Zoning

Should This Purple Playground Structure Result in Jail Time?

Missouri parents are squaring off against their homeowners association.

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KMBC.com

Courtesy of John Ekdahl of Ace of Spades HQ comes this charming little story from a simpler America. An America in which people have nothing better to do than harass their neighbors for poor color choices.

Via UPI:

Marla Stout of Lee's Summit said her family put up a playset for their young daughters about two years ago and she painted the equipment purple to comply with requirements of the Raintree Lake Neighborhood Homeowner's Association [(HOA)].

"There's nothing in the rules about color," Stout told WDAF-TV. "What it says is it has to be harmonious with the community and with nature and there is nothing that dictates the color of the swing set."

Stout said she considered the purple color to be "harmonious" because it matches the color of the trees in the fall, but the homeowner's association disagreed.

Stout said she received a notice from the HOA last year saying they were being fined for not having the playground equipment and its color pre-approved, but they successfully appealed and had the fine thrown out.

However, the HOA sent further letters demanding the purple playground's removal.

"[The letters said] that if we didn't remove the swing set from the subdivision in a couple of weeks, we go to jail," Stout told KMBC-TV.

Another letter pledged the HOA's lawsuit would cost the family "greater than any principle you are trying to prove."

She said the HOA ignored a petition signed by more than a dozen neighbors saying they were not bothered by the equipment.

Indeed, a KNBC report features a neighbor who says he doesn't give a shit (I'm paraphrasing, watch below) about the structure or its color.

OK, by now all good libertarians are readying a logical and somewhat-convincing response to the Stout's troubles: You can just move. You agreed to live under the authoritah of the HOA when you moved into the neighborhood. So shaddup already.

There's more than a little truth to all that, but as Ekdahl wrote on Twitter in response to just that sort of response, "The 'rules' in this case are very vague and don't justify jail time." Things get even cloudier given that the Stouts apparently successfully appealed fines related to the construction of the swingset.

So where do you stand—or swing, in this case—dear Reason reader? If this was a regular city issuing such an order, I presume close to 100 percent agreement with the Stouts.

Given that this is an HOA that the family willingly bought into, does the dickish behavior of the authorities get more slack?

Or is this exactly the sort of sloppy push-pull by which change and revision happens at all levels of governance and contract?

Is this worthy of being considered for a Nanny of the Month? Speaking of which, enjoy:

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  1. Line up all HOA board members. Ask them to explain how the successful appeal of the original fine did not settle matters. If they do not have an answer that dosed not boil down to “Our egos were bruised”, crucify the lot. On national television. As a warning to other HOA boards.

    1. I was going to say that I wouldn’t shed a tear if the homes of the board members all burned down one night.

        1. Oh, of course.

    2. We put a bid on a nice home on a large ranch surrounded by other nice home + ranches in the middle of a semi-rural area. We were told the ranch was part of an HOA. Our initial response was “WTF? Why would a bunch of ranches get together into an HOA?” We thought that maybe it was just to maintain a private road that joined them. When we found out they had an “Architectural Committee” we withdrew our bid.

      1. ^This. HOA = Dealbreaker. “Well, it was okay when we moved in, but then Mr. Jones got elected, and…” begins way too many horror stories.

    3. Crucifixion is too swift and not painful enough.

      The boats.

    4. What color paint would be harmonious for a woodchipper?

  2. Are HOA’s government entities? I guess I always thought they required civil litigation to resolve issues. This is one of the reasons I have no neighbors. Neighbors are the absolute worst.

    1. Curiously all of your former neighbors said the exact same thing.

      1. I can’t tell if FoE is the Belushi or the Aykroyd in this case. I’m leaning towards Belushi.

        1. I was thinking more like the Klopek’s in the ‘Burbs.

          1. +1 trunk full of bones.

    2. “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.”

    3. No they are not. It’s a civil matter. Jail time can only result from defying a court order to settle.

      1. So why can’t the HOA board members get jail time if THEY don’t settle?

    4. Not yet, but if shit like this continues, eventually a judge is going to get sick of it and declare HOAs to be government de jure, subject to constitutional limitations.

  3. Jail?
    WTFSRSLY?
    Does the HOA have its own stockade?

    1. That was my question.

      Also, if your conscience guides you to order the tearing down of a goddamn kid’s swing set, you might want to do a little bit more self-reflecting.

      1. Also, if your conscience guides you to order the tearing down of a goddamn kid’s swing set

        Sounds like an HOA-crat is padding his resume to apply for a government sinecure.

        1. it’s an HOA, only slightly more bureaucratic than the usual university where the fighting is so nasty becuase the stakes are so small.

      2. I can just see St. Peter saying, “Suffer the little children, dufus,” and slamming The Gate.

  4. Jailtime? It sounds like the Stouts are violating a contract, at worst, so I can’t imagine how jailtime is even possible here, much less warranted.

    My conclusion: the HOA bureaucrats need to meet with a woodchipper, pronto.

    1. Exactly. This is a civil case, not a criminal one, so I don’t understand how jail time factors into it at all.

    2. And they didn’t even violate the contract. The wording was so vague that it could mean anything. The regulation said that the swing set had to be colored in such a way that it was “harmonious with nature and the surrounding community.” The HOA thought that this meant “anything we don’t like” but it turns out that it really means “anything the homeowners like if the neighbors don’t mind.”

      1. Having been a member of and on the board of an HOA (in California no less), I can attest that the insanity arises from both sides of the equation. From power hungry nannying board members to litigious residents with nothing better to do than sue, HOAs can be excruciating experiences.

        1. A friend once ran for, and won, the position of HOA president. His campaign slogan? “Do Nothing!”

  5. The owner is probably the asshole in this situation as she’s wearing a racist, reactionary t-shirt. I’ll take her side.

  6. Was I the only one who giggled just a bit that the news anchor covering the story was wearing a purple tie against a pink shirt?

  7. [The letters said] that if we didn’t remove the swing set from the subdivision in a couple of weeks, we go to jail,

    My question is how the hell does a homeowner’s association have the power to jail people?

    1. The HOA is acting as a de facto private government.

      1. And any gang of bandits can act as a de facto private government. That doesn’t mean any rational person pretends it’s legitimate.

