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Monday, December 22, 2014

South Carolina legislators beholden to HOAs

"What the Homeowners Association system does is allow your county to abdicate their responsibility for taking care of you, while they continue to collect taxes. Once in your HOA, you get to pay the county AND the HOA for services you enjoy." - HOA Warrior 

Corrupt government and the good ol' boy network is alive and well in South Carolina. And one of the issues making that clear is abusive shenanigans by Homeowner's Associations (HOAs) all across the state. Three years ago was when public uproar first forced elected stooges to pay lip service to the problem, and this year, as HOA abuse festered and grew, irate homeowners along Horry County's Grand Strand forced their do-nothing "representatives" into the spotlight again, when a whopping 1,000 folks showed up at a meeting in October to protest abuses that never should have come about in the first place. As these corrupt, mini-government extensions of corrupt state and county governments kick homeowners around from coast to coast, it's obvious that the need isn't to reform - the need is to abolish.

It wuzza real hoot watchin' elected stooges for HOAs put on a grand performance at the meeting in Horry County. Ya gotta do something to pacify people when they start coming together, outraged over the unconscionable antics dished out by mafia-style gangs under color of law. Things can get downright embarrassing, especially when such events get publicized. And in this age of the Internet, it's gotten kinda hard for corrupt governments to keep things quiet.

And corruption it is. As I addressed in a previous post, state and county governments have a vested interest in allowing HOA gangs to rip people off. Sure beats raising those taxes, which, make no mistake, is what HOAs are all about. Play the HOA game right, and governments get to continue their wasteful misuse of taxpayer money that would otherwise have to be spent on legitimate improvements for neighborhoods. Such waste was recently epitomized by the unnecessary and unworkable installation of two traffic circles (roundabouts) in my neighborhood, Quail Hollow, in W. Columbia, South Carolina, promoted by the Quail Hollow Community Association as the gang demonstrated its camaraderie with the bloodsucking power structure of Lexington County. Next thing ya knew, the gang suckered a sufficient number of residents into relieving Lexington County of the burden of maintaining stop signs and street markers. I was one of many residents who declined to participate in the voluntary effort. It's a howling thigh-slapper when folks start paying for things they've already paid for. Of course, the gang is looking forward to strong-arming residents out of dues sufficient to pay for stop sign and street sign maintenance, and no telling what else as the gang bullies residents to pay dues, based on a ridiculous "neighborhood voting" shenanigan offered up as justification for suddenly making dues mandatory after said dues had been voluntary for close to half a century. HOA dues are de facto taxes, so bear in mind that the more these gangs bully folks, the better corrupt governments like it. Will HOAs stoop to fraud in an effort to fleece folks outta moolah? You bet they will. Check out this lawsuit filed against an HOA in Nevada. Talk about obnoxious, money-wastin' gangs...  

No informed citizen in South Carolina should be surprised at the blabber coming from paid-off stooges - er I mean state legislators - as they "respond" - once again - to growing public outrage over out-of-control HOAs. The very idea, for example, of suggesting - with a straight face - that citizens be "given" the right to sue HOAs in magistrates court instead of being forced to engage in expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining "regular" lawsuits. Such an inane "response" to the HOA problem only exemplifies the need to abolish rather than reform. And be extra careful about laws requiring that home buyers be given copies of pertinent information about HOAs. Such laws can increase HOA dues to cover the expense of making copies, keeping information updated, etc. ad nauseum. Here again, the answer isn't to reform HOAs, the answer is to abolish 'em.

A thousand irate homeowners coming together is a good start. Looks like the next protest will need to take place in front of the capitol building in Columbia.

Update 1/2/2015 - Complaints against Homeowners Associations have been pouring in from all across South Carolina since 2005. As this article makes clear, state legislators are no more than paid-off stooges for these terrorist gangs known as HOAs. These gangs are unjustifiably foreclosing on peoples' homes while crooked legislators pander to special interest groups, ignoring the plight of homeowners. 

Update 4/13/2016 - Sometimes the "special interests" turn out to be their own, evidenced by South Carolina's lawyer-generated probate racket

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quail Hollow Community Association shows favortism

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Quail Hollow Community Association is now requiring homeowners who have cyclone fences in their back yards (just for the record, I don't have one, and fences of any kind have never been allowed in front yards) to remove that portion of the fence that extends from the sides of their houses. This late-breaking requirement came about over the past year for a neighborhood that got started over 40 years ago.

