Posts Tagged bullshit

I want to kick Jesus in the nuts!

I am royally pissed off right now. I mean seriously pissed. Back in 2008 I came out as an atheist. I fully expected some friends or family to have a hissy-fit, but the idea that there would be workplace ramifications never entered my mind. In my place of employment, that kind of crap is kept outside. All that matters is what kind of code I write and how I manage my team. Apparently that’s not the case for everyone.

My very good friend, who I shall call “Fucked by Jesus” or FBJ for short, was recently outed at work as being an atheist. Her place of employment is rather saturated with love of the lord, but it’s a huge organization with lots of public scrutiny, so while I expected to hear about some discomfort from the petty whisperings of narrow-minded theistic co-workers, I didn’t expect to hear about a full-blown attack being perpetrated against FBJ by the organization itself. Her internet access has been cut off, TweetDeck and iTunes uninstalled from her PC, her shit rifled through and they moved her to a new cubicle. No idea if that was to bring her closer to Jesus or what.

In the interest of fairness, if there is a policy against having applications like TweetDeck or iTunes installed, then they are legally within their rights to remove them. But I’ll bet you the price of a new bible that there are other, god-loving employees there with those applications installed who haven’t been touched.

This whole thing is fucking bullshit. I suspect that it is even illegal. She is being subjected to an extremely hostile work environment due solely to her religions preferences (or lack thereof). I think the ACLU needs to get involved. This kind of shit shouldn’t be happening in the 21st century. I thought the Inquisitions became passe after the Dark Ages. WTF?

Hang tough, girl! You’ve got the entire atheist community behind you on this one. No one fucks with the CyberLizard’s friends. I’ve got a whole pack of chupacabras just waiting to be unleashed on their asses. Just say the word.

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The kid makes vintage look good

@Swoopy tweeted this article from the AJC about the ass-backwardness of people in Cobb county Georgia that set me off:

Jonathan Escobar says he chooses to wear clothes that express himself.  Skinny jeans, wigs, “vintage” clothing and makeup are the staples of his wardrobe. “I don’t consider myself a cross-dresser,” he said. “This is just who I am.”

But the 16-year-old says an assistant principal at North Cobb High School told him last week he needed to dress more “manly” for school, or consider being home-schooled. He had only been a student at the school for three days.

“I told myself I can’t accept this,” said Escobar, who wore a pink wig to school last Wednesday.

Not everyone can pull off a hat like that

Not everyone can pull off a hat like that

C’mon, the kid can work an outfit, what’s the big deal? Whassamatter, Mr. Assistant Principal, afraid you might get a little excited looking at him? Scared that if you get a chubby while seeing a dude in a wig you’ll turn gay?

For crying out loud, people, can we get over all this panty twisting about gender issues? He dressed tastefully, he looked good and he was a nice kid. Cut him some slack. He’s got bigger balls than you do for wearing that to school. I know; I only managed it for like one day.

Escobar said the  assistant principal told him his style of dress had caused a fight between students at the school. Two days later, he withdrew himself from the Kennesaw school.

I’d fight over him; he’s damn cute! Besides, I saw him first, bitch!

“You can’t wear clothing that causes a disruption,” said Jay Dillon Dildo[there, fixed that for ya’] spokesman for Cobb County schools.

Dillon Dildo said he believed Escobar arrived at school in a dress and heels. But Escobar said he never wore a dress. He says he opted for “skinny” jeans all three days with flats.

What, did the Jets and the Sharks start a rumble over his cute flats? I don’t get it. After a few days, the novelty would have worn off, any possible “disruptions” would blow over, and they could all just get along.

You know what the worst part is? He just wants to be loved!

Escobar said he moved to Cobb County from Miami to live with his older sister. His Florida school didn’t have an issue with the way he dressed, but his parents did. His sister, Veronica Escobar, urged her parents to let Jonathan come to live with her. Now she says she’s shocked by what has happened.