        1. This. The oldest authoritah in the book, the right of the strong to rule the weak.

      2. Surely someone in that white-bread neighborhood has a basement dungeon.

        1. i thought Warty lives in Ohio

          1. He does? Damn now I’m going to have nightmares. I need to get out of this place.

          2. PA now. Alas.

            1. Thanks. I can sleep now knowing your dungeon is not so close:)

            2. You near the Pittsburg contengent?

      3. I thought HOA’s were de facto jails.

    2. Even if you join a neighborhood with a benign HOA, you have to remember that antisocial people are drawn to such positions. They are obsessed with controlling other people, especially those that they feel are happier or wealthier than they are. But such people are rarely aware of where their authority ends.

      1. Usually at the end of a noose.

      2. So an HOA is like a government in miniature.

  8. The line between “private” HOAs and public towns and villages is not as bright as it appears. Many suburbs encourage/require homebuilders and developers to build subdivisions with HOAs. They perceive HOAS as reducing the cost of code enforcement, maintaining property values and enforcing homogeneity. In some places it can be challenging to find a new home that is NOT in an HOA. When this happens, it mitigates the argument that this is only a private contact issue.

    1. California is notorious for this.

    2. In some places it can be challenging to find a new home that is NOT in an HOA.

      Drives me up a fucking wall. If I ever have to hire a realtor again (which I hope to not have to do… the paperwork is fucking easy), I will make it plainly clear that I will fire their fucking ass if they show me an HOA house. That is not acceptable.

      1. It’s as difficult as flicking a switch on the MLS. If your Realtor is showing you properties with HOAs when you specifically said you didn’t want to see them, that Realtor deserves to be fired.

        While I agree the paperwork is pretty easy (provided you’re aware of all the disclosures, addenda, and other required nonsense) there’s also a whole lot of other work you’re spared by hiring one — in addition to usually netting more.

  9. “There’s more than a little truth to all that, but as Ekdahl wrote on Twitter in response to just that sort of response, “The ‘rules’ in this case are very vague and don’t justify jail time.”

    Just because the HOA says they can throw them in jail doesn’t mean they actually can.

    My ex-girlfriend’s sister once threatened to call the police because I wouldn’t give her a ride to the airport.

    1. My kinda chick…

      1. Shouldn’t you be sunning yourself in the middle of a highway?

          1. Purple couches, really?…my race is shamed

        1. Look, just because I’m the forward agent for a vast population of voracious giant lizards that will eventually enslave and eat your species…doesn’t mean you have to be rude…jerk

  10. I’m guessing that the jail threat is bullshit bluster. If it’s not, then obviously, obviously, there is no good reason for jailing people over the color of a structure.

    I also like how the HOA thugs headed off the “principled fight” argument, like they were conceding in advance that they were just being assholes.

    1. What baffles me is why leftists aren’t rising to the aid of this swingset. Aren’t playgrounds of color a protected class?

      1. Duh, only certain colors.

    2. there is no good reason for jailing people over the color of a structure.

      We once persecuted people for the color of their skin? why not for the color of their playground?

      1. No they still do that, now they just call it “the War on Drugs” or “the War on Terror,” or “Border Enforcement.”

      2. “Jungle Gym” is racist.

    3. I also like how the HOA thugs headed off the “principled fight” argument, like they were conceding in advance that they were just being assholes.

      For once, I’ve got to agree with you. They’re pretty much admitting in writing that principle is on the side of the Stouts

    4. Yeah, I can’t see how jail time is even a possibility in a civil contract case. But then again, the end result of any rule that people decide to enforce is force, so it’s not surprising the HOA board wants to go there.

    5. I’m guessing that the jail threat is bullshit bluster.

      To be bullshit it has to have at least a small element of believability. I am guessing the person that wrote that is an idiot.

      1. It looks like law firm stationary in the report. If that’s true, then you can thank an attorney for the threat of jail time and the attempted destruction of principles.

        Any attorneys (NOT law school students!!) around here want to comment on that?

        1. Or the HOA has a law firm on retainer and just uses the stationary to strengthen their bullying.

        2. Threatening criminal sanctions where they don’t apply, and using one’s status as a lawyer to bolster such threats, sounds like an ethical violation to me. Attorneys do have duties of truthfulness and to unrepresented persons. But I’m just a member of another state’s Bar, and not a practicing attorney anymore, so what do I know?

    6. I also like how the HOA thugs headed off the “principled fight” argument, like they were conceding in advance that they were just being assholes.

      It’s clear to me that every HOA neighborhood needs a 27 b stoke 6 living in its midst.

  11. Stout said she received a notice from the HOA last year saying they were being fined for not having the playground equipment and its color pre-approved

    Freedom is asking permission!

    1. The less decisions you have to make, the freer you are Comrade!

  12. OK, by now all good libertarians are readying a logical and somewhat-convincing response to the Stout’s troubles: You can just move. You agreed to live under the authoritah of the HOA when you moved into the neighborhood.
    .
    This only holds true if the resident is in the wrong. If you have read your covenants and are acting in accordance with them, even as the HOA douchebags are attempting to expand their authorityand create new, more expansive regulations out of whole cloth, I say
    STAND YOUR GROUND AND TELL THE HOA TO GO PISS UP A ROPE.

    1. Jesus christ…

  13. I do a lot of association work and I’ve yet to encounter a master deed, a set of declarations or any by laws that have jail time as a punishment.

  14. Caught a clip on the news yesterday about a meeting of the homeowners and the HOA board. From what I saw, the homeowners generally thought the board had their collective heads where the sun didn’t shine. Nonetheless, the board decided to press on with their (lack of) judgment.

    Little people clad in a little brief authority.

    1. I wonder how long it will be until the homeowners disband the HOA.

      1. It will either be the homeowners, or the judge.

  15. Seems to me the family should, in turn, call the bluff of jail time threats.

    Just have their attorney write a letter saying that the matter is civil in nature, and that any attempt by the HOA to make good on their jail threat and take the family “into custody” will be met with vigorous self-defense.

    1. Maybe a little legal inquiries into the legality of the HOA acting as a legal authority is in order, too.

      1. Good point. And make sure the news stations report every shitty move by the HOA.

    2. I’d instruct my attorney to consider the threat of jail as a macro aggression and instruct the county prosecutor to press charges.

