Friday, January 05, 2018

On getting both sides

Oh, how to keep the faithful at a fever pitch when things are looking a little rocky for the home team? I know! SQUIRRELS!

A Marine Corps veteran and his wife are fighting their Texas homeowners association after the group refused to allow them to fly their American and Marine Corps flags outside their home.

It's been a while since this classic outrage theme has cropped up; Fox seems to have been preoccupied the past year or so with teacher-student sex. But you can see where it gets its staying power. Relax your vigilance for a moment and the  enemies of freedom will lop off another stray limb of our American heritage, or something like that.

Cpl. Michael Pereira, who served three tours in Iraq from 2002 to 2009, moved into a Kingdom Heights subdivision in Rosenberg, Texas ,*about two months ago with his wife.

After moving in, they proudly displayed the two flags in the driveway of their home.

“They represent this county. They represent a brotherhood I was a part of,” Pereira told KPRC. “[They] show respect for all the people I went to war with and the ones that didn’t come back.”

Pereira said he would raise the flags every morning and would lower them every night. He never expected it would be a problem with the homeowners association.

Until now.

Cue dramatic music. Although at this point, you might be wondering ... OK, when do we bring the malefactors to justice?

"I'm guessing somebody didn't like it or someone reported it or something, because I got a call from the property manager who works for the homeowners association asking me to take them down," he said.

Pereira has asked the property management liaison for an exemption to any association rules regarding flags. He was told to fill out a construction modification request.

You might be noticing all sorts of news routines interacting with all the grammar here: not just that the last clause is passive, but that the one before it doesn't have any attribution. (And what does "them" in the preceding graf refer to?) But the bad guys don't get to speak yet:

Pereira is still waiting to hear back from the HOA, but said he would not hesitate to fight to fly the flags outside his home.

"If they're going to take them down, it's going to be a fight to take them down, and no one fights harder than a veteran combat Marine," Pereira said. "If they don't get those rules changed, I'm going to start a petition to get the rules changed.”

OK, time for a little due diligence.

Terry Sears, an attorney representing Kingdom Heights, told Fox News in a statement that the property manager's issue was not with the flags, but with the flagpoles.

"In this particular case [Pereira] installed two 20 [foot-long] flag poles [sic] on both sides of his driveway (one on each side) without first submitting the plans or seeking approval," Sears said. "The problem is that one of the poles is in a utility easement, both poles are within the 25 [feet] building setback line and the restrictions (and Texas Property Code) only allow for the installation of one flag pole."

Well, here we are at the Tell Both Sides part of the conversation, and the historic problem with Both Sides is that (a) Two Sides isn't the same as Both Sides and (b) Both Sides isn't the same as All Sides. And, well, (c), that point at which you realize that one side is actually right and the other is full of it.

One of the problems with laying off everyone over 25 in the newsroom is that you almost certainly reduce the percentage of property owners, thus reducing the chance that someone in the room might know what "utility easement" means. Or, you know, "setback." Or "Texas Property Code" -- as in, is Veteran Combat Marine about to Mess With Texas in a match that would fry every circuit at Fox News?

Comes a point at which the reporter has all that's needed and politely closes the notebook, thanks everybody concerned, wishes them well and makes an exit.** This is no longer a story, to the extent that it ever was. The pro, of course, doesn't have to say that to anyone until safely back at the office. The servant of the orange monkey-king, on the other hand, has him a EXCLUSIVE!!1!1!!1!!!!!

* Erm, [sic]
** Kids, this really, really happens.

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