Saturday, February 10, 2024

Democracy is explained, the Constitution evaluated, and the writer leaves out the 2nd amendment.

Joesph Filco has taught economics and American government. Joseph writes commentary for the Williamsburg Gazette. The gentleman is relatively well-versed. Sometimes, I disagree and write my discourse here because the local Williamsburg Gazette and Daily Press refuse to print the discourse. When writing about the Constitution in his recent article dated February 10th, 2024. " Did they (meaning our founding fathers) mean to elevate material needs into rights? Or did they envision a system of ordered liberty and limited government whose proper function was to protect the rights of self-reliant people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Democrats will, of course, look to Article One, section 8 of the Constitution, to say the federal government can impose a tax for the general welfare of the people. But then, what is general welfare? General welfare, in my opinion, is limited to the power of the Constitution as written. To provide for a standing army or defense of our country as an example, but not welfare, food stamps, or school funding for the individual as an example. These needs would be the responsibilities of the states and not the federal government. 

Democracy is explained, the Constitution evaluated, and the writer leaves out the 2nd amendment.

Excellent article, albeit a bit 5th-grade, but then you are writing to an ignorant class of people who mostly do not understand our Republic anyway. It was, after all, our founding fathers who did not trust the majority to elect a president. Democracy or pure democracy is, of course, "rule by mob," and Democrats like Hillary Clinton maintain the idea she was robbed of an election because she won the popular vote. I have to ask, is that treason not accepting an election? 

According to some, one of the most hotly debated parts of our Constitution, the Second Amendment, is a single sentence that leaves much to interpretation, or does it? Passed in 1789, along with the other amendments you mentioned in your column today, known as the Bill of Rights, I found it odd you left out the 2nd amendment in your list of amendments. 

In my research of historical grammar, we find that at the time of our founding fathers, our founding fathers used run-on sentences or the use of commas to separate ideas. It is one of the reasons people today find the Constitution so hard to read and understand. When we use today's English grammar to look at the 2nd as a list using commas, we associate the list with a well-regulated militia that has the right to bear arms and shall not be infringed as meaning a state military right to bear arms and shall not be infringed, but that is wrong. Each is a separate idea; we have the right to a militia, and we have a right to bear arms, and those rights shall not be infringed. If we look at this from the founding fathers' use of commas in 1789 and other aspects of the Constitution, we see our founding fathers' use of run-on sentences. I proposed this idea to the James City County Police Constitutional  Officer during my time in the citizens' police academy. He has been trained to help other officers as a Constitutional resource when dealing with our laws. He agreed. 

Yet, your liberal friends want to take from the individual the right to bear arms, and we are seeing this today in the general assembly in Richmond as I write this. The same liberals are ignoring sound legislation to deter the use of inanimate objects for harm by imposing minimum sentencing guidelines when a gun is used to commit a crime. 

Democrats want control of all of us, and that is clear to this writer. The conservative Democrat of my youth is gone. We are fortunate enough that the Supreme Court released opinions on the topic in 2008, and they found the Second Amendment does, in fact, protect an individual right to bear arms, a "right" left-wing haters of America want to take from me. 

January 6th: The people's power has diminished over time, proven by the expanding federal government in our lives. Where the federal government picks and chooses which federal laws they want to enforce, or do we need to talk about drugs and the border? The Civil War settled the idea of state rights and mandated federal law over state rights. This is why the federal government sued Texas after Texas decided to enforce federal laws on our border. January 6th was nothing more than a peaceful protest when compared to other peaceful demonstrations defined by Democrats across our nation in 2020. Where the federal government and some state governments looked the other way as cities burned and people died. Yet the Democrats are now throwing people in jail for long periods of time for protesting peacefully, mind you, after a protest came to Washington and their front door steps.  

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Nitrogen Tax, Carbon Tax offsets should be reconsidered

Skip Stiles wrote an article in the Daily Press Sunday, 2-4-2024; Skip advocates a carbon tax, much like our nitrogen tax in Virginia, to help "in theory" offset carbon emissions. I offered my experience with nitrogen credits to offset nitrogen loads to our waterways and how this tax, and that is what this is, has actually adversely affected our rural communities in Virginia, and he should reconsider.