  16. I’m the president of my condo association and the only thing that will work me up enough to care is if people aren’t paying their condo fees and if the association isn’t complying with their required duties (grounds maintenance, etc.) I couldn’t care less if someone paints their window trim an un-permitted color as long as their check is in every month.

    1. How many asinine request do you get from dumbfuck owners who think the association president is their goddamned landlord?

      1. This. When I was on a board, “Harry” used to harass me about the speed bump in front of his house because he tripped on it every night. I bought him a flashlight.

      2. Not many, tbh, mostly because so few owners show up to the annual meetings that I doubt many know who I am. Our condo rules were written such that you need 75% of the unit owners at a meeting to have an official quorum. We never get there, ever. So nothing can officially get done and it’s just a handful of people griping about stuff. The board can’t have official elections, so everyone’s appointed. I’m the latest Gerald Ford of the association. Fortunately (or not, depending on your viewpoint) the board can declare an emergency when there’s not a quroum and pretty much do whatever needs to be done on its own. Everything except change how many owners it takes to get a quorum, that is…

  17. And then there’s this:
    Another letter pledged the HOA’s lawsuit would cost the family “greater than any principle you are trying to prove.”

    .
    Just where do these officious nitwits think the money for that lawsuit will come from? Do they really think they can get away with a request for an “emergency assessment” to cover these legal fees without getting strung up from a lamppost?

    1. The money for the lawyers will likely come out of the association’s general fund. The condo association I’m in has a general fund, a reserve fund, and a CD. If they special assess they’ll say it’s for parking lot repairs or some other expense down the road.

  18. Re: Jail? What jail?

    Here’s how this could work:

    The HOA goes to court and gets an injunction (a court order) that the playset be removed/repainted (query: why did they go to demanding its removal rather than repainting?).

    The homeowner refuses to comply with the court order.

    Bang. Jail. If the judge wants to hold them in contempt.

    1. Okay, let’s analyze the elements for issuance of injunctive relief:

      (1) Likelihood of success on the merits. Given the facts, I don’t think so.

      (2) Irreparable harm. Are you fucking crazy?

      (3) In light of (1) and (2), balancing the equities. Swings towards the Stouts.

      (4) The public interest. Eh, as you know, this element does not always factor in the analysis. Here? I don’t know.

      1. Grounds to report the attorney to the state bar? That might be an exciting follow-up.

      2. That’s a preliminary injunction (I think).

        I was talking more a court order at the end of the case type injunction.

    2. But they did try to get them forced to repaint. The judge said you have no fucking case.

      If they had no case to get the playset repainted, there’s no way they have a case for total removal.

      Right?

  19. Sounds like its time to organize a takeover.

    1. Evil counter-revolutionary! Begone!

  20. I would guess the board members do not have qualified immunity. Don’t know if they want to get stuck paying the legal fees when they loose the case.

  21. Aren’t HOA board members typically elected by the residents? It’s can’t be that hard to fix this by just getting all of them thrown out. Not that the homeowners should *have* to do that, but it’s probably less expensive than letting it go to court.

    1. Only if the subdivision has been completed (at least to a certain extent), otherwise the HOA is “developer controlled”. Votes are also usually by % ownership (rather than one person-one vote) so it can be possible for a hand-full of investors to hold disproportionate sway over the politics of the HOA.

      1. Developers are less likely to be assholes than are the residents

        1. True. I have never known a person to be happy with their HOA once it was resident controlled. My dad has been pissed at his for 10 years. My mother in law had her garden torn up by hers for being “an eyesore” a month after winning “best garden of the month” honors.

  22. Threatening jail time for non-compliance with an HOA edict or for failure to pay HOA fines is, in and of itself, a violation of the HOA as in almost all states, every contract carries with it the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

    Essentially, the covenant holds that neither party to a contract can take any action to deprive the other of the fruits of the contract. The covenant does not entitle a party to demand rights not specifically bargained for or expected. The covenant is not a vehicle to expand contractual rights.

    Applying the principle here, the Stouts could make a good argument that the HOA is violating the covenant. The HOA has been attempting to deprive the Stouts of the fruits of the contract.

    In addition, the HOA has engaged in conduct that could very well violate the consumer protection statutes in many states, like Massachusetts’ Chapter 93A. To be sure, the HOA may not be regarded as engaging in trade or commerce (although I think it is, strictly, logically speaking, though not necessarily so according to the jurisprudence), a necessary pre-requisite to suit, in Massachusetts.

  23. Where was that where they tore down all of those basketball hoops? Kinda reminds me of that story.

    1. Lol, my boss has been bitching about his neighbor putting in a basketball hoop for the last several months.

  24. Given that this is an HOA that the family willingly bought into, does the dickish behavior of the authorities get more slack?

    There’s no excuse for dickish behavior, whether you are a pubsec or a real person.

    The only real issue here is: does their color scheme violate the HOA rules, and who gets to have the last word on whether it does.

    If it was me, I’d put it on the agenda for the next general HOA meeting, and call for a vote of all the HOA members one way or the other. And, I’d abide by that vote if it went against me (by repainting, not tearing down).

    1. Seconded.

      I might also make a statement to the letter writer to the effect that “your threats will cost you greater than any principle you are trying to prove.” Karmatively speaking, of course.

      1. I oppose.

        The case was already appealed and the fines were dropped. Case closed quit wasting home owners time and dues on this bullshit if you persist then lets have an election to kick out HOA board members who persist in this manor and fire our managers.

        I propose amending the motion to remove all language pertaining to the swing/playset and replace it with a vote to have an election for all board member positions next meeting.

    2. Great idea – the homeowners as a group can certainly overrule the Board, even if they have to vote in new members.

      But don’t wait for the next meeting. Call a special meeting (which most CC&Rs; allow for good cause, which this certainly is – after all, the family’s very liberty is at stake – they might go to jail, for God’s sake!!).

      Call the bluff of this vindictive Board while the issue is still burning in their so-called brains. Beat them back with Roberts Rules!!

  25. it is, of course, never a good idea to go to war with your neighbors. there are no winners, even when you win.

