Archive for Thursday, March 24, 2011

Majority shouldn’t always rule

March 24, 2011

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We are gathered here today to look a gift horse in the mouth.

It seems a majority of the American people now favor allowing gay men and lesbians to wed. That majority, according to a Washington Post/ABC News survey released last week, is slender, just 51 percent. But even at that, it represents a significant increase from just five years ago, when only 36 percent of Americans approved.

Other polling organizations have reported similar trends, and for those who believe gay men and lesbians ought to be free to solemnize and formalize their relationships, that is very good news. It means they are — WE are — winning the argument. That is cause for celebration.

But lurking at the edge of celebration there is, for me, at least, a nagging, impatient vexation. That vexation is based in what is arguably an esoteric question: In extolling the fact that the majority now approves same-sex marriage, do we not also tacitly accept the notion that the majority has the right to judge?

Try to imagine for a moment the consternation upon some woman’s face if a story in the paper announced that “X” percentage of Americans now favors allowing women to work outside the home. Try to picture the brisk dialogue that would ensue if you informed some Jewish man that you now supported his right to practice his religion.

If you can appreciate why the woman or the Jew might feel insulted by this putative magnanimity, maybe you can understand the impulse to look this gift horse in the mouth. The news seems to mandate a two-tier response. On the one hand, you are grateful to see the majority’s attitudes moderating and hopeful that this will lead to the repeal of laws restricting marriage equality. On the other hand, there is that shadow of annoyance at the notion that human rights are something to be granted at the sufferance of the majority.

We have heard much in these last days of tea and outrage about “the will of the American people.” It is a term often pronounced with such holy reverence that you half expect it to come with its own soundtrack: a woman’s voice soaring in Latin against a wash of atmospheric music that swells behind her.

Yes, the will of the people matters a great deal. Indeed, in a democracy, few things are more deserving of deference. But still, one draws up short at the idea that human rights are subject to a popularity contest. One shudders to think what sort of nation this would be if Lyndon Johnson, before signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Voting Rights Act of 1965, had first taken a poll of the American people.

We tend to regard America, proudly, as a nation where human rights are given. But that stance is actually at odds with the formulation famously propounded by one of the first Americans. Thomas Jefferson, after all, wrote that human rights are “unalienable” and that we are endowed with them from birth.

If you believe that, then you cannot buy into this notion of a nation where rights are magnanimously doled out to the minority on a timetable of the majority’s choosing. You and I cannot “give” rights. We can only acknowledge, respect and defend the rights human beings are born with.

That’s the pebble in the shoe, the popcorn hull between the teeth, that nags at the conscience when one reads polls tracking how many of us approve of other people’s lives and decisions. It’s all well and good that 51 percent of us support the right of gay men and lesbians to tell it to the judge, but really, what hubris makes us think we have a right to say yea or nay in the first place?

One hopes that, as they grapple with the issue of gay marriage, our leaders will also grapple with that question. And find in it the courage to understand what Lyndon Johnson did: You don’t do the right thing because it’s popular.

You do it because it’s right.

— Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CDT each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com.

Comments

grammaddy 4 years ago

So why do you bother with reading his collumns? Why do you bother to read anything other than your Bible since you detest anything left of extreme right.

grammaddy 4 years ago

So why do you bother with reading his collumns? Why do you bother to read anything other than your Bible since you detest anything left of extreme right.

Scott Drummond 4 years ago

Don't you mean the Bible's Old Testament? I suspect Tom would have trouble accepting the true import of some of Jesus' teachings.

sr80 4 years ago

They should quit taking "the poll" in San Francisco!! What answer do you think you will get???

deec 4 years ago

If the poll was conducted like Gallup does it,it is a random digit dial poll all over the country. They poll until a balanced group of opinions has been polled,e.g. women 18-40, men 18-40, etc. They also specifically control to make sure the whole country by geopgraphic regions are represented.

ignati5 4 years ago

Of the syndicated columnists the JW carries, Pitts is the unabashed Liberal, aka "Progressive," Krauthammer and George Will the Conservative ones. Some would further weight the right side of the scale with Unsilent Cal; I would not, out of respect for the legitimate Conservative position, in the same way I would not tar them with the brush of Glenn Beck in broadcasting or Fred Phelps in activism. As for Trudy Rubin, whom I suspect of Liberal sentiments, I would exempt her as her speciality is foreign affairs, which is a different bird altogether. Although bipartisan foreign policy has been a dead letter for the past twenty years, too many strange bedfellows lie beneath the sheets to permit classification, the Ron Paul/Dennis Kucinich Axis on Libya being a current example. With the death of the wishy-washy LIberal David Broder, the JW needs to add a Progressive columnist to redress the balance. Suggestions? BG

George Lippencott 4 years ago

Mr. Pitts raises another interesting question although I am not sure he views it as I do. The flip side of majority rule is government involvement. Obviously if government was not involved the activity (whatever it is) would not be subject to majority rule.

