Saturday, March 26, 2022

Helping those in need

Helping those in need 

 Affordable housing or known as subsidized rent, section-8 vouchers, SNAP, utility assistance the list goes on. Many will ask how our brothers and sisters find themselves in this position. Today there are no housing vouchers for those in need. Thousands wait for the application process to open; thousands wait for a home. In James City County there are about 200 vouchers available for subsidized rent while thousands wait. My observations, lead me to many different scenarios as to how people find themselves on this impossible waitlist. According to our school system, a person is homeless when the family does not live in their own home. Meaning a family can be living with family or friends, living in a hotel/motel, and be considered homeless. Broken families, high divorce rates, a lack of an education that can lead to gainful employment, there are those who should have never had children to begin with due to mental health issues, contributing to the crisis of homelessness. In my view, these are the leading causes of homelessness in our community. Then there are those who are disabled. Citizens who were once self-sufficient and through no fault of their own, succumb to disease, debilitation of the body, or mental health issues. A soldier coming home from a war that old men sent them to fight is a good example. Our brave young men and women come home with limbs missing or mental trauma finding themselves homeless after giving all to our country. If we as responsible citizens of America continue to ignore the homeless, the mentally ill, the physically disabled, their children suffer irremediable harm. A cycle of poverty exists from one generation to another. 

I look at our pollical views of extremism when applied to this cycle of poverty. One side wants to make people responsible for themselves, “pull yourself up by the bootstraps.” The other side wants to give away the farm and make people dependent on the government. Both stances create division in our country and promises broken, all the while the less fortunate suffer. Children cannot possibly become productive citizens in this scenario and thus the cycle continues. People from our Urban Centers to our Appalachian poor need our help, you will find few who do not want a better life, we need to stop generalizing our less fortunate as lazy for they are not. They just need a helping hand, but the hand we lend does not always help others progress in large numbers. 

 Solution: We need to invest in centers of learning where affordable housing is a part of the campus of learning. This campus will have mental health experts, academic experts, where we can reeducate and indoctrinate a vision of a better way to live. We remove candidates from areas of high crime and influences that contribute to poor decisions. We move them across the state if we must. This opportunity is for those who want to be better tomorrow than today. We take under our wing those who want a better tomorrow and give them a safe place to live and grow. That means being proactive in policing these centers of learning and housing. Being quick to expel those who break the rules and or continue to make poor moral decisions that do not meet society's ethical standards. We need to stop ignoring the issue and we need to stop giving away the farm. I would rather help someone for four years become a productive citizen than pay for them the rest of my life. It’s simple really and your bible gives you the answer. “Feed a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and eats for a lifetime.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Chesapeake Bay Urban and Farming runoff. We need real dialog.

I wrote back to the Daily Press and copied my Senator Tommy Norment. Following are my ideas for a cleaner bay.

All Concerned, 

Reference: 2-3-1-2022 Daily Press opinion Chesapeake Bay. 

An interesting opinion has been written many times over the last 24 months. As an environmental expert and professional, I pondered your realization as to Farming and Urban runoff as significant issues. Maybe the letters I have written detailing those issues are finally paying off. 

The issue with the Daily Press opinion over 24 months is that you do not elaborate on Urban Runoff or Farming issues as I have written to you before asking why; we must tackle each topic to improve the Bay's health. 

Here are the issues for you to consider for further investigation:

Farming Lobby: A powerful lobby that shakes and moves state legislation. It would benefit the Daily Press to contact the Farming Lobby, perhaps through a senior senator, to discuss issues. Mainly due to farming being rural and not urban, you will need to understand agriculture, to begin with. Urban dwellers do not understand how the rest of the world lives, how the majority of the land in Virginia is used. Also, note the entire state is not in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Driving 81 south from Lexington, you will cross the watershed about 20-miles from Roanoke, Va. Being a rural conservative growing up working on a farm in the 1970's  I can tell you Farmers do care about the environment, but the truth is most farmers do not have the resources to implement river barriers, or plant tree buffers as an example. Fertilizer management is under control. I would not blame the overuse of fertilizers here.

