Saturday, July 26, 2014

PQED: How should people respond to open-carry gun-rights activists?

PQED: How should people respond to open-carry gun-rights activists?:

"The question that concerns me now is how we bystanders should react when people come into a store with guns. There really is no legitimate way of determining intent. Even if the people with guns are carrying a sign claiming to be activists (which they do not do), they could be lying, just setting us all up for slaughter. And since there is no way to know what is on their minds, all we have are our instincts, but as we all should know, our instincts are often racist, classist, and frequently mistaken. So, what should we do?

My proposal is as follows: we should all leave. Immediately. Leave the food on the table in the restaurant. Leave the groceries in the cart, in the aisle. Stop talking or engaging in the exchange. Just leave, unceremoniously, and fast.

But here is the key part: don’t pay.
Stopping to pay in the presence of a person with a gun means risking your and your loved ones’ lives; money shouldn’t trump this. It doesn’t matter if you ate the meal. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just received food from the deli counter that can’t be resold. It doesn’t matter if you just got a haircut. Leave. If the business loses money, so be it. They can make the activists pay."


A philosopher proposes a brilliant way for us to respond to gun bullies.

Poor doors: the segregation of London's inner-city flat dwellers | Society | The Guardian

Poor doors: the segregation of London's inner-city flat dwellers | Society | The Guardian:

"A Guardian investigation has discovered a growing trend in the capital's upmarket apartment blocks – which are required to include affordable homes in order to win planning permission – for the poorer residents to be forced to use alternative access, a phenomenon being dubbed "poor doors". Even bicycle storage spaces, rubbish disposal facilities and postal deliveries are being separated."


Thanks to Mystery Reader for another example of the rich separating themselves from the hoi polloi while enjoying the planning benefits that are supposed to go with mixed income developments. The same thing is happening in New York.

Homeowners Association: Veteran Can’t Build Furniture For Military Families In Need � CBS Sacramento

Homeowners Association: Veteran Can’t Build Furniture For Military Families In Need  CBS Sacramento:

"Even as a nonprofit, the Vietnam veteran was told he had to get a business permit, which he did in 2012. But this March, the Lake of the Pines Homeowners Association took it away.
“Now they’ve come back to me and said I’m producing odors and noxious fumes,” he said.
Such complaints typically come from neighbors, but those who live nearby have written letters supporting Dennis Kocher and his work.
We tried getting answers from the association’s general manager, but he would not comment."


Friday, July 25, 2014

Homeowners Association: Veteran Can’t Build Furniture For Military Families In Need CBS Sacramento

Homeowners Association: Veteran Can’t Build Furniture For Military Families In Need CBS Sacramento: NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) — A war veteran who builds furniture in his garage and gives it to military families in need could be forced to shut down the saws.

A homeowners association is telling Dennis Kocher he needs to close up shop after years of doing business, or he could be fined between $100 and $1,000.

“I may not paint, sand, cut wood or screw on the property at anytime,” he said


More bad press for Privatopia, California sector. Film at 10 on CBS13, Sacramento.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Despite recovery, fewer Americans identify as middle class | Pew Research Center

Despite recovery, fewer Americans identify as middle class | Pew Research Center:

'The nationally representative survey of 1,504 adults conducted Jan. 15-19 found that the share of Americans who identify with the middle class has never been lower, dropping to 44% in the latest survey from 53% in 2008 during the first months of the Great Recession.

At the same time, the share of the public who says they are in the lower or lower-middle classes rose by 15 percentage points, from 25% in 2008 to 40% today."


Much of this change has taken place in the last two years.  One would expect a political backlash aimed at changing the rules of the bipartisan Reaganomics system that is so flagrantly rigged in favor of the rich at the expense of the middle class. But instead we see people obsessed with sports, celebrities, guns, and bizarre conspiracy theories. Young people are getting savaged by this economy: "In 2008, a quarter of all young adults identified as being in the lower or lower-middle class; today about twice as many do (49%), a 24-point increase."  And those who venture into college are being placed in lifelong debt servitude. But just wait--on election day in November they will stay home in droves.

