A Sailors Sad Story

I just got home from my Tuesday night political meeting. Since I’ve been gone, they’ve moved it back to Fuddruckers. 🙂

I’m still doing the Just Jot It January challenge (the prompt today is: coffee), but I’ve decided to go off on another tangent and stir the pot again today…

I haven’t been going to those meetings for a while. Not only because I’ve been in and out on a couple of jobs recently, but also because I just get so frustrated, angry and depressed over the state of things.

We talk about all kinds of things at those meetings. Everything from healthy, fresh (non-GMO) foods, organic gardening and raw milk to chemtrails, fluoridation, cryptocurrencies, UN agenda 21, property rights, human rights, civil liberties, abuse of power, corporatism, corrupt politicians, the banksters running everything, and all kinds of other things.

Tonight, I met the guy who called me last night. He told us all the story he told me over the phone last night.

Personally, I was angered and disgusted with the extent that people completely refuse to just mind their own business. Of course, many people think that everything is their business. That’s a big problem everywhere. Maybe especially in small towns like this one.

This is his story: His family lives on a sailboat. They leased a mooring from a man and they’ve been living aboard their sailboat down there near the beach. The man (I’ll call him Dave), his wife (I’ll call her Maria) and their kids.

They’re a nice, quiet couple. Normal kids (I haven’t met the kids yet). Not making trouble or bothering anybody. Minding their own business.

Christmas Eve, the cops showed up and gave them 2 hours to get out! OK, it’s damn near impossible to do that on short notice. If you have a boat, you know what I’m talking about.They didn’t want to anyway (and I don’t blame them). They asked why? What was the problem?

Long story short, the cops have been harassing them every day since. Dave finally told the cops to give him a ticket or leave him alone. So, they made up some line of BS, told Dave that living aboard his boat violated some ordinance (turns out there is no such ordinance) and when Dave investigated and challenged the cops on it was told (oops!) he didn’t really violate that ordinance, it was a different one!

So. Here’s a nice normal family, being harassed and run out of town because they made the choice to live aboard a boat instead of a ‘normal’ house. I ask why is that anybody else’s business?

I’ve been involved in arguments about ‘boat trash’ for years. I own a house very close to where this is happening today. I bought it specifically to dock my boat there. I fought the homeowners association about their ridiculous opinions about boat owners (“boat trash”) back then. I still think they’re full of uninformed prejudice and they really need to just shut up and mind their own business.

IMHO, If I buy property, I ought to be able to USE it! Why buy anything if you’re not going to use it? “Use” is inherent in the definition of ownership and is common sense part and parcel of buying something.

If you want to dictate how I can use “my” property, then I don’t really own it- YOU DO! And if you’re not paying me for that, then you’re stealing from me and you are completely unjustified to even think you ought to be able to do that!

This family of sailors is not hurting anyone in the neighborhood in any way, shape or form! They pay their rent (part of which goes to the property taxes), they don’t look for trouble, they use shoreside facilities (water, sewer, trash) so there is no “trash” involved! They’re normal people except that they’ve decided to try and escape the rat race and live their dreams.

They ought to be able to do that! And nobody should be able to harass them about their choices!

Aaaand, not only is that family being unjustly attacked, but their landlord’s property rights are being violated too. HE is the one who made the deal to rent this family space. HE bought and paid for that property. HE ought to be able to USE it the way HE wants to.

It’s NOT up to the neighbors, it’s NOT up to the city! If he is not harming anyone else by his use of his property, then it is his absolute right to do so!

Neither the property owner nor the sailors are bothering anybody in any real way. They are not harming anyone! Someone decides they don’t like looking at ‘boat trash’, well that’s just tough tiddly-winks! Grow up! The world does not run itself to satisfy your every desire!

You want a pristine view, then either buy up all the property as far as you can see around you so that YOU have a legitimate right to say something about your view, or shut the hell up!

You live in a community, you need to understand that other people also have rights. As long as no one is harming another, everyone has the exact same equal rights under the law! YOU cannot run someone off because you don’t like their appearance!

We can’t (and should stop trying to) make laws based on such subjective ideals. Everyone has a different opinion. A different viewpoint. Laws need to be based on objective FACTS. NOT opinions, not feelings, not looks!

You shouldn’t be allowed to force me to paint my house YOUR favorite color! I should be allowed to paint it MY favorite color regardless of how much you hate it!

Hopefully, we can come to an agreement where we each paint our houses some color we can at least tolerate. The point is, there should not be a LAW about it!

