Well, I’m no longer a fan of the so-called ‘Ahmed, the Clock Kid.’ He’s the Texas 14-year-old who assembled a clock and thought it was cool enough to show his science teacher. In our no-tolerance world a kid can’t even point his finger and say “bang, bang” without the police being called. When the cops started interrogating Ahmed about whether the clock was a bomb, it became a viral sensation. He was solicited by colleges, got an invitation to the White House.
Yes, indeed, certain Homeowners Associations are actually doing unannounced mandatory inspections for hoarding. Among the items not to be hoarded are books! Scary, isn’t it?
I have to make a confession here. I hoard books. I still own just about every book I ever read. None are piled on the floor, but my shelves are packed. Somehow, I just thought my grandkids might someday wonder how their old grandpa got the nutty ideas in his head for some of the directions in life he took.
Yep, nobody’s guiltier than this long-time reporter. So many times over the past four decades the real import of a story has just sailed over my stupid fuzzy head.
But it’s fun to be a witness when a reporter suddenly has that head-thunking moment when he or she realizes that they’re actually reporting on a story that has real national significance!
They’re often called SLAPP lawsuits, a frivolous suit filed just to shut up an annoying critic. The acronym stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” SLAPPS were sometimes used by major companies to hush up environmentalists. Sometimes it was used the other way around. The bottom line was that lawyers were hired to cause the other side great expense and great anxiety, nothing more, nothing less.
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?