LAT and played every 30 minutes on CNN for a month!
    But this is OK because the guy getting thrown on the street is a Bushie?

    Prejudice
    By Ted Hayes
    586 words
    28 December 2005
    The Wall Street Journal
    A14
    English
    (Copyright (c) 2005, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)
    American blacks who are affiliated with the Republican Party are vigorously vilified by Democrats, especially black Democrats. Uncle Tom, sell-out, Oreo — the list of slurs is long.
    But it is not only insults. I am the founder and director of a unique, progressive homeless facility in downtown Los Angeles, known as the Dome Village. Yet the 35 men, women and children and their pets who call the Dome Village home are being “evicted” from privately owned property after 12-and-a-half years — apparently on account of my political beliefs and activities. You see, though I am a leading homeless activist, I am also a conservative Republican and a strong supporter of President Bush.
    Here’s how the situation played out. Recently, I was invited to address a local Republican Women’s Club; my landlord read an article in the local paper reporting on the event. Soon after, I received a notice raising the Dome Village rent from $2,500 a month to $18,330. Shocked, I inquired as to the seriousness of the change and the property owner blurted out that the cause of our “eviction” was “because you are Republican.” He said that as a Democrat, he was tired of helping me and the Dome Village. In other words, let the homeless be damned.
    And people think the Democrats are the party of compassion and tolerance.
    Private property should be protected, of course, and I have no intention of causing any trouble for this property owner as we part ways. Whatever he does with his valuable land — it is only a few blocks from the Staples Center — is no concern of mine, and I will not go to court.
    Still, I cannot help but be saddened by the whole business. When I founded the Dome Village 12 years ago, we had an understanding that he could ask for his property back at any time for any reason, and I would say “absolutely” without hesitation. Still, his reason was prejudice against Republicans.
    We see this across the country. Michael Steele, the lieutenant governor of Maryland and a Republican candidate for the Senate, has been crudely denigrated on racial grounds. A prominent leftist Web site, for instance, depicted him as “Sambo,” among other aspersions. When Condoleezza Rice was nominated as Secretary of State, she faced similar treatment: editorial cartoons depicting her as a racial caricature, personalities calling her “Aunt Jemima” on liberal talk radio, and so forth. Clarence Thomas, Ward Connerly, Colin Powell, Thomas Sowell and other black conservatives regularly face similar smears.
    These conservatives are attacked not because of the validity or judicious consideration of their views but because those views are supposedly heterodox for American blacks. Yet it is my opinion that many black people in the U.S. are politically and philosophically conservative — and many are in fact actually closeted Republicans, fearful of persecution by friends, business associates, society clubs, school mates and even churches.
    It is time for American blacks to have a conversation about the phenomenon of Democrats persecuting black Republicans. Why is this happening? What is it that the Democrats don’t want black folks to understand about Republicans? What is it that the Democrats don’t want black folks to know about Democrats? And how is it that we have come to this point — after having endured so much — where we have ourselves curtailed the freedom of political expression through the threat of retaliatory consequences?

  32. Twenty different words for “snow”

    (linguist’s head explodes)
    This is NOT TRUE. This idiotic myth drives me insane so I try to stomp it out wherever I see it. Please, H&R people, help me fight the good fight!
    http://www.public.iastate.edu/~honeyl/derrida/eskimos.html

  33. That gets you, but you don’t object to calling Inuit “eskimos”? 😉

  34. Since it’s Manassas, a lot of the white-person cohabiting cousins are probably married and theoretically exempt…

    And to think Virginia used to have a reputation as less governmentally bound than its northern neighbor.

  35. Eric,
    No, because I’m a linguist, not an anthropologist.

  36. …OK, Linguist.

  37. I honestly think she’s quite a cunning linguist.

  38. If I were a homeowner and the house next door filled up thirty of forty (eskimos, pollocks, honkies, negros, various ..cans, what the fuck ever) I would be quite annoyed, and I think rightly so.

    Why, because the though offends you? If they aren’t violating a noise ordinance, then what’s it to you?

  39. “Why, because the though offends you? If they aren’t violating a noise ordinance, then what’s it to you?”

    No, the thought does not offend me. What would annoy me is that such a situation would be very disruptive to a neighborhood of three and four bedroom homes designed to accomodate six or eight people each. When you buy a home in such a neigborhood, you don’t expect to wind up living next to a warehouse for illegal aliens, and zoning laws typically prohibit a population density that great. If you make your home in a “loft” carved out of a warehouse and a homeless shelter opens next door, then I don’t have much sympathy for you.

    Do you really think it is just peachy to have 40 adults living in a three bedroom home in a typical American neighborhood of homes?

  40. Sorry Eric, didn’t mean to sound so stern. I should have included a smiley.

    I just hate that stupid “Eskimo Hoax”!

    Seems this must be hoax debunking day at H&R. 🙂

  41. it is completely unreasonable to expect one or two normal-income people to afford a house in the markets that are heated up, N. Virginia being one of them

    Heated up because of increased demand for housing from illegal immigrants, perhaps?

    I can’t help but wonder if the story wasn’t followed by one about the lack of affordable housing

    Most everything is unaffordable if waves of increasing immigration are driving your wages down.

    All that said, I think the law is pretty ridiculous — and tone deaf, but not provably racist, which is what would matter in a lawsuit.

    However, equally ridiculous is my fellow libertarians’ refusal to acknowledge the blowback caused by illegal immigration in terms of reduced property values.

    Every $2 you may have saved on a head of lettuce or some other product or service brought about by low-wage illegal immigrant labor may translate into $10 in reduced property values or other lowered quality of life or increased cost of living.

    An honest libertarian can at least acknowledge some of the ugliness — alleged racism aside — involved in the issue of illegal immigration. As in uglier neighborhoods.

    In the end, I’m sure many of my fellow libertarians would be uptight NIMBYs if they had such a house next door to their property …

    I say it again — these open border libertarians are a bunch of hypocrites because they fail to advocate as strongly for repealing the welfare state as they do for the “rights,” of illegal immigrants — and they fail to encourage actual political reform toward libertarianism in the countries from which these illegal aliens hail.

    You can start throwing your rotten tomatoes now …

  42. What would annoy me is that such a situation would be very disruptive to a neighborhood of three and four bedroom homes designed to accomodate six or eight people each.

    If they’re not violating noise ordinances, then how are they being disruptive? Surely you don’t mean to argue that their very presence is a disruption, so what exactly is it they’re doing?

  43. Do you really think it is just peachy to have 40 adults living in a three bedroom home in a typical American neighborhood of homes?

    I don’t think it is any of my business.

  44. “I say it again — these open border libertarians are a bunch of hypocrites because they fail to advocate as strongly for repealing the welfare state as they do for the “rights,” of illegal immigrants — and they fail to encourage actual political reform toward libertarianism in the countries from which these illegal aliens hail.”

    I wish I had a rotten tomato right now. Where is an illegal tomato picker when you need one?

    You are quite right, of course.

  45. Some Libertarians Don’t Get It. . .

    Illegal immigration is a different issue from laws stating how many people are living in a house. Even I get that.

  46. Most everything is unaffordable if waves of increasing immigration are driving your wages down.

    Yeah…that’s it…its declining wages (a disputable point in itself) that causes housing to be unaffordable. It has nothing to do with low interest rates, high demand, and a stale stock market causing real estate prices to almost double in some areas in under three years (and triple in six years). No, nothing at all to do with that.

  47. “If they’re not violating noise ordinances, then how are they being disruptive? Surely you don’t mean to argue that their very presence is a disruption, so what exactly is it they’re doing?”

    They would come and go at all hours of the day. They would destroy the harmony and peace of the neighborhood. They would violate population density zoning ordinances. The simple wear and tear on the house they live in would be magnified about ten times. The house would go to shit and be a blight on the landscape. If they are renters, then they would almost certainly be in violation of their renter’s agreement where a maximum limit of occupants would be specified. I would propose to move them next door to Jennifer or MP.

  48. You know, I can see the arguments against 40 people living in a 3 bedroom house. I can also see the libertarian objections to those arguments.

    Fortunately, we don’t have to sort out those arguments and the corresponding objections, because that’s not what’s going on here. There were a bunch of law-abiding people, living within the existing density regulations, but the neighbors didn’t like it. So they changed the law. We’re talking about 7 people in a house with 5 bedrooms.

    And if they own a 5 bedroom house in Northern Virginia, I somehow doubt they’re poor. Not rich, but not poor either. So we’re not talking about people plaguing their neighborhood with the pathologies associated with poverty.