I read your article in the Sunday paper today. 

I have to disagree with your approach to carbon reduction. I would point to the nitrogen offset credits program that came to us in the Obama era, designed for wastewater treatment plants, both centralized and decentralized, and the protection of the environment. In reality, these same types of credits have caused more harm to the environment than have helped. Offset nitrogen credits are expensive because only some large treatment plants will sell credits when new wastewater treatment is needed. Overall, the nitrogen offset credit program adversely affects our state's rural population but not so much the urban centers. Urban centers produce the most nitrogen and phosphorus discharge in stormwater runoff. However, local leaders are looking for the state to do something like you are. Local communities are reluctant to raise taxes on their urban communities to deal with these issues you are concerned with. Why? Leaders are leaders because they want power and fear being voted out. You blame the governor when you should point the finger at local leaders. 

The nitrogen offset credit program needs to be dismantled to address aging communities built before 1960 with decentralized wastewater treatment. We can now set the end-of-pipe limits of 10 bods, 10 tss, and a TN in the neighborhood of 15-20mgl. But then these same communities have to buy credits to get to zero and a recurring charge for credits. Rural communities with newer technology will not happen because large urban WWTPs are unwilling to sell credits as they want to keep them for themselves, and when they do sell credits, most cannot afford them. So, in the end, VDH's and DEP's hands are tied, as local community leaders look the other way, and we continue to pollute. Trust me, I know. This past October, I presented a paper on this subject at the 2024 NOWRA conference in Hampton, VA. 

Our issues in the world are significant, but America has generously reduced its carbon footprint while China and India continue to build coal-fired plants at a record pace. If America went carbon neutral tomorrow, our impact on the planet would be near zero. To help you understand the actual cost of a carbon tax, you are regulating our average consumer to a life of costly taxes the state government will no doubt have to implement to pay for the credits, and one has to ask from where these credits will come from. Solar farms? Wind farms? Even solar farms and wind farms hurt the environment, as some believe shore wind farms could be killing Right Whales as the structures attract food Right Whales eat, and the traffic of boats to and from these offshore wind farms is hitting and killing whales. Solar farms destroy the environment by reducing vegetation and trees. Whose job is it to what?

Come on, you know this one! Remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Where the left misses the boat altogether is found in Earth wobble. Removing groundwater from certain parts of our Earth has shifted our polar axes. Nasa confirms this. The tilt of the Earth is moving partly due to groundwater withdrawal, and when this happens, I speculate, as a keen observer of life on this planet, that we produce climate changes. It comes down to the Earth's tilt, whereas some parts of Earth now tilt more towards the sun today than in decades past, thus warming and climate change. 

If you want to get a cup of coffee, I can share my expertise and help you develop solutions where my expertise fits the ongoing saga of climate change. I do care, but our approach is based on greed for money in the form of carbon and nitrogen credit exchanges. 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

A Poem: Rock Rider

I was working on my next book today. I had been posting Facebook pictures of deep space from our orbiting telescopes. This poem came to me after months of rolling around in my head it just came to me. I wrote the poem in its basic form and then used AI and Grammarly Pro to enhance the poem. I made changes where changes seem to fit with a few literary changes. So enjoy. Copyrighted 1-28-2024. Reed Johnson. 

Upon a rock, we ride through cosmic streams,
Earth, our vessel, in vast galactic dreams.
In Milky Way's embrace, a speck so small,
Life's tale unfolds, a fleeting, cosmic call.

Aboard this orb, where oceans gently sway,
Mere riders on a journey, night and day.
In insignificance, our stories unfold,
A dance of time, a cosmic threshold.

Beneath the stars, our home takes flight,
A ball of wonder in the endless night.
Yet, humbled we stand, 'midst galaxies grand,
A mere breath in the cosmos, grains of sand.

Through eons passing, whispers of our lore,
On this celestial ride, forevermore.
Rock rider, we journey, our tales untold,
In the cosmic saga, our narrative unfolds.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Dispelling false historical narratives portrayed by Democrats in an election cycle.