See? Poor kid, estranged from his parents for being true to himself. *sniff* Props to that Florida school for not being fucking stupid. Florida > Georgia FTW!

Jonathan Escobar says he wasn’t a disruption in the classroom, but he attracted attention in the lunchroom. “Everybody was surrounding me,” he said.

On his second day of school, Escobar says he was pulled out of class to speak with a police officer who told him he was concerned about the student’s safety.

“They should’ve told the students to back off,” Escobar said. “They should have never given me the option of homeschooling or changing who I am.”

Now I’m starting to get really pissed off. They’re concerned for his safety? Bullshit. This is awfully close to saying that the girl in the miniskirt deserves to get raped. You don’t create a place of safety by forcing people into the closet so that the bigoted fucktards don’t have to look at you. You create safety by creating tolerance, by educating. This isn’t a real hard concept to understand, folks. *sigh*

Apparently there’s a Facebook group for this kid, though I haven’t seen it yet. If you find it, let me know. I’m totally going to join. Maybe I can score a date with him 😉

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Gov. Crist makes god put up a force field

According to Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, we’ve been spared from the hurricanes because he stuffed a little piece of paper in a hole in a wall. Of course, it requires the wall to be in Jerusalem and the paper has to have a prayer on it to get direct action from god. In this case, god responded by putting up a force field around Florida to protect the nation’s wang from the mean old storms.

See? Here’s the latest one bouncing off of the invisible sky daddy’s power:

Danny misses FL and heads towards New England, as god wanted

Danny misses FL and heads towards New England, as god intended.

I mean, how could there be any other explanation? Either no one has previously prayed for hurricanes to miss Florida or else god just really likes Crist. I’ll bet god said, “Fuck the prayers from people in other states, I’m gonna protect Florida ’cause Charlie is such a good guy!”

Charlie is quite the modest one, though, despite his influence over an omnipotent supreme being:

[Crist] said he’s not taking credit for the lack of storms in this hurricane-prone state.

“I give that to God,” Crist said. “But it’s nice.”

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Can’t we all just get along?

And by “get along”, Mooney et al. mean “do things the way we think they should be done.”

If you’re wondering what I’m babbling about this time, you’re not hanging in the same blogging circle that I am. Lemme explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Mooney and Kirshenbaum came out with a book,
Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, wherein they bemoan the inadequacies of the science community to communicate effectively with the populace and lay the blame on the feet of the “New Atheists” for being too mean, i.e. telling the truth about scientific fact when it contradicts religious dogma.

I haven’t read the book and I’m probably not going to. This isn’t a book review. The book was drawn to my attention because of their direct attacks within it upon PZ Myers and his blog Pharyngula, a very popular pro-science, pro-atheism blog. PZ is known for being quite outspoken about the need to fight back against the growing incursion of religion into the science classroom and the government. He reviewed the book, per Mooney and Kirshenbaum’s request. The review was unfavorable, due primarily to the authors direct personal attacks and general lack of any sort of decent evidence to back up their claims.

So what this all boils down to is that there is a perceived schism in the atheistic community. On one side are the mean, disrespectful and damaging-to-the-cause loudmouth atheists, such as PZ and Richard Dawkins. At least, according to Mooney et al. On the other side are the mealy-mouthed accommodationists who think PZ and his ilk need to STFU and that the absolute worst thing for our cause is to piss off the Xians. At least, according to PZ.

Greg Laden and Lousy Canuck do a much better job covering the argument than I can. Tangled Up In Blue Guy weighs in as well.

So here’s my summary, now that I’ve babbled for a bit. By now you can probably tell which side of the discussion I’m going to come down on.

There has been an upsurge in the number of people willing to speak out on behalf of the godless; people striving to move atheists from the marginalized into the mainstream. People who are tired of being told that they are somehow less than moral, less than human, less than patriotic, because they see through the veil of mysticism that religion has draped over the collective eyes of a large part of the world.