    No, we’re talking about a family whose skin color offends the locals. Pure and simple.

    Fun fact: 100 years ago, an illiterate shoemaker from southern Italy, and his illiterate son, got on a boat and came here. They were Catholics in a nation dominated by Protestants, they didn’t speak our language, they weren’t educated, and their skin was darker than that of many people already here. The son bought a house and lived in the downstairs with his wife, 4 children, and at least one tenant, to bring in rental income. The father and his wife lived upstairs until they died.

    Those people were my ancestors. In Manassas they’d be considered undesirables.

  49. “100 years ago, an illiterate shoemaker from southern Italy, and his illiterate son, got on a boat and came here. They were Catholics in a nation dominated by Protestants, they didn’t speak our language, they weren’t educated, and their skin was darker than that of many people already here.”

    Were they legal immigrants? Did they live on welfare? Were they fed, clothed, housed and medicated at the expense of the existing citizens? Was the United States a considerably different place a century ago? Were unskilled laborers a valuable resource in a sparsely populated country?

    T, you’re a smart guy and I generally like reading your posts and no offense intended here, but nearly all of us are descended from families like you describe. I refuse to believe that you can’t see the difference between immigrants who crossed oceans on boats and went through the normal vetting process of a country that wanted and needed those immigrants, and today’s calamity.

  50. What would annoy me is that such a situation would be very disruptive to a neighborhood of three and four bedroom homes designed to accomodate six or eight people each. When you buy a home in such a neigborhood, you don’t expect to wind up living next to a warehouse for illegal aliens

    I like to apply the gun control/DRM argument to these situations- punish the behavior, not the thing. If a house has a whole bunch of people and they litter the area, punish them for littering. If they are too loud, enforce the noise ordinance. If they are drunk and urinating in public, prosecute that. Don’t make otherwise law abiding good neighbors into criminals just because they can’t afford a certain number of sq. feet per person.

    Here in San Diego there has been mild discontent with people living in vans and campers; complaints about public urination and litter and such. If I were living in a van, I’d be the best damn neighbor they ever had, so don’t punish me because others break the law.

  51. First I like to state that I don’t exactly agree with the whole thing. Really I’ve know a lot of none hispanics who have had several generations living together. It worked out great and they didn’t bother anyone. Secondly though… I’ve lived next to several houses that contained so many hispanics I couldn’t even count them. One of them,only one, never gave me any trouble at all. They were quiet and respectful, because of that I didn’t mind in the slightest. Honestly why should I care? However at least two of the other groups I would have loved to have been evictied. They had about 10 cars that they parked everywhere, more than once I had to find anouther way down the street. They were rude and would stop their cars in the middle of the street and talk and not move. Everyweek end (I wish I was exagerating but honestly I can’t think of a single weekend this wasn’t the case) someone was having a party. All of them would be on the yard, music painfully loud and talking loudly until 2 in the morning. Call the cops you say… never worked. It got to the point where I was starting to feel very much the bigot. I just wanted them Gone.
    So I am very very conflicted.

  52. Exactly, thoreau. Occupancy limits are legitimatley based on issues like overtaxing the infrastructure and interference with neighbors’ quiet enjoyment of their property.

    Regulations like this are snob zoning ethnic cleansing, using the “health, safety, and welfare” standard as a pretext. There is no way 7 people living in a detatched single family home are intruding on the quiet enjoyment of your property, even if it were a two bedroom house. Shame on Manassas.

    And no, Jennifer, we don’t generally allow obviously problematic uses of land to happen, and then put it on the neighbors to file a lawsuit, and wait for the appeal period after the appeal of the appeal to lapse before taking action.

  53. Okay, here’s something that will make you think?

    What would happen if a Manassas? family adopted an unrelated family of 4 who were afflicted by Katrina? Will Manassas gov’t enforce this law and force them to leave?

  54. However, equally ridiculous is my fellow libertarians’ refusal to acknowledge the blowback caused by illegal immigration in terms of reduced property values.

    As a libertarian, I find this remarkably enlightening. Rave on, please! …Tell us what other evils we will suffer without more government interference.

    Every $2 you may have saved on a head of lettuce or some other product or service brought about by low-wage illegal immigrant labor may translate into $10 in reduced property values or other lowered quality of life or increased cost of living.

    Wow, by that arithmetic, we’ll all be broke pretty soon! Got any support for those statistics?

    An honest libertarian can at least acknowledge some of the ugliness — alleged racism aside — involved in the issue of illegal immigration. As in uglier neighborhoods.

    I suppose an honest libertarian–or anyone else for that matter–could say the same thing about the Trail of Tears–alleged racism aside. Really, I guess it was all the injustice and racism that was the problem. …but alleged injustice and racism aside…

    In the end, I’m sure many of my fellow libertarians would be uptight NIMBYs if they had such a house next door to their property …

    Yeah, underneath it all, I’m sure everyone’s just as pathetic as you seem to be. …well almost everyone.

    I say it again — these open border libertarians are a bunch of hypocrites because they fail to advocate as strongly for repealing the welfare state as they do for the “rights,” of illegal immigrants

    You don’t have any examples of that, do you?

    — and they fail to encourage actual political reform toward libertarianism in the countries from which these illegal aliens hail.

    So you think that there are a lot of libertarians who don’t think we should dictate policy to the home countries of illegal aliens, huh? Tell me, do you think illegal aliens should be able to influence policy here in the United States?

  55. Were they legal immigrants? Did they live on welfare? Were they fed, clothed, housed and medicated at the expense of the existing citizens?

    Are these people in Manassas? You’re still blending two different topics here.

    They would come and go at all hours of the day.

    So long as they’re quiet, so what?

    They would destroy the harmony and peace of the neighborhood.

    How? If they violate noise ordinances or commit other crimes, then call the cops.

    The simple wear and tear on the house they live in would be magnified about ten times.

    If it’s their house, it’s their problem. If it’s a rental, then the landlord can get them for violating their lease.

  56. The house would go to shit and be a blight on the landscape.
    And thus, the statist argument for zoning laws! Yay zoning!

    I refuse to believe that you can’t see the difference between immigrants who crossed oceans on boats and went through the normal vetting process of a country that wanted and needed those immigrants, and today’s calamity.

    Hey wayne, guess what? There was no vetting process back in the day. Back in the day, if you weren’t disease ridden or a known criminal, then come on in!

  57. Johnny Clarke,

    Those of us singing the praises of multi-generation living are at the opposite end of the spectrum from people passing laws like this, obviously. It’s kind of silly to lump everyone with a different pov under the same heading. It is even sillier to then label that heading “Americans.”

  58. And no, Jennifer, we don’t generally allow obviously problematic uses of land to happen, and then put it on the neighbors to file a lawsuit, and wait for the appeal period after the appeal of the appeal to lapse before taking action.

    What are you talking about? What was that in response to?

  59. Under a new ordinance aimed at Hispanic immigrants

    Oddly enough, I didn’t see that in the article. However, I do see the WaPo, like Reason, supporting illegal immigration. They find a nice poster family, they downplay the residents’ complaints, etc. etc. Thankfully, under the Reason/WaPo regime those residents’ concerns will mean little.

  60. What would happen if a Manassas? family adopted an unrelated family of 4 who were afflicted by Katrina? Will Manassas gov’t enforce this law and force them to leave?

    I remember reading about an HOA in Florida which did exactly that.

    Thankfully, under the Reason/WaPo regime those residents’ concerns will mean little.

    You’re damn right. Unless my neighbors are actually causing me harm, what they do is none of my business, and none of yours, and none of the gtovernment’s.

  61. “Regulations like this are snob zoning ethnic cleansing, using the “health, safety, and welfare” standard as a pretext. There is no way 7 people living in a detatched single family home are intruding on the quiet enjoyment of your property, even if it were a two bedroom house. Shame on Manassas.”

    I think a more likely explanation for this situation is the law of unintended consequences. I almost never buy the, “it’s all racism” argument because in my experience, there are very few racists.

    Most likely what happened here is that houses and apartments in Manassas were filling up with too many people, so the regulators looked for a way to fix that problem. They recognized that it a ban on large nuclear families was bad (personally, it baffles me why somebody would want ten kids, but that is a personal choice). They also had run into “these are all my uncles, aunts, nephews, grandparents, blah blah blah, explanations. So they made this ordnance. The unintended consequence was that a “legitimate” living situation was affected. This is just one more of the many “benefits” that we get from the invasion of uneducated illegals.

  62. I refuse to believe that you can’t see the difference between immigrants who crossed oceans on boats and went through the normal vetting process of a country that wanted and needed those immigrants, and today’s calamity.

