Monday, June 6, 2022

Virginia Senator Mark Warner's apathy for the voter


I wanted to highlight one of the biggest issues we have with our representation at the Federal level. The following letter was sent to Mark Warner, a Democrat Senator from Virginia. If you find yourself here reading this, note the response to my letter. Note the response informs me I have written about Robb Elementary School in TX. In fact, I never mentioned the School at all in my letter. This is nothing more than a $10.00 an hour lacky using a form letter developed for responses to recent shootings. Mark Warner never addresses my letter. Note the difference in fonts for my name and the letter. This is nothing more than apathy for the voter. Our biggest issue is apathy and this apathy for the voter starts with the local leaders all the way to the President.


My letter to Senator Mark Warner:

All Concerned, 

Today, the Daily Press in Hampton Roads had an article on June 5th, 2022. "It is initialed "Seeking safety on city sidewalks."

"He was struck by a driver in a hit-and-run on East Little Creek Road. His death came as a shock to family members. He hit him," I want you to think about this. When a driver kills someone with a car or truck, the media, in this case, blames the driver.

The use of a vehicle as a weapon in a terrorist attack is not new. Recent terrorist incidents and violent extremist propaganda demonstrate that the use of vehicles as a weapon continues to be of interest to those wishing to cause harm. Attacks of this nature require minimal capability but can have a devastating impact in crowded places with low levels of visible security. We have seen carnage like this in America and across the world, whereby not 19 like texas, but, in some cases, 50+ people lose their life as they did in France. Foreign terrorist organizations encourage arson attacks in the U.S. because of its perceived simplicity and potential to cause significant and widespread damage.

May 23rd, 2022, Santa Anna, CA. Three children were injured as they walked to school in Santa Ana Monday morning when a man drove onto the sidewalk and struck them. The scene unfolded just prior to 8:30 a.m. on Keller Avenue neat Taft Elementary School, where moments earlier, a man had been asked to leave the School's campus as he was trespassing. He was escorted by authorities before getting back into his vehicle. It was then that he drove onto the sidewalk, striking the three children. All of the victims were taken to a hospital for treatment, though they are all said to be in stable condition. Two of the children were students of Taft Elementary, while the third, a cousin of one of the students, was walking them to school.

Arson-initiated wildland fires in the U.S., especially in the west, resulted in major human, property, infrastructure, environmental, and economic losses. About 40 percent of all U.S. homes are in the wildland-urban interface (WUI)b communities, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, putting these communities at greater risk of wildfires. Although most WUI arson incidents in the Homeland resulted in criminal charges unassociated with terrorism, messaging by terrorists may result in acts of arson connected to terrorism. Has it ever occurred to you once that the California wildfires might be related to terrorists? (https://www.dni.gov/files/NCTC/documents/jcat/firstresponderstoolbox/124s_-_Mitigating_the_Threat_of_Terrorist-Initiated_Arson_Attacks_on_Wildland-Urban_Interface_Areas.pdf)

According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime's 2019 Global Study on Homicide, knives were the weapon of choice in 97,183 homicides in 2017, a full 22% of the world's total. Knife attacks and stabbing deaths occur all over the globe, from those with high rates of violent crime to the safest countries in the world. That said, the frequency of knife-related violence (which includes not only knives but also other "sharp objects" such as scissors or axes) varies greatly from one region to the next.

In North America, firearm deaths were responsible for roughly 76% of all homicides, with knife-related homicides accounting for less than 20%. However, the numbers are reversed in Europe, where guns account for barely 20% of homicides, but knives are used nearly 40% of the time. In fact, the United Nations identified sixteen countries in which knives and sharp instruments were used in more than half of the country's homicides. What does this mean? This means where guns are confiscated, knives become the number one weapon of murder and mayhem. In Cuba, where no firearms are allowed to be owned. 76% of the murders are by knife.

James City County is a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County. That means federal laws on gun confiscation mean nothing to us as it means nothing to many counties in Virginia. 
 
The fault is not the gun but the person who pulls the trigger, the person who drives the car, the person who lights the match, and the person who wields a knife. I find it hypocritical of anyone to suggest guns kill and then turn around and ignore the same for cars, arson, and knives. A person has to light the match, a person has to drive the car, a person to thrust the knife, and they blame the person, but I will be damned, liberals blame the gun, not the person when a gun is used.