Not only is the timing bad - especially for a matter that bothered nobody for almost half a century - but I know of only one resident that received formal notification - a letter from the Association gang - about a cyclone fence. I've confirmed that at least one other resident with a cyclone fence never got such a letter, so it's anyone's guess as to which residents have been singled out for harassment.

No wonder the issue of favortism (scroll down to "Common themes" in this article) was spotlighted this year when those 1,000 homeowners protested the way Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are being run in Horry County, South Carolina. In fact, the issue of selective enforcement of regulations is a problem with HOA gangs all across the country.

As I discussed previously, HOAs are state-sanctioned racketeering. Lately, I've been pondering the notion that if people are intrinsically good, we need not have government, and if people are intrinsically bad (which I believe to be the case), we dare not have government. Meanwhile, just how well-organized and powerful these HOA gangs are is unbeknownst to most folks.

It's time to abolish HOAs. They've proven to be far more trouble than they're worth, including physical altercations at meetings expensive, time-consuming small claims actions over the imposition of ridiculous fees. It's a real hoot when South Carolina's corporate-controlled puppets - er I mean elected officials - wring their hands and suggest that homeowner discontent with HOAs might be addressed by "allowing" homeowners to sue HOAs in small claims court. Thanks, but no thanks.

The fox is guarding the hen house.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Can homeowner associations suddenly make dues mandatory?

1/14/2018 update: A FEDERAL LAWSUIT has been filed against several of these neighborhood gangs in South Carolina, arguing that Homeowner Associations don't have the right to foreclose on people's homes. Stay tuned.

1/9/2018 update: Here's where my neighborhood is gonna wind up, thanks to residents who are DUMB enough to pay dues. Latest on this story.

5/17/2017 update: The gang suckered some residents into joining by promising to limit dues increases to 10% during any one year (cleverly implying that dues increases would be unlikely anyway). For 2017, the gang is now proposing a dues increase of a whoppin' 54% for a grand total of $85 bucks (they had already increased to $55). Never underestimate the gullibility of an American public that doesn't mind being taxed twice.

Over a thousand homeowners coming together to protest the way HOAs are being run in Horry County, South Carolina really got my attention. Lately, the HOA in my neighborhood, Quail Hollow, in W. Columbia, SC, Lexington County, has been demanding membership dues of $50 per year, adding late fees for anyone who doesn't pay, and threatening to "eventually" put liens on the properties of folks who steadfastly refuse to hand over the moolah.

This would be understandable - and believeable - except for the fact that for about 35 years, membership and dues were voluntary. Members were clearly earmarked in the Quail Hollow directory, revealing that almost half of the families - 'bout 150 outta 325 or so - declined to join. Then the economy took a dive, and efforts to increase membership started getting more aggressive. Then, within the past couple of years, a scheme was devised by which everyone in the neighborhood was to vote on whether or not dues would be mandatory. The "referendum" - many folks, myself included, refused to participate - was followed by a declaration that "the majority" had spoken, and dues would henceforth be required. Then came announcements of late fees and threats of liens - plus attorney's fees - for anyone who didn't cooperate.

The lawyer I spoke with placed a great deal of weight on what the understanding was when property was purchased. He thought the Association's "voting" scheme sounded like a bluff designed to intimidate residents into handing over their money. He offered to research the issue and provide a written opinion for $600. That would be one Jackson each for 30 interested families, and I've started a list.

Point is, if something's a good deal, ya don't have to force folks to support it. Fact is, the Quail Hollow Community Association is anything but a "good deal." I targeted the gang's ineptitude and wastefulness in a previous post. Moreover, while the $50 per year may sound paltry, only a fool would believe the amount isn't likely to increase. If the gang can suddenly force residents to hand over membership dues, increasing the amount of those dues would be an ever present possibility, along with no telling (literally) what else. The $50 per year smacks of a ploy designed to sucker people into being bullied, with more in store.

