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Environment

Externalities: Barking Dogs

Let us change the subject from Shrill, BHO, and their disgusting selves and actions. Today, dateline April 16, 2015, from the New York Daily News:

Oregon court orders ranchers to ‘debark’ Tibetan mastiffs

[Photos]

A pack of Tibetan mastiffs, one of which is shown guarding sheep at Liongate Farm, have been slated for “debarking” after their owners lost a lawsuit by a pair of neighbors annoyed by excessive barking.

A pair of Oregon ranchers will be forced to subject their massive Tibetan mastiffs to a controversial “debarking” procedure after losing a lawsuit, according to a court ruling.

Karen Szewc’s neighbors won $238,900 in damages for having to put up with what was described as “a decade of ceaseless barking by the giant dogs,” as reported by the Mail Tribune.

[SNIP]

The surgery removes a portion of the dog’s vocal cord, but it’s recommended by veterinary experts only as a last resort. It does not silence the dog, but it muffles their communique to a mere squeak.

Animal activists with PETA call the procedure “a surgery for human convenience.”

[SNIP]

Read the whole thing (it’s not long). There are two photos. And don’t blame me for the fact that the NYDP‘s writer don’ do so good wit’ Inglees.

Personally, I can’t stand people who get upset over barking dogs. At any hour of the day or night. I also can’t stand rock. At any hour of the day or night.

On the other hand, much as I might damn the rock-lovers in my heart (no offense, I love you all. Besides, whatever non-metaphorical noise emanates from Zanzibar is much attenuated by distance), provided that they were otherwise palatable people I would (and have) let it go.

Still, the problem that libertarianism has to deal with really is “externalities.” Roads? Tchah! Sooner or later it would work itself out. So would the stopping-every-three-miles-to-pay-tolls-on-the-Rhine problem. (Whatever you Outlanders call it, we finally have the transponder-equipped Interstates. Private road-owners would probably have gotten them sooner. And there are other methods of paying for road usage, in the same manner as pre-paid phone cards.)

So we can talk all day about the Common Law rules that developed to handle various “externalities,” such as easements and laws of nuisance etc.

But the problem is twofold. One is that one man’s nuisance is another man’s love. Such as the barking dogs, or the smell of mown hay or burning leaves. Or whether people should be “allowed” to play their loud rock at 10 a.m. when the guy next door is sleeping, having gotten off the night shift at 8 and hit the sack forthwith. But he can’t sleep through that racket. So if he & the neighbor can’t resolve things between themselves, what should be done? Yes, we can find formalistic solutions (first guy there gets to stay, other guy has to move), but that’s already a law (or part of the covenant, if it’s a covenant neighborhood–and covenants do not Solve All Human Problems). Related, there’s the example that Alisa brought up on Samizdata: I don’t care at all about longish grass at my place or really long grass at yours, but it does provide a habitat for pests. (OTOH, “pests” also serve a purpose useful to humans in some parts of the ecosystem. Was it Mao who dictated that all the feral cats in some city be destroyed, and the result was that rats took over?)

The question is, how do we resolve these problems in the real world yet in line with libertarian theory? (I’m not looking at Libertopia, which is an ideal, not an actual possibility.)

The other is that it’s silly to think that everybody will behave in a way that is objectively non-harmful to others. Reputation? Yeah, but there’s a sucker born every minute. Take the money & run. —-OTOH, I was brought up with caveat emptor. Still, it’s not possible to know much about most of what we buy … and the right to go someplace new, take on a new identity, and start over fresh and undogged by the past, is precious. Especially if you were unjustly accused and convicted, in the Court of Public Opinion if not at law.

Which by the way is one reason why National ID’s are a bad idea. Whereas Voter ID’s are necessary in this day & age. –Oh wait…. [Don't go jumping to conclusions, guys. I absolutely reject National ID's. And I support Voter ID's strongly, since things are as they are. Sigh. And here I'm a sort-of mathematician who is absolutely totally allergic to contradictions. Make me break out in hives, they do.]

So … Discuss, if so moved.

Gang Green and the Government Staff Infection

*Ee-ee-ewww*, Bill! Whittle, that is. What a wicked pun! Two in fact.

Well, if this little 6 1/2-minute number doesn’t make you heave, nothing will. It’s not news, I mean anybody whose head isn’t in his knickers already knows it, but for the collectors in the audience, here are a few more specific abominations.

Bill has entitled this “Tie-Dyed Tyranny.”

Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris was a massive part of my youth. It would appear now that he was a massive part of other kids youth too – and not in a good way. I mean I always thought Saville was a sleazy sod but Rolf! Rolf was Aussie gold.

I use to watch his show “Cartoon Club” as a kid and as 19 year-old he headlined the end of year party at Nottingham University. He was great. He got bigger cheers than Dannii Minogue who was the second on the list. I was right at the front and she certainly was “well fit” in the live. I guess she was maybe (even then) too old for Rolf’s tastes and Kylie would have clobbered him with a knotty prop – always struck even from her days in Neighbours as a feisty one our Kylie.

So I saw Rolf with his wobble board and doing Jake The Peg, painted an Outback scene and did a few songs and told a few jokes. The consummate light entertainer – especially after a few tinnies of Fosters – yes there was a reason the evening had an Australian theme.

I just don’t get it. If you are a successful, wealthy, entertainer you can actually get a consensual sexual relationship with an attractive adult. So why all this nasty, grubby stuff? Is it to quote Wilde, “Dining with Panthers” or is it just egomania or what?

Rolf, you let a generation down. You let me down. Now you are going down.

I USED to be a Coal Miner’s Daughter…

Well Barry couldn’t get this one through by democratic means, despite being an er… Democrat, so he reverted to the old standby of tyrants… Executive Authority.

The usual suspects are mutedly applauding (it doesn’t go far enough apparently). Germany is now reinvesting in coal after their hasty total shutdown of nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. And China, India and Brazil haven’t missed a beat, opening one Coal powered station a week.

So well done Barry, finger on the pulse of a dead corpse again as usual. If I didn’t know better I’d say you were deliberately trying to destroy the United States Of America.