Late Night Rude Speculation Open Thread: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, But Gated Communities Not So Much?

That was also my first reaction to the “brutal” attack on Rand Paul by his gated-community neighbor. Paul was in his yard, on his riding mower, wearing ‘ear protection’… that, to me, said: Entitled guy blowing his tree-garbage onto his neighbors’ property, at a high decibel level. If you don’t think such behavior is outside of possibility, you’ve never lived next to one of these jagoffs. Even letting his dog befoul your lawn is at least quiet.

Mr. Paul, 54, has long stood out in the well-to-do gated neighborhood south of Bowling Green, Ky., that he calls home. The senator grows pumpkins on his property, composts and has shown little interest for neighborhood regulations.

But the spectacle of the incident — one former doctor attacking another in broad daylight — was altogether different. Competing explanations of the origins of the drama cited stray yard clippings, newly planted saplings and unraked leaves…

Matthew J. Baker, a lawyer for Mr. Boucher, called the matter “a very regrettable dispute” between neighbors over a “trivial” matter.

The incident “has absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agendas,” Mr. Baker said in a statement on Monday. “It was a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial.”…

“They just couldn’t get along. I think it had very little to do with Democrat or Republican politics,” said Jim Skaggs, who developed the gated community and who lives nearby. “I think it was a neighbor-to-neighbor thing. They just both had strong opinions, and a little different ones about what property rights mean.”

Asked about long-leveled allegations that Mr. Paul had disregarded neighborhood regulations, Mr. Skaggs, who is also a former leader of the county Republican Party, said that the senator “certainly believes in stronger property rights than exist in America.”…

Okay, maybe he was just mulching those leaves with his mower, so that the pieces would be smaller, easier for the wind to distribute and harder for his neighbors to rake up…

Mr. Paul is a libertarian, and a dick (but I repeat myself). My bet would be he righteously ignored the ‘neighborhood regulations’ one time too often, because His Home Is His Castle, and They Are Not the Boss of Me. Violence is never the best solution, but to quote Chris Rock, “I don’t approve… but I understand.”


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The politically interesting question: How long will his injuries keep Rand Paul away from the Senate? Not to underestimate the genuine suffering involved — broken ribs are the devil — but if *I* were a proudly independent sorta-Republican facing the goat rodeo that is the GOP tax bill in the making, I would not hesitate to seek any available excuse for staying away…






53 replies
  1. 1

    Well wouldn’t that just be something.

    I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of this, but I’m just too worn out with all this shit going on to even enjoy the rampant speculation.

  2. 2
    jl says:

    A good libertarian can tell you that unfortunate incidents like this are logically impossible between human beings, who are always rational. Economic theorems prove it so. A good gun libertarian can tell you that any unfortunate consequences would have been avoided if both parties had been properly and heavily armed.

    Edit: I wonder whether Rand Paul will go to court over something that could never have happened.

  3. 3
    patrick II says:

    When you buy a house in a gated community it includes (in my experience) an agreement to the rules of the community. That is part of the “private enterprise” of creating a profit for the builder which Mr. Paul theoretically should respect. If he wanted no rules, he should buy a house in a neighborhood or countryside where he would be free to grow pumpkins, or raise chickens, or pigs or whatever. But then he couldn’t have it both ways, which seems to be a defining characteristic of his personality.

  4. 4
    T S says:

    Having criminalized breaking your neighbor’s ribs, we now see that only criminals break their neighbor’s ribs.

  5. 5

    @jl: I thought a libertarian would tell you to settle it by suing your neighbor.

  6. 6
    sukabi says:

    Why on earth would a professed libertarian even consider living in a gated community? Everybody’s all up in your business.

  7. 7
    Duane says:

    I’m hoping this escalates into the end of Paul’s political career. It could be legendary.

  8. 8
    Amir Khalid says:

    Not politics, not infidelity, but the noise from Rand Paul’s lawn mower! I knew it had to be something really serious.

