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“Let the Guilty Pay…”

July 4th, 2019 Comments off
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Original image is a still from music video, below. Graphics by MHProNews.

That’s not necessarily an indictment of the song, its writer, or the artist that popularizes a tune.  It is a statement of reality, of the ebb and flow of music and culture.  The new becomes familiar, and the familiar – right or wrong – becomes ‘old.’

 

But as the Japanese and other cultures grasp, old can be beautiful.

The lyrics for the song “Independence Day” that follows is from the Song Facts website, from this link here, and is provided under fair use guidelines.

 

Independence Day

Well she seemed all right by dawn’s early light
Though she looked a little worried and weak.
She tried to pretend he wasn’t drinkin’ again
But daddy’d left the proof on her cheek.
And I was only eight years old that summer
And I always seemed to be in the way
So I took myself down to the fair in town
On Independence Day.

Well, word gets around in a small, small town
They said he was a dangerous man
But mama was proud and she stood her ground
But she knew she was on the losin’ end.
Some folks whispered and some folks talked
But everybody looked the other way
And when time ran out there was no one about
On Independence Day.

Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today
Is a day of reckoning.
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay
It’s Independence Day.

Well, she lit up the sky that fourth of July
By the time that the firemen come
They just put out the flames
And took down some names
And send me to the county home.
Now I ain’t sayin’ it’s right or it’s wrong
But maybe it’s the only way.
Talk about your revolution
It’s Independence Day.

Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today
Is a day of reckoning.
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay
It’s Independence Day.

Roll the stone away
It’s Independence Day.

Writer: GRETCHEN PETERS 
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

What does the song mean?

According to the country-music website, The Boot at this link here, “In 1994, Martina McBride released “Independence Day,” a single that became one of her signature songs. Written by Gretchen Peters, the tune shares the story of a mother and daughter living with an abusive husband, told through the eyes of the young girl. On July 4th, the lyrics go, the daughter walks down to the fairgrounds — and while she is out, her mother burns down their house, with her husband inside, and achieves her own “Independence Day.”

To say that it has dark overtones is to state the obvious.

But that doesn’t mean or imply that this is a song about hopelessness.  Quite the contrary, as tragic as the story is, this song has energy, hope, ironic joy, and overtones of the Christian belief in the resurrection.

None of this seems to have anything to do with the 4th of July holiday that we call Independence Day. Or does it?

 

 

The music video shows a Fourth of July parade, full of the pomp, patriotism, and the regalia that was part of small-town life decades ago.  Some would argue that such can still be found in numbers of America’s rural towns. Some of those are towns where a single section manufactured home may be found sited on a piece of property flaked by conventional housing.

 

Let the Guilty Pay

Part of the lyrics from McBride’s hit song has a refrain, “Let the guilty pay.” America is known as the “Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.” The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are etched on the façade of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Historically speaking, America has always had rich and poor, the powerful and the meek. Despite untold numbers of examples in almost 2½ centuries of history as a nation since 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain, there has been obvious times when “equal justice” was not administered.

But the ideal is still to be held high. It is part of what inspires young soldiers, sailors, aviators, and support people to join the military – the high and noble call to fight for the ideals of our country.

Apart from a clear understanding of the effects of sin in life, no one can possibly grasp all the powerful nuances of the McBride song. Nor can we understand what’s right and wrong in our industry or nation apart from a clear grasp of what is true and what is false.

Too few ask, what is the impact of the rigging of America on millions of our fellows? Doesn’t it contribute to the drinking, the drug abuse, the economic stress, the broken families, the tragedies that this music video exemplifies?  How many lives are lost or squandered, due to the abuses of the noble ideals of the American dream?  Thus, the struggle continues.

But yes, millions live a life here in the U.S.A. that most of the world can only dream about.  We should celebrate that reality.  But we must also strive day by day to continue to elevate the American dream to achieve its ideals.

Roll the stone away,” is a lyrical echo from McBride’s song that is a reminder of the Resurrection of Christ. It is a reminder too that believers hold in the promise of their own resurrection someday. Let the guilty pay,” when the resurrection comes, the unrepentant guilty will – in the minds of millions of believers – pay. Eternally.

The lyrics and the performance of the music video “Independence Day” captures a world of emotion.  The lyrics, video, and singing are brilliantly done.  They combine in a performance with messages as fitting as can be for this noble national holiday.

To get a sense of the historical meaning of Independence Day, see the Masthead article linked below.  Don’t worry, despite the featured image, it is focused on history, not this song.

 

America – the Story of US – Declaration of Independence

With the markets closed, there is no stock report today. Happy Independence Day from all of us to all of you.

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Tony earned the Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma. He has earned multiple awards in manufactured housing and in history. He’s a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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“Mobile Home Ban” Suit Win, “Equal Justice Under Law,” Manufactured Home Owners, Buyers, Industry

December 5th, 2017 Comments off

McCroryARCaseMobileManufacturedHomeCaseSettlementNov2017EqualJusticeUnderLawManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThis kind of wealth-based banishment scheme is unconscionable discrimination,” said Phil Telfeyan, Executive Director of the non-profit, Equal Justice Under Law.

McCrory, [AR] and all of our communities, should invest in residents rather than criminalize poverty,” Telfeyan said.

Telfeyan’s comments addressed to MHProNews related to a victory reported by the Associated Press (AP), which attracted nationally attention to the discrimination case in McCrory, Arkansas.

A city in east-central Arkansas has settled a federal lawsuit brought by a national civil rights organization over an attempt to ban mobile homes worth less than $7,500,” said AP as quoted in U.S. News and World Report.