For most of history the government was not directly involved in the institution of marriage. It became involved to protect individuals from each other. That involvement has now spread to who can be married. We invited it in.

Human rights are another issue. Government became involved because the actions of individual citizens/employers/government leaders were deemed repressive of certain groups. Now we have government involved “big time” in trying to “level the [playing field”.

Since we have a democratic form of government have we not created the “majority” issue by bringing government into matters where government was not previously a player? Just how can we have government involvement and not majority rule? Seems to me if you want to dance to the tune you have to pay the piper.

Yes Jafs, this issue is bigger than the sidewalk.

jafs 4 years ago

Hi George.

"how can we have government involvement and not majority rule"?

Simple - our government is constitutionally based, and so the constitution is the guiding document, not the "will of the majority".

Which is what Pitts is pointing out - issues of basic rights guaranteed in the constitution shouldn't be decided by majority opinion.

Cowboyinbrla 4 years ago

The moment government began granting any form of benefit or preference to married persons, it became "involved" in marriage. It became "involved" the moment it issued the first marriage license.

And as others have noted, not everything the government does is governed strictly by majority rule. Had majority rule prevailed in 1954, the public school systems of this country would never have been integrated. Had majority rule prevailed in 1965, African-Americans would still be unable to vote in much of the south.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

Except one problem - who determines basic human rights and the processes to sustain them? Most we all agree upon. Some have IMHO become political footballs and not generally agreed upon at all. You see "Gay" rights as a basic human right. I see it as government involvement in something it should not be as there would be no issue if the government were not involved. I believe in the basic concept of freedom to marry as you wish. I have a problem with government involvement to "protect" gays from normal bigotry that has always been and will always be until we find the "new man".

Mr. Pitts' basic topic of civil rights leads me from another direction. How far does government go to protect civil rights? Insuring there is no legal basis to advance bigotry (slavery, etc) is something I suspect the majority agrees with. Setting up quotas or creating "hit squads" i.e. compliance reviews takes us from generally agreed upon concepts to concepts that from the perspectives of many are denying civil rights to others.

Are we really arguing over the basis concept or over the extent of government involvement in implementation of actions to address real and perceived violations?

So JAFS if you believe in constitutional protection of basic civil rights why do you get to make me a slave to clean your sidewalks. I believe your argument was majority rule.

Are you and Bea trying to have it both ways?

jafs 4 years ago

Oh George, it's so hard to straighten out your twists and turns.

The Constitution determines what rights are protected in our society. I believe that the intent of the founders to protect individual freedom to pursue happiness should extend to gay and lesbian folks in allowing them the freedom to marry those they choose to marry. How exactly is there "no issue" if the government denies them that right? What do you mean when you say you believe in their right to marry, but not in protecting them from bigotry?

I don't see anywhere in the constitution that provides you a protected right to not have to clean sidewalks on your property - my guess is that sort of thing is left to states and local governments, as are many other issues.

There are certain basic rights that are protected by the constitution, and majority opinion shouldn't have the ability to take those away - other issues may in fact be decided by majority vote, if there aren't constitutional issues involved.

Why do you think you have a constitutionally protected right to not clean sidewalks on your property? And, again, were they not there when you bought the house? Did you not know that was a requirement in Lawrence? Despite your comments that you did a lot of research before moving here, it seems odd that you wound up in a liberal college town that requires homeowners to clear the sidewalks, when you don't like liberals, college students, or having to maintain the sidewalks.

Aren't there plenty of non college towns with lower costs of living for you to choose from?

George Lippencott 4 years ago

And where in the constitution does it say anything about "gay" marriage?

Where does it say anything about quotas?

You and Bea need to distinguish between what we generally agree is in the constitution and what represents a government process to try to implement what we perceive is in the constitution.

