Wednesday, February 27, 2008


You know what I think is stupid?

Something that's been bugging me for a week now.

I think it's stupid when a business owner, whose business involves housing people, thinks he should be allowed to continue to house those people in a sub-standard way because that's how he's always done it.

I'm obviously not talking about my landlady - she's Da Bomb. (Do folks even say that anymore? I guess in blogspeak she'd be Teh Awsim. But I digress.)

I'm talking about someone here in town, who owns three - count 'em, three - trailer parks. And now, the city has told him (and everyone else that the rules apply to) that he either has to bring the homes therein that were made before 1977 up to federal (did you hear that? FEDERAL) safety standards or move them out.

He's literally made a federal case out of this. He's suing the city.

Now, never mind that our state does not allow these trailers to be brought in any more. And never mind that our county won't allow them to be brought in from another state, or even another county within our state.

He thinks he should be able to house people in these sub-standard, patently dangerous places.

His suit is one of the more ridiculous pieces of legal rambling I've seen - and I've seen some doozies in my time here.

(Your client got mad because he's arrested for getting drunk and peeing on the side of a police station? And then you let the client, who has no driver's license because of repeated DUI, take your fancy German automobile around town to wash it, but he ends up in his neighborhood showing it off, and the cops pick him up because they know it isn't his, and that he doesn't have a license, and your fancy German automobile gets impounded? Let's sue!)

He accuses the mayor of having a bone to pick with him. Of trying to run him out of business! Our mayor happens to be an extremely nice person, with three cute kids (that he sends to public schools, when he could clearly afford private) and the most gorgeous small-town-mayor's wife you've ever seen. All precious, all five of them.

No vendettas to be found.

(Never mind that the state fire marshall started this whole movement, what with those places having aluminum wiring - who ever thought THAT was a good idea - and tiny windows that not even children can get out of in case of a fire.)

(And, never mind that the city has torn down nearly a dozen other sub-standard structures in the past year because they didn't meet codes.)

(And, never mind that the more of these sub-standard places there are in the city, the lower our fire rating will be and the higher our insurance will be?)

How, you might ask, did this idiot get to file a federal lawsuit in this case? Why, by naming not only his business enterprise, but four of his residents, as plaintiffs. And claiming that their civil rights were being denied.

And that their Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were being denied, because they had to find another place to live.

Now, I have nothing against mobile homes. I've spend roughly a third of my life living in them. My parents currently live in a fairly-new double-wide that's nearly twice as big as my house. But I do have something against taking advantage of the less-fortunate.

Would it inconvenience these folks to have to find somewhere else to live? Probably. I'd be inconvenienced if it were me. But look at the bigger picture, as one of our aldermen did when the ordinance was passed:

Better inconvenienced today, then dead tomorrow.


wendster said...

I had a neighbor who was SO certain that he didn't need to pay for electricity because it's the SAME ELECTRICITY going through each house. It goes through your neighbors house, and then through yours, and then through the next house and the next and the next. ... it sounded kinda plausible, LOL, like I was getting sucked into his delusion ... but I talked to a friend whose husband is an electrician and it's TRUE. We are all paying for the SAME electricity. Anyway ... this guy hooked his house up to the source at the curb and bypassed the meter. And he was suing the entire planet. For everything. Every time I spoke to him he told me who he was suing now. Ha. Interesting people. I liked them. But they sure were sue happy.
Sounds like you are doing good with the core stuff. I keep it in mind as I choose my foods through the day and feel like I am making some good choices ... but I must not be doing enough, because I'm still struggling.
Good luck!
And hang in there through the new church thing ... I'm sure the Lord is pleased that you all made a go of that church you were ... running? I haven't been around long enough to know what you were doing, but it sounds as if you were very involved and coming from "giving". Something will pan out.
Change is good. Just uncomfortable.

Valerie said...

aMEN. i say let the bas-turd live in one of his deathtraps for six months. i always did the happy dance whenever smart judges did that to slumlords.

wonder how HE'D feel if it was someone he loved in one of those cans. or on a slab at the county morgue.

Melissa said...

Something else I think is stupid: when I fix my family a nice CORE dinner of stir-fried pork and vegetables, served over brown rice, and my husband, the one without the weight problem, sends me across the street to Sonic to get him a dish of ice cream. Ice cream that he's just going to cover in delicious caramel sauce once I return home.

I showed him. I ate yogurt and blackberries, instead of the sundae he advised me to get for myself. Mine was so good!

Wendy, about the church - I hate to say we "ran" it, because God's really who is supposed to do that, but we did "run" the business of it. We started the church with my parents in 2003, and my parents gave the work over to the state-level officials last spring to see if they could do a better job of growing it. Jason and I led worship, I taught a class for kids Anna Marie's age, and Jason was the Administrative Pastor - he kept the books and made sure everything was ready for the worship services.

He's an ordained minister, and he was asked to pastor the church last year, but he really doesn't feel that is where his giftings lie. He's an amazing administrator - the complete and total opposite of me!