    1. Not true, Amreikanski warmongerer!

    2. but if you do go to war, make it total war. “I can’t see any other reason than racism for Mr. WHITE PRIVELEGE HOA objecting to THE COLOR PURPLE”

      1. I like the cut of your jib.

        1. Oh, we would expect that from a jib-lover!!

          1. Keep this up, my friend, and I’ll sue you for cake.

            1. Obligatory.

              Also, I don’t have any jib-shaped cake pans, sooo…….
              /looks of in the distance, rocks back and forth

  26. Marla Stout of Lee’s Summit said her family put up a playset for their young daughters about two years ago and she painted the equipment purple to comply with requirements of the Raintree Lake Neighborhood Homeowner’s Association [(HOA)].

    First mistake: Moving into a neighborhood with an HOA. Do you really want this woman measuring your grass and telling you that ‘gatherings over one people’ require an HOA permit?

  27. HOA’s are chaired by two-bit, petty, power-hungry martinets. They like nothing better than to enforce their outrageous rules against the homeowner’s who foolishly gave the HOA board carte blanche over their property. My son was fined $1409 for parking his motorcycle trailer in his driveway. HOA boards are comprised of asshole, shit for brains, low-life scumbags. You’d have to be out of your mind to ever buy property governed by an HOA.

    1. $1409

      The fuck? I’d refuse to pay it.

      1. I ought to know. I paid it for him.

        1. I’m glad to see your son stand up for what he believes in!

      2. I doubt that was one fine. His son most likely ignored the fine then accumulated more fines. They have these things called declarations of restrictive covenants/master deeds that you can read before you obligate yourself to the association…

    2. You must obey the rules or you are a wrecker of the GLORIOUS PEOPLE’S PARADISE!

    3. My house is in an HOA community. I’d like it not to be, but I have no choice. In South Florida, if you’re going to have a house, you’re either rich enough to live in a 7-figure house outside of an HOA, you live in a terrible neighborhood, or you live in an HOA community.

      Luckily mine isn’t *that* bad, though they dicked me over once by not approving my new fence (after the old one had blown down in a storm) for 2 months.

      1. Do you wonder if the HOA might be what keeps your nonwealthy community from being one of the terrible neighborhoods? Do HOA’s actually have utility for a homeowner?

  28. So where do you stand?or swing, in this case?dear Reason reader? If this was a regular city issuing such an order, I presume close to 100 percent agreement with the Stouts.

    As a libertarian, our prime directive is to destroy all forms of petty tyranny and authority. So in actuality, we should all move to HOA neighborhoods and the serially flaunt the rules, generating lawsuits– essentially griefing the HOAs across America, until none stand.

    1. The Iron Brigade will take care of your sort, American fool!

    2. Couple of test-runs first, moving onto your property and “serially” flaunting the rules. Then crashing a wedding, a bible group, …

  29. If the rules are vague, I don’t see how the HOA can justify jailtime. Especially since they’d have to bring in the local authorities to put them in jail, and they aren’t going to do it over a vague contractual disagreement.

    I’m all for HOA’s deciding what is allowable or not in their neighborhood, but it’s no more absolute than that a homeowner can make unreasonable demands on people on his property. And it’s especially unjust if it’s not clearly spelled out ahead of time.

    The family should get a lawyer and countersue the HOA.

    1. Can the HOA president prove he or she wasn’t molesting neighborhood children?

  30. Purple is color of capitalist American running dogs!

  31. Sounds like some HOA Board fucks need to meet a woodchipper. Just to set some tone. It doesn’t need to be running. Unless the HOA Board fucks don’t get the message.

    1. You need to meet a mortar bomb, disruptor of the People’s Work!

      1. Please say hello to Dennis Rodman for me! Loved him on those Bad Boys Pistons teams!

        1. He is the one rational, level-headed American!

          1. Well – Rodman and Charles Manson. The most-rational of us all.

  32. An interesting exercise would be to enlist as many people in the HOA as possible (sympathetic members, of course) to simply refuse to pay their dues in solidarity. Starve the beast, so to speak.

    1. That will work right until they put a lien on your property.

  33. If I ever got suckered into an HOA (god forbid), I’d try to join the board just to cause chaos.

    1. We screwed up and bought into and HOA for our present house, cause it “wasn’t that bad”. Several bad experiences later, my wife got elected. Once we found out how many people had not paid their dues for YEARS, we told them to fuck off. We continue to pay our dues due-tifully – if they ever try to come after us – “produce the records and let’s see who you’ve let go forever…great, now fuck off”.

      And we’re working on moving into the country again – one last move, never make this mistake again 🙂

    2. It’s our Prime Directive. See my post above.

  34. Seems to me that the HOA cunts are making terroristic threats. The Stout family should file charges.

    -jcr

  35. LMAO at purple being “harmonious” with anything.

    But if they neighbors don’t mind, even my hard assed HOA doesn’t care about a swingset as it is not a permanent structure.

    They should be required to repaint it every season to match the current vegetation.

    1. In fashion and in color theory, purple and green can go together, so it’s not an outrageous color for a backyard structure.

    2. Obviously you’ve never read Riders of the Purple Sage or sung about “Purple mountains majesties above the fruited plain.” 😉

  36. Who the fuck gave homeowner associations the power the imprison?

    At most breaking Home owner association rules would be breach of contract…can you imprison people for breach of contract?

    Anyway every HOA i have ever seen enforce rules by fining the owner and if the owner does not comply or come to agreement with the HOA they put a lean on the property.

    How the fuck is jail even involved with this?

    1. It’s bluster. They have no power to imprison, except through the typical way in which everything is a jailable offense:

      Homeowner refuses to comply. HOA gets court order based on civil contract. Homeowner refuses to comply. Sheriff shows up to execute court order. Homeowner refuses to comply. Sheriff goes to arrest homeowner, homeowner refuses to comply. Reason does blogpost on police shooting over swing set color.

  37. I am guessing this isn’t the board, after all the Stouts did win their appeal. This is probably one asshole on the board with a bug up his/her ass about the Stouts, and from the looks of it, not a very smart one.

    1. “..not a very smart one…”

      I meant the board member, not the bug. I guess they both work though.

    2. and from the looks of it, not a very smart one.

      They’re active in the HOA, it needed not be said.

    3. In AD&D Stouts are a type of Hobbit.

    4. In 1st ed. AD&D Stouts are a type of Hobbit.

      1. And squirrels are a 1 HP creature.

  38. I have never once seen a fictional depiction of an HoA that was positive.

    From the Garry Shandling Show to the cartoon movie Under the Hedge that starred Garry Shandling as the Commanding Turtle every single plot that involved an HoA or it’s officers had nothing good to say about them.

