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Baitball Blogger

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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Seminole County, Florida
Member since: Sun Mar 18, 2012, 09:16 PM
Number of posts: 40,133

Journal Archives

Time to reconsider those school vouchers for private schools!

Oh, man. Did they step in it. If they really believe that "Helping kids of color to feel they belong, has a negative effect on white, Christian, or conservative kids," then they stepped in it.


Those vouchers were given out to children in public schools, who felt they would get a better education in private school. But, what kind of education is the tax payer paying for? I think I can answer that.

Back in 1980, the school I went to only had 2% minority students. My tuition was entirely paid by my parents, but my experience was that which you would expect from a college in that era that was predominantly white. I knew what my role was, without anyone telling me. The academic education, of course, was important. But I knew it was also my job to assimilate to THEIR norms and social practices. And it was tougher than I would admit to myself, because there was no one to grade me on my progress.

Reflecting back, however, I am in a better position to appraise my situation. I can now see that on a social level, I was struggling. Something always felt off. I never felt that the social experiences I had in school were geared to help me reach my full potential as a minority student. I never felt fully integrated and it was only decades later that I realized, that, though we all appeared to get along, it was because we never crossed a line that would put us in an uncomfortable situation. Essentially, we never exchanged ideas or information on a cultural level. At least, not in a productive way. A few did compliment me on my English speaking skills, but, I don't see how anyone would have seen that as anything but insulting.

Ten to fifteen years after I graduated, I began to feel like something was changing in this country. It was the nineties and the conversations with the conservative side of the family began to grow dark. I know what Meghan Markle went through because I had the same dilemma in the nineties when conservative-mania began to take over and I heard right-wing talking points for the first time. I stopped attending the family get togethers, but didn't step in the way of my children and husband going without me. A few years later, they stopped attended too.

I also had conservative friends at this time, because that happened to be the circles we were in. Between work and college friends, there weren't many progressives who openly admitted their politics or shared their views. This was back when "Liberal" was a word that many were distancing themselves from.

In my generation, we learned to get along by not talking about political views. At most, when the elections would come by, someone might let it slip how they voted. But then we would go back to work and it never came up again until the next election. In other words, all through my forties, I never lived around people who had a good background when it came to respecting people who were different than they were.

And then came Trump.

Trump would change everything. He exploited this huge void in America's education. I suddenly felt that those friends who were too conservative to even reach out to understand my point of view; or worse, thought I was "crazy," were too toxic to be around. I finally had a breakthrough when someone said, "No one thinks like that." And I thought to myself, it all makes sense now. All along I had been surrounded by conservative white people and it dawned on me, of course they would say that. I have a minority perspective and it is something that they have refused to take seriously my entire life! In fact, they have tried to dismiss it, denounce it, deny it for as long as I have lived. For the same reason they're doing it to CRT.

So in sum, you want federal money? Then, teach the truth about our country. At least the next generation will understand each other's history and roots. And maybe they will have a chance to have meaningful conversations.

Posted by Baitball Blogger | Mon Oct 11, 2021, 03:26 PM (0 replies)

Can you believe it took this long to state the obvious?

We just made it through an era where conservative white men were allowed to profusely lie and fabricate facts to incite and divide people. We were living in a world of alternate facts, and it took this long for a Court to reach the decision that they will be held accountable for the things they said.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Thu Aug 12, 2021, 05:32 PM (1 replies)

When are we going to accept that "military service" is a sacred cow in this country?

Here's what's wrong with that: It is too often abused. Military men and women, especially officers, should be role models for integrity and honesty in their civilian lives. If they can't do that, and rely on this "Get out of jail" card, our communities begin to degrade because so many backwater organizations use them as front men to stop people from looking too hard into their local overreaches. I know, because at every step of this community's bad decision-making, there were Captains, Colonels etc, at the helm of leadership. And it's not like you could ignore it, because they would wear their titles even on stationary that was meant to relay HOA business.

At least one of them exposed how they expected you to behave: He was a Captain in the military. And, "In the military no one ever questioned me." He was offended because he was representing his in-laws in the sale of their house, and he expected everything to go without any hard questions.