    Calamity my left nut. You know what the difference is? 100 years ago it was a lot easier to come here legally. Nearly all the problems of illegal immigration would disappear if we allowed them to become legal immigrants.

    While I’m all for drying up the welfare trough, I don’t buy for a second that immigrants are streaming across the boarder in order to suck off the public teat. Entitlement spending is overwhelmingly a native problem.

  63. Were they legal immigrants?

    Yes. They came here before white Protestants tightened the laws in response to having so many Jews, Catholics, and dark-skinned Mediterraneans in their midst.

    FWIW, it appears that the family in Manassas is here legally as well.

    Did they live on welfare?

    No. And neither does the family in the article, as far as I can tell.

    Were they fed, clothed, housed and medicated at the expense of the existing citizens?

    As a matter of fact, yes. The shoe-wearing people of their adopted city paid for their living expenses.

    Was the United States a considerably different place a century ago? Were unskilled laborers a valuable resource in a sparsely populated country?

    Well, apparently some of these Manassas home owners had skills valuable enough to make a down payment and mortgage payments.

  64. To be fair, my family was indirectly involved in organized crime:

    In the 1920’s, somebody got the bright idea of banning alcohol. Some Sicilian criminals decided to ignore that law. But they needed a place to store their merchandise. My great-grandfather was given an ultimatum: “You have a beautiful wife and children. If you want them to stay that way, you won’t ask any questions about what we put in your basement.”

    So, in fact, my ancestors were involved in organized crime. But even that problem can be traced to a horribly failed public policy.

    As far as I can tell, the families in Manassas are not involved in organized crime. So they’re actually better for this country than my ancestors.

  65. Oddly enough, I didn’t see that in the article. However, I do see the WaPo, like Reason, supporting illegal immigration.

    Well it’s tough gettin’ over that fence. So the Reason and WaPo run greyhound buses down there to get “coyotes” back down as quickly as possible. Gotta keep up the traffic, you know. Gotta support that illegal immigration.

    P.S. Just so I can quote you right, how exactly does opposing a city ordinance translate into support for illegal immigration?

    They find a nice poster family, they downplay the residents’ complaints, etc. etc.

    It’s a damn conspiracy, I tell ya’!

    Thankfully, under the Reason/WaPo regime those residents’ concerns will mean little.

    Yeah, that Reason/WaPo regime is somethin’ else! I wonder if any of ’em or on each other’s payroll. You just never know what they might write–I tell ya’, there ought to be a law about ’em printin’ stuff like that! …Do you think they’ve got any illegal immigrants on staff?

  66. nearly all of us are descended from families like you describe

    My point exactly.

  67. Every $2 you may have saved on a head of lettuce or some other product or service brought about by low-wage illegal immigrant labor may translate into $10 in reduced property values or other lowered quality of life or increased cost of living.

    Seriously, people–is this not the stupidest comment you’ve seen since Thanksgiving? …Since the 4th of July? …Since Easter?

  68. They would violate population density zoning ordinances…If they are renters, then they would almost certainly be in violation of their renter’s agreement where a maximum limit of occupants would be specified.

    Man, it’s almost like there are already provisions in place to deal with these problems!

    And before I get NIMBY’d, I’ll point out that several of the 2-bedroom condos attached to mine have more than eight people living in them, as does the duplex next door, for the harvesting months of the year – nicest neighbors I’ve ever had. Hard partiers, certainly (and I was too when I was bustin’ my ass all day) but no problems asking them to turn it down a notch.

  69. wayne,

    Thoreau’s dago ancestors, and mine too, were most likely legal immigrants, because in the early 20th century, EVERYONE WAS LEGAL! (Sorry to shout). Ellis Island was set up to admit everyone who didn’t have a contagious disease. There was uncontrolled immigration from all European countries. Nativists didn’t like it, but it turned out ok.

  70. I can’t help but wonder who the bad neighbors are here. If a neighboring family is parking cars that block the street and having loud parties, is the proper first response to

    1. call the police
    2. silently stew until you feel you’re a bigot

    or
    3. address the neighbors directly and tell them that their behavior is upsetting you?

    Just wondering. Does anyone do that anymore?

    FWIW I lived in a very expensive town in NJ where a family of Indians (about 14 as well as I could tell) bought a 5-bdrm. house for $750,000. The three adult males were all taxi drivers. Never had the tiniest problem with them, though my more snooty neighbors were upset with the taxis being parked on the street. (Geesh.)

  71. The unintended consequence was that a “legitimate” living situation was affected. This is just one more of the many “benefits” that we get from the invasion of uneducated illegals.

    No, this is another “benefit” of over-regulation. You hit the nail on the head though with Unintended Consequences, one of the top five reasons for any gov’t wanting to pass a regulation to think long and hard about it.

  72. My compliments, you are an evasive bunch of SOBs. This discussion is only peripherally about this law abiding group of seven people in a five bedroom house. This discussion is really about this illegal alien calamity on America; Warren, I will happily excise both of your nuts and then you might have a better appreciation of what a calamity is, and you will be rendered properly docile at the same time 🙂 [note the smiley face, please].

    Personally, I support the notion of open borders as long as those who come pay their own way: no schooling, no medicine, no food, no nothing, except at the cost of all those things. This is the policy that Mexico applies to non-Mexicans, and it seems quite reasonable to me. If America did not subsidize illegal immigration, then I believe the problem would go away.

    T… honesty during the discussion please: You know Goddamned well my, “were they fed, clothed, housed…” question had nothing to do with earning one’s own way.

  73. I can’t help but wonder if the story wasn’t followed by one about the lack of affordable housing in a newspaper somewhere. Manassas is a DC suburb and property values are unreal.

    It’s in the Washington Post, so it’s a given… I remember when Manassas was so far out in the country, you thought you might need to get a room for the night.

    I watched an interesting Charlie Rose last night. Milton Friedman was the guest and noted that while he supports free immigration in theory, he said it was unrealistic to have such a regime with the current U.S. welfare state in place. It creates too many labor market distortions.

    Near the end of the interview, Charlie Rose noted… “So, you talk about tax cuts, limited government, school choice, and all that. Are you really just a libertarian?” Rose looked somewhat confused when asking the question.

  74. “My great-grandfather was given an ultimatum: “You have a beautiful wife and children. If you want them to stay that way, you won’t ask any questions about what we put in your basement.”

    T, you racist bastard, you! I never thought I would see the day when somebody on H&R would use that tired, sterotype of Italians actually being involved in an on-going criminal enterprise. Next, you will probably tell us that the Mafia exists and EyeTalians are central players. I am pained, and nearly speechless at this outrage. You need to apologize to me, Jennifer, and Joe immediately!

  75. My compliments, you are an evasive bunch of SOBs. This discussion is only peripherally about this law abiding group of seven people in a five bedroom house. This discussion is really about this illegal alien calamity on America;

    No, according to the quote I excerpted way above, I will insist that this is not about illegal immigration. It’s about what happens when the amount a person can afford for housing goes below what the market charges for a complete, whole unit of housing.

  76. This is the policy that Mexico applies to non-Mexicans, and it seems quite reasonable to me.

    Just because I object to the stupid-ass welfare state does not mean I’m going to accept stupid-ass laws that try to undue problems supposedly caused by the stupid-ass welfare state.

    wayne, until you can come up with a legitimate gripe beyond ‘I hate sardines’ or ‘It’s the INS, stupid!’, then you’re not making a worthwhile argument.

  77. wayne, what I’m saying is that the crime associated with my grandfather’s immigrant neighborhood can be blamed on a failed policy.

    The Mafia didn’t disappear after Prohibition, but they did leave my grandparents alone after Prohibition.

  78. “Thoreau’s dago ancestors, and mine too, were most likely legal immigrants, because in the early 20th century, EVERYONE WAS LEGAL! (Sorry to shout). Ellis Island was set up to admit everyone who didn’t have a contagious disease. There was uncontrolled immigration from all European countries. Nativists didn’t like it, but it turned out ok.”

    Yes, and they paid their own way. I am all for it. Let the current immigrants (legal and illegal) pay their own way. Then we will see just how many $3.00 per hour agriculural workers America needs.

  79. Actually and interestingly, Eskimos do not have a word for snow. They call it “that white cold stuff that falls from the sky” or “the white cold stuff on the ground”.

  80. “wayne, until you can come up with a legitimate gripe beyond ‘I hate sardines’ or ‘It’s the INS, stupid!’, then you’re not making a worthwhile argument.”