    In the Voluntary City (edited by Alex Tabbarok) there is a piece that explains why.

  39. OH!

    To the question – yeah, they should be put in jail. Purple ANYTHING on your house is gayer than a gaynado in Gaytown on Gay Day. Fugly.

    Therefore – jail and assraping.

    They’re getting off easy with that.

    1. Anyone willingly applying purple paint to their property would likely enjoy a nice assraping.

    2. Meh, it’s not a particularly gay shade of purple. It’s not lavender. Too dark and gray.

  40. This illustrates why all HOA board members should be hunted for sport.

    1. I’m guessing that a non-trivial percentage of board members are people who took the position realizing it was the most efficient way to shut it the fuck down.

      Not that I’m against hunting them for sport. They knew what they were getting in to.

    2. “Hunted for sport” implies you want either the trophy or the meat. Blech.

      Because they are pests? Yeah.

  41. Brilliant historical rap video on the Founders and the marijhuanas.

  42. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hACVlRThMH4

    Sargon has a video about feminists claiming prostitution is a ploy by the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy and it is hilarious.

    1. Women have agency in all things right up to the point they want to engage in sex work or buy a gun.

      1. … or have a baby, or be a housewife, or have any appearance or grooming habits not subject to my every whim.

        CONFORM FOR FREEDOM.

    2. Sargon is hilarious. Does that woman have rash on her face? She’s just a babbling idiot.

  43. OT: Jeopardy Tournament of Champions, day one of two contested by Arthur Chu among the three.

    For a dumbass, he sure knows his trivia, I’ll give him that.

    1. He’s a self-proclaimed “social justice stormtrooper.”

      1. Someone who deserves a woodchipper parked in front of his house.

        IIRC he’s the one that called in the bomb threat on the GamerGate gathering in DC after an unsuccessful attempt at getting the venue owner to cancel out.

        1. If that’s provably true, why is his ass not in Gitmo?

          1. It was actually one of his twit followers, though IIRC Chu instigated it.

            1. Well, given that he employs brownshirt tactics, I guess “social justice stormtrooper” isn’t an exaggeration.

      2. I still prefer Social Justiciar, but I am a nerd.

  44. Unions continue to outsource their violence to government:

    Officials in Hong Kong became the latest to go after Uber when police raided one of the car-hailing service’s offices there Tuesday.
    A handful of Uber employees were arrested and charged with illegally carrying passengers for a profit and driving without third-party insurance, according to a police statement.

    It was part of operation “Cellbreaker,” which Hong Kong police say targets “illegal car hire” services.
    The raid comes after protests by Hong Kong taxi drivers in late July. A union that represents taxi drivers said revenues have dropped 20% since Uber moved into Hong Kong in August 2014.
    Uber is currently offered in 58 countries, though taxi drivers and authorities have resisted in some cities both in America and abroad.

    http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/1…..kong-raid/

    1. There’s not one thing the taxishits have done in response to the Uber threat that has made me go “Despite decades of poor service, horrible cabs, stupid drivers and outrageous pricing you know, I would prefer to take a regular cab instead of Uber.”

      1. As skeptical as I am about Etherium, Augur, and the like, using that sort of tech to implement a P2P cryptocurrency-based variant of Uber would be a big win for anarchocapitalism.

    1. Coming from you this may be an actual articulated threat or whatever the term is. The question is: can you do them all at once or does it have to be in flights.

      1. If the legends are true all at the same time.

  45. “Given that this is an HOA that the family willingly bought into, does the dickish behavior of the authorities get more slack?”

    No, because the contract is ridiculously subjective horseshit that can basically be used by any petty tyrant to fuck with anyone. The entire phrase ‘harmonious’ is so subjective that the HOA has no right to determine what is or is not harmonious, since the other party to the contract (the family) can obviously disagree. And given the fact that there’s no objective definition of ‘harmonious’ in this context, why is one party to the contract’s opinion about what ‘harmonious’ means given more weight than the other party’s?

    1. Also, many cities and towns practically require HOAs for all new construction, meaning that the market is distorted by gov’t.

    2. No, because the contract is ridiculously subjective horseshit that can basically be used by any petty tyrant to fuck with anyone

      That’s the point, Irish. Do you know how hard it is to be a petty tyrant dickhead when all the rules have clear bright lines?

  46. Since when is breach of contract a criminal offense?

  47. So government laws are less valid because you didn’t choose to live under them. But you do choose. Just like you can move neighborhoods, you can move cities, states, or countries. You don’t get an infinite number of choices for any of them, so you really can’t expect to find a place that suits your every whim and that has only rules you agree with. Don’t like a ludicrous rule (or law), be an activist against it, and get a majority of your neighbors, citymates, or countrymen to agree.

    Of course no baby chooses to live where it was born, but again that’s true for any size community. That’s why we have no choice but to opt them in (actually have their parents choose) until they are old enough to choose otherwise.

    Threatening jail over the paint color of a swing set is bad policy in my opinion.

    1. Yes, everyone knows it’s immensely easy for, say, a Russian peasant or a poor person in Detroit to scrounge together the money necessary to leave the fucking country.

      “Don’t like a ludicrous rule (or law), be an activist against it, and get a majority of your neighbors, citymates, or countrymen to agree.”

      Government putting you in jail because of your race? Tough shit! Tony will tepidly agree with you that this is ‘bad policy’ in ‘his opinion,’ but you could always leave the country or convince people to agree with you from your jail cell, so quit your bitching.

      1. The left has moved a long, LONG way away from burning draft cards. I’ve got an essay-length post in the can on this when the time is right.

        1. I know. Per Tony the draft was okay even if it was ‘bad policy’ because most people supported forced servitude at the time.

          By Tony’s logic, how can he even argue that slavery is immoral? I mean, it’s majority rules, man! He might agree it’s bad policy, but if the majority supports it there’s nothing to be done.

          1. It’s like you’re not even trying to comprehend very simple modes of thinking.

            I think slavery is evil.

            I think that if a powerful enough majority enslaves a minority, there’s not much the minority can do about it. Having libertarians shouting from beyond the plantation fences about “natural rights” is about as useful as shitting on their heads.