Urban Runoff is the most significant contributor today to the detriment of the Chesapeake Bay. Here homeowner fertilizers need to be considered a detriment to the environment. A soil test should be conducted, and then the proper amount of fertilizer resulting in a net-zero runoff should be considered. Every day I cringe when I see a truck loaded with fertilizers pull up to homes and start spraying without a soil test. The truth is most yards do not need liquid fertilizers sprayed every quarter every year and for years. How do you know how much nitrogen to spray if you don't know where to start? A soil test helps the customer manage fertilizers and runoff. Lawns can absorb only so much nitrogen and other minerals needed for a nice yard; the rest flows into the Bay through rain events. Here again, powerful urban lobbyists are at work, I suspect. 

The Daily press needs to uncover these two powerful lobbyists, interview them, and ask tough questions. At the same time, the Daily Press needs to be mindful of the cost associated with a change in this case as we need to be careful not to bankrupt the very person who puts food on our tables. Urban centers are growing fast; this includes housing and, of course, an increase in urban runoff. Think about it. We increased the number of lanes on 64 from Hampton Roads to the west of Williamsburg. This alone will produce millions of gallons of runoff that may or may not be effectively managed and depends on the hydraulic retention time of the runoff. VDOT will do its best, I might suppose. 

The leading issues for the Bay are urban centers, fast-growing populations that are out of control, and the Daily Press sitting back and doing nothing but complain. 

PS: Thanks for the article Daily Press. As usual, the Daily Press allows me to offer a different point of view, based on knowledge and, regularly, I might add. 

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Urban media takes over rural newspapers. The results are devastating for rural conservatives.

Observations: Urban media takes over rural papers. My discourse is to offer insight into the consolidation of paper media. 

Has anyone noticed the opinion page of the Williamsburg Gazette has turned into a propaganda page? Has anyone noticed Shana Gray is still listed as the editor?

In recent weeks, whoever they are, the overseers are running little to no local opinions anymore. I see left-wing propaganda infiltrating what was once just a tiny opinion page of a local paper. I might suppose Ms. Gray is still at the Gazette but refusing to acknowledge this. Kris and Brian might say, "well, we are using cost-cutting measures as our readership declines. They might say, "We blame the internet." Ya, As an experienced business development guru myself, a professional who designs and sells the most expensive equipment in our industry and has driven our sales from 750,000 in 2010 to over 3.2 million in Virginia alone. I stand here today, watching the "paper media" slowly die and on their own sword. Success comes on the heels of good customer service and unbias reporting. This is something the local papers lack. I could make the local papers profitable, but alas, I am not in the position to require change. 

James City County is evenly split, about 50% Democrat and 50% Republican. York County and especially upper York County leans Republican. Would it not make sense for the Gazette to show the same in its reporting with this knowledge alone? Does James City County really care what is going on in North Carolina or Virginia Beach when it comes to a local paper? Why are Kris and Brian so hell-bent on turning off half of the population with left-wing reporting biases and subjecting the conservative reader to their hate without allowing discourse. For the paper to write where they stand on a topic but not allow discourse is "cancel culture" at its best. Why do these city boys seem to hate our way of life? Are we really in a battle of rural vs. urban whereby the Urbanites control the rural paper? I think so. 

As subscribers to both the Gazette and Daily Press, we are now subjected to the same articles in the same papers within a few days of each other. Why then subscribe to both? We continue to review left-wing radical reading material from the LA Times, The New York Times, and Washington Post outlets who are 100% critical of Glenn Youngkin, just like the infamous essential skills of thinking of Kris Worrel and Brian Colligan found on the Daily Press opinion page. 

In my humble opinion, those associated with Kris Worrell and Brian Colligan are also associated with cancel culture. Cancel Culture is alive and well at the Daily Press and now the Williamsburg Gazette. To not allow discourse and differences of opinion is not a free press. This is an oligarchy press, which has given Joe Binden a complete pass. At the same time, our country spirals toward high inflation, high gas cost, high food bills, and possible war. I can personally weather all of this because I am conservative by nature, but the poor, the poor who the Democrats claim to champion for, will suffer. The sad part is and "mark" my words, come November when the Republicans take back the house and senate, Kris and Brian will be sure to blame the Republicans for everything wrong in this world. 

PS Thank you for providing me the opportunity to continue my writing and working on my critical thinking skills. Brian and Kris certainly do offer that opportunity weekly. If we ever met for a beer, we would get along just fine, I think. Then again that is up to you to accept my invitation. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Daily Press attacks without one shred of evidence

The Daily Press has again gone off the deep end with hate and divisiveness in Virginia. A typical liberal outlet whose game plan is to apply hate to Governor Younkin. My response to the editor's letter of opinion, found January 30th, 2022, Daily Press.