    I love Sardines, especially the ones packed in Mustard sauce, and I don’t recall ever mentioning the INS on H&R.

    My gripe is that we are drawing in literally millions of people into the US, and they are bankrupting us. That is not the illegal immigrants problem, that is OUR problem. I don’t blame the illegals for coming, and I don’t blame them for accepting all of the handouts. WE are the fucking idiots who are doling out all the goodies, and for no good reason.

    MP, was that a good argument?

  81. MP, was that a good argument?

    Not in support of this zoning law it wasn’t. Stay on point.

  82. You know, it’s interesting that we are discussing a zoning law aimed at legal immigrants, and wayne wants to complain about illegal immigrants.

    I always thought that people like wayne wanted to draw crucial distinctions between legal and illegal immigrants. But not in this thread, apparently.

  83. I thought Eskimo was a polysynthetic language, so that the number of words to describe ANYTHING is limited only by the speaker’s imagination? Same way, in English, we only have one word for snow but an unlimited number of phrases used to describe it: clean snow, dirty snow, old snow, new snow, nasty-ass snow with a bunch of yellow holes in it, and so on.

  84. wayne, what do you mean, “they paid their own way”? Immigrants in the first half of the 20th Century were eligible for free public school and whatever other “welfare” the government handed out. (Back then they called it “relief” or “assistance.”) Other than that, they paid their own way. Just like immigrants do now.

  85. “Not in support of this zoning law it wasn’t. Stay on point.”

    Good, maybe we are making progress. The zoning law was a response to perceived problems associated with houses too tightly packed with adults. Houses too tightly packed are a direct consequence of immigration, mostly of the illegal variety, hence I am on point.

    If I have neglected to insult somebody here, my apologies: Jennifer, Linguist, dead elvis, I will get to you in time. :-).

  86. “I always thought that people like wayne wanted to draw crucial distinctions between legal and illegal immigrants. But not in this thread, apparently.”

    Nope, I don’t want to draw distinctions. All immigrants ought to pay their own way.

  87. All immigrants ought to pay their own way.

    Fine, but what has this to do with the topic at hand: namely, some immigrants who not only paid their own way but bought their own house, but the locals are kicking them out with a law saying you can’t have seven people in a five-bedroom house?

  88. “Fine, but what has this to do with the topic at hand: namely, some immigrants who not only paid their own way but bought their own house, but the locals are kicking them out with a law saying you can’t have seven people in a five-bedroom house?”

    Well, this gets back to my “unintended consequences” post. I maintain that this law was a reaction to houses too tightly packed, mostly with illegal aliens. Several people have stated outright, or implied, that this law is just simple racism, to which I respond: bullshit!

    In this case, were I the Supreme arbiter, I would grant these seven innocent souls relief. However, suspicious bastard that I am, I suspect these seven probably had some sort of an antagonistic relationship with their neighbors as my life’s experience suggests to me that if they were just a bunch of “good neighbors” there probably would not have been any complaints.

  89. I suspect these seven probably had some sort of an antagonistic relationship with their neighbors as my life’s experience suggests to me that if they were just a bunch of “good neighbors” there probably would not have been any complaints.

    So, if there’s a dispute between neighbors, the right way to handle it is to change the zoning laws so somebody has to move?

    Hey, joe, I don’t like wayne. Maybe you could teach him a lesson by rezoning his lot?

  90. worked more than one job — she at two laundromats, he as a cook — and eventually saved enough to buy the house on Liberia Avenue in 2003 for $270,000. Now, faced with the loss of rental income and with a $3,500 monthly mortgage to pay, Chavez said, they are going to sell. The family will never buy a house again, she said.

    If this is a direct quote (I can’t tell because the story is currently unavailable), I must say that Manassas must have outrageous property taxes. $270,000 for 15 years at 8% is $2,581 in P&I. If we use a much more reasonable 30 year loan at 7%, we get $1,797. I have to put in 15 years at 10% to get to $2,902. Someone is pretty badly gangked.

  91. “So, if there’s a dispute between neighbors, the right way to handle it is to change the zoning laws so somebody has to move?”

    No, but if you antagonize people then they start to look at stuff like zoning laws to see if there is some way to torture you back. In this case, the zoning law was already on the books, so “they” did not “change” the law.

    I will give you an example of how not to act with your neighbors from my own life. There was a 16 year old kid that lived a few blocks up the street from me. He enjoyed riding his bicycle and pickup truck by my house and taunting my dogs (open disclosure: the dogs are a yappy, little Pomeranian/Pekingese mix). He also liked cursing at my wife and telling her that, “she better keep those fucking dogs in the yard, or else…”. He also enjoyed threatening various kinds of property/personal assault on my wife. Odd, that he seemed to avoid me.

    He was a home schooled, Christian boy, with fair skin and blue eyes. I only include that info to head off the racism claims. I talked to his father, a Fundamentalist Christian. The father’s response was to call the police on me for allowing my son to place a skateboard on the street at the curb in front of my house… Two blocks away from these warm Christians.

    At that point, I bought a copy of the California Penal Code and read up on various traffic laws, and proceeded to make life a living hell for the little worthless piece of shit, home-schooled Christian boy. If there had been a zoning law against glassy-eyed CHristians, you can bet your ass that I would have used it, because they violated the most basic principle of civility: the golden rule.

    It could be that such a situation occurred in Manassas.

  92. Wayne–Even assuming it’s just bad blood between neighbors, why are you so quick to assume that it must be the Hondurans who are being pricks?

  93. skate board ramp, not skate board.

  94. So wayne, would you support this law even if our borders were so tight that an illegal amoeba couldn’t get through? There are plenty of us who simply don’t give a damn about the motivations of the people who sponsored the law.

    And BTW, your original post on this thread was not disputing the “racist” angle, but was simply coming out in support of these zoning regs on the basis of the sardine effect (how may people can we pack into a house?).

  95. “Wayne–Even assuming it’s just bad blood between neighbors, why are you so quick to assume that it must be the Hondurans who are being pricks?”

    Why are you so quick to assume that the Hondurans were not? I don’t know if anybody was at fault here. But I am almost certain that the zoning gustapo did not go looking for Hondurans to persecute. Somebody complained to them and because the law was on the books they had to do something. Incidentally, I am not a strong supporter of zoning laws in general, they usually go way over board and are just an excuse to extort money from homeowners.

  96. “And BTW, your original post on this thread was not disputing the “racist” angle, but was simply coming out in support of these zoning regs on the basis of the sardine effect (how may people can we pack into a house?).”

    I do sympathesize with zoning laws that make it illegal to destroy the character of a neighborhood by changing it from a single family, residential neighbourhood into a pick-up point for day laborers. I could not, for brevity’s sake, dispute all points initially.

  97. To bring this back to the story in question, I have discovered some discrepancies.

    First off, if you go to the Appraisal listings for Manassas County at: http://data.visionappraisal.com/ManassasVA/

    And do a Search for 8606 LIBERIA AVE you will be viewing the listing for the Chavez Residence.

    Yes, they purchased the house in 2003 for 270,000. It was assessed this year at 375,000. This will contradict the statements by ‘Some Libertarians don’t get it’ about decreased property values.

    More importantly, the construction detail lists it as a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 1200sqft house. However, this data is susceptible to non-recorded construction or construction performed without a permit.

    Just keeping facts straight.

  98. “So wayne, would you support this law even if our borders were so tight that an illegal amoeba couldn’t get through?”

    Yes.

  99. “More importantly, the construction detail lists it as a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 1200sqft house. However, this data is susceptible to non-recorded construction or construction performed without a permit.”

    You are not implying, are you, that Hondurans would flout the permitting processes and ingnore the laws? Such a racist attitude is shameful. In case it is not obvious, I am being sarcastic and heaping ridicule on those who see racism around every corner.

  100. I do sympathesize with zoning laws that make it illegal to destroy the character of a neighborhood by changing it from a single family, residential neighbourhood into a pick-up point for day laborers.

    Hey…lookit here…a snob zoning advocate. Now you’re an irritant to both me and joe (but a charming irritant, nonetheless).

  101. Houses too tightly packed are a direct consequence of immigration, mostly of the illegal variety, hence I am on point.

    Baloney.

    Higher densities are typically associated with second generation owners and the elderly breaking up their spaces and using single family homes as rental units. In some older, more urban environments, this can create parking problems, etc.

    I grew up just outside of DC. I remember hearing the same issue come up when black people started moving into traditionally white neighborhoods way back when. …The Same Issue.

