I swear, I’ve gotta quit doing stories about outrageous treatment of the American Flag, there are just too many of them. I could get stuck doing 12 or 15 stories a day. Still, I feel duty-bound to at least occasionally tell you when the latest cretin is pushing around his weight after having been given new power over other homeowners.
The latest victim of a flag outrage is a retired veteran named Larry Murphree of the Tides Condominium at Sweetwater, Jacksonville, Florida. It’s actually just a small flag that he placed in a flower pot on his porch. You can barely see it. It’s sticking in the flowerpot behind the right porch rail in the photo below. He’s been fined $8000 before and he got it settled in court.
After his court victory, Larry replaced the flag. And once again he’s being sued for $8000 and confiscation of his home. Here’s a very tight shot to show you a real good closeup of this tiny flag.
“It’s worth fighting for,” says Larry. “It’s a small flag but it stands for a big thank you and it shows the love and respect I have for my country.”
Larry, a little advice here from someone who knows. It’s not about the flag. It’s about a brain chemical called Oxytocin. If you don’t know about it look it up. When a chimpanzee of either sex is placed in a cage with a bunch of other chimps at the zoo, there’s an immediate disturbance. The new chimp races around the enclosure showing off his or her ‘equipment’, spraying the cage, making other chimps a little frightful of his or her prowess. Jane Goodall spent a lifetime studying this kind of behavior in all kinds of primates.
Larry, you’re being victimized by a new board member who thinks his or her virility is a little more chemically tinged than yours. Or maybe this board member wants you to think his or her influence among the weaker members of the tribe will carry more weight on the evolutionary scale. Whether you’re an evolutionist or not, you cannot deny that chimpanzees share approximately 96% percent of their DNA with humans. They (and orangutans) are our closest relatives. In so many ways, they’re a lot like us and we can learn from them. Your flag fight is not about patriotism. It’s about simianism. It’s about oxytocin. It’s about sex.
All science aside, there’s perhaps a bit of usable truth here. Spread this blog far and wide around the Tides At Sweetwater condominium complex. Without putting yourself in a slander trap, figure out which tiny dickensonian creature has been causing you all this misery. The good women of the Tides at Sweetwater know that as a veteran you probably came from good genetic stock. They’ll respect you. Then gather the whole community’s support as they publicly and visibly show this ‘little’ simian how ‘little’ they think your challenger’s virility really is. Each hour of each day when those community members greet that simian they should hold up their fingers about one inch apart. It’s just a guess. Just to show how much that person is regarded in the community.
Most journalists won’t tell you all of this. But since I know a little about science I will.
(Fox News story (ignore the ad, they’re getting harder and harder to skip))
Please reach out to Larry and let him know this blogsite address so he can spread it throughout the neighborhood.
And here’s a quick link from him:
Or, it could just be about the money.
In April 2002 — 12 years ago — Evan McKenzie told ABC’s 20/20 that
As the news stories about the Larry Murphree case have noted, the Tides Condominium H.O.A. corporation refuses to provide any accounting for the $8,000 they claim that Larry owes them.
There was a court case — Larry Murphree v Tides Condominium… — which was dismissed on March 31, 2014. Judge Marcia Howard DENIED (emphasis in original) the H.O.A. corporation’s request for attorney fees.
I suspect that most of that $8,000 is for attorney fees from that case, even though they were not awarded by the Court. It happened to me in 2010 — the Madison Hill H.O.A. corporation repeatedly demanded payment for attorney fees not awarded by, and late fees explicitly prohibited by, Jefferson County Colorado Judge Tammy Greene in October 2009. They repeatedly threatened to sue me if I did not pay. Their extortionist threats ended only after I filed a lawsuit against their collections attorneys. On August 23 2011, the business manager and collections attorneys for the Madison Hill H.O.A. corporation testified that if I had paid the money demanded but not owed (over $2,000), they simply would have kept the money.
The sad thing is, it would have been far cheaper to simply pay the $2,000 I did not owe — not to mention the spent time, opportunity costs, and psychic costs I had to endure. Like any good organized crime extortion racket, the H.O.A. industry knows this.
FYI: The officers of the Tides Condominium H.O.A. corporation (Florida FEI/EIN # 861154585 ) are:
Treasurer : Marlene J. Kovaly
Director : Catalano George
VP : Adrienne Trott
President : John Laino
Secretary : Dory Bishop
The registered agent for the corporation is Michael J. McCabe, Florida attorney registration # 21,108.
This is all public information, listed on the Florida Secretary of State web site. Yet when I posted this on the Fox News web sites in the comments section, it was removed within an hour. Hmmmm…..
Thanks, for providing those, Robert. I’m assuming you didn’t find any email addresses for those board members?
No, but I haven’t been looking very hard. I was out of town last week.
The only contact information I could find is the address for the H.O.A.’s office
9039 Del Webb Parkway
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Ask Larry the next time you talk to him.
The moral of the story: Don’t buy in an HOA. If you do buy, don’t say you weren’t warned. These blogs and comments tell only a small part of the HOA horror story.
Here is an update: a judge threw out the HOAs request for an emergency injunction against Murphree. http://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/news/local/hoa-sues-homeowner-flag/ngbmP/?__federated=1