As a lifetime broadcast journalist, I sometimes did some odd things as I negotiated my way through the low ranks of radio journalism into the top ranks of TV journalism. One odd thing that became a habit was ‘snooping’ on the reading habits of my supervisors. Really! Whenever I was called into the office of a supervisor I would carefully note which books I saw on his or her desk. When a book is recommended by upper management you can usually see copies on the desks of each of your managers. I used to carry a tiny notepad into the boss’s office and write down the names of books and authors that various managers were reading. It seemed a clever and calculated thing to do, just to track what management was thinking at any given time. It’s how I came across, “Winning through Intimidation” by Robert Ringer and “How To Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Carnegie. I ALWAYS bought and read copies of the books I saw on the boss’s desk.
Most people who move into private Homeowners Associations do so because they like the apparent order, the neatness, the seeming peacefulness of the community. It’s only later that they learn how arbitrarily enforced rules and regulations can control almost every aspect of their lives. Not all Homeowners Associations are petty and dictatorial, but absolutely ANY neighborhood can take such a turn with just one local election. Voter apathy is a sad fact of American life. National elections generally attract 40% of the vote in off-year elections and 55% in Presidential elections. State elections see even less involvement by voters. By the time municipal and school levy elections roll around, voter fatigue reaches its zenith with some major funding and electoral decisions made by a tiny handful of voters.