Quite a few of those engaged on the side of godlessness are scientists. They have a large stake in the discussion since one of the primary forces of anti-science come from the sphere of religion. One only has to look at the reports of Xian extremists trying to force their way into boards of education and other public office in the hopes of imposing their theocracy upon the rest of us.

PZ was a big part of my “coming out”. I was never an active theist, more like an apathetic atheist. I just hadn’t felt the need to analyze or clarify my positions. Reading blogs like Pharyngula and seeing the kind of damage that the right-wingers were doing crystallized my thoughts and made me realize the importance of speaking out on behalf of the godless. I am an outspoken, sarcastic, snarky, obnoxious person, so PZ’s approach resonated with me. However, I realize that not everyone is like me (FSM help us if they were!). Not everyone will respond to such direct prodding. That’s where the accomodationists come in. Our movement needs the soft-speakers to hold the hands of those that aren’t quite ready to toss aside their entire world view in one fell swoop. There is absolutely no reason why they can’t be gradually brought into the light (to steal a phrase from the other side).

All that being said, Mooney et al are idiots. Rather than realise that there are multiple paths to reach the same goal (the goal being, not an eradication of religion, but rather the reduction of its prominence in society, especially government, and especially its interference with science), these fuckwits decide that anyone not following what they see as the correct path is not only wrong but is teh enemy, destroying their noble efforts to improve the world through bowing down and stepping aside for the religious fuckwits and not taking them head on.

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Murder for Darwin!

Thank you, WorldNutDaily, for clearing up our misconceptions about James von Brunn, the psycho who thought it would be fun to shoot up a Holocaust museum. See, in a WND “Exclusive” (which means that only they are fucked up enough to take credit for printing this kind of garbage) Bob Unruh reveals the real motivation behind von Brunn’s rampage: Darwin made him do it! Seriously, they reveal all in their headline: Darwin-loving museum shooter hates Bible, Christians

James von Brunn, the man who allegedly shot and killed a guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., was a Darwin-lover who hated the Bible and Christians, and defies media efforts to classify him as a stereotypical “right-winger,” according to report.

As the kids say, that’s a bold statement (The kids do say that, right?). This report must have some concrete evidence to back up a claim like that. Where did that report come from?

The Moonbattery blog revealed von Brunn advocated the socialist policies espoused by Adolf Hitler and used Darwinian theory to support his anti-Semitism.

Holy shit. A paranoid, conspiracy theorizing, hate and fear mongering site using another paranoid, conspiracy theorizing, hate and fear mongering site to back up their paranoid conspiracy theories.

Dammit, my irony meter just asploded.

Darwin and Hitler used to hang out; smoking pot and planning the destruction of the lesser races

Darwin and Hitler used to hang out; smoking pot and planning the destruction of the lesser races

The best part is that they can call him a “Darwin-lover” is because he dug Hitler and, as we all know, Hitler was Darwin’s best-man at his wedding. They used to go down to the local bruehaus and knock back shots together, before crafting plans to further the dominance of the Aryan race through eugenics.

I’m torn between wanting to laugh my ass of at the incredible lack of any sort of reasonable thought process in these people, and wanting to weep with the futility of trying to maintain sanity while fricking idiots like these are doing their damnedest to twist the world into the sick fantasy that exists in their own heads.

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The single greatest threat to home education

Oh, boy, here we go. Get ready for a long one. Once again the stupid has reared its ugly head in the homeschooling community. A “concerned” parent posted a letter to a homeschooling list from the Home Education Foundation (HEF) that reads, in part:

If the Democrats take the US Senate and the White House, one of the first things they will most likely do is to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. President Clinton, actually signed it, but did not take it to the Senate because the Democrats did not have the majority at that time needed to pass it. However, if during the upcoming election, the Democratic party takes control of both the US Senate and the White House, it will most likely pass. Some news reporters are saying that Republicans may not win enough seats in the US Senate to even filibuster.