As things now stand, it's anyone's guess as to who's gonna sue whom, for what, and when, if at all. In the meantime, I'm finding out plenty of disturbing things about HOAs. State government is involved, either actively or passively, folks are being forced to pay for services ordinarily covered by taxes, and there seems to be fertile ground for some sort of takeover at the federal level. Is there a hidden agenda to put neighborhoods under the direct control of a federal agency such as the Department of Homeland Security? No, I'm not trying to be an alarmist. Amidst daily assaults on constitutional rights, I simply think it's a valid question. And the fact that "Neighborhood Watch" signs have popped up all over Quail Hollow hasn't done anything to ease my concern. Neither has this year's publication of "In the Common Interest: Embracing the New American Community," by the politically-well-connected-Texan, John Corona. Talk about propaganda. Talk about bald-faced lies...

A whiff of tyranny is in the air.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Homeowners associations amount to state-sanctioned racketeering

HOAs are a part of a state-supported racket intended to force homeowners to assume responsibilities and pay costs that should be borne by government. These bullying gangs - a problem all across Police State USA - are run by inept busybodies who delight in forcing homeowners to comply with inane interpretations of regulations, and equally inane - and never-ending - amendments to existing regulations. Membership dues - along with money obtained for cleverly promoted "donation projects" - are squandered on ill-advised "improvements," lining the coffers of those businesses "selected" to do the work. Government has a vested interest in expanding, not limiting, the control these neighborhood gangs have over the taxpaying public. No wonder tax breaks are granted to HOAs.

As residents along South Carolina's Grand Strand appeal to - yes, state legislators - for help, I've reflected on the unlikelihood of meaningful change. It's noteworthy that state legislators held statewide hearings on problems with HOAs three years ago, obviously to no avail, which should surprise nobody who's studied the matter. Reading about the government's relationship with HOAs, at least I realized what the underlying motivations were for a recent "voluntary donation project" cleverly promoted by the HOA gang in my neighborhood.

I thought it wuz kinda strange when the gang wanted homeowners to voluntarily make donations to pay for fancy new replacements for stop signs and street signs when these items, plus maintenance, had already been paid for via Lexington County taxes. Apparently, the HOA gang never thought of requesting the county to fulfill its obligation to replace delapidated signs. Instead, the HOA gang breezed right ahead with colorful flyers promoting ultra expensive, privately financed signs - touted as an "improvement" for the neighborhood - and pulled it off by suckering enough people to donate. Many residents - myself included - thought the idea was ridiculous and simply declined to participate. Seemed innocuous enough at the time. After all, donations were voluntary. What was the big deal?

Now that I've taken a closer look at HOAs and their relationship with government, I realize that it was a very big deal indeed. Lexington County was not only relieved of replacing signs, but Quail Hollow residents foolishly obligated themselves to maintain the new signs in the future. Real hoot when ya start payin' for stuff that's already been paid for. Worse yet, the new signs are an eyesore. The things are as hideous as they are humongous, combining stop signs and street signs in the gaudiest fashion imaginable. Oh, well. What's a measly $18,000 if it helps the tax-hungry, bloodsucking power structure of Lexington County? And just think how happy it made the business people who were selected to do the work. By what process such contracts are awarded, of course, is anyone's guess. To top the joke off, the Quail Hollow Community Association put the original street markers up for sale as "souveniers." Talk about a thigh-slapper.

The stop sign and street sign fiasco is a prime example of the cozy relationship twixt the power structure and so-called homeowners associations. Foxes will be guarding the hen house when state legislators tackle the HOAs problem, prodded by the MASSIVE crowd of irate homeowners who showed up at the 10/29/2014 meeting in Horry County. Expect a grand performance as legislators make a few cosmetic adjustments to the HOAs scam. Perhaps homeowners will be given permission to spend time, money and effort fighting HOAs in magistrates court, while the "people's representatives" feign unawareness of the nature of the racket. And depend on groups such as Realtor organizations - part of the problem from the outset - to take "leadership" roles as they consort with powerful political interests, tossing out a few more bones in an effort to placate an outraged public. Will Realtor groups finally get around to requiring sales people to present documents pertaining to HOAs prior to closing sales? Whoop Dee Doo. For decades, purchasers should have been advised of the details and risks of HOAs not only "prior to closing," but prior to signing sales contracts.