I agree that what is in th constitution is not subject to debate. I do not agree that governmental actions to try to implement things in the constitutioin is not subject to the majority.

The distinction is very very important to me and I resent a simplistic avoidance of the difference.

jafs 4 years ago

Where does it say anything about "straight" marriage? Or the right of the government to "define" marriage?

Trying to follow your twists again - governmental actions to implement things in the constitution should be subject to the majority opinion?

Why exactly?

If the majority doesn't want certain groups to have their constitutionally protected rights, they should be able to stop the government from protecting those rights?

What would it mean to have certain guaranteed rights then? Seems like it would defeat the purpose of guaranteeing certain rights in the constitution.

ignati5 4 years ago

The federal government first got into the issue of what constituted marriage with polygamy in the 1880s, when Utah started testing the waters for admission to statehood. Earlier, there had been questions about the legitimacy of "frontier weddings" by justices of the peace who may have been bogus or improperly sworn in. Andrew Jackson's liasion was the most notable case. These were issues for the states, however, and most preferred not to go there for moral reasons, although the issue of inheritance of property compelled some to apply some standards. Another issue had to do with what consistuted a common law relationship of a white man with his slave. This one compromised the career of Van Buren's vice president, Richard Johnson. BG

George Lippencott 4 years ago

JAFS – I did not see the rest of your post.

“I don't see anywhere in the constitution that provides you a protected right to not have to clean sidewalks on your property - my guess is that sort of thing is left to states and local governments, as are many other issues.”

So slavery is OK. The right to make selective people perform physical service is not slavery. The slave was compelled to provide service to the master for the common good of the plantation. I don't see the difference. I do note the very careful way we address the draft - because it pushes that issue. The draft as you know applies to all able-bodied citizens not 25% of the local population. In addition, JAFS because there was a much less demanding and relatively unenforced rule when I got here does not mean the city ever had that right. I would submit that there is no authority in the state constitution and the city has no power not extended to it by the state.

"I believe that the intent of the founders to protect individual freedom to pursue happiness should extend to gay and lesbian folks in allowing them the freedom to marry those they choose to marry. "

If the government had not made a law against "gay marriage" there would be no issue. It is not me or you but the government that has caused that problem. Limit government intrusion to protection of property rights and not definition of marriage and there is no problem.

However, if you can interpret that the right “to pursue happiness” is the basis of the constitutional support for "gay marriage" then I guess that I can consider that the same justification could be applied to my right to appreciate snow on the cities sidewalk. Perhaps the pursuit of happiness could be extended to running naked through "downtown" because it would make somebody happy??

I thought the basic issue on "gay rights" is that we did not delegate to the government the right to decide who can be married. Therefore, a government decision to mess with marriage is inherently outside the constitution.

Your see this is the fundamental issue to me - the selective interpretation of the constitution to advance selective issues - that aggravated by very intrusive government efforts to enforce the self-intrusion even to the extent of violating the human rights of others.

It never ceases to amaze me how "liberals" kind of overlook the fact that we used the constitutions (federal and state) to very intentionally limit the scope of government in our lives out of a very real fear of government excesses.

jafs 4 years ago

I completely agree that the government shouldn't be in the business of deciding who can marry - that's the whole point.

Boy, you've really got it bad about the sidewalks. I would be very interested in the outcome of any lawsuits you may pursue.

It's not that big a deal to me - it's good exercise, and I feel good about clearing the path for those who may use it.

My personal view is that pursuit of happiness should be broadly understood, and the only reason for restriction of it would be if it interferes with other people's rights, or harms them. So I don't care if somebody runs around downtown naked.

Your not clearing the sidewalk interferes with others' ability to walk on it.

What you're right about is the basic strangeness of a public sidewalk being maintained by a private property owner - if it's public, then the city should maintain it. If it's private, then you can restrict access so as to limit the necessary maintenance.

But, as I've mentioned before, if we had the city do it, we'd have to raise money for that somehow - would you be willing to pay more taxes to pay for that service?

George Lippencott 4 years ago

"Your not clearing the sidewalk interferes with others' ability to walk on it."

So they can clear it.

To me government intrusion is like the crab in the pot - you turn up the heat slowly and - well the crab is eaten

It almost always starts small and expands. Next Mr. C will charge me by the square foot for the sidewalk that is not mine.

