Under My Roof, I Make The Rules

How many times have we all heard this phrase? Whether it was from our own parents, or some movie or TV sit-com? Well, the statement is true enough in theory, but under our current system of government, it is far from true in practice.

Ignoring for the moment the Supreme Court’s ruling last year on eminent domain, why does the government even need to bother with the formalities of seizing your home, if they can dictate what goes on inside of it?

I’ve been following this story since it broke here in St. Louis last month. A small municipality called Black Jack (insert jack-booted thug joke here) has taken it upon itself to define what a family is and to dictate to its residents who can and cannot live in their homes. One couple in particular has been denied an occupancy permit because their “family” does not meet the criteria specified by city officials.

You know when I read something like that, I get hung up on the words “occupancy permit.” The notion that I need to seek permission from someone else to occupy a home I have purchased is ludicrous, and I applaud this family for moving in anyway even though they didn’t have “permission.”

This month, Black Jack Mayor Norman McCourt, made some statements that are even more contemptible. Including the claim that “many municipalities in the St. Louis area have similar – if not identical or more stringent – rules.” Wonderful. Even city governments are resorting to the old “everyone is doing it, why can’t we?” argument. So it doesn’t matter how many individuals’ rights to property are being violated, as long as all of the city governments are violating them equally?

Let me ask you, when you were a child, what was your parents’ response when you told them that “everybody else is doing it, so I should too”? I think it’s time Mayor McCourt check whose roof he is living under.

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