    I live in LA now. We have a lot of immigrants here. Just for the record, immigration–legal and otherwise–appears to be the solution to blight, not the cause thereof.

    …and just speaking generally, if all I were looking at were blight and the tax burden. …if I could trade every lazy, white slob in this country for five hard working immigrants from wherever, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

  102. “(but a charming irritant, nonetheless).”

    Thanks, I try. It has become my ambition, lately, to irritate as many people as possible on H&R as possible. Frankly, I look at most of the stories on H&R, and I can not summon enough passion to post one word. Occasionally though, a nice juicy “Manassas hates Hondurans…” post will come up, and I can not resist ripping Mr. Sullum a new orifice. In the process I also get to trade barbs with the luscious Jennifer, and a Wap named Thoreau, weird name, Thoreau, for a Wap.

  103. Wayne,
    “I do sympathesize with zoning laws that make it illegal to destroy the character of a neighborhood by changing it from a single family, residential neighbourhood into a pick-up point for day laborers.”

    What about destroying the character of a neighborhood by changing it from single family residential to a fraternity / sorority row? Are you saying that it should be illegal for 5 college guys to room together to save a bit of bread? What is the difference if it is a frat house or the house with a bunch of “day laborers”? Last time I checked, most dorm houses ran 2 people to a room. That would definately fall afoul of this ordinance.

    What about a house with an extended family? What about your cousin, niece, aunt that you must
    take care of, or are just friendly enough with that you offer them a place to stay? What is wrong with offering them a temporary, or even permanent place to stay?

    I have, at various times, lived with extended family/roommates for various reason, economics being the most common but family ties are very strong in my life. Are you saying that I should legally be prevented from living with my Aunt, Uncle, Grandparents or Cousins?

  104. “…if I could trade every lazy, white slob in this country for five hard working immigrants from wherever, I’d do it in a heartbeat.”

    Me too! Having grown up in a Mexican neighbourhood in Chicago, I can unequivically say that, I love Mexicans, and I hate Mexicans, and I distrust Mexicans, and I trust Mexicans, and so on. It all depends on the Mexican. Now Hondurans, those bastards are untrustworthy; all of Mexican friends warned me about Hondurans, and Puerto Ricans. We also had a distrust of the Irish.

  105. Yeah, you really ripped ‘im a new one. Why don’t you keep it up?

    …Read back over what you’ve written. Do you think people find your drivel appealing or persuasive?

    I encourage you, go tell it on the mountain brother! …I can’t think of any better way to persuade people that the anti-immigrant lobby is as wrongheaded as it is ugly.

  106. kwix-

    I’d sooner see laws against frat houses than day laborers living together. Frat houses generate all sorts of nasty externalities like noise, alcohol poisoning, and rape.

  107. Kwix,

    It is all in the details. I have no problem with my next door neighbor taking in his aged mother and father. But, do I want frat boys puking in my driveway, hmmmm… I guess not. Now, if these five college guys rent a three bedroom house and act responsibly then my guess is they won’t have a problem. Suppose they bring in 25 of their friends and pack things a little more densely, well then I would be annoyed; especially if they were Honduran or Puerto Rican, or Irish.

  108. Wayne,
    “You are not implying, are you, that Hondurans would flout the permitting processes and ingnore the laws? Such a racist attitude is shameful. In case it is not obvious, I am being sarcastic and heaping ridicule on those who see racism around every corner.”

    In case it is not obvious, I am a very sarcastic person. I am also a very racist person. I hate almost all members of the human race and quite a few of the canine race as well.

    To clarify, no I am not saying that Hondurans would routinely flout permitting laws. I flout permitting laws and know that when I built my shed on my property it was not recorded. Funny, no permit, no recorded improvement.

    More importantly, my wife worked as a Title Abstractor for a bit and commonly discovered that permitted improvements were not recorded for one reason or another. Hence the reason for the disclaimer.

  109. Tell me, do you think illegal aliens should be able to influence policy here in the United States?

    Ken, you truly are an idiot, maybe the biggest since 1776. What else do you think illegal aliens are doing but influencing policy by criminally trespassing here? Ever heard of imposing one’s will by fait accompli — bringing about facts on the ground that will force the capitulation of our compliant politicians — and libertarians of the wussy stripe?

    What else is a criminal act but a slice of dictatorship?

    So, obviously my whole point in opposing illegal immigration is because I don’t think illegal aliens should be able to influence policy here in the United States.

  110. Kwix,

    I did not mean to imply that you were raising the racist flag. No offense.

    Now, Ken Schultz, he does seem to be raising some sort of flag. After all, he called me ugly when I am really quite a lovely person.

  111. OK, I read over my drivel and to me it seems incredibly persuasive and appealing. It is almost as if the writer could read my mind.

  112. I am from a college town in MD. There was legislation called “4 to 2” which was overwelmingly approved and supported by all public officials and most of the public. It means that no more than 2 unrelated persons may live in the same dwelling( owned or rented). it was mostly aimed at college students and probably disproportionately blacks, hispanics, and other minorities( hell,just poor or frugal people of all races, in general) who get by sharing living expenses with friends and extended family.

    it is basically a war against landlords and renters by owner occupieds who think rentals and college students are destroying the town, property,etc. nevermind that the ENTIRE local economy is mostly supported by the college operations (students, teachers, workers,etc who live and spend money in the area). it is mostly a bunch of old white people who want to “preserve” their ugly historic designated property. And for some reason the proponents think that this will somehow allow more “families” access to more affordable rentals. Not enough affordable homes for the Cleavers anymore, I guess. Of course it actually RAISES rents when only 2 people are allowed to live in a 4 bedroom house. they were supposedly mad ( maybe jealous) that certain landlords bought-up a bunch of older houses in good condition and made a killing renting them out to college students. They wanted to punish these capitalists and force them to only rent to traditional families, and whatever else BS.

    I just thought it was wrong on so many levels ( harmful to landlords AND tenants, no regards for property rights,Defining what consitutes a “relative”, “household”etc)basically MANDATED Housing discrimination. not to mention that NO ONE publicly opposed it. The only debate was just how far to extend it ( certain zones, city, or county,etc) and just how strict to make certain new landlord regulations, inspections,etc.
    I am glad I dont technically live there anymore, but I doubt where I somewhat live now is much better. I guess thats just the trend and how things are now. You live where the government tells you to. You only let who the government tells you to rent your property. And its nt even like Equal opportunity Housing where the goverment says you CANT discriminate. its the Govt saying you MUST discriminate against whoever the old historic folks dont like.

  113. Ah, the racist flag…

    “it was mostly aimed at college students and probably disproportionately blacks, hispanics, and other minorities”

    “it is mostly a bunch of old white people who want to “preserve” their ugly historic designated property.”

    “World to end tomorrow. Women and Minorities said to be most affected…”

  114. T,
    I agree with the whole frat house thing however my point was that “changing the character” of the neighborhood is not good enough justification for passing these laws. I just moved to Alaska, however my old neighborhood in Florida has undergone a lot of changes recently.

    50 years ago it was single family dwellings built in the “cinder block ranch style” that cheap, ahem budget, homes from that era are known for. In the late 1980s all the folks that bought those homes started dying off as older people are wont to do. The neighborhood fell into a state of “renter’s hell” and drug dealing started was rampant. It was as close to a ghetto as you could get without nightly gun battles. That is when I bought my house as it was all I could afford. At the same time a number of “whatervericans” started buying houses in the area as well, packing them to the gills with relatives. Yeah, we were all crowded but the neighborhood began to improve, yards started getting mowed again, faded and peeling paint started to be replaced by bright colors. I attribute the revitalization to the packed conditions of the “whatervericans” homes as it afforded them a greater amount of expendable income to improve thier houses.

    That’s not to say that we didn’t have our fair share of problems due to overly party hardy neighbors, but I would rather deal with thumping Latin Oompah music than drive bys and police sirens.

  115. Now that I think about it and considering what Kwix said:

    Maybe the college was in on it, too.

    I mean, if college students are banned from renting houses= more demand for dorms, the college can build more cheap ass little trailer buildings (maybe get more cheap land through eminent domain to build cheap dorms)that they can rent for 3 times the cost of a house for 1/8th the space. I mean when I lived in a house for $200 a month year round and had my own room, I never understood why someone would pay 2-3 times that to share a room the size of a jail cell with no privacy or facilities and being forced to buy a meal plan (a must and also forced when renting a living space with no food storage or preparation ability)for another $7-8 per meal. But I guess if they have no choice, and the students loans will cover,it. Worksout for everyone, well the old folks and college at least.