            In extreme instances, sure, do a revolt or a revolution. Bonne chance ending up with a more enlightened regime. Be thankful than you live in a society where we need only a corrupt Congress to work on fixing things. Hardly ideal, but better than some things that came before.

            1. Bullshit Tony. If you really believed slavery was evil you wouldn’t advocate for systems that demand forced service.

              Not that we should ever listen to the words of a moral midget such as yourself.

              1. Not that we should ever listen to the words of a moral mental midget such as yourself.

                FIFY.

  48. This is why we can’t have nice things

  49. New from the Twitter desk:

    Al Gore is gearing up for a Presidential Run!!!! We thought Trump and Sanders were peak-derp for the election cycle, but we were wrong!

    1. He’ll have to deal with a lot of inconvenient truths.

      1. I’ve still never watched that. I’m planning to in like 5 years so I can laugh at all the ridicules predictions that hadn’t come true.

    2. But Rand Paul is the weirdo crazy libertarian.

    3. “Al Gore is gearing up for a Presidential Run!!!!”

      Save us from WomanBearPig!

    4. Did he finally figure out how to be an alpha?

      1. Well he’s a robot so maybe he got an upgrade.

        He went from C3PO to Ed209

        https://youtu.be/A9l9wxGFl4k

        1. Lindsey Graham is the new C3P0.

    5. The more the merrier…peak Derp may be within our grasp this time.

  50. Looks dangerous. A coat of tastefully tinted paint will change that.

    1. Their violating peoples rights by making them look at gay colors.

      1. All I know is there will never be a HOA in my life. Not as long as my back doesn’t have a wall behind it.

        1. You said it, brother.

  51. They have to keep the color of their backyard shit ‘subdued’ because the HOA can’t have people buying property in that magical kingdom that brush to a different color. Bold homeowners are to be as ‘subdued’ and neutral as the colors found in dirt, concrete, tree bark, and gravel. Control the colors and you gain control over the wayward.

    Classic battle between hyper-assertive ass monkeys and plucky lovers of charms and pigments.

    1. ‘hyper-assertive ass monkeys’

      \Good band name

      plucky lovers of charms and pigments.

      \good first album(from the 90s)

  52. “[The letters said] that if we didn’t remove the swing set from the subdivision in a couple of weeks, we go to jail,”

    Homeowner associations now have their own jails? Their own *criminal* courts?

    This seems like a threat from the HOA. Maybe the police, or at least a tort lawyer or two, should look into it.

  53. There has been a story lately in our local news about some township giving a women grief about letting her yard go natural. Evidently she’s in a fairly rural location with no immediate neighbors. She’s a lot of support from people in the area saying it’s not hurting anything but you know what happens when you give petty people a little power.

    1. In CA, there are now circumstances where complying with the HOA requirement for lawns puts you in violation of gov’t water-saving measures.
      I find it amusing.

      1. I ran into this back in, oh, 2004, during a Florida drought. Jacksonville public water department declared water restrictions, with fines for violating them. The HOA responded by sending notices to every home that failure to maintain a sufficiently green lawn would result in fines from the HOA.

        As a tenant whose lease didn’t say anything about compliance with HOA regulations, I was in a better fix than my neighbors. I told the HOA I was forwarding all present and future communications to the public water board, and to go fuck themselves. As I recall, the water board had to step in to rescue the rest of the homeowners though.

        First and last time I ever lived in a HOA. Watching my neighbors face $200 fines every week from one committee or another was what you might call an object lesson.

    2. They become petty tyrants?

      1. We have a winner

  54. Does the playhouse merit jail time? No, that’s silly.
    .
    Do the homeowners have a valid argument that ‘vague’ rules should be just as readily interpreted in their favor as against? Sure.
    .
    Are the homeowners idiots for thinking ‘vague’ rules will ever be interpreted in their favor as against the rulemakers? You bet.
    .
    “If you like your playhouse, you can keep your playhouse. Some restrictions may apply.” should give anybody over the age of about 12 fair notice that some restrictions are going to apply, and they’re going to get applied to your nutsack and they’re going to get applied good and hard.

    1. So hard that, ironically, your nut sack will turn purple.

      1. It’s harmonious with nature!

      2. Sac’s are not supposed to be naturally purple?

  55. I would need to know specifically what’s in the contract, and what the adjudication process is.

    If they actually thought it was a good idea to accept the property on condition of letting that HOA regulate the color of their structures, then I guess they’ll have to take one for the team.

    But I’m sure their lawyer is going over the contract right now, looking for loopholes.

    Unless, as the HOA hinted, it’s just too expensive to litigate, in which case I guess they’ll have to cave.

    1. But I’m sure their lawyer is going over the contract right now, looking for loopholes.

      I’ve got your loophole right here.

  56. I think the jackass HOA types need a serious beat down. If I were facing jail over something so ridiculous, rest assured I would beat the living nonsense out of the HOA idiot and go to jail for a worthy cause. People like this should reside on an island somewhere so noone can offend them. Morons.

    http://www.Total-Privacy.tk

    1. Anonbot 3.0, now more coherent than the trolls!

      1. Wow! Jack Frapp is not gonna leik that one bit!

        http://www.anonbotsmarterthanhyrtrolls.de/rp

  57. I hope to hell that HOA does something about that little girl playing in their neighborhood with that bright green dress. Oh, I feel the vapors coming on.

  58. Damned squirrels. For anyone who might have noticed my missing link in the drone thread:

    This is the one I intend to get – http://store.dji.com/product/p…..gQod0Y4Jvg

    1. That’s pretty nice. I wouldn’t mind having one but there are too many other toys I’d rather spend 1500 on. Sig 715. Canon has a new full frame camera out I believe us in that range as well. Nice Smoker. So many toys to choose from:)

    2. That’s pretty nice. I wouldn’t mind having one but there are too many other toys I’d rather spend 1500 on. Sig 715. Canon has a new full frame camera out I believe us in that range as well. Nice Smoker. So many toys to choose from:)

      1. Speaking of squirrels

      2. The great thing is there’s no reason why you and Suthen can’t enjoy your toys together.

        1. I saw that but first I heard about the sunbathing daughters.

        2. That’s a nice little blind

      3. Canon 6D is the full frame

        http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bn…..&A=details

      4. I already have all the cameras and guns I could ever want. Well, maybe just one more. No, two. Two more guns is all I want.

