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Baitball Blogger

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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Seminole County, Florida
Member since: Sun Mar 18, 2012, 10:16 PM
Number of posts: 36,462

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

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

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

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

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

One last bit of advice: Don't fall for it.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sun Oct 18, 2020, 09:43 AM (56 replies)

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

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

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

THAT's what they're fighting for. They know they can continue to cheat the system as long as Republicans are in control.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Mon Oct 12, 2020, 06:48 PM (0 replies)

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

You are not part of the real American experience, unless your culture gets thoroughly trashed, toppled and tuned-out. Today we've come full circle. Today, the confederate culture in America is experiencing the hostile behavior that they helped create. A taste of one's own medicine, I believe is what they call it.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sat Jun 13, 2020, 09:24 AM (1 replies)

Just some errant free association thoughts today about social behavior.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's how far I got in my free association this morning. To determine who is right, and who is wrong, we would have to examine the situation to determine what group has taken unfair advantage of the situation to aggrieve the other side.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Tue May 26, 2020, 09:40 AM (0 replies)

Following the trail of the Great Facemask Heist of 2020.

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

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

Billions of face masks sent to China during Australian bushfire crisis

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

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

https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142462576

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

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

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

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

https://www.state.gov/the-united-states-announces-assistance-to-combat-the-novel-coronavirus/


And more recently:

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

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

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

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/31/pence-task-force-coronavirus-aid-157806

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

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




Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sat Apr 4, 2020, 12:34 PM (19 replies)

This was predictable. All of it.

(Reposted on a Duer's recommendation)

What is happening today within American society started long before today. The seeds were evident in the nineties and could be observed in a simple exercise that the Chamber of Commerce conducted every year. My friend told me about this. She participated in the exercise.

The Chamber of Commerce would hold a session with people in the community, dividing them into three groups. One group was defined as the wealthy, the second as the teachers and health workers and the third as the poor. The wealthy were allowed access to coffee and a table of pastries that were in the room. It was determined that the wealthy could invite others to the food and drink if they wished.

And then the three groups were sent to three different rooms to assess how they wanted the exercise to "evolve" based on their qualities. When the poor group made it into the room, they discovered an empty room. No chairs, no tables.

When the groups again reconvened, the person monitoring the exercise asked what everyone determined. Mostly, questions were asked to get a full understanding of their group's power and ability or limitations. The monitor answered their questions, explaining that there were consequences to their decisions. And then the monitor told them that they were to go back into their respective room to determined what would happen next. When the poor group got up, they stole the chairs in the conference room to have something to sit on.

When the groups again reconvened, the wealthy group had penalties set up for the poor for stealing the chairs. They seemed to enjoy using their power to inflict hardships on the other groups. They even withheld food from the poor eventually "killing" a few from starvation.

I don't know where the pandemic twist came in, but the wealthy were so annoyed with the poor group that they tied the hands of the health service group from helping the poor to ensure that they would only provide assistance to the wealthy.

By the end of the day, only the members of the wealthy group survived.

Which, I might add, would not really happen that way because viruses don't discriminate based on financial portfolios.

The Chamber of Commerce said that of all the times they conducted the exercise they had never seen such dire results. That was in the nineties and that kind Highlander exhibition reflected what I felt was going on in my community.

On edit: It may have been an organization invited by the Chamber of Commerce that would conduct these exercises, and not the CoC themselves.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Thu Mar 26, 2020, 05:03 PM (0 replies)

Yup. They try to implicate everyone around them, and own them.

I was a victim of fraud in the nineties. The older residents of my community were holding meetings behind our backs and already had agreement between themselves about how they were going to fleece our community, stripping it of our common grounds. They excluded us out of critical meetings with the new developer who was going to finish off the second phase of the development. They were told by a good ole boy with connections to the Mayor into believing that we had no power to stop the new developer because our community had not yet been turned over to us. So, they assumed our common grounds were up for grabs, and let us believe that was the situation. They thought that if they could cooperate with the developer, and support his plans that the developer would agree to transfer the common grounds around their property over to them. So they participated in a con-job, bullying and willfully spreading lies to the rest of us about the status of our community.

In the end, I figured out that the Mayor's friend lied to all of us. I found the papers he had signed ten years earlier that transferred the community over to us homeowners. In other words, we had all the rights to stop the new development, but the greed among the homeowners who wanted those common grounds interfered with a clear understanding of what happened.

I spent the last twenty plus years firming up the details to clearly see the extent of their evil machinations. I had to, because I knew I had been conned. You see, in order to cover up the extent of their conspiracy, they had to hold HOA meeting to make it look like they were on the up and up. I attended those meetings, which I call the Sitting Duck meetings. It was in those "legal" HOA meetings where they spread lies and misinformation in order to control what we knew, which then, limited the decisions we were able to make. We were being conned.

But, they must have felt pretty stupid because their con job blew up in their faces when the developer took over the property he wanted with a replat, and then told the crooks in my community thank you, but he didn't have the power to deed common grounds over to them. They must have been furious. They figured out that the good ole boy friend of the Mayor had lied to them. But they kept it to themselves and I believe they have been using the Association funds and common grounds to make themselves whole. It's those private meetings that they hold between themselves that turns this into a conspiracy, because they never stopped gaslighting.