PhilTelfeyanExecDirectorEqualJusticeUnderLawDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Per AP, “…the McCrory City Council passed an ordinance in September 2016 banning trailers [sic] that have a value of less than $7,500. Equal Justice Under the Law sued the city and its police chief in January, calling the ordinance wealth-based discrimination. The group filed the lawsuit on behalf of a couple who were told they’d have to move out of their $1,500 mobile home.”

https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp and http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/your-words-matter-proper-terminology-for-factory-built-homes/

It’s unclear from the photographic evidence if the home was a pre-HUD Code mobile home, or perhaps an older HUD Code manufactured home (MH).  But neither would properly be called a “trailer.”  To learn more about proper terminology, click this link here, or the graphic below.

Dollars and Sense

The council repealed the ban in January,” said AP, adding that, “Equal Justice officials say the Tuesday settlement totaled just over $20,000.”

“…even though state law in Arkansas prohibits cities from totally banning manufactured/modular home placements; restricting them only to rented lots in ‘parks’; or setting conditions/restrictions that are dissimilar to those for ‘site-built units’ – a number of cities still attempt to unduly restrict MH placements due to unsubstantiated fears of plummeting property values and ‘undesirables’ that their decisions-makers fear will inhabit such domiciles,” said the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association’s JD Harper, in an Industry Voices column to MHProNews, linked here.

Harper said it’s an important victory for the MH Industry, current home owners and prospective manufactured home buyers.

ZoningDiscriminationAgainstManufaturedHomeJDHarperExecuitveDirectorArkansasManufacturedHousingAssociationAMHAlogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews768

There are industry legal minds that have told the Daily Business News off-the-record that while useful, settlements aren’t a legal precedent.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThat noted, another industry attorney, Mark Weiss, JD, commented, “Great stuff by JD Harper about the Equal Justice Under the Law in McCrory,” case.

Weiss is the president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

Most of the bans/restrictions that I’ve heard of, focus on age or specific features,” Weiss told the Daily Business News.

A source with ties to MHARR told MHProNews that this case is one that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and HUD should be pursuing, under the enhanced preemption enacted by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

The Arkansas Times said that “The couple makes about $13,000 a year, well below the federal poverty line.”

This settlement is a victory for Lindsey [Hollaway and], David [Watlington], and impoverished people everywhere. No one should fear being chased out of their hometown simply because they are too poor to afford a more expensive residence. At a time when civil rights feel under attack in this nation, this settlement is a victory for everyone who values individual dignity, according to Telfeyan.

McCrory will pay some $20,000 for the settlement, attorney fees, fine forgiveness, and other costs.  As MHLivingNews has spotlighted, public officials who do the proper research often discover what the elected official in the interview linked below learned.

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Equal Justice Lead Counsel, says, ‘Willing to Consider Other, Similar Cases’

Your “readers should alert you [MHProNews] to any other ordinances that limit manufactured housing on the basis of value or age and contact you immediately if/when anyone is being faced with eviction based on an alleged violation of such an ordinance,” said Catherine Sevcenko, JD.

Sevcenko is the legal director at Equal Justice Under Law.

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Assuming the person who gets in touch with you would be willing to be a plaintiff, there is a good chance we might be able to get

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involved,” Sevcenko said.  The attorney explained that “we can never promise legal representation until we have reviewed the facts and circumstances of a particular case.”

Sevcenko provided MHProNews with a case out of North Carolina that she stated is useful in such claims.  That case, is linked here as a download.

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Town Amends Manufactured Home Ordinance

April 9th, 2017 Comments off
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A home in McCrory, Arkansas. Credit: Realtor.

In McCrory, Arkansas, manufactured home residents were faced with an incredibly difficult situation.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, officials in the city passed an ordinance that placed a ban on manufactured homes that were worth less than $7,500. If owners were non-compliant, they faced fines of up to $500 per day.

Residents David Watlington and Lindsey Hollaway decided to take action. The couple lives below the federal poverty line.

They sued the city of McCrory and its Police Chief, Paul Hatch, saying that the city “can banish some of its poorest residents simply because they are poor.”

The 31-page complaint says that the city ordered them to leave because they cannot afford a more expensive home and that this banishment is a “drastic punishment” that essentially criminalizes poverty and is forbidden by the Arkansas State Constitution.

The Ordinance contains no defense based on non-willfulness and no mens rea [intention or knowledge of wrongdoing] or intent requirement, meaning that simply being too poor to afford a more expensive home is sufficient for a violation,” the complaint stated.

Further, the lawsuit alleges the defendants’ order does not stem from any legitimate government interest and, despite listing four justifications for its passage (relief of overcrowding, promotion of orderly growth, health, and notification to builders), includes no justification for the wealth-based provision.”

McCrory, red marker. Credit: Google.

The complaint also stated that even if the ordinance’s authorizations were indeed civil, the law would still lack sufficient process to deprive violators of their protected property rights.

Within a few days of the lawsuit being filed, the city amended an ordinance to remove the ban, and an attorney for the city intends to ask a judge to dismiss the lawsuit in light of the ordinance’s amendment.

Equal Justice Under Law, a Washington, D.C. based group who helped to file the lawsuit, allege that the city’s intentions weren’t necessarily pure.

Defendants are hurriedly rushing to amend their Ordinance, not because they concede it is unconstitutional, but because they wish to evade any preliminary order from this Court.”

Federal Judge Price Marshall ruled that the request for a restraining order against the ordinance was moot because the city had promised not to enforce the ordinance.

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.