  9. 9
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I meant going to court over the fight that was logically impossible. I assume a libertarian would logically deduce that the neighbor who broke Rand’s ribs would never do anything except sue over rotten pumpkin plop that was blowing onto his fee simple absolute estate (IANAL but ventured to try out some lawyer talk there), if Rand was so uncivil and illogical as to refuse to negotiate an appropriate side payment to cover the cost of the nuisance.

  10. 10
    jl says:

    “A violent order is disorder; and a great disorder is an order.
    These two things are one.”

    Connoisseur of Chaos
    Wallace Stevens, who I believe wrote a poem about pumpkins.

  11. 11
    lgerard says:

    I hope that everyone is sending Rand their thoughts (that he retire) and prayers (that it be very soon)

  12. 12
    opiejeanne says:

    Isn’t he a “No” vote on the tax bill? I think he doesn’t like it because it doesn’t create enough misery. If so, we want him there to vote on it

  13. 13
    opiejeanne says:

    @lgerard: I have thoughts about it and I pray he goes to meet his Libertarian Jesus pretty soon.

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    @patrick II: Masters of the Universe can blow their leaves anywhere they want to.

  15. 15
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Judging from the pictures, looks like he broke his hand, as well (photo)

  16. 16
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    The Invisible Hand works in mysterious ways.

  17. 17
    opiejeanne says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: And what happened to his head? Yikes!

  18. 18
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Let’s face facts: rich people are violent savages, with no respect for life.

  19. 19
    Kathleen says:

    @opiejeanne: Doesn’t look like the ferret on top of his head survived.

  20. 20
    opiejeanne says:

    @Kathleen: I found a photo of him taken yesterday. He has a little booboo on his lip. I think David Merry Christmas Koch is having a laugh.

  21. 21
    Duane says:

    The church shooter in Texas fired 450 times during his killing spree. Using mental health and background check issues are ways to avoid the fact that these type of weapons should be illegal.

  22. 22
    Sab says:

    @sukabi: Why on earth would a professed libertarian expect government redress for his issue with his neighbor. I thought libertarianism was the real men duke it out, without the annoyance of government interference?

  23. 23
    bystander says:

    @jl:

    …blowing onto his fee simple absolute estate…

    I don’t think anyone in a gated community has a fee simple absolute. The gated community always retains some interest in the property, in addition to control of the means of access to the property.

  24. 24
    Linda says:

    @sukabi: Nearly every antigovernment person I know loves in one. Apparently, as long as it’s not the government in your business, it’s all good.

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    Leaves?

    Come on😡😡

  26. 26
    p.a. says:

    Gated Communities in Disarray!

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    Paul now will have time to set up his own neighbor accreditation board.

  28. 28
    lowtechcyclist says:

    @patrick II:

    When you buy a house in a gated community it includes (in my experience) an agreement to the rules of the community. That is part of the “private enterprise” of creating a profit for the builder which Mr. Paul theoretically should respect.

    Absolutely. Hell, even in my very non-gated community, we have a HOA. It’s a very relaxed HOA, dues of $80/year, few impositions.

    BUT: as part of the closing when we moved in, we signed a contract with the HOA. I’m sure that in any gated community, there’s not only a contract, but it is much more extensive and what many of us would regard as intrusive. But that’s the deal you sign when you move in.

    Now correct me if I’m wrong, but IIRC libertarians are very big on contract. They believe that most of what government does, should be handled by private contractual arrangement, and that one of the few purposes of government should be to enforce contracts.

    If Rand Paul is crapping all over his contract with the HOA, he’s not taking a stand for liberty against oppressive regulations. He’s refusing to honor a contract. In Libertaria, he’d be hauled before the courts.

  29. 29
    bjacques says:

    Great, now I’ve got ads for leaf blower ear protection following me to the Grauniad site. Thanks, guys.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    @bjacques:
    I feel your pain. All these months after I acquired The Girl, I am still pursued by online ads for Fender and Gibson electric guitars. Amplifiers, too.

  31. 31
    Feathers says:

    @Linda: They also keep the nasty police away from your not-so-little boys who will be boys.

