Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations (HOAs), the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.
This Week’s Show – John Paskert
How do you define “civilization”? I understand it to describe people who are educated and cultured, have manners, and are socially and morally advanced. The dictionary defines it as “an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached.”
Some words that are used to define the opposite of civilization are decline, destruction, ignorance, rudeness, barbarism, primitiveness. What do you think best describes life in a residential association? And how, in a country that presents itself as the most civilized, the richest, the best, and the freest can we force people to live in controlled housing developments where, in many cases, those in power are rude, barbaric, abusive, dictatorial, and completely wild? And finally, how do homeowners deal with some of these atrocities?
John Paskert joins us On The Commons. John is a retired military Psychological Operations officer. The tactics he learned while an active duty officer helped him even out the playing field somewhat in his homeowners association. Rather than allowing the ruder and more ignorant denizens in his neighborhood to frustrate and demoralize him, he remained civilized, did his homework, and fought back in very clever and subtle ways.
He shares some of the lessons he learned operating in this new arena and also tells us some of his stories. I think the big lesson here is that there is more than one way to fight back. However, trying to become a truly civilized society, where respect and cooperation are the norm, should be our ultimate goal.
Share your stories on From the HOA Trenches.
On The Commons is broadcast every Saturday from 2:00–3:00 PM ET on Radio Fairfax. In the Northern Virginia area, On The Commons can be heard on Cox Cable Channel 37 and Verizon Channel 37. It is available on Comcast Channel 27 in Reston, in addition to several more cable channels all across Northern Virginia.
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