Good lord! The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? We can’t give those little crumb snatchers rights!

This is the greatest single threat to home education we have ever faced in this country. The teacher’s unions pour millions of dollars into Democratic campaigns and as you know the Unions do not like home schooling. In fact, their platform usually has a plank opposing home education or requiring parents to be certified teachers. I have never used fear to motivate people and I am not doing it now. I am just reporting the facts.

Go to www.hslda.org, type in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and read until you are convinced this is a serious threat. If you are not sure that HSLDA is reporting the truth, go to http://www.un.org/children/conflict/keydocuments/english/theconventionont6.html and read the actual document. I did that about 14 years ago. It is very disconcerting. This treaty would strip parents of their rights and give them to the child. Ask the question who will decide what is in the best interest of the child?

Riiiight, not using fear. Suuuuure. So, of course, I have to go have a look. I’m a masochist that way. Let’s start with the basics. The HSLDA, or Home School Legal Defense Association, is ” a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.” So far, so good. How about some details. According to their FAQ:

4. Is HSLDA a Christian organization?

Yes; however, HSLDA’s mission is to protect the freedom of all homeschoolers. Although our officers and directors are Christians, HSLDA membership is not limited to religiously based homeschoolers. We respect parents’ rights to make the appropriate choices for the upbringing of their children. We have no agenda to make all public and home-based classrooms religious or conservative. Our primary objective is to preserve the fundamental right of parents to choose home education, free of over-zealous government officials and intrusive laws. We do put on a national conference annually and invite the board members of state organizations with whom we have worked for many years. Most, if not all, of those organizations have Christian leaders, but many serve all homeschoolers regardless of religious affiliation, as we do.

Hmmm. A couple of entries down the all-inclusive facade begins to crack:

6. What is HSLDA’s relationship to Patrick Henry College (PHC)?

HSLDA’s board of directors founded PHC as a college that emphasizes the apprenticeship model of education and will positively impact our culture.

Patrick Henry College opened its doors on September 1, 2000 to prepare and develop leaders who will fight for the principles of liberty and our home school freedoms through careers of public service and cultural influence. The College’s distinctives include a deliberate outreach to home schooled students; practical apprenticeship methodology; financial independence; a general education core based on the classical liberal arts; a dedication to mentoring and discipling Christian students; and a community life that promotes virtue, leadership, and strong, life-long commitments to God, family and society.

The College’s board of trustees is completely separate and distinct from HSLDA’s board of directors and the College operates independently of HSLDA. Michael Farris is chancellor of the College, and is General Counsel of HSLDA directing litigation and federal legislative efforts.

Although Patrick Henry College and HSLDA are separate and distinct organizations, our board’s purpose for founding the College remains the same and HSLDA continues to support Patrick Henry College financially and structurally. Specifically, HSLDA donates use of facility space and a portion of revenue earned from interest income to the College. This support is based upon our belief that it is not enough to rely solely on the defense of homeschooling in the courts and in the legislatures in order to maintain our freedom to homeschool and control the upbringing of our children in the future. We must be proactive in providing virtuous leaders in government and other key spheres of influence in order to preserve our freedoms.
[emphasis mine]

I’ve touched on the subject of Patrick Henry College previously, when the president was on The Colbert Report. Basically I said, “This school is apparently primarily a place for religious homeschoolers to send their kids to college after preventing their children from actually learning anything factual about the nature of the world around them.”

But don’t take it from me. Here it is from the horse’s ass mouth:

8. Why does HSLDA support efforts to constitutionally define marriage as between a man and a woman?

The following answer is an excerpt from a letter written by HSLDA Chairman of the Board and General Counsel Mike Farris:

. . . We are a Christian organization (see answer to question number 4 above). This colors our way of thinking about many things. Fundamentally, it is reflected in what we believe is truth.

All truth is God’s truth. Man’s knowledge is limited. We think we know something only to find that future generations have found that we really didn’t know what we are talking about.