You asked the question: "What is an "inherently divisive concept." A fair question. I love this question, and the Daily Press is right on this account, but then this is where you fail for the remainder of your argument. 

The editors of the Daily Press pull into the conversation our history. The very history that liberals like the Daily Press have condemned and called for the destruction of historical art all across Virginia. This reeked of hypocrisy. The Daily Press and liberal leftists are all too happy to change history as long as history meets their approval. The Daily Press, in this case, accuses the Governor of the very acts of hate and divisiveness you employ in our opinions over the last five years. I say the Daily Press and, in your words, "fell short of diversity." 

You wrote: "it is almost as though the critics would rather not have a discussion." Oh my! the hypocrisy surrounding this statement from the editors reeks of deceit and bigotry. The same deception and bigotry the editors show their readers. The truth is the editors of the Daily Press do not want to have a conversation with their readers and customers. I am an example of a reader you choose not to have a discussion with. The Daily Press uses cancel culture by not printing all opinions of others, you know, diversity. Gorden Morse and Reed Johnson are two examples of this cancellation. The Daily Press does not want to have a discussion. The Daily Press only wants to dictate a liberal policy. The Daily Press only wants to talk to themselves, which makes you hypocritical. 

Tip Line: So are you saying that a girl raped in a bathroom cannot use a tip line to ensure the attacker is punished or at least picked up? This same boy was moved secretly by Loudon county officials where he raped another girl in another school. This is where the tip line comes into being helpful. School officials, Police, county supervisors refuse to do their job. The state must make sure all citizens are safe. The Daily Press, in this case, is ok with girls being raped with no recourse. The state needs to take over the police department in Newport News and Hampton. Too many have died under the current administration utilizing community policing in these areas. The Daily Press is partially responsible for these deaths as the Paper has endorsed community policing. You even admitted our recent policing effort has failed, but you offer no solution. I do see the results of this propaganda, and that is parents stepping up and taking back their children from left-wing haters. Leftists like County School board members of Loudon County are why we need the tip line, and you don't get it, or you don't care. So sad, editors, so sad. 

Critical Race Theory: Teaching children to look at the color of their skin to determine good and evil. That somehow racism is baked into laws and such. This theory was written in the 1970s, and yes, having lived through the 1960-1970s and in retrospect, racism "was" baked into the laws. My observation is simple the Havard Professor was looking at data from the 1970s and back and could not have possibly predicted laws in the future. Meaning the laws of the 1970s and back are no longer relevant today and the CRT, having not been updated or revised, is no longer relevant. But you keep bringing it up as a liberal leftist. That is like me bringing up the civil war, again and again, oh wait, that is you, not me... 

The Daily Press has criticized our new Governor without one shred of evidence. The editors have no clue what "inherently divisive concepts" are and admit it, but that does not stop them and others from making false accusations in an op-ed dedicated solely to the editors of the paper. Often written by subject matter experts, a person with a unique perspective it is here the Paper fails to deliver. It is here the Daily Press fails to live up to the expectations of what an op-ed is supposed to be, but rather nothing more than propaganda. 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

The sky is falling says the media in Virginia.

And so begins the media's attack on newly elected Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin

Our local news media The Daily Press, opinion by the editors the week of January 6th, 2022, was by all accounts foreseeable. I am sure those who read this across the world will note similar attacks concerning President Donald Trump. Disclaimer: I did not vote for Donald Trump. the media tends to forget we do hold primaries and my choice was Dr. Ben Carson. I am not fond of Trump's language but I do understand his generation and New York yankee mannerisms.  Having dealt with yankees in the south for some time now, as they flee their high taxes and bring their politics to Virginia, I find it rather bothersome to me. However,  in the best of southern hospitality well, bless their hearts. I find some but not all to be arrogant, rude, and offensive. 

By all accounts, January 6, 2022, was a coordinated attack initiated by the media and the left. President Donald Trump has not been our president for a year now, yet the left recommits to attacking the former president while excusing the violence of the summer of 2020-2021. 

2022-2021 was a summer of hate, violence, and historic property damage. 2 billion in property losses many minority-owned businesses still go underreported. Statistics reported to the FBI, 59 police officers were killed in the line of duty from January 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021. This marks a 51 percent increase in the number of police officers killed when compared to the same period in 2020. Nationally, 60,105 law enforcement officers were assaulted while performing their duties in 2020. 