  116. wayne,
    “Ah, the racist flag…”

    Are you sure it isn’t the “ancient” flag?

    I quote, “…is mostly a bunch of old white people who…”

  117. For all that this issue is mostly about anti-immigrant sentiment now, it’s a lot more serous than that. Here’s something in the article that I missed the first time I read it:

    Fairfax County is seeking authority from the state to impose criminal fines and jail time on landlords who rent houses to more than four unrelated people, typically immigrants.

    And even if you think “that sounds reasonable,” consider the precedent that is being set: they are making laws telling you who you can and cannot live with.

  118. Wayne sorry if reality is difficult for you. I am one of the last people to make a racial issue out of anything, but it is what it is. if anything, as i pointed out, its a class issue. You dont believe at all in property rights or other basic rights many people hold dear. You believe politically powerful people should have the right to MANDATE discrimination against certain types of people. You are entitled to your opinion.

  119. Jennifer,
    I missed that too! Technically they are also putting the onus on the landlord, essentialy encouraging the building owner to spy on the tenant out of fear of prosecution.

  120. Thought I would add the landlords who are negatively affected are mostly old white guys. I care about them, too.

  121. Another thing about Fairfax County’s proposed “more than four unrelated people is illegal rule” is that there isn’t even an exception being made based on the size of the house. Whether it’s a one-bedroom shack (not that many of those remain in Fairfax) or a six-bedroom McMansion, no more than four unrelated people.

    Not to mention that Fairfax is so damned expensive that even four people sharing a house will probably each shell out more in rent each month than my boyfriend and I do for our place. (And we don’t live in a cheap state, either.)

  122. “Another thing about Fairfax County’s proposed “more than four unrelated people is illegal rule” is that there isn’t even an exception being made based on the size of the house. Whether it’s a one-bedroom shack (not that many of those remain in Fairfax) or a six-bedroom McMansion, no more than four unrelated people. ”

    That was my whole point about where I lived, Salisbury, MD, but there it is TWO. The legislation reduced it from 4 to 2, hence the name of the legislation. It was already 4 for however long. Four was WAY too many unrelated people living in a house. MOST houses in the area are 3-4+ bedrooms. the max would be 2 people in a 4+ bedroom house.

    Its not like these laws are aimed at real overcrowding or “safety hazzards” or whatever. They arent saying ‘dont let 6 people live in a 2 bedroon house.” Its no more than 2 unrelated people, period.

  123. OK, I figured that since I have been arguing about this story for a few hours now I should actually read it. I did. No big surprises in there.

    It sounds like the law of unintended consequences is gonna wash over a bunch of people in Manassas.

  124. I’ll at least salvage a little ironic humor from this, basking in how this shows the way that people who want to “stick it” to the immigrants always end up restricting the freedom of us “real Americans” in the end.

  125. “I’ll at least salvage a little ironic humor from this, basking in how this shows the way that people who want to “stick it” to the immigrants always end up restricting the freedom of us “real Americans” in the end.”

    Nobody wants to “stick it” to immigrants. They are just trying to solve a range of problems.

  126. Nobody wants to “stick it” to immigrants. They are just trying to solve a range of problems.

    But they’re still managing to put a lot of restrictions on Americans.

  127. “But they’re still managing to put a lot of restrictions on Americans.”

    Yes, indeed.

  128. The cure’s hurting America more than the disease, Wayne.

  129. “The cure’s hurting America more than the disease, Wayne.”

    Hmmm, well, the wrong cure is hurting America, I agree. You don’t perform an appendectomy to treat a sore throat. But, the “right” cure might be just what the doctor ordered.

  130. Hmmm, well, the wrong cure is hurting America, I agree. You don’t perform an appendectomy to treat a sore throat. But, the “right” cure might be just what the doctor ordered.

    These laws restricting who you are and are not allowed to live with, and which blood relatives legally count as such, are the wrong cure.

  131. They would come and go at all hours of the day. They would destroy the harmony and peace of the neighborhood. They would violate population density zoning ordinances. The simple wear and tear on the house they live in would be magnified about ten times. The house would go to shit and be a blight on the landscape.

    Wayne, I think you’re either in the wrong place or an intentional antagonist. I don’t believe it is a legitimate purpose of government to preserve the “harmony and peace” of neighborhoods. I don’t believe that government has the right to act to preserve people’s property values. I can’t imagine the libertarian who would believe such things.

    If you want to have influence over who your neighbors are, what times they go places, and how they keep their homes, form a co-op. No one is stopping you. If you attempt to turn government into a co-op board, deciding who is fit to live nearby, and who is not, you are abusing the power of government for an illegitimate purpose. As for whether this is really about illegal immigration, that is an argument that I cannot possibly respect. If your problem is illegal immigration, pass laws about illegal immigrants. But don’t make me laugh with the notion that you’re fighting the war against illegal immigrants through zoning reform.

  132. They would come and go at all hours of the day. They would destroy the harmony and peace of the neighborhood. They would violate population density zoning ordinances. The simple wear and tear on the house they live in would be magnified about ten times. The house would go to shit and be a blight on the landscape.

    Wayne, I think you’re either in the wrong place or an intentional antagonist. I don’t believe it is a legitimate purpose of government to preserve the “harmony and peace” of neighborhoods. I don’t believe that government has the right to act to preserve people’s property values. I can’t imagine the libertarian who would believe such things.

    If you want to have influence over who your neighbors are, what times they go places, and how they keep their homes, form a co-op. No one is stopping you. If you attempt to turn government into a co-op board, deciding who is fit to live nearby, and who is not, you are abusing the power of government for an illegitimate purpose. As for whether this is really about illegal immigration, that is an argument that I cannot possibly respect. If your problem is illegal immigration, pass laws about illegal immigrants. But don’t make me laugh with the notion that you’re fighting the war against illegal immigrants through zoning reform.

  133. It sounds like the law of unintended consequences is gonna wash over a bunch of people in Manassas

    Not necessarily as the law will be selectively enforced.
    *puts away crystal ball*

  134. Actaully when you get right down to it I could care less who lives next door to me. If they don’t bother me…. I don’t bother them. I have a little thing to add about me possibly being a ‘bad’ neighbor. Okay perhapes two things. One, hard to talk to people who really don’t speak english. If you are lucky you find the one person who does speak english in the house. (I’m not trying to be rude here, just truthful) Two, must be nice to have always lived in places where you can talk to your neighbors without fear, however that has not always been the case for me. Also it has not alway been the case in this neighborhood. Granted by the time I had troubles with loud and rude ‘non white’ neighbors it had gotten a heck of a lot better. I’ve had some wonderful ‘non white’ neighbors that have cramed themselves into a tiny little house. More power to them, I was glad to have them and they took care of their house. I think it’s wrong to kick them out just because they choose (Or need to) live that tightly together. I’m merely posting to show the view of someone who has lived with situation.

  135. I agree with Wayne that this law addresses a legitmate problem: whether it be immigrants who live 10 to a two bedroom house which brings a ton of problems with it (btw-the fact that the property in question increased in value does not prove that it may have increased at a faster rate if not for the 7’s a crowd thing; I live in Nova and real estate goes up even if you have a triceratops on the property) or a group of rowdy frat boys (I work at a college and am an advisor for a frat, but I would not want to live by them) the aim is proper. It’s easy to talk about liberty. What about the liberty not to have the consequences of such crowds (more trash, loud noises late at night, wear on the house, etc.) keeping me from enjoying my property in peace?
    On the other hand, I agree with Jennifer somewhat. I mean, why can’t a person live with their uncle, aunt and nephew ina three bedroom house?
    Of course, if we could just beef up border security and enforce the h*ll out of illegal immigration laws aimed at employers this may not have become a problem big enough to have folks resort to this crap. But I forgot, we should just invite everyone who wants to work here to just come on up (how many millions would that be? Let’s just say 7 to a house would seem like no problem).

  136. James Feldman,
    Intentional antagonism is not necessarily a bad thing. Look at Joe. If all of us sat around and agreed with each other this thread would be 20 posts long, with everybody going, “Yup”, “Mmmhmm”, “Yup”.

    I for one welcome opposing points of view. They are fun, and who knows, I may be wrong. I don’t think so, but you never know.

  137. Just for my own sanity…

    I’ve read a lot of the arguments here, and I agree with some of them. …but on the bigger point here, trying to deal with immigration by tinkering with local zoning laws is ludicrous.

    And if you don’t like your next door neighbor, tough freakin’ luck. …Go live in a gated community somewhere, with really tough standards everybody agrees to when they buy. Can’t afford a gated community? …tough freakin’ luck.