And here is where I connect with your post: They told everybody outside of our community that we had approved every step of the decision making process because we attended the Sitting Duck meetings where they gave us an American Kabuki dance. It will always be a reflection of this horribly corrupt community, how they tried to spread their stink on us because we attended the "legally noticed meetings" where information was strategically spread to us.

I'll never forget how they kept pointing fingers at me, because I attended those meetings. I had to dig out of feelings of Christian guilt to understand that I was a victim of fraud. I tried to change things, but couldn't, because I learned like everybody else that comes across Shadow Governments, how resilient they are, because they are basically the status quo.

And that's why I have, for the last sixteen years, avoided the HOA meetings. In this community, legally noticed meetings are just the place where they spread misinformation and outright lies in an effort to control our decisions and perceptions. Should we dare to ask the right questions, the gaslighting and bullying just increases.

The only way to stop it is to expose the corrupting nature of this small town status quo.

Posted by Baitball Blogger | Thu Jan 30, 2020, 04:01 PM (0 replies)

Little Conspiracies - More tales of bad behavior in my Florida HOA.

Sometimes I wonder how people are going to react when they read about the strange things that seem to happen all too often around here. I can tell you that I've never read anywhere else the kind of things that seem to be normal in my development. Today I'll write about how people behave when they are afraid that someone is catching on to the fact that our Association has been under the influence of backwater dealings for some time. Keep in mind that all if not most of my observations come from video clips from the security cameras that I have collected over the years.

For those that don't know, my neighborhood was involved in a larger community scandal in the nineties. The extent of the good ole boy maneuvering that took place in the early stages of the development is now coming to the surface because the poorly constructed areas are now in need of repair. No one wants to pay - and no one should since the city's backwater methods are largely to blame. The city leaders empowered the wrong kind of people who not only helped interfere with the business interests of a developer, but they also thought they could enrich themselves by defrauding members of my community by spreading misinformation about our legal rights. That is the big picture.

But I study human behavior and how this affected them in the years that followed has been a point of interest. There are patterns. Like the person who used to be afraid that someone would follow her in her early morning walks. Keep in mind that I am not usually wide awake and out of bed until after nine in the am so I have to rely on quick scans of the security camera clips to see what happened in the morning. I assumed she was concerned because a couple of time she pointed at my house before she left and her husband took a picture of my car, probably to show her that no one drove the car out of the driveway while she was gone. I just wonder how many other people she inconvenienced with what could be interpreted as defamation. Seriously, what is anyone going to do around here? We're more scared of them because of their connections.

I always wondered how much of her "fear" was made up because no one else in this neighborhood had ever moved in and walked so comfortably in and around people's houses in the early morning hours. And I say this as someone who was very concerned when she started trespassing on my property. It is something that has been remedied once I got the police involved.

But, there are still signs that small groups are still meeting and I would love to hear from other people in HOAs to find out if this kind of behavior is normal: Someone jogs in and out before or after the cabal leaves in their cars at the same time in the morning. What is the jogger, a look out? It's the same guy that comes in sporadically, but always at a time when it appears that cabal members are leaving in groups. The guy doesn't live in the community so it's a tell. .

The worst I have seen was when a group of neighbors were loaded up in a van and left for a meeting which took most of the day. While they were gone, the same two or three cars drove in and out of the neighborhood, slowly, like they were making sure no one was messing with the cabal's property. A few months after that meeting, the cable company came in and laid down new cable on their side of the community. I imagine that's why they wanted secrecy.

But I determined that this was a practiced method when I wrote to the president of the Association to discuss an issue of concern. He responded with a hand-written letter delivered to my door to tell me that he had a HOA meeting to discuss the issue and I could appear at a board meeting where he would tell us what they had decided. Except, that there was no noticed HOA meeting. They just talk among themselves and come up with a consensus.

All this happened within the last five years. Because I made a stink of things, usually by writing about them on this website, there are signs that they are waking up. Like they are finally publicly noticing our HOA meetings. But they still can't resist with those private get-togethers, which I directly relate to the backwater methods that still control every aspect of our lives.

Like this morning, when the tall man jogged in and out; and cars from the usual suspects left at the same time. And tonight, when board members met for an hour, at the same time that more of the usual suspects walked or jogged up and down the street.

It's Florida, and if I've learned anything about this community, we don't enjoy the benefits of a legally run HOA that is concerned with fiduciary responsibility because too many people are tribal and putting their interests first. And it won't get better until it is all exposed. Much like the problem we have with Trump at a National level.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Thu Nov 7, 2019, 09:40 PM (0 replies)

I was raised in a household where both parents instilled qualities

of a public servant. It is a life of self-deprivation and constant self checking with everything you do in your every day life. Most people would see it as repressive. I certainly did as I grew up. But you learned to respect it because the job was honorable and the reason you did it was because you knew that as a public servant you had a target on your back. It was easy for someone like Trump to tear down your work and purpose if they found some human frailty.