The truth is that God created the family. It is God’s view of the family that is reflected in our western civilization and in our law until very recently. If we tear down this God-based view of the family, then all of the God-based principles in our society are ultimately at risk.

The masturbation over the sky-daddy continues for a while. Here’s the crux of the matter:

It is impossible to say that the God of the Bible would sanction rights of homosexual marriage. Thus, there is no such right in a God-based theory of rights. Any man-made theory of rights is no theory at all. … HSLDA is not willing to move into an era of human privileges. We believe this would jeopardize our liberty to teach our children at home and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Blessings,

Michael Farris

Soooo, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights; they don’t mean squat, right? Because they’re man-made rights? Or are you cool with them because they allow you the freedoms to spout your totalitarian, theocratic, dominionist bullshit?

So now we’ve seen a little bit about where this group is coming from.

The letter concludes:

Whoever wins the White House could detemine whether we continue to
enjoy the freedom to home educate our children or not.
The following is taken off the HSLDA website. Please read this and
consider the consequences before you vote in this election.

Thank you,
Brenda Dickinson
Oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?!? Who would want to oppose something like that? Those UN bastards must be trying to sneak all kinds of nastiness in there, hoping the title of the convention would distract us. Let’s see what HSLDA has to say about this horrible abomination:

After years of debate within the international community, child’s rights activists reached an agreement in 1988 which created a comprehensive charter advancing the agenda of the children’s “liberation” movement. What the child’s rights advocates have for over two decades been unable to accomplish through the normal legislative process, may now be realized in one sweeping blow.

If ratified by the U.S. Senate, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child would undermine families by granting to children a list of radical “rights” which would be primarily enforced against the parents. These new “fundamental” rights would include “the right to privacy,” “the right to freedom of thought and association,” and the right to “freedom of expression.” Such presumptions subvert the authority of parents to exercise important responsibilities toward their children. Under the UN Convention, parental responsibility
exists only in so far as parents are willing to further the independent choices of the child.

OMG! How dare they suggest that children are deserving of such disgusting rights as “the right to privacy,” “the right to freedom of thought and association,” and the right to “freedom of expression.” What subversion! The fabric of society will be ripped apart if we treat children as humans!

Although several of the treaty’s provisions offer generally positive, nonoffensive platitudes, a substantial portion of this charter undermines parental rights. Some of the more relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are summarized below.

Severe Limitations Placed on the Parents’ Right to Train Their Children

Because children are no better than dogs and need to be trained rather than taught.

Under Article 13, any attempts to prevent their children from interacting with material parents deem unacceptable is forbidden. Children are vested with a ” freedom of expression” right, which is virtually absolute. No allowance is made for parental guidance. Section 1 declares a child’s right to “seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.”

I’m beginning to see why they object to such “radical” notions. I mean, who wants their little brats darlings to express themselves? Or to “seek, receive and impart information”? Next thing you know, they’ll be demanding that we let kids think. Oh, the horrors!

In Article 14, children are guaranteed ” freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” Children have a legal right to object to all religious training. Alternatively, children may assert their right
against parental objection to participate in the occult.

Whoops, there it is, disguised as “freedom of thought”. Those tricky devils, trying to force us to let our kids think. Is there no end to their subversive tactics? Apparently not:

The Convention Would Entrench the Right of Teenagers to Abort Their Babies

Oh, noes, the liberals are coming for our fetuses!

Under Article 16, the “right to privacy” is ranted to children. This UN sanctioned “privacy” would seemingly establish as the child’s right to obtain an abortion without parental notice, the right to purchase and use contraceptives, and the right to pornography in the home.

God forbid we let them use contraceptives and prevent the situation in which abortion becomes an option. (My reserves are sarcasm are running low. I don’t think I can keep this up much longer. OK, just one more section.)