It's time for this sacred cow to be put down.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Fri Apr 2, 2021, 08:48 AM (1 replies)

Why I think people leave Florida after five years -- not because of the hurricanes. A HOA story

My city is definitely experiencing some kind of power issue in City Hall. I heard the Mayor resigned, which might not be such a great loss because he was pro-development. But, when something this big happens in City Hall, I tend to wonder how it's going to affect the rest of us, since everything in this community comes down to currying support from the cronies in order to legitimize political machinations. That means giving those cronies an opportunity to get something they desire, that they can't get through legal channels. In my HOA's case, back in the nineties, it came down to looking the other way as the cronies took over our Association common grounds. This is the reason I put up security cameras. It's times when the network is trying to gather support, that everything goes haywire.

Back in the nineties there were private meetings held with the presidents of all the Associations in our Master Planned Development. Back then, there were at least two dozen private Associations under the same P.U.D. One Master HOA claimed that they were the umbrella protection over all of them, ALTHOUGH, the documents do not support their claim. The Master HOA became a political necessity because of the way this County operates. People do need protection against the County government's overreaches. But what the board of the Master HOA decides to do with that power, usually comes down to the integrity of each member that serves on that board. Sadly, some have Napoleon complexes.

Back in the nineties, the Master HOA board did not operate under the laws of Florida. Their meetings were usually private, secretive and if they couldn't pull in a president in time to curry support for one of their decisions, they would tap one of the cronies who lived in our developments. That was true, especially if they had to rely on phone calls to build consensus for one of their ill-advised decisions.

Now, I don't give this city high marks for following best practices when it came to land-development, but the response by the civilians was worse. It was like the powers-that-be allowed them to walk into a legal quagmire, and in the end they were forced to accept Settlement Agreement terms that the then president of the Master HOA was unable to even read. He was only allowed to initial the bottom of the pages. It was such a clusterfuck of legal process. I didn't know it then, but we were deep in a rabbit hole.

What a mess. But it was the kind of experience that allows me to say without equivocation, that if newcomers to Florida leave this state after a five year stay, it's not because of the hurricanes. It's because of the community hostilities that occur when small circles of power try to follow their own private agendas, and try to keep things secret. That is the true hidden monster to tackle in Central Florida. Until we do, this place will never be a welcoming place for decent people.

So, anyways. My cameras. Because of my experiences from the nineties, the one thing I do look for is when neighbors sneak out at the same time in the early morning hours, contrary to their usual habits. It's something I look for because this is how the good buddies operated in the nineties. Breakfast meetings. And this morning, two of the usual suspects got up early and departed at exactly the same time, contrary to their usual habits. These are two people who do not socialize with each other, though they were each one degree away from people who were behind the clusterfuck of the nineties. The last time something similar to this happened, the golfcourse brought in a heavy machinery to fill in holes in the area behind my house that were probably dug up by gopher turtles, and then they proceeded to raze the last ten feet of my property, destroying my plants! So I have a legitimate concern, wondering what is going to happen next.

Add to that, that there has been a lot of interest in the property lines along the golfcourse. More than usual, golfcarts are riding the property lines along our homes. And the children of the well-connected in this community, are taking great liberties with the fairways. Something I keep track of, because our children were chastised for getting near it.

Good-buddy networks make Florida suck. But certainly give me something to write about.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Wed Mar 24, 2021, 10:54 AM (52 replies)

Makes me sick when they say, "This is OUR building," as if that justifies the storming of the

Capitol when we all know they meant to steal, destroy, kidnap and possibly murder. Why can't they just stop and recognize that their intentions point to the fact that they are criminals.

They don't own our public areas. At best, public places are common ground. Places which are available to ALL of us. But I know it's pointless to make that comparison, because this same crowd does not respect common ground. In areas like mine, common area are targeted for hostile take-overs. Adverse Possession. And it looks like this kind of thinking has gone from stealing open spaces on plats and HOA areas, to now trying to take over our Public buildings.

Just to reinforce that connection, I do distinctly remember that kind of talk "They work for us," being spread around a City Hall public meeting, at a time when the community leaders, along with elected officials, led us all into a lawsuit that resulted in a two million dollar settlement. From what I observed, civil lawsuits that end in settlement agreements that no one pays for directly, do not create an incentive that will put down the kind of thinking that results in abusive take-overs. So I'm not surprised to discover that 22 years later, we are where we are today with these idiots storming the Capitol Building.

