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Baitball Blogger

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Current location: Seminole County, Florida
Member since: Sun Mar 18, 2012, 09:16 PM
Number of posts: 40,016

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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)
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