Mandatory Outcome Based Education

The American Bar Association’s 1990 publication Children’s Rights in America: U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child Compared to U.S. Law states that Article 29 will force public and private schools in America to adopt “federally prescribed curriculum content.” Each child
must be prepared to be a responsible citizen by having “the spirit of understanding, peace, toleration, equity of sexes, and friendship [for] all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups of indigenous origin.” All children must be taught the principles of the treaty. This is OBE mandated curriculum of the worst sort.

I don’t know what OBE is, but, dammit, we can’t let them force us to give our children “the spirit of understanding, peace, toleration, equity of sexes, and friendship[for] all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups of indigenous origin.” They might become friends with teh blacks. Or teh A-rabs. Or worse, they might consort with *shudder* atheists.
[/sarcasm]

My bullshit barrier has overloaded. This is one of the most twisted interpretations of a document since the christian fundamentalists co-opted the bible for their own purposes. I would heartily recommend that you all read the original UN document. It sounds like a pretty damn good idea to me. “This is the greatest single threat to home education we have ever faced in this country” my ass. I’d say the single greatest threat is religious wingnuts like you ruining it for the rest of us. But then, I’m just a fetus-eating, devil worshiping, “spread-the-wealth” democrat communist. What do I know.

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HOA’s can go to hell

You might remember this post wherein the future of my garden is threatened by my neighborhood’s Home Owners Association. You might also remember my carefully worded and researched reply. I hadn’t heard anything in response and, being very ADHD and somewhat passive-aggressive, I didn’t follow up on it. No news is good news, as they say. Well, I finally got news. Just as Fay was starting to really blow, we discovered our upstairs window was leaking. As we were frantically moving bookshelves and pulling up carpet and trying to stem the flood, the postal carrier pulls into our driveway to deliver a certified letter. From our HOA.

In short, they decided to forward the matter to their attorney. “With no positive response to previous notice, the Board has no other option except to proceed with legal action.” So either my response was not “positive” enough or they didn’t give a shit about what I had to say. Naturally, I felt it necessary to respond:

Dear Board of Directors:

We were very disappointed to receive the Final Notice of Violation dated August 19, 2008. Especially disturbing was the statement that no positive response had been sent with regard to the prior notice. Apparently the letter attached to emails sent to the board members and the hardcopy mailed to the [management company] office did not count as positive response. Perhaps we do not understand the bureaucratic processes of home owners associations.

We are attaching a copy of the previous letter we sent in response. Furthermore, a hard copy has been sent out the the address listed above via certified mail, return receipt requested. We hope that this will constitute sufficient response to the violations. If any further information is needed, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are very interested in working with the board to resolve this matter.

Now here’s where my expectations came crashing into reality. What I expected was a dialog between reasonable parties where the issue could be discussed and resolved in a professional manner, even if the boards decision went against me. In my original response, I included reasonable questions requesting clarifications on the rules and advice on how to best follow them in the event the board did not see fit to rule in my favor. What I received was something much different:

I for one live on the street as this vegetable garden and it is a sight. It keeps getting bigger and bigger and looks terrrible. She can build a fence even though she is on a corner lot. I say we stick to the no vegetable gardens and if you are considering changing this, drive by and have a look yourself. It will change your mind. This is my thought

Now, a home owners association is a quasi-legal organization with the authority to file liens on your home and even to initiate foreclosure. The board of directors act as the representatives of this body and, indeed, of all the members of the community. That a member of the board would feel that this was an appropriate response to a reasonable discussion of policy came a quite a shock. In addition to the factual errors (the garden hasn’t grown since it was established, unless you count the growing of the plants) the attitude just blew my mind. After the shock came anger. Much anger. Darth Vader-type anger. If I could have force-choked this individual, I probably would have. While I despise bureaucracy, I have an appreciation for the niceties and formalities that generally accompany legal proceedings. I would expect this kind of reply in a blogs comments section or on some internet forum. Coming from one of the leaders of an organization that, quite literally, could force me out of my home was disgusting.

