Saturday, January 3, 2009

Brighton, MI: Where It's Illegal to Be Annoying


Yesterday was a dark day for liberty (the theme of this month’s blog entries), if the reports were true about that being the day that a new law was scheduled to go into effect in the town of Brighton, Michigan, making it illegal to be annoying in public (whether through words or physical motions).  Property rights, properly defined, include your right to use your own body as you choose so long as you do not physically harm others or their property, so wildly subjective criteria like “being annoying” should not even be remotely involved in legislation.

If people counter that public property such as sidewalks come with greater restrictions on behavior, I say abolish all public “property.”  There are plenty of well-maintained private roads around, and malls seem to maintain their walkways better than the government manages sidewalks.  The fewer things held in common — and thus controlled by the mob or its “representatives” — the freer we are.  But the world remains full of socialists to whom collective crushing of individual freedom sounds like cozy togetherness.

The idiots running Brighton reportedly acknowledged that the anti-annoyance law may create free speech objections (the vaguer fallback safeguard of a society without secure property rights), but they say such objections can always be handled on a case by case basis.  How reassuring!  Likewise, a law calling for killing the firstborn could be reviewed on a case by case basis and thus should not cause alarm.

What happens if people are annoyed by seeing Brighton politicians walking around in public, though?

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