I have no problem paying for public services if we all agree we want them. I have a probem with sticking a small number of citizens with the bill for public services for all.

I even have a problem with progressive taxation if any portion of the electorate does not pay a given tax. Leads to people demanding things for which they do not have to pay - sticking other people with the bill. Progressive where there is a minimum and a consistent increase (reasonabl) is just fine.

jafs 4 years ago

Maybe you should start a petition to require the city to maintain the sidewalks, and see how many people you can get to sign it.

Then we'll see if we all agree on that, and are willing to pay higher taxes to pay for it.

My guess is that most folks would rather just do it themselves than pay more in taxes for the city to do it.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

The rest the systenm would not let me type.

The founders recognized that times would change and they provided a way to clearly update the constitution under basically the same rules that we used to establish it. The process is difficult but the preservation of “human rights” justifies a complicated process. Historically governments have been the premier entity violating “human rights”

Yes, there are fundamental rights. The "Bill of Rights" enumerates them. It was the states that demanded those “ten” amendments to make clear the limits of government intrusion. And yes, IMHO the city has violated my rights by demanding I provide services to them not demanded of all others.

jafs 4 years ago

What rights exactly are they violating?

George Lippencott 4 years ago

??? Who? You or government? I am not limiting the comment to ours.

You violate someone rights when because of a government action you disqualify someone from a college education based on race in order to provide a college education to some one else based on race. (See Bakey)

I can go on

jafs 4 years ago

No, George.

What rights of yours is the city violating when they require you to clear the sidewalks?

George Lippencott 4 years ago

What rights of yours is the city violating when they require you to clear the sidewalks?

Really, you have to be kidding. Right? Since when did I become a city employee? It is the cities responsibility to establish there right to make me do something for them. They passed a law. I object in the long tradition of civic resistance. I maintain there is no legal basis for the city to make me do this. If I were rich we would have been in court a long time ago.

jafs 4 years ago

As I said, I'd be very interested in the outcome of any lawsuits.

And, it's never been clear from your posts whether the sidewalks are on your property or not - if they are, then it's your responsibility to maintain them.

If not, you may have a case.

My understanding is that the sidewalks I maintain are on my property, and that's why it's my responsibility to maintain them.

The only beef I might have is that public access to them means that my maintenance efforts may be greater than they would otherwise be.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

Well

  1. They are not on my property
  2. If they were I think I have a case because only 25% of the city has to perform this service. When the majority do the courts have already determined the city can do it.
  3. I clear them because I believe it is my rersponsibility to clear them
  4. Why don't you and I go down to the local lawgivers and demand that the 75% that do not have this duty get to report periodically and clean the outside of the our buses. The I would not object
  5. We agree to diagree. You empower the government with powers that you want them to have while selectively rejecting powers you do not want them to have - no real basis - just your wants.
  6. Your know if I were poor I could get legal support to right this wrong. Because I am not I have to choose where I spend my money

jafs 4 years ago

I don't understand how they're not on your property, but you have to maintain them. What's going on there?

Have you talked to any lawyers about it?

I really think you're mixed up here somehow - perhaps a lawyer could explain why.

From all of your posts, I wonder why you didn't buy a house in the country - if you had a well and septic tank, you wouldn't need city water and sewer, you wouldn't have any sidewalks to deal with, etc.

See above about a petition - that wouldn't cost anything much to do. My best guess, again, is that the majority of folks would rather just do it themselves than pay for the city to do it.

yourworstnightmare 4 years ago

The "majority" are fickle idiots. The framers of our constitution knew this, which is why we have a representative democracy. One step removed from the fevered stupidity of the majority.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

And into the tailored hands of the elites selling the "majority" down the tubes.

notajayhawk 4 years ago

"The framers of our constitution knew this, which is why we have a representative democracy."

The very reason the framers gave us a Constitution is to keep us from being a representative democracy, which, if removed from majority rule by one step, is merely a step to the side. We are a Constitutional Republic. It's the Constitution that keeps us from straight majority rule, not the aspect of representation.

BigPrune 4 years ago

The majority certainly doesn't rule in Lawrence, Kansas - they stay home and don't vote.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

jafs (anonymous) replies… I don't understand how they're not on your property, but you have to maintain them. What's going on there?