My discourse on Ms. Laura Hill's commentary found in the Williamsburg Gazette, January 20 2024. Ms. Hill is the executive director of Virginia Racial Healing Institute, which manages the "Coming to the table-historic triangle." Ms. Hills' political attack on Nikki Haley was a most unfortunate decision in an election year. If Ms. Hill is intent on all of us, noting her own goal of being "inclusive," then her commentary failed that mission, and I suspect there are those of us who will never be included in her vision. Not based on skin color but on morals, ethics, political affiliation, and the ability to think. To see both sides of a social issue. In reality, Ms. Hill and I agree that skin color should never be a factor in an action or decision. To base a decision on skin color is immoral in my book of ethics. However, during the past week, in the commentary I read, Dr. Martin Luther King's commentary on judging others based on the content of their character was sorely missed in media coverage and commentary, and I have to wonder why?

This idea of using American slave history to divide our nation every election cycle is worth pointing to the extremes Democrats will go to hold power and garner the black vote. For this nation to move forward and past historical slavery in America, we must stop blaming white people, and that is just what Ms. Hill did in her commentary so shallowly veiled in the darkness of describing Colonalist Europeans as slavers. She blamed white people. Ms. Hill used skin color. Ms. Hill goes on to attack a presidential candidate, and of course, this was surrounded by a false narrative of "the cause of the civil war."  A catch-22 question that, no matter how Nikki Haley answered, would draw ire. A typical Democrat ploy to divide a nation for votes. It seems to me the Democrats cannot stand on their economic record, border security record, inflation record, green policy record, and war record. No, all the Democrats have left is historical slavery to garner votes.

Addressing Laura Hills' attack on Nikki Haley, using simplistic history idealisms, and spewing her false narratives do no one any good when trying to heal a community. Inclusion and equity are what Ms Hill is aiming for, leaving out diversity or DIE, a left-wing calling card. Inclusion means everyone, including Ms. Haley, but no, Ms. Hill attacks. Ms. Hill only seems to want a just community that fits her narrative and disallows all others with whom she disagrees, a Democrat and media calling card. I could write a book, and as luck would have it, many have already been written; slavery was "a" reason for the Civil War, but not the only reason. This is the correct answer you are looking for. If you hate those "English Colonists" who happen to be white people, who you say brought slavery upon your people, then you only need to look in the mirror as to who sold your ancestors into slavery; you will find, in some cases, they look a lot like you. Your simplistic approach to slavery is an uneducated narrative, and the people should be warned. Laying your argument at the feet of the "main reason" for the civil war is a simplistic, uneducated approach to political theater.

"Defending Dixie's Land: What Every American Should Know About The South and the Civil War." Anyone can find this book on Amazon if you want to know why the Confederates fought, as history is rarely told truthfully by the victors. I am not saying this book is right or wrong, but to say there are always two sides to every story. Thinking is hard, and inclusion is more problematic when only one voice is in your head. To be able to think, one must have two voices of reason in your head to judge the pros and cons of any topic. This is where Ms Hill needs to improve. It's where most of us fail and thus conflict. 

Slavery is an awful social construct, yet there is even more slavery today in this world than in the 1600s-1800s; we don't see Ms. Hill addressing today's world slavery issues in her ancestral land; no, Ms. Hill chooses to address history. History is, of course, something no one can change. Dr. Walter Williams would be turning over in his grave after comments from Laura Hill, who has now entered political commentary. If you were to be inclusive of Dr. Thomas Sowell, he would tell you the same: For good or bad, Ms. Hill seeks power to force change, which is Marxism or equality for all.  

Saturday, November 4, 2023

To live in peace is a false narritive

The Daily Press editors wrote an opinion on Saturday, Nov. 4th, 2023. This opinion concerns an interpretation of peace. Basically, it is calling for a cease-fire in Gaza for the sake of civilians. We are now seeing the Democrat Party's alliance with Hamas and Palestinians who chant death to Israel and America. These Democrats are calling for a cease-fire, an opportunity to allow vicious killers to run and hide with American hostages in tow. Now is not the time to slump your shoulders and look defeated; now is the time to throw your shoulders back, hold your head high, and fight the demons who attacked Israel. Who will, in time, garner an attack on American soil again. 

To live in peace is a false narrative.