    @Amir Khalid: I once had an ad for a specific shoe that was sold out in my size for weeks.

  32. 32
    SFAW says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Isn’t he a “No” vote on the tax bill?

    Just like his expected “no” vote on Obamacare repeal?

    Or am I mis-remembering, and he actually DID vote “no” on that?

  33. 33
    Daoud bin Daoud says:

    Rand Paul lives near the scene of the Bowling Green, KY massacre? He’s lucky he wasn’t blown up by jihadis!

  34. 34
    Betty Cracker says:

    I predicted this was a lawn care dispute two days ago!

    Betty Cracker
    November 5, 2017 at 11:28 pm (Edit)
    @Adam L Silverman: Read somewhere that Baby Doc was doing yard work (with headphones on) when he was “blindsided” by the neighbor. If he was operating a leaf blower very early, that might have triggered a fit of rage. I’ve been tempted to go all ninja-freaky on neighbors for that!

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    I moved into the City from the County about 20 years ago – these are the terms we use although of course the City is in the County – and my neighbor objected to the clothesline being in the side yard so I moved it to the back yard. It’s legal in the side yard – that was where it was when I moved in but easy enough to do, and now he’s happy. He and his wife are animal lovers so we joined together to dislike our other neighbor who leaves her tiny dog out all day and he barks, barks, barks. That neighbor came over once to give us our mail that she got by accident and she brought the dog. My son said “oh, he’s cute, what’s his name?” and my husband said “barky. The dog’s name is barky” so now no one likes my husband. He and I do call the dog “barky” – as in “barky’s up early today”- but that was supposed to be a private name.

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    I had a genuine property line dispute with a neighbor once. I planted a (temporary) hedge of Mexican sunflowers- they’re 6 feet tall and neon orange but it was just an experiment. It was when Mexican sunflowers had just come into use and I was intrigued with the idea of a 6 foot tall orange flower. They’re annuals! They’ll be dead in 3 months. She had a fit which was amusing since her house was trashed- the porch was literally falling off – but it was very heated. I felt at the time and still do that she didn’t like me for some other reason and these flowers just set her off. Our children were friends and I really loved her son so I was sad to lose him, but not her.

  37. 37
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Did she think you had planted them on her property, or did she object to them on aesthetic principles? Weird either way — like you said, annuals!

    We can never live in an HOA community because my husband would run afoul of the rules all the time. Luckily, we knew this about ourselves before we got into the housing market and did not have to learn the hard way!

  38. 38
    MattF says:

    @Kay: I live in a condo in which, as in all condos, the common areas are jointly owned and has extensive regulations about what unit owners may and may not do in their units and in the common areas. It’s just a fact that some people are unsuited to that sort of living arrangement. We had one new owner who went out and put his own dish antenna on the roof of the building. I won’t bother to list all the rules and regulations that violated, but he sold his unit and moved out a few months later.

  39. 39
    Matt says:

    The incident “has absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agendas”

    I call bullshit. Sounds like it has EVERYTHING to do with Paul’s “my property rights supersede your right to exist so fuck you I got mine” politics.

  40. 40
    Citizen_X says:

    @Matt: Exactly. Libertarianism means “Property rights for me, not for thee. You’re too poor.”

    I felt bad for Paul, but if it involved leaf blowers? NO MERCY!

  41. 41
    Ohio Mom says:

    What I want to know is, why are the likes of Paul and Boehner mowing their own lawns? They can certainly afford a lawn service. Or is this for show, a la Bush’s brush clearing?

    ETA I know Boehner isn’t part of this story but he is another gated-community dweller who is known for doing his own mowing.

  42. 42
    Ohio Mom says:

    Our neighbor’s dog is always pooping on our lawn and they are quite lackadasical about cleaning it up and somehow my annoyance doesn’t last past hosing down the soles of my shoes the two or three times a year I manage to step in it.

    It’s not that I am so easy going, it’s that I have a long list of things in life that bug me, the poop doesn’t even break into the top fifty.