At this point, the representative of the management company that our HOA hired to handle all the paperwork and act as enforcer decided to throw in her $0.02:

They have received 3 notices and they haven’t removed the vegetable garden. What more needs to be discussed?

This person has no role on the board, has no decision-making authority and has absolutely no business interfering in a discussion between the board and a resident. At least that’s my opinion. Besides which, she was completely incorrect. We did respond and have been trying to engage the board in a dialog. Which they apparently are steadfastly trying to avoid.

Fortunately, not all the members of the board are such small-minded individuals. Later, another member offered their take. While well-meaning, it was full of fallacies that I will address in-line below.

I did read your letter that you sent, you did respond,

Good of you to notice. You’d think that maybe this could be relayed to the guard dogs that the board hires to do its dirty work.

I believe the notice is referring to the action that needs to happen. It clearly states as you have noted that vegetable gardens are not allowed in the neighborhood unless properly contained.

No shit, why do you think I was writing a response?

I can totally appreciate where you are coming from in your letter, growing your own produce is very beneficial, I myself do it, but it is contained in pots on the back porch and in a tiny fenced area in the back of the home displayed neatly. I have driven and walked by your home on several occasions and recognized your vegetation as an eye sore. Tomato bushes in general grow rather wildly, the manner in which you have planted them is the problem.

So in other words, tomato plants are ugly and shouldn’t be planted in a Square Foot Garden, only in “tiny fenced areas” because that’s how you like them.

The wood enclosure which surrounds the plants looks bad and the location that you choose is random.

Two things wrong here: the wood enclosures are cedar planks used for the siding of houses. They form a border 8″ high around the square beds. Not exactly a hideous bit of landscaping. And their location was FAR from random. The two beds are exactly 36″ apart and stand 36″ from the nearest landscaping, to allow for the passage of the lawn mower. They were placed on the south side of my house which recieves direct sunlight all day long.

It is obvious that you have a green thumb and I think that is great, speaking for myself I would not like for you to tear them up, just move them and make it look neat. I know you have a patio just off of your slider, why not plant the vegetation to the left of that patio and put some PVC 12″ fencing around it with some trellising? We have a long weekend ahead of us, maybe this could be a project for you.

Nice thought, but that location is in perpetual shadow and is so waterlogged that the only thing that will grow there are swamp plants. There’s about an hour a day that the sun can penetrate most of the back yard. The south side is the only viable location.

I think your property would look a lot nicer is you chose to take my advice, I am not sure what the other Board members might think about your garden because quite honestly we haven’t discussed it.

In retrospect, this part bothers me more than anything else. The association documents outline a process for handling violations that includes the right of the homeowner to respond and seek relief. What’s the fucking point of allowing a response if you’re not even going to address it?

I do wish you well, I hope my response has helped, feel free to contact me again. My intent is not to hurt any feelings, just to be honest and helpful, constructive criticism, I hope you see it this way.

I don’t give a shit about hurt feelings or how you hope I see it. What I see is an HOA BOD with a disregard for its residents and a rigid mindset that says that the only attractive yard is one that looks like theirs; i.e. chemical-drenched St. Augustine grass and landscaping completely unsuited to the Florida climate that can only be maintained by regular chemical applications and the waste of thousands of gallons of water. I see a board with no concept of professionalism and apparently with poor reading comprehension skills, since they didn’t address my clearly worded questions.

Well, as per my standard response to all bureaucratic and authoritarian bullshit, fuck ’em. Unfortunately, this attitude can result in even more financial problems that I really don’t need right now. I don’t have the time or energy to fight this kind of crap. I’m dealing with a combination of stupidity, small mindedness and apathy. The amount of shit I’d have to go through to get these people out, assuming that the rest of the neighborhood isn’t populated with the same type of people, is just too much right now. I’ve got a wife and two kids and a stressful job. Gardening used to be an outlet for my stress, a form of meditation. Guess I’ll have to get back on the cushion, ’cause the garden has gone bye-bye.

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