        1. LOL:) I can relate

  59. What is with this HOA and bleeding out of its eyes, and wherever?

    1. Nice:)

  60. Go out and buy the loudest, most obnoxious sounding motorcycle you can find. Ride around the neighborhood early every morning and late every evening for a couple weeks. Then let the HOA know that you thinking about either giving up your pre-dawn and post-dusk rides or the playground and see what they think.

    1. I just clean my guns while relaxing on my front porch, staring at the neighbors as they walk by.

      /Florida Man

  61. Seems as though the HOA is

    [dons Fist’s sunglasses]

    purple with anger.

    1. It’s as though
      [dons Biden’s sunglasses]
      The HOA is puttin’ them back in chains.

  62. Why are these people not in jail yet? We must have rules and regulations! Or else it’s chaos! Sure, it starts as a purple playhouse, then it’s the wild orgies every night, and then they’re luring the children over to their purple playhouse and shooting them up with marijuana.

    You anarchists are causing our country to go to pot.

  63. The HOA should never go here. Apoplexy will surely ensue.

    1. Apparently the HOA is not the only bunch who can’t go there.

      1. Pantsed the link!

        1. You know, if we had and edit button we could fix broken links…..

          1. Shhhh!! Are you new here? Obviously you don’t know the 2 forbidden words which are the only thing that can get you banned here, or worse!

            It shall not be spoken of…

            *sneaks away from computer in fear*

            1. Watch it. I’ll start talking about Lucy next.

              1. Just don’t post any abortion links or say anything to summon the Botard.

              2. We’ll let it slide.

    2. Sugarfree infected me (again). Charleston, SC

      1. Reminds me of some of the old neighborhoods in Olinda, Brazil.

        There it’s every color you can imagine and none of the house next to each other are the same color. I asked about it and a local told me it’s because back in the 1500s before there was such a thing as street addresses, people painted their houses a different color so that relatives or friends, or anyone they invited, could find their house. And the trend just stuck and now it’s a thing they do. I don’t know if that’s really why or not, just what I was told.

      2. Charleston would be a paradise for these people, with all the architectural and historical restrictions and what not.

        1. I am aware of the deep irony that the historical preservationists work hardest to fossilize in amber the very architecture that would never have existed if there had been people like them in charge when they were built.

  64. If I were the homeowner, there’s 2 things I would do.

    First, I would show my lawyer that letter where they threatened me with with jail time. There has to be laws against that, I mean impersonating law enforcement, making threats of jail with no authority to do so.

    Then, I would point out that the reason the HOA jackass is making such a fuss is because the playhouse is purple and he/she is anti-gay and I’d post that all over the internet.

  65. OT and perhaps stale, but I just discovered that Lois Lerner believes that “Citizens United is by far the worst thing that has ever happened to this country.” And yes, she’s aware of the Civil War.

    1. At least she’s honest. “I tool the 5th again…”

    2. Her being head of the IRS was worse. Her not being in jail now is worse. Not worse than the civil war, but worse than a lot of things, including Citizens United, which I don’t see as bad anyway.

      1. Citizen United killed my grandmother.

        1. Yeah, but did it rape your sister?

    3. Slavery, Japanese internment, prohibition, Jim Crow, Civil War…

      1. FDR, LBJ, Obo…
        The list goes on…

        1. Nickelback… oh wait, they’re Canadian.

          Let me try again.

          Bryan Adams… oh, shit, he’s Canadian too.

          The Canadians are the worst!

          1. Nikki is Canadian?

            1. Who knows, we’ve been infiltrated. We need to build a big wall to the north also.

              1. Keep out the Great White North Walkers!

              2. How about we build a big wall around Trump, then he’ll be safe from those dirty furrinners, and we’ll be safe from him.

      2. Japanese internment can’t be all that bad. George Takei is making a musical out of it.

    4. I can hardly think of anything worse than a few Americans making an anti-Hillary doc and daring to release it near an election. We’re trying to sustain a democracy here!

  66. Well, nobody’s stooped this low yet, so I will:

    I have a dream that one day swingsets will live in a neighborhood where they will not be judged by the color of their paint, but by the content of their structure.

  67. OT: Abe utters the “A” word.
    http://www.japantoday.com/cate…..just-words

    1. From the link:
      “The prospect for Japan’s relationship with China and South Korea remains uncertain, partially due to (Abe’s) view of history,”

      “View” of history. Is this like S. Clinton’s “view’ of destroying evidence?

      1. Remember this when listening to Japanese people talking about history:
        “We are an island country with no natural resources, so….”

        They honestly feel they are in a unique position in this manner and will use it to excuse behavior for which any other country would be raked over the coals.

        1. Strange that the government of Hong Kong never tried to take over the world, right?
          BTW, Japan has at least as much natural resources as does England, as if it mattered.

          1. Greater East Asia co Prosperity Sphere. They were just trying to make everybody prosper.

            1. We offered the world prosperity!

  68. 3 Men Face Charges After Going On ‘Treasure Hunt’ In Sewers Below Flatbush

    People should really not recreate episodes of Always Sunny.

    The police were alerted to the incident by a citizen who saw them pop the manhole open and climb in. Bratton praised the caller for following the “see something, say something” adage.

    Take that terrorism!

    1. We have to have law and order! And, they could have hurt themselves!

  69. Andrew Breitbart must be spinning in his grave over what has happened to his website.

    Good lord. They’re now the biggest Trump supporting idiots on the planet and have been trashing Megyn Kelly for like a week now because she dared to question His Trumpness the Almighty, Lord and Savior, Defender of the Realm and Slayer of the Hordes from Mexico.

    The website itself has run articles attacking Kelly for making sex jokes with Howard Stern 5 years ago (the horror!) and ran an article criticizing every question she asked during the debate, one by one.

    Meanwhile, their commenters are involved in conspiracy theories about leftists faking death threats to Megyn Kelly in order to wrongfully smear Trump supporters. It’s a fucking freak show.

    1. I am glad the #cuckservative types are congregating in one place.

    2. To be honest, it doesn’t sound like the site has changed that much. It was always just a step away from Worldnet Daily.

      1. Andrew Breitbart outright called Trump a fake conservative and said if conservatives weren’t capable they’d get an idiotic celebrity candidate.