  43. 43
    Mart says:

    I chopped down about 40 overgrown bushes along a fence line in the hope they would grow back looking good, They did. There were four more of the same bushes at an angle to the fence line where three yards met. I figured they were mine and went to chopping. As I am finishing chopping down the fourth bush; the third yard guy who I had never spoke to comes steaming out of the house wanting to know what the fuck I was doing cutting down his bushes. I said being that there are forty others, I thought they were mine. He told me my predecessor had planted them just over the line, they were his. I said I did him a favor cutting them. I thought he was going to punch me. People are weird about territory.

  44. 44
    Chris says:

    Late Night Rude Speculation Open Thread: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, But Gated Communities Not So Much?

    My family in Miami lives in a gated community. Apparently at some point the community started suffering from an epidemic of unexplained thefts. Those thefts were eventually traced… to a few teenagers from inside the gated community. Purpose of community: soundly defeated.

  45. 45
    Chris says:

    That was also my first reaction to the “brutal” attack on Rand Paul by his gated-community neighbor. Paul was in his yard, on his riding mower, wearing ‘ear protection’… that, to me, said: Entitled guy blowing his tree-garbage onto his neighbors’ property, at a high decibel level. If you don’t think such behavior is outside of possibility, you’ve never lived next to one of these jagoffs. Even letting his dog befoul your lawn is at least quiet.

    I think we can all agree that the victim of this rib-breaking incident was no angel.

  46. 46
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Chris:

    I think we can all agree that the victim of this rib-breaking incident was no angel.

    You win the thread.

  47. 47
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Chris: Well apparently they may serve the purpose of keeping the more violent and criminally minded locked…inside.

  48. 48
    Emily68 says:

    My husband (now retired) was a professional gardener and later an arborist for 40+ years. About the only thing Rand Paul has ever done that hubby agrees with is wearing the ear protection. Whether a riding lawn mower or the walk behind kind, or a chain saw, if your gizmo’s got a motor, you should be wearing ear protection. Safety glasses, too. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is not just for wimps and fraidy-cats!!!!!

  49. 49
    Shana says:

    @Ohio Mom: I know it seems bizarre, it certainly does to me, but there are actually people out there who like lawn work.

  50. 50
    opiejeanne says:

    @Shana: I think that for W hacking at the brush was calming and mowing with a riding mower can be relaxing; I would guess that Boehner is just so happy to be away from the House that he’ll continue to mow the lawn for a while. Eventually he and we will be too feeble to be trusted doing this job and someone will be brought in to do it for us.

    As for Rand Paul, I would guess it’s because he’s an asshole.

  51. 51
    sherparick says:

    @patrick II: Yep, and not necessarily “gated,” but most housing developments post 1980 have had an Home Owners Association (HOA) established, usually by the developer (usually for the purposes of throwing off some of the costs of the development onto the home owners and required by the local Government to encourage the development’s homeowners to encourage the others to meet standards). The HOA agreement is binding contract (hence a libertarian should feel duty bound to adhere to a contract freely entered into).

    As a suburban property owner myself, and dealing with them since the time I was a small boy, nothing brings out the territorial instinct of the Bipedal Ape from the Serengeti plains as owning that suburban house and 1 acre or less plot. It also a reality that some people who have the strongest sense of their own property rights, appear to have little regard for others.

    Still, Dr. Boucher’s remedy, no matter how emotionally satisfying, probably will cost him a lot more than if he had 1) retained a lawyer to write a cease and desist letter regarding nuisance to Senator Paul; 2) a letter to the HOA demanding they enforce their rules against Senator Paul and sanction him for not adhering to HOA rules; and 3) letters to the local newspaper, TV station, and CNN about Senator Paul’s indifference to his neighbors’ rights and faux libertarianism.

    Still, pass the popcorn as the assholes knock heads.

  52. 52
    sherparick says:

    @Ohio Mom: I hate to defend asshole Republicans, but perhaps like me they find yard work recreational.

  53. 53
    bobbo says:

    Literally “get off my lawn.”

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