Bruce Ramsey: A libertarian everywhere but the ‘hood

I found this paragraph in co-blogger Paul Andrews’ great post about a proposed apartment building in his neighborhood of Phinney Ridge. Some of the neighbors aren’t happy with the condo’s design, and they met with the Northwest Design Review Board to have their voices heard.

Among those voicing concern was Bruce Ramsey of The Seattle Times, himself a Phinney resident.

“We have a garden, apple trees, plum tree, plants in our windows — that’s a lot of shade,” said next-door neighbor Bruce Ramsey. Step-back upper stories, he said, “and we would get a little more sun.”

After laughing out loud, it made me wonder… Can a principled libertarian fight regulation on the “macro” level, only to embrace nanny-state, ticky-tack regulation locally?


  1. 1

    Blue John spews:

    It would seem that he shouldn’t. Do you think he sees the disconnect in his thinking?

  2. 2

    Emily spews:

    You’ve gotta understand. Libertarianism is only a matter of principle to Ramsey. Putting a big sun-blocking building right next to his garden, now that’s important.

  3. 3

    Black Me spews:

    Libertarianism or Republicanism, noting more than…”the world is all about me” – self centered assholes, and wasteful pigs. Dictators driven by the greenback.

  4. 4

    Honest Republican spews:

    Black Me – in communist dictatorships it’s only the top guys who gets to be self-centered selfish assholes. Everyone else gets to eat mud.

  5. 7

    rhp6033 spews:

    Well, we could go back to the principle of a landowner suing his neighbors for interfering with the “natural sunlight” belonging to his particular piece of property. But that principle only worked in a non-urban environment, anyway.

    That’s the problem with property rights, in general. You want to be able to do anything you want with your own property, even if that means restricting how your neighbor uses his.

    I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who moved to the exurbs in order to “get away from regulation”, become absolutely outraged if someone tells them they can’t fill in the wetlands on their own property, but then become absolutely apopletic when development on the hillside five miles away “destroys their view”.

  6. 8

    Rosie Redfinger spews:

    re 4: And in the U.S. that brand of ‘communism’ is called ‘tort reform. Think beyond your pocketful of labels.

  7. 9

    slingshot spews:

    @1 “Do you think he sees the disconnect in his thinking?”

    He’s most likely constructed a rational to prop up this hipocracy. When was the last time you heard of one of these clowns own up to their duplicity?

  8. 10

    Rosie Redfinger spews:

    Every Republican I’ve ever heard is intensely spiritual. All they seem to talk about is getting the largest prophet possible.

  9. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Can a principled libertarian fight regulation on the ‘macro’ level, only to embrace nanny-state, ticky-tack regulation locally?”

    You humans being what you are, I suppose it depends on whose ox is being gored. Would Bruce Ramsey support a gummint bailout of the newspaper industry to save his own job? Or would he editorialize against it?

  10. 16

    Steve spews:

    “Fascist” is a two syllable tag. And it’s so much easier to spit out with deserved contempt than the four syllable “Republican”.

  11. 17

    correctnotright spews:

    @7: rhp – Nice summary of the libertarian hypocrisy….I want to do whatever I want until someone else does whatever they want to me….

  12. 18

    ewp spews:

    Seattle is rife with this type of behavior. Too many people want to tell everyone else how they should live, do business, etc. But then fail to behave that way themselves or apply those same principles to situations that directly affect themselves. I think there’s a word for this, hypocrisy.

  13. 19

    seabos84 spews:

    it appears from the comments that one of the principles of libertarianism is hypocrisy and nimby-ism AND

    I ONLY count what YOU are costing me,
    I do NOT count what I’m costing everyone else.

    f’k his shade and fruit trees, let him grow moss.

    a joke a heard about colorado, BUT, which applies perfectly out here in the perfectly nice northwest,

    what do you call a developer with a view?
    An Enviromentalist!


  14. 20

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    “Seattle is rife with this type of behavior.”

    That can be said for all political beliefs depicted in this blog. For example,it’s not OK to cheat on your taxes unless you’re an apointee for the Obama administration. It’s not OK to take Oxycontin unless you’re Rush Limbaugh.

  15. 21

    woody held spews:

    If any of the commenters had read Ramsey’s stuff in Liberty magazine, they would know that he says a lot of things at variance with conventional libertarianism. He used to be pro-gun-control until he changed his thinking about that a couple years ago.

    All most of you are doing is commenting on some mental caricature of Ramsey that you have concocted in your own heads,thereby exposing your own ignorance and poor thinking skills.