Kris Worrell and Brian Colligan continue with new attacks against our new governor Glenn Youngin and Donald Trump. I suspect we can ready ourselves for continued attacks by these two editors for the next four years. Sunday's editorial is just the beginning. The media brings the assault with an opinion of Andrew Wheeler. Headlines using adjectives like toxic are nonsensical. The editors believe the former administration used "thoughtful regulation." The editors go on to attack with adjectives like "short-sighted." The editors sight a "sharp reduction in greenhouse gasses can spare the world from the point of no return on global warming." We have heard this since the 1970s, and we are still here with little change, to be truthful. America has already done its part to quell our environmental footprint. The idea of not challenging China and Russia to follow suit is alarming. 

As a wastewater consultant, I can assure you our air, water, and soil are just fine as long as we allow the Virginia Department of Health environmental section to continue to perform admirably. Do not allow Brian and Kris to yell, "sky is falling." Mr. Wheller made some changes while at the EPA, yet we are all still here. There are no noticeable effects or scientific research to discredit Mr. Wheelers' EPA decisions. I assure you the sky is not falling. 

When the editors are more concerned with microplastics than biodegradable constituents of concern, perhaps we can impact the environment. When the editors are ready to address urban population issues give me a call. When local governments reach into their stingy pocketbooks and fund stormwater rehabilitation, we may positively affect our environment and flooding issues. When we can again provide a responsible direct discharge of treated effluent above 1000 gallons per day, we can help the environment. When we are ready to tackle discharges to our waters like fertilizers applied by homeowners, we can effect positive change. Remember this voter, when the left talks about regulation, that means more taxes, goods cost more, your standard of living falls, and you pay more for little in return. 

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Now I know why we are self-destructing.

Epictetus was a Greek stoic philosopher. He was born into slavery in what is now Turkey AD -50. He lived in Rome as a slave and was given permission to study philosophy. Being banished from Rome by Emperor Domitian he went to Greece for the rest of his life. His teachings were written down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses and Enchiridion. Epictetus taught that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are beyond our control; we should accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Epictetus gave European scholars of the Enlightenment an example of a system of ethics that was secular, based not on God's law but on reason and observation of the natural world. Epictetus meant that whatever the other person did is on them. Whatever your reaction is to their remark or action, that’s on you. No one can make you angry, only you have that power. Someone can certainly say something stupid or mean but no one can make you upset – that’s your choice. It is worth remembering that you should never give away your power over yourself. You should not let others bait you. You should not allow yourself to be provoked. Most of all, you can’t blame others if that happens. You control yourself and nobody else. 

Stoicism is no longer a part of our society. Stoicism is a philosophy of our ancestors, Grandfathers, and Great Grandfathers that no longer exists. This absence of philosophy coupled with our belief in the almighty creator of the universe is the direct cause of civil unrest, and the underbelly destruction of our society as our elders created. This destruction should be evident to all and now I know why. It should be obvious to all. How many times do we read something on social media and become angry? How many times do we see something on television and become distraught with anger? We no longer receive the news of the day; we receive another person’s opinion, and we react with malice. The writer, news anchor, or social media influence distracts us from living a better life. We know not how to handle this opposition because Stoicism is no longer taught. Stoicism is an education, a knowledge few possess today and without it, our society crumbles. That is not to say we should become complacent. 

There are politicians who mean to change our society to their vision. There are those in higher education who mean to use indoctrination to change our society. The local college President is paid well over 600k to indoctrinate our youth with hate for America is my observation. There are those who control our media with opinions meant to change our minds or provide propaganda for a cause. 

We write our Senators, and local academia asking for clarification and all we get back are form letters that do not answer our questions. We write our local opinion editors, and some do not respond. This of course is not the case with our most excellent editor, Shana Gray. These changes some seek to our society, and the methods used as described, have devastated our society, and not helped anyone move forward. There seems to be a lack of civil discourse, an apathy if you will. An apathy invoked from those we elect and those who use media to form our opinions, using apathy to garner a reaction is evil. We see this in the “last word” every week. 