If you want to put an end to these criminal activities, the penalties must be stiffer.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sun Jan 17, 2021, 03:38 PM (19 replies)

Trump is going out with a whimper, not a bang. My prediction.

I've seen it so many times in the tribal behavior in my local community. They are tough talking when they outnumber you. If they think their group has their back, it's constant bravado, bullying and bullshit. But the moment they are singled out, everything changes. That's when they resort to the, "You can't kick me when I'm down." strategy.

And here, it's resorting to your kindness, mercy and sympathy in a hope for forgiveness and forgetfulness, in return for nothing at all. That's when you hear about someone in their family who is sick, or even terminally ill. "My husband has cancer." Or there is some other life challenge that they are dealing with, "I have six kids to put through college." Or they have back problems or some other medical issue. And this is where it gets alarming, because they walk down the street, lame, dejected or holding their backs like it's a Woe is Me parade. And it's not the walking that's the problem. It's their street too. They're entitled. But, it's the timing. They would appear when I am out in the front yard gardening, which isn't often. It's hard not to think that it's an incredible coincidence.

Maybe I fell for these ploys in the early years, when I was younger and still abiding by rules of civility that worked in the country I was born in. The problem is, they do it so often that you finally can't ignore that they're not really remorseful. It's all just a game to them. And then you realize that you and your family are not immune to the same human experiences, and yet, you manage to make it through the day without conspiring in the same ways they do.

So, I take these local experiences and I can predict that when Trump realizes that it's over for him, he's going to do the same thing. He is going to break with his usual brash, crass behavior and resort to the "You can't kick me when I'm down" strategy. Expect some family medical issue to surface and a last ditch effort to pull the sympathy strings of the nation.

One last bit of advice: Don't fall for it.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sun Oct 18, 2020, 08:43 AM (56 replies)

I live in a suburb of Orlando that is very red.

I know exactly what they're fighting for. They're fighting for away of life that allows them to cheat democratic methods. Instead, they prefer the backwater process that allows them to use closed social networks. They grow up in these communities, seeing their parents connect with good ole boys that help them take shortcuts, while the rest of us are left clueless and gasping for understanding. There is no organization that they can't undermine, including our HOAs.

Let me ask you. Where does anyone get the fucking idea that any of these kids plan to be good, honest citizens that respect a legal and fair process, once they grow up? They know how to undermine the fair process, by resorting to backwater conversations and meetings.

THAT's what they're fighting for. They know they can continue to cheat the system as long as Republicans are in control.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Mon Oct 12, 2020, 05:48 PM (0 replies)

Seeing how the confederate monuments are taking a hit, I hit upon a new observation:

You are not part of the real American experience, unless your culture gets thoroughly trashed, toppled and tuned-out. Today we've come full circle. Today, the confederate culture in America is experiencing the hostile behavior that they helped create. A taste of one's own medicine, I believe is what they call it.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sat Jun 13, 2020, 08:24 AM (1 replies)

Just some errant free association thoughts today about social behavior.

First, I was thinking about Memorial Day and the solemn tribute we give to our soldiers who paid the highest cost to protect our freedoms. And then I thought about how people interpret how we should best respect that sacrifice, because there are two camps. I imagine there are derivations, but this morning, I was thinking about the two conflicting ways that we interpret the phrase, "soldiers who died to protect our freedoms."

One side interprets this sacrifice much like they do in religion, Jesus dying on the cross for us, sacrificing himself in order to cleanse us enough to be allowed into heaven. For that sacrifice we owe him a devotion that dictates the terms we should live by. And the best way to understand those terms is to listen to His autocratic interpreters from church, defining the rules that we should live by.

Well, that's how conservatives think that we should respect the sacrifice that soldiers made for us, by lining up and allowing ourselves to be led by whatever social mores makes sense to them. It usually involves stepping aside as they social engineer whatever culture stabilizes their ability to live well, and continue dictating to the rest of us.

The second camp is quite the opposite. Our definition of freedom does not put chains on thought. Quite the opposite. We follow our own conscience and our own dreams. We even reserve the right to define and expand on the definition of "American Dream." I say this, because living near conservative circles you get the impression that the only concept of the "American Dream" that we're allowed to have is home ownership. It's definitely on the list, but I imagine that a country of more than 300 million believe that one indication of true freedom, is to be able to define our own dreams, and not be dictated to.