  138. What about the liberty not to have the consequences of such crowds (more trash, loud noises late at night, wear on the house, etc.) keeping me from enjoying my property in peace?

    Then enforce the already existing laws against littering and disturbing the peace, and stop thinking that you won’t be able to enjoy your house because the carpet next door is worn out from all the people walking on it.

    There is also the tangent-issue that this area is extremely expensive to live in, and the government is making it illegal for people with lower incomes, or people who might simply wish to pay cheap rent for awhile so they can save for something else, to join forces so as to afford a nicer place to live.

    Ah, yes, I remember the Constitutional amendment which says government, not market forces, shall decide what property values will be and who gets to live where.

  139. About that previous comment, sorry Joe. Didn’t mean to say you were an intentional antagonist. Meant it more along the lines of “You have a strong anti-libertarian opinion and are not afraid to come here and voice it.”
    I respect that, as misguided as it is. 🙂 — note the smiley dangit!

  140. He enjoyed riding his bicycle and pickup truck by my house and taunting my dogs … cursing at my wife … enjoyed threatening various kinds of property/personal assault on my wife.

    I talked to his father, a Fundamentalist Christian. The father’s response was to call the police on me for allowing my son to place a skateboard on the street at the curb in front of my house.

    wayne,
    How do you know the Hondurans were like the kid and the father rather than like you and getting the cops called on them for speaking to the neighbor politely?

  141. Allow me to chime in, somewhat off topic, on the ‘unintended consequences’ theme.

    Let’s say last month I royally fubared a job. When the boss found out about it I had my defenses ready: “It was an unintended consequence, sir.”

    I’m still looking for a job.

    Can anybody explain to me why the “officials” creating laws with “unintended consequences” get away with it? Or is it just that the “unintended consequences” serve as a nice vehicle to make an argument and push responsibility for it on some unreachable law-makers?

  142. Kwix – your point is well taken.

  143. I have been away, but you all have carried on just fine without me :-].

    Of course this law will be enforced selectively. It will only be enforced when somebody complains.

    I don’t know that the Hondurans were the trouble makers here, but that was not my point. My point was that the cops usually only get called in when simple civility breaks down. Just because a journalist says, “Manassas seems to have redefined overcrowding to mean “too many Hondurans.” does not mean this law is about Hondurans, or any other group. Sullum is wrong with that statement; it makes him appear to be just a dopey knee-jerk liberal who sees KKK members under every piece of furniture. From reading the article it seems to me that the law was written because tax paying citizens were fed up with having their neighborhoods blighted. This law is not racist in any way that I can see.

    I agree that if a flood of illegal aliens is the root cause of this problem, then local zoning is not the best remedy. But I would like to point out that the Feds are not doing their job wrt illegal immigration. In light of that, then one can expect a “local response” to problems. This was Manassas’ response.

    My “federal level” solution to the problem of immigration is to practice reciprocity with other countries, i.e. the US will provide the same level of social spending for non-US citizens as these other countries provide for US citizens. As I have said more times than I care to think of, I believe such a policy would more or less fix the problem. It would probably be advisable to keep the Manassas law on the books though just in case Thoreau trys to bring in all of his extend-family illiterate cobblers to live with him.

  144. By the way, Kwix is entirely correct about differing opinions. This would just turn into one long, boring circle jerk if we all agreed.

    I enjoy hearing all of “libertarians” explain that if somebody comes into my neighborhood and makes life uncomfortable that there is no recourse.

    Dredging up century-old immigration policy is also quite entertaining. At least back then it was US policy to reject those with communicable diseases. Apparently our current creed is, “give me your poor, and your sick, especially those with antibiotic resistant Tuberculosis…”

  145. Jack Dempsey would not be proud.

  146. I honestly think she’s quite a cunning linguist.

    I think we’ve already heard this one a coupla dozen times. Sheesh! How much less orginality can we fellas show?

    OK, I know “fellas show” doesn’t sound exactly like “fellatio,” but it’s as close as I could get to a pun. So let’s just let it lie. I mean, let’s not split into a bunch of groups squabbling dogmatically about how it sounds, or how it should sound. The last thing we want here is a bunch of aural sects.

  147. By the way, Kwix is entirely correct about differing opinions. This would just turn into one long, boring circle jerk if we all agreed.

    Are circle jerks really all that boring? I persionally wouldn’t know; I’ve never been. But I would imagine there’d be varying mixtures of anxiety, embarassment, giddiness, and pleasure. Just asking. Perhaps one of our more experienced posters will speak up. Any former frat members here?

  148. Even if this law is invalidated, there are ways of acheiving the same end if the surrounding residents are the ones who have a problem with the sardine can next door.

    My building has 10 units, 8 identical 3BRs and 2 identical 1BRs. Only mine and another are rented, both 3BRs. At the most condo association meeting, at which I was present, a proposal came up to charge all owners a $100 per habitant per month fine if more than 2 unrelated people lived in the unit, effectively potentially rasing my rent up to $300/mo depending on how much gets passed down from the landlord. Their concern over general building traffic, wear & tear, etc was a perfectly valid one in general. Myself and 2 other people thought it should be 3 given that the unit are designed to accommodate at least 3 people since there are 3 BRs, but as a renter I have no vote and my landlord never goes to the meetings, so it passed as 2. I was able to get me and my 2 roommates grandfathered in as a compromise and b/c we’re good tenants, but that’s beside the point. A homeowner’s association in any neighborhood can set all types of rules for residency that could effectively price, um, ‘family-oriented’ hispanics out of the market should they so choose and it can be selectively enforced.

  149. That should read: ‘at the last condo assoc….’ not ‘at the most’.

  150. wayne:

    It’s “wop” not “wap”. And t is even whiter then I am, if such a thing were possible.

    But seriously, I need to address the Eskimo issue. The reason why I hate them is because there is a group that reside in an apartment next to me. It’s a two-bedroom limit, but there has to be about 10 Eskimos living there. And they raise all kind of hell at all hours of the night, especially after a big hunt.

    They tend to chuck harpoons from their deck at fat people walking around outside.. okay.. maybe they’re not so bad.

  151. Stevo:

    I really hate unintentially beating a dead joke.. and I thought I was being clever!

    Maybe H&R needs a wisecrack search engine.

  152. a proposal came up to charge all owners a $100 per habitant per month fine if more than 2 unrelated people lived in the unit, effectively potentially rasing my rent up to $300/mo depending on how much gets passed down from the landlord. Their concern over general building traffic, wear & tear, etc was a perfectly valid one in general.

    And if it can be proven that wear and tear is reduced when all inhabitants are related then their proposed solution might make sense. Otherwise, it is an asinine impediment to freedom.

    I have a special concern due to my One True Love; we’re planning to stay together for life but never bothered registering this fact with the government. So in the eyes of the law we are unrelated, and now, apparently, there are less and less places where we could legally live with an additional roommate, if we so desired. Yet if we were to marry then all the problems of our having a roommate would magically disappear? Bullshit.

    Who you live with and how much DNA you share in common with them is nobody else’s business.

  153. Let’s sum up what we’ve learned from the anti-immigration folks on Hit and Run:

    1) Violating the property rights of a landlord is OK: The state can always decide that the naturalized citizens who own the property have no right to rent out part of their home to unrelated tenants.

    2) Rounding up tens of millions of people who work in vital industries is no big deal. It will involve neither a police state nor economic ruin.

    3) Immigrants somehow harm our culture. And the harm done by the current group of dark-skinned, Romance language-speaking, non-Protestant, uneducated, corruption-fleeing folks is somehow real. Yet my dark-complexioned, corruption-fleeing, Italian-speaking, illiterate, Catholic ancestors were just peachy.

    Yeah, right. Today’s immigration phobics would have been demanding limits on immigration a century ago. Remember that we used to have relatively open immigration until the 1920’s, when WASP America became freaked out by all these Catholics, Jews, and Mediterraneans coming in.

    You know what? I’m done arguing with the immmigrant bashers. Just like I’m done arguing with creationists.

  154. t:

    How about we shoot some WASP targets this Saturday? You know the target I’m talking about.. the print of a guy who looks like Ward Cleaver.

    Wad cutters for Ward!

  155. I think I remember the one you’re talking about.

    Yeah, let’s celebrate the New Year by shooting at pictures!!!!!

