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Are back yards the new SUV?

There are few things so quintessentially American as a back yard, yet there are some signs that the back yard is now competing with the SUV as a despised symbol of everything that's "wrong" with the typical American lifestyle (emphasis mine.)

[Los Angeles] Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has outlined this vision, and it does not conform to the way that most Angelenos prefer to live: "This old concept that all of us are going to live in a three-bedroom home, you know this 2,500 square feet, with a big frontyard and a big backyard -- well, that's an old concept."
Planners in Albuquerque have suggested banning backyards -- despised as wasteful and "anti-social" by new urbanists and environmentalists, although it is near-impossible to find a family that doesn't want one.

Yeah, that's a real smart move, guys. You might want to consider banning apple pie while you're at it.


Wow, I have to agree with Barry. Extreme liberalism, just like extreme conservatism, leads some people to believe that they should be able to FORCE others to be enlightened, and like it!

Stop trying to force me to live in a city. I don't like people. For generations, my family farmed, and they got by just fine without government appointed minorities leashed to them.

There is such a thing as FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION. Like minded people should be able to live, work, and open schools according to their own principles. This is called freedom -- a difficult concept for the far Left and far Right to comprehend. It means YOU don't get to tell ME what to do, how to act, or what to think.

> I don't like people.

Ya don't say.

In my neighborhood, it's the young families with children that don't care about the backyard. Houses are being built to within eight feet of the property line, and most people would rather have a media room and a home gym than a yard for their kids to play in. New construction is all McMansions on postage-stamp lots.

In other areas, this "new urbanism" seems to be taking hold by design, as opposed to by greasing the palms of local leaders by variances. The other side of "new urbanism" is that communities built according to this model will have large public spaces such as playgrounds, parks, and town squares which in theory would take the place of the more isolated backyard. I'm not saying I'd like to live this way, but that's the vision.

I don't think anyone's talking about a mass land grab of existing suburban backyards. This article indicates guidelines for future construction. But I think you overestimate the outcry that will occur if developments are built on smaller lots but with these public spaces, especially in a society that's more concerned with house size.

The other issue that I know conservatives don't want to address is transportation and overdependence on the use of the automobile. There's something to be said for not having to get in a car and burn fossil fuels just to get a quart of milk.

If people wanted to walk to the store to buy milk, then they could buy a house close to the grocery store, couldn't they?

If people wanted to ride on buses, couldn't you become rich by starting a bus line? So why is it that billions of dollars are stolen from people like me to be pitchforked down the black hole of public transportation, which runs at an enormous loss every year?

The solution here is for you Jill, and those who think like you, to buy some land and start a town. Then you can buy a bunch of buses, and build an urban area with a nice little downtown and all have a great time. I would be happy for you.

What you can't do (and claim to be a true American) is try to force me to make things the way you think they oughtta be.

This is a free country. There is plenty of land. Go do your thing.

Jill, meet Bailey.

I've admired Bailey's intestinal fortitude at being able to comment on this blog so frequently.

Thank you for alerting me to this article. That quote by Mayor Villaraigosa is absolutely vile and an affront to one of the most fundamental rights we as Americans have enjoyed for over two-hundred long, hard, and often uncertain years.

There are so many blogs, but this one is perhaps the most in need of correction as the name implies "cynicism" when instead you find the an empty-headed, naive, Bush pom-pom squad of conservative talk radio devotees who repeat the talking points here as though they can think for themselves.

For instance, JMK says "employees are just commdities" and the low bidder wins until we talk about corporate CEO's, who are also, let's see, EMPLOYEES, that's right. Well that's different, they are like professional athletes, they are the TALENT and should be paid whatever the market will bear, even if their cronies are the ones sitting on the Board or Directors taking turns raping the stockholders who actually own the company.

But Rush has never talked about it this way, so they just have nothing to say.

It doesn't take guts to post here with a bunch of hypnotized boobs -- it's fun!

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