As I have written many times. Gun violence is a direct result of our failing society. Our will to turn our backs on God and Religion, the destruction of the family structure. The day higher-level academia, politicians who present apathy to the real issues, and liberals in question finally realize Dr. Walter Williams, and I have been right for 20 years, America will be a better place to live.  



Mark Warners Response:


Dear Mr. Johnson,

          I have received your letter regarding the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which resulted in the deaths of 19 children and two teachers. There are no words to express the magnitude of this tragedy.

          As a father, I can only begin to imagine the immeasurable grief these families and the Uvalde community are feeling. As a member of Congress, I am pushing my colleagues to finally act.

          It doesn't need to be this way. The majority of Americans want stronger gun safety laws, and Congress must take action.

          I am a gun owner and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. But we have seen time and time again the deadly consequences that can follow when dangerous weapons land in the wrong hands.

          According to statistics from the Gun Violence Archive, in 2021, the number of mass shootings in the U.S. increased to nearly 700, and over 300 children younger than 12 years old were killed with a firearm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2020, there were 45,222 firearm deaths in the United States.

          I am committed to working with my colleagues from both parties to advance commonsense, achievable legislation to curb gun violence.

          That is why I joined Senator Kaine in introducing the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act of 2021. The bill would enact a series of commonsense gun violence prevention measures, like those adopted by the Commonwealth, including measures to remove firearms from those at risk of harming themselves or others, close background check loopholes, mandate reporting of lost and stolen firearms, prevent children from accessing firearms, and implement a one-handgun-a-month policy.

          These commonsense policies help to make our communities safer by keeping guns out of the wrong hands while still respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

          I am also a co-sponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban, which would ban the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. I wrote about my decision to support this policy in a Washington Post op-ed. To read the op-ed, visit https://beta.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-voted-against-an-assault-weapons-ban-heres-why-i-changed-my-mind/2018/10/01/3bfa76a0-c594-11e8-9b1c-a90f1daae309_story.html?noredirect=on.

          We must also strengthen our background-check system. That is why I have cosponsored the Background Check Expansion Act. The bill would expand federal background checks to include the sale or transfer of all firearms by private sellers, with certain commonsense exceptions like gift-giving between family members.

          It is incumbent on all of us to change policy, laws, and minds to make our communities safer. We owe it to victims and their families to stop talking about the problem and start doing something to address it.

Sincerely,
MARK R. WARNER
United States Senator


Monday, May 23, 2022

The Double-edge Sword of Propaganda

 



The double-edged sword of propaganda 


 "A fascinating and controversial look at how government and corporations control how we think and act. The nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernays (1891-1995), pioneered the scientific technique of shaping and manipulating public opinion, which he called "engineering of consent." Bernays, along with Lippmann, was a part of a powerful propaganda machine that advertised and sold World War One to the American people "Make the world safe for Democracy."

A visit to the Virginia war museum in Newport News, Va., is all one can make to understand how propaganda was used to turn American citizens into fighting mad saviors of the free world. Here you will find posters depicting "the Hun" noted as Germany, or the Japanese in cartoonish depictions aimed at turning the average citizen's efforts to win World War Two. A 1942 poster titled This is the Enemy circulated in the United States following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Its purpose was to embody the entire Japanese nation as a ruthless and animalistic enemy that needed to be defeated. This image represents a clash between two nations at war and illustrates the biased perceptions that developed as a result. By dehumanizing the Japanese and instilling fear in the minds of Americans, WWII propaganda posters prompted cultural and racial hatred that led to massive historical consequences for the Japanese. 

The extent to which propaganda shapes the progress of affairs about us may surprise even the well-informed person. Nevertheless, it is only necessary to look under the surface of any newspaper for a hint as to propaganda's authority over public opinion. An example would be the following: More Scars for the VA employment commission. Dated May 9th, 2022, Daily Press. I couldn't help but wonder why this article included a picture of Governor Youngkin? The issues were related to past governor Ralph Northam, and the article expresses that issue in writing. This expression, however, finds its way into the article near the end. When understanding how to look for propaganda, one must wonder if the picture of Governor Youngkin was used with the big headline knowing and associating Governor Younkin with an issue created before his elected duties were to commence. Is this a mistake, or is this propaganda? Was it the media's intent to use a big headline and attach the new Governor (a republican) to an issue created by the past Governor, who happens to be a democrat? I believe most readers will see the picture, read the headline, and then associate the two with bad governance. Think about it, how many times do you look at a picture and read the headline moving on to the next article in the paper? The intent here was to make our new Governor look bad in the eyes of the voter, and that is why I am a critic of the media. Other media outlets are far worse. "The View," Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN, the list goes on but know this, every one of these shows is propaganda and not the news. 