That was over forty years ago, but Trump has brought that reality to life. It is just something that public servants have to live with.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Thu Oct 17, 2019, 10:04 AM (0 replies)

Breakfast meetings in Florida - Easily abused.

When Acosta made the case that breakfast meetings were common in Florida, it set off alarm bells. I see them as something that is insidious.

In the 90s our area in Central Florida was a point of interest for the State and Feds. There were roads to be built, including a nature Trailway that I suspect one day will turn into a metro rail when the population requires better transportation. That meant federal and state money was coming into the area. The feds and the state were therefore, interested in finding local support for their plans.

Then, there was the local interests. At the time, there was a huge fight going on between the former owner of the Country Club and its members. It might seem like the local interests and the state and federal interests had nothing to do with each other, except for one glaring problem. Based on the way the locals would set up the game board, you had to deal with many of those members in order to find support for government projects. The board would be heavily influenced by the Country Club issue when Country Club members ran and were elected for office in late 1996.

Once in office, they anointed the local Rotary Club as the nearest thing to a local professional organization and ordered the City Manager to become a member because it was their desire for the City and the Community leaders to communicate better.

It was a foolish arrangement because anyone would know what would happen. The City Manager was looking for support and used these meetings to establish relationships. Whether it was a dinner that followed at a local restaurant, or in the meeting itself, his job was to find out what people wanted in return for City support. It was a pattern that probably continues to this day. City officials joined these private organizations and had direct access to the most self-interested people in the community. Community leaders - elected officials.

In short, the feds and the state got their road and my community turned into a cautionary tale to show the folly of Central Florida's shadow government, which uses far too many secretive meetings to push their causes. Those people who live in our communities that are given far too much access, get far too much influence. Even enough to undermine our own Association documents.

It certainly destroyed my trust in government when the good ole boys in my community were able to over-run our community documents for their own benefit. Instead, they gave the Mayor's friend, who lived in my community, freehand to frame the issues. It was a big miss when the City would fail to conduct proper due diligence when our community's final stage of development was up for review in 1998. The City would, wittingly or unwittingly, turn into a co-conspirator with these people, allowing incompetence and lack of oversight to advance their causes in City Hall. And it all hinged on relationships, in particular with one resident who had influence with the mayor and country club members -- probably because he was known to buy and sell golfcourses.

I call him Resident Roil. Every good ole boy community has one. He or she is a civilian who has entirely too much influence with community leaders and elected officials. The City would accept his word and never looked too deeply beyond what he said, probably because they needed his support for other city projects. I see this as an intentional strategy: Find the loudest critics of the City, and turn them. From what I observed, once they're turned they stop attacking the city, and start spreading misinformation in order to support the city's projects. And, they also defame those who start asking too many questions.

What I got was an eye awakening. So much to say about those days, but the one thing that I became the most wary about was how this backwater network would communicate outside of the normal, legal process. And it was those damn breakfast meetings at the Rotary Club that stand out the most.

In the 1998 HOA meetings, we were told that we had no legal rights to stop the new developer from developing the community next door. It was a lie. Our own Resident Roil had signed the documents that turned the Association over to us in 1989. It was a glaring failure to inform us of critical information. It was going to be a victim of a con. But, we relied on information from those who had the most interest in misleading us. They said we had one way out of our situation. We had Resident Roil's relationship with the mayor. Not only do they play golf together, but he'll see him at the Rotary Club breakfast meetings. Lots more information was communicated that I could show how we were being manipulated into a huge con-job. But let's stay on the topic of these breakfast meetings.

By the time I understood what was going on, I began to realize that Resident Roil was part of a shadow government that used the Rotary Club as a front. It's a civic organization that promotes the selfless nature of its members. I know quite a few Rotary Club members from that time, and selfless is not a word I would use to describe them. Several Rotary Club members would move into the community as the project went through the City process in 1998. And it became apparent that they were part of a group in our HOA that were in favor of supporting the new developer of the sister side of our community, BECAUSE THEY HOPED THAT THIS NEW DEVELOPER WOULD HAND OVER THE DEEDS TO OUR COMMON GROUNDS THAT WERE ALONG THEIR HOUSES. No surprise that they moved into homes along those common grounds. No surprise that Resident Roil had a choice piece of common ground behind his house.

Right there and then, I realized that the Rotary Club was a front. If my story gets traction I hope I put pressure on these private organizations to divorce themselves from these bad actors. In Florida, people wear many hats. If the Rotary Club wants to retain its selfless nomenclature, it needs to pay attention to the laws of Florida and ensure that its organization is not being used by people who are greedy as hell everywhere else. And if the case is that they want to support the backwater ways, let's just put that on the table so we can all be forewarned.

Those breakfast meetings. It always galled me to think how my fate was wrapped up before I even had time to get the kids off to school. So, in sum, Acosta made a big mistake defending them.


Posted by Baitball Blogger | Thu Jul 11, 2019, 10:54 AM (8 replies)
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