Hundreds of homeowners coming together - over a thousand according to several reports - to protest the dishonest, bullying tactics of homeowners associations is encouraging, and the massive turnout must have terrified the power structure. Hopefully, those folks will come to realize the dimensions of the HOAs scam, and will thereby make their displeasure known when elected officials (don't blame me - I quit voting long ago) refuse to make meaningful changes to one of the best government rackets money can buy. Otherwise...

If Americans are dumb enough - and cowardly enough - to tolerate tyranny, so be it.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Quail Hollow Community Association threatens homeowners

I was thrilled to read that along South Carolina's coast, folks from the Grand Strand are targeting state lawmakers with complaints about the way "homeowners associations" are being run. These folks have lots of company, not only in South Carolina, but all across the nation: "Over the past decade, a citizen movement has grown to curb the power of homeowner associations, which remain largely unregulated." As the economy spirals downward, expect a barrage of shenanigans aimed at making you hand over your hard-earned dollars to these gangs, along with the businesses involved when you're forced to alter your property to comply with inane, unceasing "amendments" to regulations. What it amounts to, as the above-referenced article points out, is state-sanctioned racketeering: "Homeowner associations first took off in the 1970s as local governments looked for a way to offload costly services, such as snow removal and road repair. Municipalities have encouraged their growth since through tax incentives and zoning laws." Raising taxes is risky political business. Better to quietly pass numerous costs along to homeowners. Note: My 11/6/14 blog post targets the cozy relationship twixt government and HOAs.   

My neighborhood - Quail Hollow, West Columbia, South Carolina, Lexington County - is a case in point.

Folks are sick and tired of being harassed by the Quail Hollow Complainers - er I mean Community - Association. I've lived in Quail Hollow for about 35 years, and supported the gang - with misgivings - for most of that time, even though dues were not mandatory. Several years ago, I decided that the Association is nothing more than a high-falutin' social club run by busybodied troublemakers, and to invest my money elsewhere. As things now stand, only about half the neighborhood - about 150 households - joins.

If any one thing confirmed the correctness of my decision, it was the installation of two traffic circles (roundabouts) along Ephrata Drive, unfailingly highlighted in the Association's newsletter, nary an objection raised. Not that there had been vehicle accidents to justify the undertaking. The roundabouts resulted from plain, old-fashioned stupidity on the part of not only the Association, but also Lexington County's political powers. What a wasteful, annoying, and dangerous mess the roundabouts turned out to be. Initially, the intersections were tampered with by adding obnoxious "all way" stops. But alas. That failed to produce accidents, so the next step was installing roundabouts.

County workers couldn't even install 'em correctly. Had to tear one out and start over (not to worry, what's an additional waste of taxpayer money?), and still wound up with something that poses an obstacle to emergency vehicles, school buses, and anyone who needs to negotiate the intersection with a trailer. Entering the roundabouts - visibility is poor, right-of-way iffy - is downright scary. County "leaders" who mandated this idiocy were not deterred by the fact that the intersections are way too small for such contraptions in the first place.

But the real punch line to the joke isn't the least bit funny. An unfortunate out-of-towner ran her car smack dab into a newly-installed roundabout one night, and it's rumored the car was totalled. Indeed, the driver was lucky her vehicle didn't explode. Not hard to understand. When ya start buildin' obstacles in the middle of a road, it doesn't take a genius to figute out what's probably gonna happen. Voila - at long last, the much sought after, serious accident finally occurred. For a long time thereafter, blinking lights and warning signs were placed around the roundabout, ringing the ol' cash register once again at taxpayer expense. And the Association? It wuz suddenly afflicted with a "roundabout silence" that spoke volumes. If asked, the Association will now say it had nothing to do with the roundabouts being built, which, of course, is technically correct. To say the roundabouts are a sore point in the neighborhood is an understatement.

Then there's the matter of homeowners' dogs that ran loose all over the neighborhood for years. Some had a nasty habit of runnin' into the street at you, teeth bared, then chargin' from behind the minute you turned your back. At least one person was severely bitten, yet all the Association ever did was timidly mention the problem in newsletters, and presumably contacted one homeowner directly, to no avail. Being wunna the residents who frequently walks the area for exercise, I finally filed numerous, formal complaints with Lexington County Animal Control to get the problem resolved. Kinda strange when a neighborhood association can't even deal with violations of leash laws.