 Edward Bernays goes on to write. "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." I want each of you to think about this part of the quote. "Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society? I believe the powerful few, this invisible government, has used propaganda to divide our country. This is a double-edged sword; I hope you will understand. Edward Bernays's book "Propaganda" is available online.

Friday, April 29, 2022

          

"A Horse named Ray-Ray"
Reed Johnson

If you are reading this, you have found your way to my Blog. This blog, "discourseweekly"  is where I started to teach myself to write. I started this blog because I enjoy a good debate, putting my thoughts in words, and helping others achieve in the same manner; I have achieved a good life. Over the years, I had grown despondent concerning the lack of our elected and media leaders to respond to questions or print my opinion for review and critique. 

Please consider a purchase of this now internationally sold book for your children and grandchildren. The book can be found on Amazon, Barnes, and Noble, and other outlets found in a search engine.


Our horse riding partners in this book come from all over the world and compete in trial competitions. The idea is to bring together the world from a women's perspective or, say, a girl's perspective to learn and get along with different cultures. Some are scared at first but learn to overcome their fears. This experience helps girls to be brave, fearless, and independent. This experience also teaches the girls to care for others and work together as a team. Girls and horses are a special bond, not to say boys can't have the same bond or learn the same riding lessons. In my experience, girls and horses seem to have a special bond, unlike others. We will learn teamwork, we will learn about women in history, combined with girl power, and life advice from a horse who can talk and his horse friends. About my sister Jennifer: Jennifer suffered a brain aneurysm on December 12th, 2019. She survived two brain surgeries, a year of rehabilitation, and over a year of recovery in Baltimore, Maryland., at Autumn Lake, a Post-Acute Care Center. Jennifer received the very best of care and made many friends. If it were not for the nurses and support at Post-Acute Care, my sister might not have recovered to the extent she has. The doctors and staff at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore cared for Jennifer with the utmost professionalism and compassion. She is now home and living with her Mom. Jennifer is disabled and suffers from short-term memory issues, tinnitus, and dizziness. Jennifer is still recovering from a third surgery to replace a hip that was broken years ago, most likely from a fall off Ray-Ray if I had to guess. I wrote this book to help Jennifer with her memory. I spent many hours having her recall memories about Ray-Ray and how she rode him. I took notes, and we found this to be very helpful with her progress. The book proceeds, if published, will help pay for Jennifer's care, pay expenses, and a little compensation for the author.



 

James City County NFPA 1710 requirements and life should be more than a living wage for professional public servants.

I had written an opinion in the Virginia Gazette concerning pay and benefits for County employees. 

Our Administrator responded to my opinion with the idea our firefighters are well paid and meet NFPA 1710.  Some in my community want a tax cut due to rising housing valuations. I was of the opinion that tax cuts hurt county employees. 


I offered this rebuttal. 


I want to respond to Scott Stevens. 

First and foremost, I can understand the response to my opinion; perhaps we can learn more. It is true to say the AFL-CIO fireman association did mail me literature seeking a contribution and noted the county's failure to meet NFPA 1710. 


To County Administrator Stevens, 

If the AFL-CIO lied, perhaps our county attorney needs to look into the false information. We can be like Twitter, canceling those with whom we disagree. JCC should take false allegations seriously if what you wrote is valid regarding the claims I quoted in my original opinion? 


The James City County Fire department boasted a 6:02-minute response time in 2017. This response time came from an article found in the Gazette from 2017. That is the best I can find. I emailed the fire department to ask about response times in 2022 but have not heard back. Mr. Stevens, can you please ask the Fire Chief to answer my question? 