  156. “Yeah, underneath it all, I’m sure everyone’s just as pathetic as you seem to be. …well almost everyone.” – Ken Schultz

    “Seriously, people–is this not the stupidest comment you’ve seen since Thanksgiving? …Since the 4th of July? …Since Easter?” – Ken Schultz

    Dude, even when I AGREE with you, I can’t stop myself from thinking “what a jackass…”

    And those are just you’re greatest hits on THIS thread. Did you ever think that maybe the reason it’s so hard to make your point is that you can’t do it without insulting people?

    Just a thought…

  157. “It’s “wop” and not “wap”. And t is even whiter then I am, if such a thing were possible.”

    Point taken on the spelling. Who said anything about T’s color?

  158. Who said anything about T’s color?

    I sort of did, when I referred to the fact that my Mediterranean ancestors had a dark complexion.

    For the record, I’m only 25% Italian. The rest is a mix of mostly Western European backgrounds.

  159. So, obviously my whole point in opposing illegal immigration is because I don’t think illegal aliens should be able to influence policy here in the United States.

    So, oh wise one, why did you–if indeed it was you–suggest that it was okay for us to influence policy in the countries from which illegal immigrants come? Was it not you, oh great genius, that wrote the following?

    “…and they fail to encourage actual political reform toward libertarianism in the countries from which these illegal aliens hail.”

  160. In anarchic utopia, families would be sovereign, and they would define themselves.
    So Manassas would have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy.

  161. I want to live in Ruthless’ anarchic utopia.

    …but I’m still a little worried about that messy but swift justice.

  162. “How about we shoot some WASP targets this Saturday? You know the target I’m talking about.. the print of a guy who looks like Ward Cleaver.

    Wad cutters for Ward!”

    Careful, your racist tendancies are showing :-). My son and I already did the shooting thing, but we shot up simple cardboard silhouettes. It was great fun.

  163. “Wad cutters for Ward!”

    Hmmm… Now that I think about it, I have never seen photo realistic targets of anything other than white folks. Maybe it is just too politically incorrect to make a target with Pedro, or Jerome on it. No matter though, as white folks make fine targets.

  164. No matter though, as white folks make fine targets.

    They are bright and shiny, glittering sweatily in the sun or reflecting the light of the moon or a streetlight in that eerie manner of theirs.

    I really hate unintentially beating a dead joke.. and I thought I was being clever!

    Not to worry, Mr. Nice Guy. You probably didn’t notice the previous instances because you were distracted by your Eskimo problem.

    What I hate is when they cruise the neighborhood really slow in their “low riders” — their kayaks, which they push up and down the street with their paddles. Plays hobb with the traffic. I could walk faster. And God help you if you get stuck behind one of their kayaks and one of them meets another kayak coming the other way. They just stop and lean over and talk to each other and don’t give a damn about all the cars backed up behind them. Very rude. Damn Skeemoes. Frickin’ blubber-monkeys.

  165. “Damn Skeemoes. Frickin’ blubber-monkeys.”

    I am a collector of racial epithets and blubber-monkeys just made the list… Thanks!

  166. More “ican” news:

    “Although he wasn’t around when his 2-year-old got drunk, the boy’s father was slapped with an order of protection Thursday, preventing him from seeing his children or visiting their home, family members said.”

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-lidrun1230,0,5712167.story?coll=ny-top-headlines

    And the tie in to this thread:
    “The house is legal; you can check with the village,” said the woman, who refused to give her name. “The maximum people that are allowed to be there are there.”

    Neighbors of the Gomez family on Division Street said they were tired of all the commotion. “I couldn’t tell you how many people live in that house; every week it changes,” said Spiros Georgotas, 64. “This is why I’m selling my house.”

  167. “Spiros Georgotas…” Hmmm. Obviously an old, white immigrant basher.

  168. “Neighbors of the Gomez family on Division Street…” You might almost conclude that these racist neighbors don’t realize all of the “benefits” our society is realing here. Apparently, those neighbors (racist bastards that they are) don’t look out their window and see a “strong, vibrant economy…”

  169. Kwix, you are a trouble maker.

  170. I think I see what you guys are sayin’ here with this new bit of information.

    …If the neighbors are upset, then it logically follows that local zoning laws are the appropriate forum for immigration reform.

  171. mostly, I am just saying that Kwix is a trouble maker.

  172. There were a few inconsistencies in this story that the WP staff writer “overlooked.” First, this 40-year old house is not a 5-bedroom, it is a 3-bedroom (according to the tax records). Even “hungry” property managers in this area will not lease a 3-bedroom house to 7 people (5 adults and 2 kids) whether they are related or not.

    If the house was built-out to add more bedrooms, it was done without a permit or inspection by the City. This can have repercussions with not just the City tax records, but may adversely affect their insurance coverage as well. By making a public statement to the media, they invited further investigations.

    This law was amended for the worst possible scenario; it was never intended to restrict family living or discourage room mates.

    The purpose of the law is to discourage property owners from converting single family homes into boarding houses. This has become a serious problem in the Northern VA area, where over crowding is creating numerous health and safety issues.

    Investigations in all of Northern VA is currently complaint driven. Complaints are investigated by inspectors, some of which are dismissed as unfounded. Most inspections however are valid and property owners are asked to bring their property into complaince. That failing, they are cited and fined, depending on the severity of the violations.

    Complaints are not filed against any one group of people. Complaints are based violations by concerned neighbors. The last three property owners cited, found guilty and fined in Northern VA were not Hispanics.

  173. JuneS says:

    “Complaints are not filed against any one group of people. Complaints are based violations by concerned neighbors. ”

    Huh?

    I think you mean “complaints are made by concerned neighbors”, as that would be the closest I could divine from your statement. If so, that’s the whole point, it’s the nature of their “concerns” which is the issue.

  174. “I think you mean “complaints are made by concerned neighbors”, as that would be the closest I could divine from your statement. If so, that’s the whole point, it’s the nature of their “concerns” which is the issue.”

    I think I understand JuneS’ point. She said, “complaints are not filed against any one group of people”, i.e. complaints are not based on race, or ethnicity. Complaints are filed by neighbors of a house that is packed to the gills with apparantly unrelated people. The law prohibits lots of unrelated people from living together, not lots of Hondurans, or Greeks, or Transylvanians unless they happen to be unrelated.

  175. “If so, that’s the whole point, it’s the nature of their “concerns” which is the issue.”

    The nature of the neighbor’s concerns would be that a large number of people are living in a house that is too small for their number, hence causing all sorts of problems for the neighbors.

  176. My apologies for typing faster than I was thinking. You are right, many neighbors are concerned about over crowding in some of the homes, and complaints are filed based on these concerns.

    The WP article was slanted to present this in only one light, without discussions with neighbors or others who were cited, complied and moved along.

    Many people would like to present this as purely racial until a tragedy occurs. Then the city would be alleged negligent for not doing anything to alleviate overcrowding.

    There are some homes with in ground basements that are used as extra “secret” bedrooms for rent – such as in the Chavez home. These basements have no doors or windows directly to the outdoors, nor do they have smoke detectors. In the event of a fire, there is no escape. These are factors taken into consideration during the inspection, along with the number of people living in the house, and sleeping arrangements, to determine how many people the home can accommodate safely.

    These are things that were not included in the article and should have been – but then, it wouldn’t be newsworthy and probably never would have been printed.

  177. Well I think its great having 15-20 people to house I love coming home and having no where to park somones kids in my yard picking my flowers and not understanding what I’m saying when I ask them to stop. I also love the constant party atmosphear everynight when I have to call the police because I have to be up at 5am. The used condoms and broken glass all over my street and my personal favorit the shoes thrown onto the telephone wires. I left the ghetto back in LA but I guess VA dosn’t seem to care about the once nice street I lived on now looks TJ.

  178. Stevo:

    I commend your vigilance and patriotism. I am currently organizing a resistence cell against the Inuit incursion, which clearly threatens our cherished way of life. Join us, brother. Or, actually, it’s just “me” at this point, but with you, there would be an “us”.

    I have several ideas on the fire. One is to pressure our leaders to ban the sale of harpoons. We need to get the harpoons off the street.

    Two: Ban the disgusting practice of nose-rubbing between people, both in public and private. It is filthy and unclean.

    Three: Organize vigilance squads to track the movement of blubber monkeys in public, especially in places they gather. We can easily take copious pictures of them outside of harpoon range. Lots and lots of pictures.

    Welcome to the vanguard. Brother.

  179. The home at 8606 Liberia Ave is lised on the tax records as a 3BR home with an unfinished basement. This means the Chavez’s added 2BR in the basement without a permit. ALso the amount of living space on the tax records is only 1100 SQ Ft. Sounds to me that the Chavez’s are in violations of quite a few Virigina Laws.

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