Other obnoxious behavior from the Association includes attacking a homeowner over a small, decorative fence around a mailbox. The gang's mindless, Orwellian battle cry was "Regulations prohibit fences in front yards." The gang took similar action against property owners who dared to install quaint, wooden "corner" fences. Dangerous dogs? Relax. But put a picket fence around a mailbox, and the gang is up in arms. Speaking of mailboxes, the rules-obsessed Association has been known to violate federal law by having volunteers use mailboxes to distribute newsletters and announcements. And I'm appalled at the mess the Association has made in the neighborhood park. Used to be a couple of narrow little streams running across a dirt trail through the woods. Pretty. Easily negotiated. So the Association bombarded the trail with gravel - making it upleasant to walk on - and put canvas "linings" - topped with more gravel - into the streams. But water is pesky. Doesn't like being ordered around, and now we have bonafide eyesores, 'specially when the streams are dried up. And when there's water, one of the streams is now too wide to easily get across. The Association's next "project" will probably be an expensive bridge. Fact is, short of special events, hardly anyone uses the park. But that didn't prevent the illustrious Association from forking over big bucks to have not one, but two brightly colored metal seats installed, set in concrete. Never mind that there were already benches galore that go with the picnic tables. And then of course there's the glare from lightpoles, ruining the natural splendor of dusk and the glow of fireflies. Wow. Talk about wasting money.

In my case - and perhaps that of others - the Association's annual pig-pickin' is especially repulsive. Festivities revolve around factory-farmed, cruelty-laced "food" that I certainly don't wanna pay for or promote. Much less eat. Likewise for ice-cream socials that pander to the horrors of factory-farmed dairy products.

No well-informed person buys property in a neighborhood that has legal authority to set and collect association fees from homeowners. I got that advice from an attorney who specializes in homeowner associations. He said such groups usually wind up charging exorbitant membership dues, and contract with their business friends for unnecessary services.

As one might guess, the Association is not happy with that half of the 'hood that wants nothin' to do with 'em. Past several years, the Association has been threatening and cajoling residents into forking over membership dues. Easy to ignore until the Association's latest stunt, comprised of a loudly proclaimed "amendment," supposedly forcing dues-payin' membership on all residents. Thrown in for good measure, folks with back yard cyclone fences extending from the sides of their houses have been ordered to have that portion removed or replaced. No, there were no such requirements when the vast majority of folks bought their property. Meanwhile, the Association has filed intimidating paperwork at the Lexington County Courthouse, which may deter folks from buying property in Quail Hollow. Goodness knows, the roundabouts are reason enough to avoid the area, and now the Association is demanding not only membership dues, but also "late payment" penalties, complete with a promise to file liens against residents who refuse to acquiese. Apparently, an underlying objective is to acquire peoples' homes by quietly filing liens and arranging sales for a fraction of what properties are worth. Worse than a schoolyard bully.

What it boils down to, if something is a good deal, ya don't have to force folks to support it. A fellow who lives on my street summed the situation up quite well. He said there are two kinds of people: those who like to tell other people what to do, and those who like being told what to do. Neither of us are in either category.

There's a name for what's going on with homeowners associations and their friends in state legislatures. It's called tyranny, and it's incredibly encouraging that more than a thousand homeowners took a stand at last Wednesday's meeting in Horry County: "Those attending had a variety of complaints concerning homeowners groups including that association governing boards change rules at will, don't take homeowners' concerns seriously and are arbitrary in enforcing rules."

Stay tuned.

Update 11/2/2014 - VIDEO of irate homeowners  from along South Carolina's Grand Strand at last Wednesday's meeting in Horry County. Here's a link to April Baker's complete report

Update 11/3/2014 - As South Carolina wakes up to the horrors of homeowners associations, a TV station in Nevada presents the "HOA Hall of Shame" on their website.

Update 11/5/2014 - Folks all across the country are organizing opposition to HOAs. Found a GREAT website in Texas that tracks various actions in other states, including a link to an article about the meeting in Horry County.