  1. Utility right of way
  2. I can count the cost to sue - not worth it. Lawyer provided my comment about participation and protections. Historically the cities actions are defendable when applied to all and with appropriate cobnsideration for individual differences. I am not against the need to clear snow. I am against a poorly written ordinance that places a burden on a limited number of people with no consideration for age, physical capability, income, etc. That is what the lawyer suggests might make a case possible. As I said before the wife and I will move on soon.
  3. Why, living in the city at our age is the best solution. You simply refuse to acknowledge that the city changed the game after we bought.
  4. What makes you think the majority would want to pay taxes for this service when they get it free from a minority. There are just not many people that show the same level of concern for the underrepresented as you have in the past.

jafs 4 years ago

I still don't understand - how does a utility right of way translate into sidewalks?

That's usually just something that allows a city to run utilities onto someone's property, without which we couldn't have utility service. And, since it's the right to install something on your property, then the sidewalks would be on your property if installed there, no?

Good luck finding somewhere you like better - any possibilities yet? Perhaps a non college town with a more conservative slant?

That's what I might have guessed - but living in cities is a mixed blessing, like many things - it comes with benefits and drawbacks. One has to accept the drawbacks if one wants the benefits. And, you can't expect everything to remain exactly the same as when you arrive - things change all the time.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

Jafs

Had it marked. The front sidewalks are not on my property. Not sure of the side.

We are looking in the OP area. Not necessairly more conservative but less activitist and certainly less aggreessive with taxes

Of course things change. The city changed the rules. I don't like aspects of the nerw rule. You defend their right to do so but duck the issue of making old, infirmed, ill, etc do it promptly without regard to conditions.

To me it is just government seeking a way to satisfy the majority (real or perceived) by sticking it to a minority in the name of the public good. Sorry you can not see that. But than you have and accept it in lieu of taxing all for the service all demand

Are we being consistent or self serving

jafs 4 years ago

OP is definitely more conservative, and not a college town. In addition, although it's one of the wealthiest places I know, you can probably do better for your dollar with real estate there than here, which is odd.

You'll probably be happier there, although I'm sure there are things that you can find to complain about, if you look for them. They have a lot of good restaurants, at least in my opinion.

I'd be fine with having the city do it, and tax us a bit for it - you're the one who generally complains about taxes, among other things. But then we'd have to rely on them to do it well, which is uncertain.

One of the inherent flaws in a democracy is that of an inadequately represented minority. I'd be glad to see something done about that - perhaps require more than a simple majority, proportional representation, etc.

Until then, your best bet is to live somewhere where your views are in the majority, rather than the minority.

I'd say OP is a better fit for you than Lawrence, based on your comments on these stories.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

Waht does a cxollege town mean to you?

George Lippencott 4 years ago

JAFS

"You'll probably be happier there (OP), although I'm sure there are things that you can find to complain about, if you look for them. They have a lot of good restaurants, at least in my opinion."

You know JAFS, you have a very simplistic and constrained view of life. It seems from your view everything is political. Have you considered that actions by the government impact people differently and that those so impacted might just not like it? I gather you are not in our age cohort and clearly you believe in the policy of from each according to their ability and to each according to their needs. We do not!

We are not politically active and in fact have advocated the Democrat's positions before our legislature. On here, I spend most of my time from my perspective playing devils advocate in addressing many of the simplistic notions advocated.

We are basically on a fixed income so we do resent rapid and large tax increases that eat into our planned standard of living. No place we have every lived does tax increases as this place does. Our last location is a democratic enclave but it was judicious in tax policy so that helping one did not mean punishing another

We knew exactly what we were getting into when we moved here and we chose this place because of what it offered. Fairfax County Virginia is a very wealthy world with amenities beyond your imagination. This place was a step down from that but beat small town Kansas. We had had enough of large cities.

The very tone you use in addressing me is very depressing. I apparently have no right to point out that actions taken to placate the majority (real or perceived) have impact on us out of proportion to the impact on others.

IMHO, you are an aberration in the extreme views you seem to espouse. I am also concrned that you lack credibility and concictency. Unfortunately, it does appear to us that the community at large has become heavily politicized and demanding of goods and services for which those receiving them do not proportionally pay - the property owner is being skinned. Within a year or two, we can project significant tax increase for schools and social services as the state withdraws funding for them. We simply cannot afford those increases.