Humans are tribal by nature. If you don't get anything else out of this letter, humans are naturally tribal. If you don't get anything else out of this letter, Arabs, for the most part, have not and, like other tribes, assimilated well into the White American dream. We only need to look to Minnesota and New York City to see the anti-American protest; these weekend warriors hate not only Israel but also America, the land in which these Arabs live, Arabs we gave a home to. Ultimately, humans are tribal no matter where they live or how well they prosper. Even today, serving as an observation, Blacks and Whites who came from tribes to America, some forced and some voluntarily, are still tribal by nature after over 400 years of being transplanted into the new world, where native Americans themselves lived in tribes, a people with common ancestry, a native people, lived in tribes and still do in a country where tribes still define five boroughs of New York City. "New York has five boroughs: The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan. These five New York boroughs all have a different vibe and interesting culture. Each borough is different, " says their tourism website. Hampton is tribal based on economic outcomes, where different parts of the city offer different vibes and cultures. 

These cultures, tribes, and people live in peace in America. It is one of the few places in the world where we live in relative peace. A peace, until a black man is shot by a police officer, noting a white man shot by a police officer garners no media attention, no destruction of cities, no protest, no attacks on white people in the streets, no assassinations of police officers. A peace, until deep hatred embedded in Arabs for the hatred of Jews rears its ugly head in protest and shouts for the destruction of America and Isreal and on our soil.

The truth that the Daily Press does not understand is that in the case of Arabs vs. Israelis and America,  you need to pick a side. Brian and Kris cannot ride the fence of Democrats in this case. There comes a time in war when you must choose a side. If the Arabs win, Jews will be slaughtered by the millions. Americans like yourselves sitting on the fence will still be Americans, and Arabs will target you meant for destruction, or do you not remember Charlie Hebdo? I advise you, do not ride the fence, Daily Press; some but not all Arabs will not care where you sit; they only see the destruction of America and Israel. The fact is Palestinians choose their leaders, and those leaders are Hamas. Hamas and other terror organizations have lasted long enough with their threats and hate. Civilian deaths are just a causality of war. As bad as that is in a time of war, it's better there than here. Pick a side, Kris and Brian. Will it be America or the terror group Hamas? 

Sunday, October 8, 2023

A brief history of Israel, Judea and Palestine. Who is the real enemy?

History will not be told, so here you go. The media will not tell the truth. Our politicians will lie to you.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution), which would divide Great Britain's former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948, when the British mandate was scheduled to end. In May 1946, Truman announced his approval of a recommendation to admit 100,000 displaced persons into Palestine, and in October, he publicly declared his support for creating a Jewish state. This is the end of World War II, and the spoils go to the victors. Remember, six million Jews were slaughtered by Nazi Germany, and at the time, it was thought that the Jewish community needed its own state, providence, country, or whatever you want to call it. What better place than the Jewish people's traditional homeland since the Iron Age?

Throughout 1947, the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine examined the Palestinian question and recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state as it was during the Iron Age. The Iron Age lasted from roughly 1200 to 500 B.C.E. This was to be a great reset from a historical perspective of who was there first. The Mandate for Palestine was a League of Nations mandate. The League of Nations, you may recall, was the precursor to the United Nations. This provided a mandate following WWI for the British administration of the territories of Palestine and Transjordan, both of which had been conceded by the Ottoman Empire following the end of World War I in 1918.
The Lord knows we don't teach this anymore in our schools.

This territory was put under British administration following the fall of the Ottoman Empire. This was an attempt to keep the peace and local warring factions under control who were feared to turn on each other. This area of the world has been under foreign Empire control since 539 BCE. During the Iron Age, two related Israelite kingdoms, Israel and Judah, controlled much of Palestine, while the Philistines occupied its southern coast. The Assyrians conquered the region in the 8th century B.C.E., then the Babylonians in c. 601 BCE, followed by the Persians who conquered the Babylonian Empire in 539 BCE. We have yet to get to the Roman and Greek Empires! I point out that this region has been under control and in constant occupation for a long time. I point to the Iron Age of control, which was initially Israel and Judah, not Palestinians.