A deep divide over new condo foreclosure bill -

A deep divide over new condo foreclosure bill -

"The Illinois Condominium Property Act allows associations, in case of a judicial foreclosure sale, to recoup up to six months of unpaid common expenses from the next owner of the unit.

These expenses may include special assessments, late fees, fines and attorney fees. Lenders are exempt from making this payment.

The bill would amend the condo act by capping an association's claim to nine months of regular assessments. Attorney and court costs can be recovered as long as the total doesn't exceed the cap.

The Illinois Association of Realtors, which supports the legislation, said the current law is an affordability barrier for buyers.

The extra costs, which can reach several thousand dollars, typically cannot be financed. Buyers often are stunned to discover at closing that they owe sizable sums."


So under the proposed law, which is sitting on Governor Quinn's desk awaiting signature or veto, the association could receive an amount equal to nine months of back assessments instead of six months, but the tradeoff is that the maximum amount would include the attorney fees and other charges that are always tacked onto the association's claim against the owner.  Realtors are in favor of the bill, saying, "We think the way the current law is written has fostered an atmosphere that has allowed outrageous attorney fees to run up and for associations to throw in anything having to do with the prior owner just because they knew they could stick the buyer with it."  But association attorneys are not happy with having their meal ticket trimmed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Twin Insurgency - The American Interest

The Twin Insurgency - The American Interest:

"Rights within such spaces accrue to dollars rather than to citizenship. The vision of the future here is of a global archipelago of what Evan McKenzie has called “privatopias”, essentially gated enclaves linked by air and internet to other such spaces, protected by high ramparts from the roiling dystopian ocean of the hoi polloi."

Housing dispute leaves 97-year-old man homeless

Housing dispute leaves 97-year-old man homeless:

"Each morning, a variety of men and women pass through the doors of Napa’s Hope Resource Center in search for a place in a local homeless shelter that night. On Wednesday morning, one visitor looked no more or less weathered or beaten-down than the others – only more diminutive and older, decades older.

James Farrell arrived at 8:30 a.m., his 5-foot-tall frame arm in arm with a woman who had helped him find an interim place to sleep since a dispute with management cost the ukulele-playing 97-year-old his place at a local retirement home."


Redwood Retirement Center in Napa, CA, evicted this veteran of three wars. Apparently they didn't appreciate his singing and ukelele playing, and they said his room wasn't clean enough.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Celebrating the life of Patricia Wigginton

Maryland Homeowners' Association, Inc.

For Homeowners in Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Homeowner Associations in Maryland

July 22, 2014

Celebrating the Life of Patricia Wigginton

Patricia Wigginton passed away on July 11, 2014. She was a Board member of the Maryland Homeowners Association (MHA) since 1992 and editor of MHA’s Communicator newsletter. She served as MHA’s president and executive director 1995-1999 and as such shepherded successful passage of the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights in the Maryland legislature and the successful transition of the organization upon the retirement of the founder and executive director, Dorothy Sager. A Celebration of her Life will be held:
Sunday, July 27th at 3 pm at the
Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church
9601 Cedar Lane
Bethesda, MD 20814

For directions, go to

For 22 years in board positions including president, secretary, treasurer, & general officer, Pat offered information and support to individuals and boards of directors by phone and in person. She organized workshops and attended individual association meetings, CCOC hearings, including running and overseeing individual association elections. She testified for homeowner legislation on behalf of MHA. In 2006 she testified before the COC Task Force. In February 2008, as president of her condo association, she supported the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition’s (MCRC’s) agenda testifying in favor of several energy bills---as well as organizing a write-in campaign among her neighbors to the Public Service Commission on “Fair Utility Rates.” She represented MHA at MCRC workshops and coalition meetings in Annapolis during the legislative sessions. During her many years of service she met with both politicians and government bureaucrats to advocate go od governance issues.

