Nanny-stater of the month

Posted by: Phineas on October 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Reason.TV’s “Nanny of the Month” award has turned a year old, and this month’s winner has a bit of an ironic twist to it. Remember how Mom (or Nanny, for those who had one) would always tell you to eat your vegetables, often invoking starving children somewhere to whom we would have gladly given our portion? Well, in this case, a man in Georgia is in trouble with DeKalb County not for refusing to eat his greens, but for growing too many of them:

I have to admit, this one strikes me as a little bit questionable. The zoning laws were in place before the gentleman in question started his organic garden; couldn’t he have sought a variance beforehand? Sure, zoning regulations can be arcane and picayune, but in a residential area, they exist to protect the value everyone’s properties from people who would use their land in ways that would harm that value, such as installing a home tannery or putting up a 90′ neon-green Elvis. Much as I sympathize with and support the rights of property owners, they do have a responsibility to check the laws before they do something unusual.

Still, it seems more than a little vindictive for the county to try to punish him after he got the necessary permits. He’s acknowledged the law, no harm was done, so what’s the point? Other than a bureaucrat’s game of “mine’s bigger than yours,” that is.

PS: Now that I think of it, wouldn’t the Oregon officials who made a little girl cry be a natural for this? They’d win the year-end award in a runaway.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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6 Responses to “Nanny-stater of the month”


  1. 2hotel9 says:

    Sis? Please to explain what is “do something unusual.” about having a garden on property you own?

  2. Jo says:

    Make no mistake about it, DHEC and the EPA believe it is their responsibility to mandate to farmers what pesticides are used and how much, what crops are grown and how much, land usage, etc. and they go at it from the mindset that the farmers are usurpers of the law, rampantly wasting resources, not adhering to the various ever-changing policies and regulations of the Federal government and having the audacity to even think the land is theirs to use as they see fit. They busy themselves seeking ways to fine hard working agriculture producers for various infractions. And under this administration, it has and will get worse if left unchecked.

  3. Kate says:

    He was an organic farmer, hence he probably did not use pesticides. He probably gave his neighbors a lot of his extra harvest. (which is something I always appreciated)

    Zoning rules are a local issue that some folks seem to overlook when it comes to their property use…..we have deed restrictions on our land which prohibit us from having goats or sheep, BUT we are allow two horses. We also were not allowed to build any kind of log home or park a trailer on the lot we had. So homeowners have to consider all these things before they move into any neighborhood…and besides, who wants to make a neighbor cranky? It seems he got in trouble once he realized that he needed a variance and the local authorities are raking him over the coals now….perhaps, they think they have some sort of financial windfall coming to them to support the local kiddie park?

    This guy might have started off small and added on over the years. It seems he had enough acreage to support his garden and I didn’t see any homes directly adjacent to his garden, either. So as we all know, any good deed does not go unpunished and the Nanny State will make sure of that!!!

  4. Phineas says:


    “Unusual” in this case means “different than what’s allowed under the zoning regs,” perhaps a bad choice of words on my part.

    Though a 90′-tall neon green Elvis would be a bit unusual. ;)

  5. Carlos says:

    First, government laws and rules are made to “protect” citizens because citizens are not smart enough to protect themselves from evil neighbors, especially those neighbors who would attack with veggies.

    Second, this yoyo knew (or should have known) the rules beforehand. Get an exception, or change the rules. Pretty simple, especially since, as a plain citizen, he’s only childlike and must have all rules written for him by government.

    Last, having been a former contractor and home designer, I have in fact heard a government employee, a “planner”, tell me that all land in fact belongs to the government but they “allow” us to use it as long as it fits THEIR idea of what’s acceptable.

    Yeah, sure sounds like a government of, by and for the people to me.

  6. 2hotel9 says:

    Phin? As long as that 90′ Elvis had edible vegetables flying out of its a$$ I would happily pay some taxes towards it!

    As for the anti-American, anti-human pieces of sh*t who occupy the Dekalb County government, the human race would be well served by their ritualistic executions, in public. They are what is wrong with America.