Thursday, December 08, 2011

Liberty Lines- December 8, 2011

(The State Line Tribune, December 8, 2011)

"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." – H.L. Mencken

Freedom of speech is meaningless until you want to say something that those with power- be they a dictator or a voting majority- don't want you to say. And property rights are likewise meaningless until you want to use your property in a way those with power don't like.

With the Esparza property rights case in Texico, a property owner's rights are being trampled, apparently with universal approval, and that's sad.

This doesn't mean I appreciate junk and litter. On the contrary, I hate them with a passion. However my right to do something about it ends at my property lines. I have every right to take action to stop anyone from damaging my property, but only until I try to control someone else's property. Requests and privacy fences; not invasion and theft.

Ah, but some will claim that freedom of speech doesn't mean you have the right to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, so property rights don't mean you can use your property in a way that might devalue your neighbors' property or cause a "health hazard".

You have the right to shout whatever you wish to shout, wherever you wish to shout it, but you are accountable for any actual harm that occurs from your doing so. Offending or frightening someone is not harming them; they are still fully responsible for how they react to your shout.

Accordingly, you have a right to use your property however you wish and then you have a responsibility to pay any real damages your usage causes your neighbors. Resorting to "legal coercion" when negotiation fails means you are cheating to get what you want.

That includes billing property owners for work they did not consent to having done on their property.

The individuals actually harmed, not any government entity, are within their rights to demand restitution for the harm, and they are also within their rights to fence their property, shoot or poison any pests coming from the problem property (regardless of "laws" to the contrary), and to completely shun the owner- refuse to have any dealings or do business with him in any way even if it means he starves in the dark and cold. No one is within their rights to take ownership of someone's property by controlling how they use it just because the person isn't cooperative.

If I had the money I'd even help the property owner pay any lien that is placed on his property so that it won't be stolen, "legally" or not, from him. Because it's the right thing to do.



  1. Maybe I missed it Kent but ah...where's the link to this Esparza case?

  2. There is no link because the local paper- The State Line Tribune- has no website.

    Basically, the case involves someone who has been threatened (for months, if not years) by the town to clean up his property. Now the town has declared it will hire someone- or use town employees- to clean his property (since they say they have checked that all is "legally" in order for them to do so) and then bill him for the work, and place a lien on his property and evict him if he doesn't pay.

    Texico is just across the state line from me, and it is a much more liberated-appearing town. This side of the line, no one is allowed to have chickens, and "property codes" are all the rage. Texico is more relaxed (I envy the chicken owners) and many here in Farwell say Texico is "dirty". Looks like freedom to me.

  3. This sounds like the sort of situation that used to present young men with Eagle projects, churches with ministry efforts and neighbors a chance to BE good neighbors. I suspect the person involved is elderly or otherwise unable to do the cleaning himself. What a shame that the people of this otherwise more "free" town don't see the incredible advantage to BEING good neighbors and helping him, instead of being thieves and robbers. So sad.