Since this was an exercise in free association, my next thought was of the many ways that conservatives try to herd us. They try to abridge any form of free thought that they feel threatens their authority. I sort of went full circle, thinking back to the beginning, how they use the sacrifice of soldiers to stop us from bringing up concepts and ideas that destabilize their way of life. Certainly, their form of religion is meant to subdue reactionary behavior by convincing their own people that they should forgive transgressions, (which turns out to be very subjective, as to who should be forgiven, and who deserves their wrath. It's like a brainwashed army.)

So, we have religion and patriotism used as two mechanisms to control behavior. But what happens when they can't reach you through their institutions, because you've learned to avoid them?

Ha! That's a trick question. Even if you don't belong to their institutions, other people do. Your friends, your family members. Someone always knows someone who knows someone you know. And that's how messages get transmitted. Which, in turn, teaches you to redefine the concept of friendship, and the expectation of family ties. It's a challenge when you're bi-cultured, and the rest of the family is not.

From my perspective, it's easy to resolve all the conflicting messages. The soldiers that died for us, they fought to defend our freedom from foreign transgression. To honor that sacrifice, we in turn, have to fight to protect our individual freedoms inside our borders.

And only in America, can you have a culture war going on where two different groups of people believe in the very idea, that we have to fight other Americans to protect our individual rights, putting us in constant conflict.

That's how far I got in my free association this morning. To determine who is right, and who is wrong, we would have to examine the situation to determine what group has taken unfair advantage of the situation to aggrieve the other side.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Tue May 26, 2020, 08:40 AM (0 replies)

Following the trail of the Great Facemask Heist of 2020.

I found at least three references to explain how our supply of facemasks vanished. Two of them have to do with federal approval. And I think that's why Jared Kushner was whining about the federal stockpile did not belong to the states. He knew the U.S. was shipping them abroad for their own reason.

Case Point 1: Many of us were saying early January that the U.S.'s supply of facemasks were being diverted to China. We knew this as customers seeking facemasks from our hardware stores and were told that a Chinese man came and bought their entire stock. And now we have the definitive proof, posted right here on DU:

Billions of face masks sent to China during Australian bushfire crisis

"Employees of Chinese state-owned companies were directed to purchase whatever they could find in the way of masks and protective clothing to send back home in a massive humanitarian effort."

"Between January 24 and February 29, the National Customs in China inspected and released 2.46 billion pieces of epidemic prevention and control materials, including 2.02 billion masks and 25.38 million items of protective clothing. The official report also states the value of these supplies was worth 8.2 billion yuan (approximately $2 billion)."


Case Point 2: Let's see what our government did in return. Pompeo proudly announced that the State Department aided private individuals and corporations to send 18 tons of PPE's to China. This may be in relation to the first post. They were aiding the Chinese effort.

The United States Announces Assistance To Combat the Novel Coronavirus -- February 7th.

"This week the State Department has facilitated the transportation of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to the Chinese people, including masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials. These donations are a testament to the generosity of the American people.

Today, the United States government is announcing it is prepared to spend up to $100 million in existing funds to assist China and other impacted countries, both directly and through multilateral organizations, to contain and combat the novel coronavirus. This commitment – along with the hundreds of millions generously donated by the American private sector – demonstrates strong U.S. leadership in response to the outbreak."


And more recently:

Case Point 3: Pence task force freezes coronavirus aid amid backlash

"Trump aides were alarmed when they learned of the exchange, and immediately put the shipment on hold while they ordered a review of U.S. aid procedures. Crossed wires would only confuse our allies, they worried, or worse—offend them. And Americans confronting a surging death toll and shortages of medical equipment back home would likely be outraged.

Vice President Mike Pence soon realized another step was needed: After a phone call asking a foreign leader’s help with key supplies, he ordered his staff to make sure the review process wasn’t holding up coronavirus-related aid to countries that were assisting the United States."


Case Point 4: Need to walk the dogs and I'll post a link later, but this is the more recent bit of information that the Fed are not only competing with the States, but that they are diverting our stock to the commercial market to auction off to the states.

In SUM, this Administration has a lot of explaining to do if they are diverting our stock to China and Bangkok, and competing against the States. Trump should be impeached all over again for this.

Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sat Apr 4, 2020, 11:34 AM (19 replies)
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