Patricia Wigginton served as president of her condominium association and had 25 years of board experience in her condo and its umbrella HOA and MTA organizations. In addition to advocating good government issues in condos and HOA’s, she was a long-time activist and advocate for children and the elderly---volunteering with Montgomery County schools, police and as a nursing home ombudsman.

As a volunteer in the Montgomery County schools, Pat was an early proponent in the fight against childhood obesity. Beginning in 2000, she advocated for more exercise and physical education in the schools and served on the county’s curriculum advisory committee, working with the county’s PTA, helping draft a county Wellness Policy and organizing “Walk to School Day” in the local elementary school. Her legislative efforts in this area included lobbying and testifying in favor of State Health and Fitness Acts supporting walking as the Maryland State Exercise. She also supported safety restrictions in teen driving legislation.

In 1996 Ms. Wigginton organized her son’s elementary school community to participate in the Stand For Children March on Washington, D.C. In 1997, as a way to continue awareness of children’s needs, she organized a “Stand for Children Book Drive” which has become an annual event for Ashburton Elementary and North Bethesda Middle schools. For the past decade, the “Reach Out and Read” program at Upper Cardoza Health Care Center in D.C. has been the recipient of the children’s book donations. More than 25,000 books were collected and donated to support literacy efforts since 1997.

In 1988 Pat organized a Neighborhood Watch Program in her condominium community, which was featured in a Voice of America segment on life in the United States. She continued to support the safety of her community and the police department’s neighborhood policing policies by serving on a Police-Citizen Advisory Committee for her District of Montgomery County since 2002.

Pat Wigginton was a truly spectacular and generous woman. She will be missed by her family, friends and community.


76-year-old man is ARRESTED at Tennessee town hall meeting | Mail Online

76-year-old man is ARRESTED at Tennessee town hall meeting | Mail Online:

"Locals in a small Tennessee town are outraged after a 76-year-old man was arrested during a town hall hearing over a proposed pipeline because he asked board members to speak louder.

Eddie Overholt's arrest came Friday after asking town board members to speak louder during a hearing to determine whether a gas company would be allowed to build a pipeline to dump waste into a local river.

‘Okay, I’m arrested,’ Overholt can be heard saying in a baritone drawl as he is escorted out of the Greenville Town Hall during a hearing with U.S. Nitrogen, according to WATE. The company wants a pipeline to the Nolichucky River."


Not an HOA.

Monday, July 21, 2014

City OKs UWS development with ‘poor door’ for residents | New York Post

City OKs UWS development with ‘poor door’ for residents | New York Post:

"The city approved a developer’s controversial plans for a “poor door” on the Upper West Side, The Post has learned.
Extell came under fire last year when it introduced plans for a 33-story luxury condo with a separate entrance for affordable-housing tenants."


My good man, please step round to the back and use the servants' entrance. There's a good lad.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks - Yahoo News

Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks - Yahoo News: WEST LAFAYETTE, Ohio (AP) — An Army veteran who hurt his back during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic.

Darin Welker said officials in the village of West Lafayette told him to get rid of the ducks in May and cited him for a minor misdemeanor on June 23 for failing to comply. Walker is scheduled to appear in Coshocton Municipal Court for a hearing Wednesday and could face a $150 fine.

Welker, 36, says the ducks help him with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and keep him more active.

West Lafayette, about 80 miles east of Columbus, banned residents from keeping fowl and other farm animals in 2010.


It's only a matter of time before the quackdown on therapy ducks comes to Privatopia.

Did this booby trap set up in a Pevely yard go too far? | St. Louis

Did this booby trap set up in a Pevely yard go too far? | St. Louis

"( – A homeowner in Pevely elected to set up booby traps on his lawn to prevent pranksters from driving onto it. The resident buried a board along the street with nails sticking out of the ground, the goal was to flatten the tires of cars driven by pranksters. Police told News 4 the trap was difficult to see “They were painted black and they were buried in the ground, and it made it very difficult to see,” said Pevely Police Chief Ron Weeks."
And now the town of Pevely is going to pass an ordinance banning booby traps on lawns. I suppose that will make everybody except the property rights fanatics.