We need not lower ourselves any longer to the level of our politicians, writers cloaked in darkness and media hype. We vote politicians in; we vote politicians out until we find those who can serve without malice and are willing to genuinely care to converse the issues of the day and are not agenda-driven. At the same time, we the people need to be reminded of Epictetus. We to need to show restraint, and respect for others and not allow politicians and the media to control us using hate and anger. Once we get angry the politician hides and will only speak to those they agree with because that is the easy way out. In this respect, Politicians can be cowards. We expect our politicians to be better than us, to be leaders. I say it is us who need to be better than them if we seek a good life.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Nelson Mandela: A Stoic whose governance should be remembered.

"Know thyself, nothing to excess and surety brings ruin" Quoting Nelson Mandela, "Learn to know yourself… to search realistically and regularly the processes of your own mind and feelings." Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, statesman, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election." I believe Nelson Mandela represented the very best of leadership. 

When Americans are confronted with American politicians whose greed dictates their reason, America ends divided. In part, we are divided because the individual American no longer takes the time to know thyself. Americans today allow politicians, the media, and others to tell us how we feel, who we are and why. In my last column, an attempt was made to reflect upon my own feelings and processes. I am not so sure American generations have ever given much thought to "know thyself." Past generations have focused on knowing God. In 1940 seventy-three percent of all Americans belonged to a church. Today 47% of Americans belong to a church. While church attendance declines, division in our nation through political bias has increased, so what happened? Does the lack of understanding "know thyself,” combined with a decline in church attendance, affect societies' interaction with each other? 

 Sigmond Freud had said, civilization is constantly being created anew, and everyone being born must work their way up to being civilized beings. 

To know thyself is not knowledge you are given at birth. If we are born into nontraditional families, if we are born into poverty, if we are born into predilections, if we are born into a society where low moral values dictate our reason, if we are born into a society whereby our faith in God waivers, we as a society will not obtain the education or indoctrination as to the health and well-being, of our divided society. Both his parents were illiterate, but being a devout Christian, his mother sent him to a local Methodist school when he was young. Baptized a Methodist, Mandela was given the English forename of "Nelson." Nelson was a man of great faith. He hid his Christian faith to continue his work of unifying South Africa. Many ministers who preyed with Nelson regularly knew of his faith while in prison and throughout his life. "He was a profoundly religious man: he believed sincerely in the existence of the almighty. Nelson also understood the importance to "know thyself." 

When we reflect upon our lives, we should ask this one question. Do I know what I take myself to know? Knowing ourselves, understanding our weaknesses, and our strengths are paramount. Knowing oneself is easy when deciding what I like. Example: I like ice cream. Yet, we seem to be gullible when it comes to politics, history, science, or religion. We believe what other people say, and the individual believes without due examination. We are like a flock of sheep, ignoring our Shepard, following another off the edge of a cliff without thinking or reflecting what the lead sheep feels or knows to be true. Americans today tend to say, I think, without even considering another point of view when we disagree, we disagree with malice. This malice towards others has been taught in colleges all across America and for decades. Knowing you live an imperfect life, learning, and acknowledging your limitations is but one key to introspection. A great leader will know thyself and God. 

Nelson Mandela, a great leader, was such a man, as was Martin Luther King. They were great leaders because of their faith and not a lack thereof. In America today, we lack faith and reflective thought when selecting our leaders, and subsequently, why our leadership is so poor. We know not what good leadership looks like today; we know not better. We Americans are not blind to this truth; we are blind because we do not take the time to understand ourselves and God first. Take some time to write about yourself, your beliefs, and what you want out of life. Being honest with yourself will be the hardest part. Once you have this idea of self, like what I wrote about myself, your path is clearer. A person who knows themselves well knows how to spot characteristic ways in which others spin or otherwise distort positive and negative information. We can remove ourselves from harsh reactions towards one another; we stop believing everything we see in the media, every word spoken, every page of the internet. We begin to see the positive qualities we want and expect in our leaders. We can push our limitations and poor qualities into closets where they reside like skeletons. Knowing these skeletons may come out to dance, we have a place to put them back and try again. Believe in yourself, aim high, be forgiving, seek high moral counsel from those who are not agenda motivated. Maybe, we can start to respect each other again. The Lord knows I am trying how about you?

Mom is trying to get us food

Mohammed Ugbede Adaji posted a picture. He asked, what does the picture mean? Many responded.  Mohammed is a Facebook friend, and I enjoy ou...