Friday, December 01, 2006

This is NOT why I became a Soldier

As a Soldier, I feel proud to provide freedom for my country and her citizens. It fulfills my sense of purpose that people can live out their lives and govern themselves without the threat of death from their government or from a foreign power.

But I'm always amazed at the extent to which some people will go given a little power. Nowhere is this more true than in that organization which will ultimately cause the downfall of all modern civiliazation -- the homeowner's association.

A Colorado couple has won their battle to keep a holiday wreath shaped like a peace sign on the front of their house. Lisa Jensen and Bill Trimarco recently received a letter from the board of their homeowners association threatening them with fines of $25 a day unless they removed the peace wreath. Read about it here and then read more on this story.

This is why I dislike HAs so much. In this particular story, a couple hung a Christmas wreath shaped like a peace symbol on their door. The HA board chairman complained, even though according to the HA rules, it was the architectural committee that had control over this area (and the committee didn't seem to mind). Well, the board chairman threatened to firethe board members if they didn't go along with taking action against the couple who put up the wreath.

One thing I did disagree with in the story was the following quote -- after the story received national-level attention -- from the former, not the current, board chairman, who said "The whole issue could have been avoided, he said, by one neighbor simply talking to another to come to an understanding of the wreath's true meaning."

No. This isn't what happens when HA boards get involved. What happens is that you get these control freaks who have the time to be involved in every little detail and have a burning desire to make other people dance to capricious and arbitrary decisions.

"One neighbor talking to another ..." I don't think so. I firmly believe that one neighbor said something, didn't like the answer they got from the wreath owner, and complained to the board. Then the board, rather than tell the complainant "get a life" simply decided the easier road was to tell the wreath owners to take it down. They just weren't expecting the owners to say "No" and fight back...That's where Blogs and the Media come in.

This is why I'm a Soldier. To defend people like the wreath owners...not to embolden jackassess like the Homeowner's Association Board Chairman. Even if the wreath WAS a complaint about the Iraq war, I'm okay with that...As Soldiers, we defend people's right to compain vociferously about ... well about anything, but particularly about their government.

This wreath wasn't about the Iraq War, however, it was about one couple's desire for peace...especially the peace that comes from being left alone by your neighbors.


At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

I wonder what this same homeowners' association would do if I were to put up a normal Christmas wreath, but tied with a red/white/blue or yellow ribbon in lieu of red.

Theoretically, I should get the same fine because I am also capitalizing on Christmas for the sake of making a statement which may be offensive to some.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger GI Korea said...

What I saw on the news was that people in community said that if the wreath didn't get taken down then they were going to fill the neighborhood with pro-war support the troops wreaths. So the HOA decided it was best that there was no wreaths at all. Once again why can't we all just get along?

At 6:08 AM, Blogger kosovodad (Mike) said...

I know, I know...hey, we can't ALL have wreaths because that would mean everyone's just going around passively making political statements by hanging greenery on their door and...and...and..what the hell was I talking about again?

HOAs are just plain evil. Nothing but people who just can't wait to tell others they can't do something.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Karl said...

I agree with gi korea. It isn't called the HO Association for nothing.


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