After doing some research, I found that a response time of 6.65 minutes is required for the first fire engine with four firefighters to respond to low-level hazard calls like home fires, according to NFPA guidelines. I am not an expert, and I emailed Mr. Stevens asking for clarification but only received a short reply that never answered questions. 


My county Supervisor never responded at all. I might suppose that I have been critical of his leadership at times, and I have sided with John many times as the reason for no response. I am critical of what I see as the liberal indoctrination of our children at William and Mary and other liberal colleges, high schools, and now even in grade school. Perhaps many who read this will understand my concern for our children. Still, John, a government professor by profession, you should respond to your citizen's concerns, in my opinion, whether you agree or not. 


My evaluation:


How do fire departments accurately evaluate their response in these three areas? NFPA 1710: Standard for Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments establishes criteria that provide an excellent place to start. Those criteria include:

  • Alarm Answering Time: 15 seconds for 95% of calls; 40 seconds for 99% of calls
  • Alarm Processing Time: 64 seconds for 90% of calls; 106 seconds for 95% of calls
  • Turnout Time: 60 seconds for EMS responses; 80 seconds for fire responses
  • First Engine Arrive on Scene Time: 240 sec (4 minutes) for 90% of responses with minimum staffing of 4 personnel
  • Second Company Arrive on Scene Time: 360 seconds (6 minutes) for 90% of responses with minimum staffing of 4 personnel
  • Initial Full Alarm – Low and Medium Hazard Assembly Time: 480 seconds (8 minutes) on 90% of responses
  • Initial Full Alarm – High Hazard/High-Rise Assembly Time: 610 seconds (10 minutes 10 seconds) on 90% of responses

So the way I read this is, from the time I call in a fire, 15 seconds, 64 seconds, 80 seconds, 240 seconds, I should expect the fire truck to arrive. 399 seconds / 60 = 6.65 minutes. the response time of 6:03 is based on 2017. 



 Firefighters pay:  

 The salary Mr. Stevens quoted in the paper was $47,000, and equates to a monthly payment of $3,917, a weekly pay of $904, and an hourly wage of $22.60, according to "living wage calculator.com." 


Note: A living wage is a minimum income required to meet basic needs. According to " living wage calculator.com, a single adult needs 18.95 an hour to survive a living wage to live in James city county. One adult with one child 34.82 an hour. Interestingly enough, two adults and one child need $33.24. Obviously, a couple with a child cannot possibly live a traditional lifestyle whereby one adult stays home, raises the child, and one life partner works. I note this because I see this issue as one of the main reasons our society has declined over the decades. 


It seems to me James City County barely pays a living wage for firefighters entering the trade and if they have one child seem to fall woefully short in providing a compensation whereby firefighters can live in our county and not have to work two jobs. I know many firefighters work second jobs just like our teachers et al. 


Let us look at this from another point of view.


According to what I could find, the median home listing price in James City County is 435k. According to budget worksheets.com, this is a 1922.00 a month with 87,000 down (20%) @ 5.25% - 30 years loan. I would advise any young person seeking to be a homeowner to consider 30% of their income per month for living arrangements. 3,917 * .3 = $1,175  


A firefighter who is single with one child cannot even afford a basic one-bedroom apartment on a salary of 47000.00 in James City County. A single firefighter can not live in James City County. The best a firefighter can do is find a 250,000 home, and we all know this price range is hard to come by in desirable neighborhoods for professional firefighters. 


Note: My research found the following apartment cost. Typical rental prices for one-bedroom apartments. 2-bedroom apartments go even higher. 

1. Spotswood Commons = start at $1581.00

2. Regency at Longwood = start at $1250.00

3. Steeple Chase apartments = start at $1321.00


What should be the minimum salary? I can share my experience. I have a 23-year-old son who has just accepted a career job with Boeing. Jake will be moving to Charleston, SC. With a bachelor's degree and working in procurement, Jakes's starting salary is 60,000.000 with a bonus of 3000.00. Having helped Jake do the research, he could afford a one-bedroom apartment and stay under 30% at $1370.00 a month. I found the cost of living to be comparable to James City County. My daughter is graduating from WVU in May with a Masters's degree in Speech Pathology. She will be moving into a one-bedroom apartment with a roommate in Arlington Va working for Fairfax County Schools. Abby will be paid a starting salary of 65,000.00 a year. Both children were offered jobs locally. A person recruited my daughter from central office who knows my wife to come home and work in JCC. Both jobs were turned down simply because the cost of living was too high for the salary offered. Each would have had to live at home with their parents, and to me, that was not an option. Young adults living at home with parents have become the norm and not the exception. That is where we fail as a society. 