Update 4/9/2016 - The Quail Hollow Community Association's latest stunt - underscoring how they delight in wasting money - was to send threatening letters "Certified - Receipt Requested" to those of us who refuse to be intimidated into handing over membership dues.  

Update 7/25/2016 - The Quail Hollow Community Association has mailed out its standard dues demand, complete with a $25 late fee for every year a homeowner has declined to hand over the moolah, calculated from the time the gang suddenly determined that dues are mandatory.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wastin' tax dollars the roundabout way

Note: As the issue of road maintenance in SC heats up, I've linked to information that was published after this post appeared.

What could be dumber than placing concrete obstacles (aka roundabouts) in the middle of the road in an effort to control speed? In my neighborhood (the Quail Hollow subdivision in West Columbia, South Carolina) such an effort has already resulted in at least one serious accident. But before we go any further, let's look at a few facts:

Most accidents occur at UNDER 40 mph. Lemme repeat: MOST ACCIDENTS OCCUR AT UNDER 40 MPH.

Motorists who consistently drive 10-15 mph OVER the posted speed limit have the fewest accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did a ten year study which showed that a whopping EIGHTY PERCENT of accidents are caused by DISTRACTION. Of the remaining twenty percent, most involve drunk driving, leaving only THREE PERCENT that MAY involve speed.

The safest posted speed limit is the speed that 85 percent of motorists would travel at if there were no posted limit. Unfortunately, in the interests of generating revenue via setting speed limits unreasonably low, the "85th percentile" is seldom if ever applied.

Along the road where the two roundabouts were constructed, there hadn't been any accidents - certainly nothing significant - in over 30 years. That's right, folks: THIRTY YEARS. But within about a week after one of them had been installed, some hapless motorist - not expecting to encounter such an obstacle in the road - slammed into a roundabout doing serious damage - possibly totalling - their vehicle. The motorist is lucky the car didn't explode. Or catapult into another vehicle. Or hit a pedestrian.

And I'm not about to blame the motorist. If you're gonna place highly unusual - and unnecessary - obstacles in the middle of the road, there needs to be a very unique warning system in place. After the accident occurred, a blinking caution light was added. Also, before allowing traffic, the county should have put dirt in the wide, deep hole - presumably designed for shrubbery - in the middle of the roundabout. After the accident, the hole was filled.

What a waste of taxpayer money. The street where the roundabouts set is best suited to be a through street, devoid of hindrances to the flow of traffic. After all, the object isn't to drive a certain speed, stop a certain way, or turn a certain way. The object is to AVOID HAVING ACCIDENTS. Several years ago, unnecessary stop signs were placed where the roundabouts now set. There was an uproar from motorists, and compliance was slack because there simply wasn't any need to stop. Here again, the proof is in the pudding: NO ACCIDENTS = SAFE DRIVING. Let's just say if it's workin' don't fix it.

Adding insult to injury, the people who constructed the roundabouts evidenced fundamental incompetence by initially making one of the roundabouts too large to accomodate - of all things - emergency vehicles. What a hoot. Then there was a problem gettin' one of 'em level. Hit the ol' taxpayer for extensive corrections to boobytraps that never should have been built in the first place. Apparently, part of the scheme is to pad county budgets in anticipation of future funding. Whatever. The concern obviously isn't for anyone's safety, and it's a shame the Quail Hollow Community Association didn't actively oppose these wasteful projects from the get go.

Let's face it. So-called "traffic safety" is no more than a means of collecting revenue. Nationwide, its a multi-billion dollar business butressed by corrupt lawmakers, equally corrupt "traffic courts," and glorified revenue agents posing as law enforcement personnel. Facts reveal that all the hand wringin' hysterics over "speeding" are nothing more than a well rehearsed con job worthy of an academy award. Bottom line? City Hall is interested in your money - not your safety.

Update 2/28/2016 - There's now been a second accident involving the same roundabout. Vehicle lost control and crashed into shrubbery on the right-of-way on the other side of the road. Made a real mess, but the County of Lexington never got around to cleaning things up. Probably too busy installing more roundabouts - an ENORMOUS one has been built at the intersection of Mineral Springs Rd. and the I-20 frontage road - instead of maintaining roads

Update 4/8/2016 - Speaking of wasted tax dollars... Unnecessary traffic signs are popping up all over the place. In my neighborhood, there are even new signs to inform motorists that there's a sign up ahead. Diverting tax dollars to roundabouts and other such nonsense reeks of yet another special-interest-type racket going on in the SC legislature.