This is supposed to be a “free country”. As Americans, we’re supposed to value “freedom” and “liberty”. “A man’s home is his castle”.

WTF happened? Do we really need laws to dictate what color you can paint your house? Because you might ‘offend’ someone? REALLY? Offending someone is NOT harming them!

This trend towards protecting everyone’s ‘feelings’ and trying to be inoffensive is getting past the point of ridiculousness. It has now become actively harmful.

This sailors story is just one example. I don’t know how you feel about it (but I hope you’ll comment). I hope you’ll think about what I’m trying to get across here. I’m curious to hear your objections (and yeah, I’m pretty sure there will be plenty- at least there would be in person so hoping being online won’t stop everyone).

I plan to help this family fight the city. I’m not sure what I can do, but I’m starting by sharing their story and looking for suggestions.

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Share Your World

I always like to see Cee’s interesting questions and answers for her Share Your World Challenges. She also has some really great photography challenges going on every week. Here’s my response to the challenge for week 27.

What is your favorite month of the year? I really had to think about this one for a while. It depends on my location. Here’s my perspective from living in SE Texas. I really don’t like the summer months. From May until at least September, it’s just too damn hot, muggy and buggy (pesky mosquitos!) to enjoy being outside at all. The winter months from November- February are’nt usually too cold, but then we have a lot of really dull, dreary, rainy, and still muggy weather. The days when the Northers have blown through and the skies are clear and bright blue and the air is fresh and crisp are beautiful, but there aren’t enough of them.

I do like the fall, the weather is starting to cool off again where it’s nice to spend time outside and there’s Halloween to look forward to. I also love March-April. The weather is still cool, the air is fresh and clean, the plants are all starting to grow again and I look forward to checking my ‘garden’ every morning. I look forward to seeing the flowers start blooming. Lots of my neighbors let the bluebonnets take over their yards.Texas wildflowers are just stunningly beautiful in the Spring! I guess my favorite month would have to be March. For all the reasons I mentioned for spring, AND we have St Patricks Day to celebrate in Surfside! 🙂

Irish pirates

Irish pirates

Do you drink coffee at all? I’m not a big fan of coffee. I don’t really see what the big deal is all about. I can’t understand the admiration for all the expensive, fancy drinks at places like Starbucks. I almost never drink coffee at home, I usually wake up and have a cup of hot tea and then drink iced tea all day long. When I’m on the ship, I’ll drink coffee. Just because it’s there.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)? I worked for my father around his rental properties and on the boat. He paid me $3 per hour. He’d have me clean up between tenants, paint, plumbing (unclogging sinks and toilets), pulling weeds and taking care of the plants, etc. During school breaks, he would take me out fishing with him and I would cut bait, bait the hooks and help gut and ice down the fish. I got out of that as soon as I could!

My first ‘real’ job was down the street on the party boats. I got hired on as a ‘galley girl’. I could only go out on the weekends. We made 2 trips a day. I would tend the galley selling drinks and microwave sandwiches. When nobody was interested in food, I would help the deckhands baiting hooks, cutting bait, untangling lines, getting fish off hooks and putting them up on the ice for the passengers til we got to the dock. Then we would filet the fish for tips and clean up the boat at the end of the day and get it ready to go out again in the morning. I had another job washing dishes at a little Greek restaurant down the street after school too. I kept busy. 😉

We lived across from Dons Dock on the finger bay.

We lived across from Dons Dock on the finger bay.

List:  If you play video/computer games list 5 games you like? I don’t play many games on the computer. I’m not very good at games where you have to be quick. 😉 I do like a couple of them. One of my all time favorites is a game I used to play with the crew on one of my old ships ‘the Performer’. If I remember right, it was called VGA Planets. It was cool. The goal was to ‘take over the universe’. You chose which alien race you wanted to play as. Each one had its own special abilities. You started out from your home world with certain assets. So many spaceships, so much population, so many cities, etc. You chose a strategy to carry out your goal of conquering the universe. Trade or war, shifting alliances with the other players, etc. It would take us a day or so between moves when the controller would roll over the computer so we could make our next move. A game would usually last an entire hitch (maybe more). We worked 5 weeks on, 5 weeks off there. 😉

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’ve been on the ship at work since the end of May, so not a lot happening with my life here. I am grateful to still have a job since so many in this industry have been laid off already with the plunge in the price of oil. I’m grateful that this type of work allows me more time off than most so I can spend time doing the things I really enjoy. I’m looking forward to getting off here soon (tho not as soon as next week) and attending a blogging workshop in Costa Rica. I’ll spend a couple of weeks exploring down that way after the class.