Saturday, November 19, 2022

Election 2022: Divisive Privilege in American Neighborhoods (Are No-Leash Cat and Fence-Out Laws Unconstitutional?)

With the election over and the media drumming up the illusion of a great shift in power, voters who kept the "red wave" from materializing understand that they made a conscious choice to maintain gridlock in Congress.  Some were Republicans. Some were Democrats.Some were young and some were old but together they corralled the runaway agendas that give privileges to some and take rights away from others.

As media outlets such as NPR (National Public Radio) and the Washington Post, publish concerns of public unrest and potential civil war, nary a one takes the time to identify the small issues which impact far more people than abortion or student loan debt or transgender lifestyles.  As small and insignificant as this list seems, just one can send a neighborhood into divided camps of opinion and recrimination. 

Take a look and see how these would effect you.

Unregulated Cat Ownership

As beautiful and funny as they can be, porch cats (outdoor, free roaming) are not well loved by all.  There is little that will set off a neighbor faster than a free-range cat that uses a well-maintained flower bed as a litter box or one that taunts a leashed/confined dog by traveling back and forth just out of reach.  Yes, it happens all the time. The question is why should cats be allowed to cause such distress while dog ownership is heavily regulated. Just the first example of divisive privilege in supported by weak leadership.

An even better argument against this preferential ruling is that domesticated cats are an invasive species. With no natural predator other than the coyote in the East, domestic, free-range cats are no different than a python released into the Florida Everglades or Kudzu planted on a highway bank. Besides being carriers of all manner of respitory disease, they are just as subject to rabies and not always vaccinated.  Even if "fixed", domestic cats can damage landscaping with their high nitrogen (and smelly) poop, strip the bark from young trees when sharpening their claws and decimate the song bird population in short order.



On the flip side, fed cats do not necessarily hunt for food. Owners who leave food out encourage wildlife to abandon their natural feeding habits, take up residence near homes and invite predators (coyote, hawks, bear) into the backyards of families and individuals. Moreover, why should the slow moving possum or touchy skunk dine on bugs and carcasses when a feeder of yummy kibble sits on every back porch in the community.  With a range of several hundred feet in any direction, the concept of this being a victimless crime is unjustified.  Sadly, the wildlife that has been invited in by irresponsible human behavior is trapped, shot, or poisoned believing they are harmful to residents.  Owners never consider their cats are MORE likely to transmit disease because of their close personal contact with humans. 

Does the Constitution not provide for equal treatment under the law? Should cat owners not be held to the same standards as dog owners? With millions of tax dollars being spent each year to deal with the feral cat population, why aren't owners held accountable?

Because some politician is too afraid of losing votes and too focused on economic growth which always brings inflation to act responsibly and treat citizens equally under the law. 

Fence-Out Laws

Contributing to the cat issue and other boundary landmines in a modern world, Fence-Out jurisdictions protect irresponsible landowners by forcing responsible ones to build and maintain expensive fencing (aka Fence Out danger).  Started when range wars were settled with guns and violence, fence-out laws may have worked when dealing with livestock but do little to protect property from such dangers as wildfires, pesticide usage, over bearing landscapers, obsessive environment protection policies, hikers/camping and yes, cat owners who think the best cat is an outdoor cat. 


As the law is currently enforced, boundary lines are owned equally by each side. A neighbor can tear down a fence or hedge without notification, mow your yard if you don't take care of it to their satisfaction, spray pesticides indiscriminately, and install a fence on your property without verification of the property line.  In other words, the neighborhood bully has the right to be a bully without impunity.  How is this policy constitutional in a country that was founded on the protection of individual rights? 

Today, those elected to govern care more about wealth and avoiding bad press than standing up for what is right.  Is it no wonder that people fear violence from those who have no respect for private property?

Where Does It Leave Us?

As a result of decades of legally permitting one group to take advantage of another, this country has slipped into a mindset that fraud and persecution is acceptable, even normal.  While the Beatles tried to persuade the World that "All we need is Love" (dun, da, dun, da duh), such an attitude is naive at best and only increases division and anxiety in this country.

Only when Congress, state legislatures and local government govern for the majority and not the special interest can America ever be great again.  As the 2022 mideterm shows, citizens have a lack of confidence in both political parties.  Until Congress abandons special interests which feed economic growth and buy votes, citizens will need to clog the courts system with lawsuits and civil actions that regulate one person at a time.

What an incredible waste of time, effort and money because the focus of today's leaders is being elected rather than serving the whole. 




 

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