Update 8/18/2016 - Here's a GREAT article re the confusion and stress (not to mention the danger) that motorists encounter at roundabouts.

Update 8/31/2016 - Since there's an obvious need for distractions at my neighborhood's roundabouts, the Quail Hollow Community Association is using the roundabouts as a kind of bulletin board. The gang's latest "notice" - who woulda guessed? - is a ploy to collect dues.

Monday, September 29, 2014

SC trooper who shot unarmed motorist lied about what happened

"The police are taught to view the public as threats against whom the use of violence is the safest course for the police officers." - Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is a disgrace and has been for decades. Nary a year goes by that the state's gang of glorified revenue agents doesn't make headlines for some form of misconduct, everything from dealing cocaine and marijuana to the possession of child porn. Wow.

The Patrol's latest claim to fame is Lance Corporal Sean Groubert gunning down a cooperative, unarmed motorist - Levar Jones - who was suspected of not wearing a seatbelt. At one point, Groubert fires at the motorist as the hapless fellow moves backwards with his hands up. At least four shots were fired, and partial video of the incident was released Wednesday. Then late Friday, the SC Dept. of Public Safety got around to releasing video and audio associated with the rest of the story. The additional video evidence - released after a Freedom of Information request - revealed that trooper Groubert lied - apparently to his supervisor - about what had happened.

Yes, the state's gang of glorified revenue agents will lie. And you can bet there's a scandal when news items are released late on Fridays.

There are similarities twixt Groubert's attack and the attack of officer Darren Wilson on Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Both officers white, both victims black. Witnesses say an unarmed Michael Brown had his hands up when he was shot; dash cam video proves that was the case when Jones was shot at.

Amerika's thug goon cops are trained to shoot to kill, and once they start firing they apparently go berserk, under some misguided notion that they have to kill. In both the Brown and Jones cases, multiple shots rang out. Brown was killed; somehow, Jones managed to survive.

In the attack on Jones, considering the "shoot to kill" training, the fact that multiple shots were fired, and the fact that Jones was moving backwards - I don't see how he kept from falling - with his hands up evidences more than mere assault. This was a case of attempted murder.

But trooper Groubert wasn't charged with attempted murder. This lying police state thug was turned loose on a $75,000 bond, charged with assault.

And the inevitable, inane declarations by Groubert's attorney have started. Groubert is "not guilty." He was "justified" in shooting Jones. His client is "looking forward" to his day in court. I just love it when thugs like Groubert get caught red-handed on video and then these police state goons and their pompous attorneys start blabbering that we didn't see what we saw. Unfortunately, Groubert will probably be acquitted by one of this cop-coddling society's cowardly juries.

All concerned are lucky that the attack on Jones wasn't worse. Jones, of course, could have been more seriously wounded or killed. Gas tanks could have exploded, bystanders could have been shot. Groubert's antics bear similarities to high speed police pursuits which endanger everyone on the road. The Patrol is notorious for such behavior, just this month chasing a former cop - Howard Henry "Hank" Smith - at speeds in excess of 110 mph as the maniac fired at his pursuers through the back window of his truck. Interestingly enough, Smith was charged with attempted murder. In both cases, the SC Highway Patrol exhibited typical disregard for the public's safety.

Egregious misconduct - any form of thuggery imaginable - by so-called law enforcement personnel is rampant all across the country amidst efforts to militarize police forces. Nobody can be blamed for wondering if the government has a secret agenda aimed at making folks cower down before this corrupt power structure. Whatever. Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts has rightly concluded that "Clearly, the American police are an enormous danger to the public." (Quotes from 8/21/2014 article, "Ferguson: No Justice in the American Police State").

Next thing ya know, South Carolina's Highway Patrol troopers will be wearing bracelets that read "I am Sean Groubert."

Update 10/3/2014 - Now it's revealed that Jones was handcuffed for hours after the shooting - including being handcuffed to a gurney at the hospital until close to midnight. Talk about police state thuggery...