No army can operate without generals, officers and foot soldiers. It’s the foot soldiers who are thrown into battle and suffer the most injuries and fatalities.
My father, a Lt. Colonel who commanded a tank battalion in Europe in 1945, was massively wounded when a bazooka hit his tank in the German town of Kaiserslautern.
All his life we kids asked him questions about being an officer in the military and what the experience was like. He refused to answer those questions, always referring to the heroism of foot soldiers who paid the highest price in the war to defeat facism. His biggest love in life was the common soldier who fought on the front lines.
An ancient police axiom says, “Bad police work makes for bad case law.” A parallel in journalism is, “Careless writing makes for bad libel law.”
Somehow, you’d think some semblance of that wisdom would get through to some of the 335,000 Homeowners Associations in our country, especially those who’ve been well-described as “the lawn nazis” or the “condo commandos”. In many such neighborhoods people don’t talk to each other or have folks over for dinner.
Maybe that’s why so many state legislators are beginning to pay attention and talk about enacting laws to tap down the “little hitlers’ who seem to enjoy causing pain and distress among their neighbors.
Not sure why the game of Monopoly always led to fights when we were kids. Someone would invariably cheat, the others would protest, and….there went the neighborhood!
Same thing goes on today in many American Homeowners Associations! Your new retirement community seems perfect, the dues seem about right. Suddenly, without notice the rules change. Monthly dues skyrocket from $180 to $500 a month, with even more hikes on the way.
When you weren’t watching the rules changed. They changed because a new developer or a new majority took over the HOA. Now, you suddenly find yourself foreclosed upon, or you’re priced right out of the neighborhood where you once had your dream home.
Don’t believe it?
The Georgetown Commons Townhome complex is a cheesy little place. You can buy in for, say, 100,000 or so. But lots of neighbors there are spitting mad at each other during this nice Yuletide Season.
Seems there’s a new rule about decorating for Christmas. Just don’t. Whatever you do, you’re bound to fun afoul of a fascist group of HOA leaders who have some strict new rules about decorations.You can only have one free-standing decoration on a porch or sidewalk. NOTHING in the yard! No Christmas wreath, nothing at all attached in any way to the building itself.
Now, Christmas lights are permitted indoors. But absolutely every decorative light that’s likely to be seen through a window MUST be white. And no decoration of any kind can be placed two weeks before or two weeks after Christmas.
Oh yes, and did I mention the fines? Yup, there’ll be fines. The Eric Rehak family has already rung up more than $500 bucks in fines and the season’s not even half over.
Now, wouldn’t it be fun to have a cheesy little Christmas in cheesy Georgetown Commons?
“Honey, let’s go look at a new townhome in Georgetown Commons in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Betcha property values will be in the toilet soon. You know we could get a real deal. Honey?”
Yes, Virginia, there really IS a Santa Claus. Except that she lives in Prescott, Arizona, and she’s been heavily ‘gifting’ herself with wads of cash. HOA cash. At last count, the total was $33,000. She’s being asked a few questions by the local gendarme, but heck, it’s Christmas. And surely homeowners in the Beaver Creek Village POA would have given her that money anyway. Get ready, Suckers, for the special assessments.
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