We planned to move on at or about this time in life because we are getting unable to maintain the property we live in. We had planned to do that with tradesmen but tax increases have eaten into the money required. So we will move as we have some 20 -30 times. Thank you for your kind consideration and acceptance of diversity.

However, I assure you that we are not motivated by politics but by rational tax policy. Note, nowhere in here have I indentified anything that Lawrence provides that actually justifies the high tax rate on us.

jafs 4 years ago

Wow.

I fail to see how my observations that I think you're making a good move, and will be happier in OP prompt such a post.

Do you want to be happy?

I'm not going to respond to any of the distorted and provocative insults you included, just because I think it's a waste of time, except to say that they are incorrect, and do not reflect my views on things at all.

Here's a suggestion - buy a smaller house than you had here - it will cost less to buy, heat/cool/maintain - and you can save more money each month for necessary repairs/upgrades.

I have a prediction as well, based on your last post here. Wherever you live, you will find a lot to complain about. I think on some level you're more interested in that than in being happy.

jafs 4 years ago

And, by the way, nobody's running you out of town on a rail.

Stay here if you like, and complain about things if you want to - either way's ok with me - take the city to court, do whatever you want - it's your life.

But as a member of a perceived minority, you will find it difficult to have enough say in politics to change things in the directions you'd like. As I've said before, that's an inherent flaw with our system which I'd like to see addressed.

jafs 4 years ago

One more thing:

If the increases you're concerned about will come about because of the state reductions in funding, that will undoubtedly affect OP as well - in fact, it will probably affect all of KS.

jafs 4 years ago

One final thought:

I'm not originally from this area, I'm originally from the East Coast, and I have a certain sense of standards from my upbringing. When I first moved here, I was appalled by the mediocrity I found, and tried to change it. Eventually I realized that I was in a rather small minority in that respect, and that unless a majority of residents shared my sense of these things and demanded higher quality, it wouldn't happen. So I had to come to terms with that and adjust my expectations accordingly.

For example, we went to a restaurant today for lunch that we like - they opened about 5-10 minutes late, our water glasses went unfilled for a bit, they didn't have all of the food on the buffet for quite a while after we entered, and when I went to pay, I had to wait a bit before somebody noticed and came to take my money.

My general view is that they should open on time, with all of the food available immediately, water glasses should be filled promptly, somebody should be there to take your money when you're ready to pay, and that these are basic things all restaurants should do right.

But, as I said, I seem to be in a small minority, and so even if I make a lot of noise about it, it's unlikely to change things much, since most people just accept these things without protesting.

Sometimes it sucks to be in a minority, there's no question about that.

jafs 4 years ago

One funny thought:

Since you seem to think that renters in Lawrence have a great deal - why not rent here?

My father-in-law is retired, and has been renting for a while, and loves it - he doesn't want to have to deal with maintaining a house.

George Lippencott 3 years, 12 months ago

Wow, Wow, Wow

As you recall this blog was about majority rule. Does that give the majority the right to raise taxes much faster then inflation while affecting only a segment of the community? Does that give the majority the right to demand physical services of a minority of citizens?

I see you are back to house size. That is the element that infuriates me the most. Does the majority have the right to decide the size of someone’s home? Is your solution to drive me out of my home by raising taxes excessively - sure sounds like it? Do you have any justification for the many property tax increases in the last decade? Other unanswered points

    Have you considered that actions by the government affect people differently and that those so impacted might just not like it?

   It does appear to us that the community at large has become heavily politicized and demanding of goods and services for which those receiving them do not proportionally pay - the property owner is being skinned

Actually we are being driven out of town/. Most of us look at return on investment. Lawrence had many things we desired when we moved here - and the price was reasonable. The amenities have declined, our interests have changed and the cost of living has dramatically increased. One reexamines options.

The original plan was to downscale here. We are questioning that. We do not want to rent - yet.

The real issue is the attitude we find on here that is hostile to our way of living and relatively blind to how we earned it. That attitude seems to be gaining support in Lawrence. Yes, state retrenchment may lead to tax choices all over the state. The real question is that most of the rest of the state is not a high tax high service population. Therefore, while I expect increase elsewhere, I do not expect them of the magnitude I believe will happen here. The reason is simple. In most other jurisdictions (not college with heavy rental populations), the increase will be on everybody and not selectively on a minority.

One more time, why do you have the right to decide what size house I live in?

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