Hippies. Drop in or drop out. Make love, not war. Never trust the man, man.
Most of us who grew up in the 60's and early 70's remember them. The flower children of Haight Ashbury. The nomads of America in search of the next Woodstock. The Volkswagen vans and dilapidated school buses painted with flowers and peace symbols.
Other than often smelling worse than a ruptured gall bladder, hippies were generally harmless back in the day.
Today, they run many of our corporations and most of our government and seemingly all of our schools and universities. One is running for president same as her husband did several decades prior. Worse, he won. I'm not sure America can stand having had two hippies in the White House, but that is for another discussion.
Generally hippies were content to be left alone and those of us who had no use for them were content to leave them alone. Fair enough, eh?
Now we have a genuine American hippie by the name of Shawnee Chasser who lives in a tree house in the middle of Miami Dade County, Florida. She's been living in this tree house for twenty-five years with no problems and now the government wants to shut her down.
I guess freedom only goes so far in Dade County, same as it does for America.
The complaints are that her treehouse is of substandard construction, and therefore unsafe.
Wait a minute. Didn't Hurricane Matthew just get through raising hell in Florida? Ms. Chasser's treehouse is still there. Didn't Hurricane Andrew--the Barack Obama of hurricanes--devastate most of southern Florida twenty-four years ago? How many more tropical storms have hit upon southern Florida in which there was massive property loss--property ostensibly "approved" and "deemed fit for occupation" by the pinheads the rest of us know as property/zoning ordinance committees and inspectors?
This woman has an open-concept treehouse that has withstood more storms than the Clinton family and our government says it's not safe nor fit to live in.
In reading a little bit about Ms. Chasser, I doubt the grandmother and I would have much in common. She's still a hippie and I've never been one. She's protested war and the military and I'm a veteran. She probably scorns big corporations and I used to represent them in the world of Madison Avenue.
Yet on another hand, Ms. Chasser and I might just be closer than either of us imagined. I've watched Wall Street and Big Business grow completely out of hand to the point that I consider both oppressive, draconian oppressive as a matter of fact. I'd just as soon never have to point a weapon at another human being--but I damn sure will if you try to tread on me or threaten me or anyone I consider family or friend.
And if I want to build a platform in my big oak tree in the backyard and live on it, the government can kiss my backside.
Yes, I get the idea of property values and having "shanty towns" and the whole such. However, we have zoning and ordinance committees and inspectors for the purposes of judging these situations on an individual basis. How many times have we seen signs erected where trees once stood that read "Zoning change request filed in (name the court/county)?"
Note to government: When you get to the point that you regulate to this ridiculous degree how someone can or cannot live in their own aboreal home, don't be surprised when collective America gets fed up and you get a tree trunk shoved up your ass.
Fight on, Ms. Chasser. Fight on.