Christine Blasey Ford hints at a new way to get home renovations and additions accomplished?

Part of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s story is that she needed to add a separate entrance to a portion of her Palo Alto home due to the trauma that she suffered as a rape victim. This would let her escape from the $3 million ($5 million) Eichler-style home via one additional door (the typical Eichler blueprint has at least three doors; see for floorplans). As it happens, she testified that the escape door is currently being used by a rent-paying Google employee, so she can escape through this door now only by stepping over cases of Red Bull and stacks of diversity and bias training materials.

(Testimony and news coverage on this subject is confusing. She wanted an escape door from her bedroom, but now that bedroom is the very one that is rented out for cash? Or the rent-paying Googlers enter and exit through Dr. Ford’s personal bedroom before proceeding to some other bedroom?)

Wealthy advocates of affordable housing tend to be passionate about preventing the construction of rentable apartments, with separate entrances, within neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes. But they’re even more passionate about helping female victims of sexual assault. Thus for any homeowner who identifies as female, maybe it is a winning strategy to “pull a Blasey Ford” and go in asking that a project be approved because it is necessary to reduce a victim’s PTSD symptoms following a never-reported rape?

Readers: What do you think? Has Dr. Ford shown a way to streamline Americans’ trip through the Permit Raj?

[My own experience with the Permit Raj began in Cambridge some years ago. A black couple came in asking for permission to add a cover over a side entrance to their house. PTSD following a 1980s rape was not mentioned, but rather a desire to be able to put down grocery bags protected from the rain, get out keys, and open the door. They had a simple drawing from a contractor. Their proposal was rejected. A white developer came in with a proposal to build a monstrosity of a condo building in violation of all of the zoning square footage rules. The white architect wowed the all-white volunteer committee with renderings and discussion of the crushed stone driveway. The committee members softly murmured “crushed stone driveway” and approved the out-of-scale eyesore.]


13 thoughts on “Christine Blasey Ford hints at a new way to get home renovations and additions accomplished?

  1. The reference to Permit Raj is very apt (I was born and grew up during the actual one in India).

    However, there may be another easy solution, at least in California and Massachusetts: undocumented construction!

    If one builds without all these permits, now it doesn’t have to be illegal, but just undocumented.

  2. Wealthy advocates of affordable housing tend to be passionate about preventing the construction of rentable apartments, with separate entrances, within neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes. But they’re even more passionate about helping female victims of sexual assault.

    Do you have any evidence for these assertions?

  3. The proof is very simple: no (acceptable) argument can be made to the contrary.
    This isn’t exactly evidence-based but the technique is quite common in math and is approved by Prof. Putin.
    I enjoy arguing with liberals: it’s a slam dunk as they tend to think that any kind of math and logic is a sure sign of racism and white privilege. (And do I have a proof for that? hm..)

  4. anon:

    If that’s a response to my question, it’s bizarre. It’s interesting that you refer to logic while rambling incoherently. I also see mentions of math skill quite a bit by right wingers on the Internet. It always makes me wonder what kind of math they’re talking about. Could it be trigonometry?

  5. Vince: What’s the evidence? Let’s look at Montgomery County, Maryland, home to Thomas Friedman’s 11,400 square foot mansion (he married the daughter of a billionaire). This is the 11th richest county in the U.S. (see ). Also cradle to Brett Kavanaugh and the gang rape parties that he organized.

    says “Only about 10 houses a year have been able to pass the tests. The county today has about 180,000 one-family houses, and only a few hundred two-family buildings. This is simply absurd. Montgomery has an acute shortage of affordable housing.”

    That’s from 2012. They desperately wanted to have low- and middle-income neighbors, but couldn’t figure out how a 1/4-acre lot could be home to more than one family. The same year the good-hearted folks wrote up

    They have a vision: “Everyone has a place to call home — no one is homeless.” (move there tomorrow without $1 million in your pocket and see how it works!)