The mandate was assigned to Britain by the San Remo conference in April 1920, after France's concession in the 1918 Clemenceau–Lloyd George Agreement of the previously-agreed "international administration" of Palestine under the Sykes–Picot Agreement. Transjordan was added to the mandate after the Arab Kingdom in Damascus was toppled by the French in the Franco-Syrian War. Civil administration began in Palestine and Transjordan in July 1920 and April 1921, respectively, and the mandate was in force from September 29, 1923, to May 15, 1948, and May 25, 1946, respectively.

If Iran and the Palestinians have an issue, take it to the United Nations, which created the great reset with resolution 181. Revenge, war, terrorism, and sore losers are not the way forward and will only result in more human lives lost. The truth is Iran, who chants for the death of Isreal, also chants for the deaths of Americans. Our true enemy is Iran and its proxy war through terrorist organizations like Hamas, not the Palestinians.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

I'm just a white man. I'm just a black man.

 I'm just a white man; I'm just a black man. 

By Reed Johnson

On a whim, I wrote down some lyrics I was singing to myself on a cross-state bike ride. When I can only hear the engine roar and the wind in your helmet, I tend to just start singing. That night, while settling into another hotel in Roanoke, VA,  I wrote to Oliver Anthony (Chris) a song/poem and posted it to his Facebook page. Now, the following is not direct or exactly what I wrote, and the truth is I did not write it down. I wrote to him my thoughts for a song in a matter of minutes.  What I put down on paper here will not be exactly the same, but close. It's the catchline that is the most important. Like "Rich man north of Richmond," mine is as follows. I told him he could have the song if it inspired him; it is free to use. 

I'm just a white man living in a black man's world. 

I'm just a black man living in a white man's world. 

I'm just a black man living in a white man's world.

I'm just a white man living in a black man's world. 

Oh, why do you take from me my history and bury it in the ground?

Oh, why can't a man, a black, educated man, find a job oh, where can one be found?

I'm just a white man living in a black man's world. 

I'm just a black man living in a white man's world. 

Oh, why do you kill in your urban cities for a thrill? 

Have you no regard for life?

Oh, why do I live in poverty? 

Why do my schools fail me? 

Why do leaders turn to apathy and stab my soul with a knife?

I'm just a black man living in a white man's world.

I'm just a white man living in a black man's world. 

Oh, black man, Sunday comes along, and where are you?

I sit here in church praying for you?

Oh, white man, Sunday comes along, and where are you?

I sit here in church praying for you.

We are just men living in the rich man's world.

We allow our politicians to live high on the hog.

While we country folk live in a bog

Our lives are but tiny swirls and whirls.

We go round and round, knocking the rural man down.

The urban politicians care nothing for our small town.

I'm just a black man living in a white man's world.

I'm just a white man living in a black man's world. 

Ross Perot was right.

When he said, they would take in the night.

Our jobs and factories.

Does the rich man know no boundaries?

Unions are no better.

Just dues for the rich few.

A socialist kind of debtor.

Drowning my sorrows in a mug of brew.

I'm just a white man living in a black man's world. 

I'm just a black man living in a white man's world. 

I'm just a black man living in a white man's world.

I'm just a white man living in a black man's world. 

Oliver Anthony is right.

We have to take care of ourselves on the left and the right. 

We find our sister and brotherhood in our churches at night.

Together we can have might.

We can rule our lives.

Without greed and apathy.

Without covetness and agony.

Without hate and knives.

Stabbing each other in the back

As we allow the politician man to attack. 

I'm just a black man living in a white man's world.

I'm just a white man living in a black man's world. 

Envy is the world's original sin.

We can no longer let in.

We can no longer allow envy to be used

To separate us, we must be fused.

Together we win; divided, we fall

To the rich politicians who give it their all.

To divide us a black man from a white man. 

I'm just a white man living in a black man's world. 

I'm just a black man living in a white man's world. 

I'm just a black man living in a white man's world.

I'm just a white man living in a black man's world. 

Democracy is explained, the Constitution evaluated, and the writer leaves out the 2nd amendment.

Joesph Filco has taught economics and American government. Joseph writes commentary for the Williamsburg Gazette. The gentleman is relativel...