"Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression." — James Madison
Two recently related instances demonstrate what happens when Madison’s warning is not heeded. The London Mail reported today that a 77-year old veteran in Macedonia, Ohio is being has been ordered by his local home owners association to remove an American flag he has flying in front of his house. The Mail reports:
“A retired U.S. Army chaplain is being threatened with legal action for flying the American flag in his front yard, the Daily Mail reports.
Fred Quigley, 77, of Macedonia, Ohio, a minister who served active duty during the Vietnam War, has been told by the homeowners’ association that his flag violates the property rules.
The association has offered to fly the flag at the entrance of the building development, but Quigley refused the offer.
“If they can dictate to me that I cannot fly an American flag in America, then, to me, the country is lost,” Mr. Quigley told the paper.
Quigley's lawyer Gerald Patronite said the association has no right to stop his client.
According to the Mail, Joseph Migliorini, the representative for the homeowners’ association and former mayor of Macedonia, which is between Cleveland and Akron, said he plans to take Quigley to court if the flagpole is not removed.
Migliorini said: “We just want the rules and regulations followed. “
Members of the local American Legion post joined Quigley last week in a flag-raising ceremony in protest at the association's policy.
Quigley said that he's been given until Monday to remove the flag, or legal action will be taken by the association.
"As a minister and a chaplain, I have fought for people," Quigley said. "Now I fight for myself."
Many of us have homes where here is some sort of a home owners association. These HOAs are for the purpose of maintaining the property values in the HOAs jurisdiction. When you buy a home in a development where there is an HOA you agree to something called a Covenant of Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R) that stipulates all sorts of thing you cannot do and shall do with your property. Things like maintaining the landscaping around the house, painting your house with approved color schemes, not parking cars on the street overnight and taking your trash cans in within 24 hours after the rubbish collection. These CC&Rs have been upheld by our courts and are legal and binding on the signatories.
HOAs have boards of directors that are elected by the owners of the homes in the association every year. Most of us pay little attention to who is elected as we don’t want to be bothered with delving into the background of those who wish a seat on the board. It’s akin to how many Americans vote for their school board members, county commissioners, judges and state legislators. We either don’t vote for them or go down the list and pick the incumbent or someone who appeals to us according to their stated profession, i.e., school teacher or businessman for school board member. Most of the time this works out, but there are times when we ask ourselves why we voted for someone when a controversial issue arises.
In the case of the HOAs many times people pursue positions on these boards because they are on a power trip and have nothing else to do with their lives. It looks to me like this former mayor of Macedonia was on a power trip to continue his bureaucratic career. He no doubt drives the neighbor looking for possible violation to the CC&Rs so he can execute his police powers and see that the residents conform to his agenda. Common sense and neighborly decency be damned. As James Madison stated; “Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression."
I have a lighted flag on my house flying 24/7 and my neighbor has one on a 20-foot flag pole that he either lights or raises on weekends. I see nothing wrong withthis display of patriotism and love of county. I hope Mr. Quigley wins his suit and former mayor Migliorini has to eat some humble pie.
The second example of the government overstepping its bounds and the following cover-up is even more egregious. Fox News reports that a dying woman undergoes additional TSA security screening prior to boarding her flight:
“An elderly woman in the late-stages of leukemia was forced to undergo 45 minutes of additional screenings last Saturday when she tried to board a flight out of Northwest Florida Regional Airport, her daughter told FoxNews.com
Lena Reppert, 95, was to say her final goodbyes to her daughter before she made what would most likely be her last flight to her native Michigan. After eight years of battling leukemia, doctors say she doesn’t have much time to live.
“She said she wanted to be closer to her grave,” Jean Weber, her daughter, told FoxNews.com. “I knew it would probably be the last time I ever see her.”
But when Reppert made it to the check-in line, Transportation Security Association agents singled her out because she was in a wheelchair. Wheelchairs require other security measures to be employed since they don’t go through metal detectors.
“So they brought my mom to the side, and two agents just started patting her,” Reppert said. “Eventually they found something that appeared to be hard and they said could be a concealed weapon.”
She said two female agents wheeled her mom into a private room where they performed a more thorough inspection, and found that Reppert was wearing a Depend adult diaper.
“It was hard because the underwear was bunched up,” Weber said, adding that she was not in the room as her mother was patted.
After 45 minutes, the mother and daughter were given two options: either don't fly, or lose the Depend. The women chose the latter.
“I ran with her to the bathroom and stripped her down,” Weber recalled. “I got back to the line and just started bawling.”
Weber said the emotional toll was too much. From perhaps seeing her mother for what could be the last time, to having to see her mother go through all the security measures, “I just cried and said, ‘Please can you let her through, she’s just so sick,” she said.
The TSA said in a statement to Fox News that at "no instance" would an officer ask a passenger to remove an adult diaper. The TSA would not disclose further information about this particular passenger, but said all protocols were followed.
“While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner," the statement read. "We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure.”
Reppert eventually made her flight by two minutes, her daughter said, but the departure was bitter sweet.
“It was tough to say goodbye after all of that,” Weber said. “But she’s at peace, and she’s a good Christian woman. They’ll be waiting for her up there in Heaven.”
After going through the TSA security lines many times I am inclined to believe Mrs. Reppert’s daughter rather than the mid-level TSA bureaucrat trying to cover his derriere. How humiliating for this dying woman to be subjected to this type treatment in our name. This is not the first time incidents such as these have happened. Almost on a weekly basis there are similar reports of groping, patting and feeling all in the name of national security. Most all of these incidents are reported by white, Caucasian women or parents of young children seeing their toddler being treated as a potential terrorist as he or she is virtually sexually abused by the TSA agent.
If this were a middle eastern looking male or woman in a burga being patted down or a TSA agent peeking under the burga every Islamic organization would be raising all sorts of hell in the MSM. They would claim racial profiling, racism and discrimination. It would be a violation of their First Amendment rights as a violation of tenants of their Islamic religion.
But, who speaks for a dying 95-year old Caucasian, Christian woman? What Congressman will take up her cause and demand an investigation of the TSA. Where is the Justice Department and ACLU? This is just another example of low-level government employees exercising dictatorial authority just because they can.