    Also: “Prevent encroachment on existing neighborhoods by uses not allowed by the zoning ordinance or recommended by the area master plan. Preserve single-family rental housing as one of many housing alternatives in the County.”

    So there will be no encroachment on Thomas Friedman’s neighborhood, but everyone who wants a home in Bethesda, Maryland, for example, will have one.

    Roughly 77 percent of the registered voters in Montgomery County are Democrats (see ).

    Swing over to the other coast. The rich non-haters of Santa Monica (80 percent voted for Hillary) say that they want affordable housing. They also want to get rid of the crazy rich folks enjoying their Gulfstreams so they’re shutting down their local airport. Will the 227 acres of land free up by closing the airport be used to build public housing? As it happens… No! At the density of Co-op City in the Bronx (47,000 per square mile), the 0.355 square miles of the former airport would hold 16,685 people. That’s a healthy fraction of the homeless population of LA County (see ).

  6. Gee, there’s so much there. Let’s take it from the top.

    1) Your link shows that the median household income of Montgomery County is around $95,000. Back in the early years of the Obama administration there was discussion of raising taxes on couples with incomes over $250k. Many anti-government types like you insisted that $250k didn’t make a family rich. That was the same period when Gregory Mankiw wrote that silly essay that you keep referencing. So that must mean very few people in the county, maybe a tenth, are rich.

    2) It’s unclear how what Thomas Friedman or rape parties have to do with this issue.

    3) The biggest problem of all is that you assume that county governments and zoning boards enact policies that reflect the opinion of the population. It’s often the case that the real estate industry has disproportionate influence in such matters.

    4) You apparently assume that all registered Democrats are “advocates of affordable housing.”

    5) Wikipedia says that the median household income in Santa Monica was around $74k in 2010. Given the cost of living in California, that’s probably equivalent to $50k in Des Moines. So it’s not a rich town.

    6) Also, you didn’t address your claim that whichever people you’re talking about are “even more passionate about helping female victims of sexual assault. That brings up another point. Some people would think that helping such women would be a good thing. Maybe you disagree.

  7. Just had to post this hilarious youtube video “Matt Damon raped me”:

    the comments are quite good!

    Believe all victims! #metooplease

  8. Vince, #4:
    I am sorry you didn’t quite like my (comical) argument, but I tried. And Prof. Putin enforced it. What could possibly go wrong?

    My real point is: there is never a need to argue with liberals, not at the adult level anyway. Winning elections/SC nominations/etc is all that matters; and for the rest, there is the riot police force and the 2nd amendment.

  9. German: As with a lot of Internet stuff, the comments are the best window into how real people think about a situation.

    “I too saw Matt Damon raping you at that party. I just need a cut of that almost million dollars to refresh my memory a little more.” (Like Dr. Evil, he is missing several zeros. See for the price a 2018 jury puts on a rape)

    “I want 750k to get counseling and (since I can’t fly anymore) to move Hawaii closer so I drive there”

    “That was the bravest thing I’ve ever witnessed. You had nothing to gain and everything to lose by coming forward.”

    “The Talented Mr. Rapely”

    “Why come you not wear crazy glasses and use little girl voice like Hazy Blazey?”

    “And now you’re afraid to fly because the cabin reminds you of the claustrophobia you felt in that room, the room in the house you cannot remember in the neighborhood you cannot remember in the year you cannot remember — unless of course it’s to French Polynesia, Costa Rica, Hawaii, or some rad surf trip.”

    “No need to demand money just start a Go fund me, lots of fish out there”

    “You forgot the polygraph!!!!”

    “I am curious do you have two doors”

    “I wish I could testify about your testimony but I’m afraid of using the Internet.”

  10. Have we asked whether Phil identified as a woman while making those statements? If so, #BelieveHer. For shame, Vince.

  11. We would need to launch a good GoFundMe campaign for Phil if we were to trust him/her. I hope s/he wouldn’t mind.

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