        Furthermore, multiple Breitbart staffers have claimed that their website is getting paid by Trump for positive coverage. If this is true, and the site obviously denies it, then that’s something Andrew Breitbart never would have allowed.

        1. I wasn’t talking about Andrew himself, but the commenters there.

    3. Check this comment:

      I’m glad she is gone, I needed a vacation from HER, I get real tired of sitting through her show waiting for Sean Hanity. I was really P Oed when they shifted him to 10PM… They need to shift her to 10PM.

      I larfed

      1. I would have instantly assumed that was a parody, but that #cuckservative stuff means that anything is possible.

      2. The conspiracy theories over there are hysterical:

        “You do realize Fox makes more money with a Democrat in the white house than with a republican right?

        THey push the candidate they know will lose against the dem so that when it happens they have lots of pissed of goppers watching and taking their ratings up.”

        Heard it here first – Fox News tries to get Democrats elected for ratings.

        “Megan got drunk on power and now the hangover sets in……and she realizes she just lost a lot of viewers….so does the Network….”

        She’s still pulling in 3 million viewers a night, you idiot Trump supporters.

        1. If you haven’t ever, try reading the comments at WND and Alex Jones site. Whenever I’m bored with reading the crazies comments at HuffPo and Politico, I go over there and read the socon and conspiracy threory crazies comments.

          1. You haven’t really lived until you’ve looked at the comments on other conspiracy sites. Especially the ones that trash Alex Jones because he’s part of the conspiracy (various reasons given for that one, usually it’s because his wife is Jewish).

        2. It’s Megyn, you dolts, (not directed at you Irish). As far as the trolls that inhabit opinion news she’s the least retarded of the bunch. Her presentation needs work,but compared to an idjit like Rachel or Ed or Matthews, it’s not even close.

          I’d guess she will take over for O’Reilly at some point. I imagine it will help Fox. Trumptards are spending their hours jerking each other off. Not a winning strategy.

      3. Good lord, turn the tv off.

        1. And then kill yourself.

    4. Fox should let Kennedy do the next debate. It’s pretty much guaranteed that she’ll interrupt every candidate equally! No one will actually get to answer a question, but equality!

      1. SOCTUS Kennedy would be fun, too. He could translate what the candidates really meant to say.

        1. And then declare that the solution to each issue is a penaltax.

        2. *SCOTUS justice* … and I still don’t want an edit button.

          1. What straffinrun really meant is he DOES want an edit button, because the plain text of his comment was obviously not what he was trying to accomplish.
            /Justice Kennedy

  70. The only appropriate response to the HOA: Suck a dick, dumbshits.

  71. Well, theoretically, seeing as how none of the neighbors give a shit, I’d say find whoever is causing trouble and firebomb his house, because it’s color scheme (and owner) is non-harmonious with the rest of the neighborhood. You’d send him to jail, but since you don’t own one, getting rid of the offending property would work alright. Also, something something woodchippers?

  72. Funny. Now that my f.lux filter has kicked in for the night, the swing set looks brown. Problem solved!

  73. Pretty sure n HOA does not have the power to put anyone in jail. Stop with the misleading head-lines.

  74. I asked a couple of friends who are attorneys what they thought about the threat of jail time. According to them, it’s pure fear-mongering and coercion. No actual laws have been broken, and, HOA’s do not have the legal authority to create or impose such penalties. That privilege is reserved for state and federal legislatures and, to a lesser extent, to local city/county governments as long as it doesn’t violate state/federal laws. The worst that an HOA can do is sue for breach of contract, however, this is now out of the question because the HOA has already officially overturned its own ruling. The HOA may choose to pursue the matter but, ultimately, it will end up costing THEM (and the other homeowners who pay their dues) more money. Not only will the HOA be attempting to perpetrate a frivolous lawsuit at the expense of all of the homeowners but, the HOA sets itself up for a counter-suit because it has already overturned its initial ruling. Since this falls into the “tort law” category, the family can recoup any funds pertaining to litigation and can petition for “emotional distress” and even additional “punitive damages”. What the family in question should do is to call for an official meeting of the homeowners, find out where everyone stands, and consider filing a motion to remove certain HOA board members or to dissolve the HOA in its entirety. This is simply a case of someone or some group within the HOA board that got butt-hurt.

  75. There is no color that would ever be harmonious with nature because nature changes throughout the year.

    Because she agreed to live in a community with an HOA (and only because of that) I think it would have been smart to paint it to match the colors of her house, or the colors of a house in the neighborhood that go well with the green and yellow plastics.

    All that said, HOAs are so worthless and over the top as to be ridiculous. They are a microcosm of what is wrong with America.

  76. I hate when the facts aren’t reported (because they get in the way of a good story, I guess.) Here is an excerpted quote from the letter “threatening jail”:
    “…you left the board with no choice but to engage this office to pursue a mandatory injunction action against you to obtain a court order directing your removal of the swing set. Failure to respond to any anticipated court ordered injunction directing your removal of the swing set could result in your being held in civil contempt of the cort’s order which would bring with it a dialy fine or jail time until the swing set was removed, as ordered. Such an action could also result in the POA’s attorney fees and costs in pursuing its action against you being assessed against you…”

    I guess you could say this is threatening jail time. Below is the link to an actual picture of the letter.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/nduyw3b

  77. so, you’ve all mentioned the stuff I thought about reading the article, like how the HOA is now actionable for making threats, and the vagaries of the contract

    but you guys keep saying they should get “their lawyer” to do these things. Fuck that. Dude, why spend the money? Just write your complaints pro-se, and spam them with a bunch of complaints. The HOA’s claims are without merit and will obviously falter. Also, make ethics complaints about their lawyer making threats. Call their bluff at first. Even if you lose, thanks to our stupid lack of a loser-pays law, you don’t have much to lose. But it probably won’t even go all the way through to court.

    This is why we need to make it legal for paralegals to write documents directly for people. Or rather, firmly establish that it is legal. The only reason it’s “illegal” is lawyers want their cartel. DIY law needs to be more accessible

  78. Here’s an idea: they should go to all of their neighbors and ask them if they (the family in question) can plant free violets around the base of their trees. Then they go out and buy a bunch at home depot and plant them for whichever neighbors agreed. Now it’s even more difficult for the HOA to make their case since the color is obviously one found in nature and now it’s also prevalent in their neighbor’s yards.

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