The cost of living in Arlington, Va., is slightly higher than JCC. However, our teachers do not come close to the 60,000.00 required to live here. My children make more starting their lives than their mother with years of experience, a master's degree from W&M in special education, and math specialist. In the 1990's I worked for the Service Authority as an industrial mechanic. I worked for Larry Foster. I stayed for about seven years in that role, a role JCSA is still trying to fill, last I looked, with some meager wage. I left for the private sector doing the same work and never looked back, increasing my salary by three times the pay. For a professional to live in James City County, be it Police, EMT, Teacher, or Service Authority professionals, a starting salary of 60,000.00 is needed for a single person, a single person with one child, a family whereby one parent can stay home and raise children. Let that sink in, County board of supervisors and those who seek a tax cut. 


Finally and most importantly, Scott Stevens writes, and I quote here," exceeds the National Fire Protection Association standards for fire response to our most common fires. I congratulate the FD on achieving this benchmark if true, but what about uncommon fires? Which are not single-family dwelling fires."


Mr. Steven's statement refers to single-family residences only. Keep in mind these are minimums. Let us not live on the edge of minimums. I'm afraid I have to disagree with you if the fire department responds to a fire in JCC at 5 pm on a weekday. The FD will have trouble making the 6:65-minute total response time. A call in the middle of the night is an entirely different matter. We need to look at response times based on the time of day. We also need to consider if we are, in fact, ready to combat fires in addition to low-hazard residences. 


Example: NFPA 1710 


Open air strip malls - minimum of 27 members, 28 if an aerial device is used. (shopping centers apply.)


Garden-style apartments - a minimum of 27 members (28 aerial devices used.)


High rise - minimum of 42 members (43 if the building is equipped with a fire pump.)

Note: *Highest floor greater than 75 feet above the lowest fire department vehicle access level according to the 2016 NFPA 1710. 


Other fires: Anheuser Bush, Bush Gardens, Water Country USA, Walmart distribution center, William and Mary dormitories, timeshares, the new William and Mary theater is looking mighty tall during construction, and High Street View Luxury Apartments are structures that might meet the NFPA 1710.5.2.4.5 and require even more consideration. You can say some of these structures are located in the City of Williamsburg but don't tell me you won't respond if needed, and you will be needed, so prepare for that day.


Lastly, Two weeks ago, I noticed a fire on a strip of land between two multifamily dwellings while driving home on Neck-O-Land road on a weekday. Honestly, I do not remember the time. I remember being in the afternoon. I called 911 and reported the fire. I reported a fire about 20ft long 10 ft wide, and a tree is on fire. I surveyed the situation, grabbed a residential garden hose, turned on the water that had a 50ft hose from the multifamily dwelling, and diminished the fire. I did not time the Fire Department as I was busy working the fire. I will tell you the response time felt like more than 6:65 minutes. The response time was more like 15 minutes. I am sure you can clarify this call with the fire department. The fire department travel time to this residence is less than 10 miles away. Two trucks did respond with at least four firefighters on each truck and quickly took over. I watched a crew work this small brush fire that, had I not stopped, could have spread to multifamily residences as the fire was spreading quickly when I arrived on the scene. 


In this instance, the Fire Department may not have met the standard of NFPA 1710 of 6:65-minutes. I am not blaming the fire department. I want to support them as I can to write about the needs of our professionals. We need to look at a wage beyond basic needs, affordable housing, and road infrastructure. We need to understand how uncontrolled population growth and the lack of road infrastructure deters our police, fire department, and EMTs from responding within the (6:65-min.) time allotted per NFPA 1710. Decisions made decades ago as to the right to build in JCC have come to roost with what seems like slow response times by our firefighters, police, and EMTs per my recent experience, A response time that may not meet a 90% confidence factor at the 6:65-minute mark. We live with secondary road infrastructure built decades ago for a population half the size today. Another Daily Press article from 2017 tells us that in 2009 we had a police response time of 6.09 minutes, and in 2017, a response time of 7:14 minutes. How the FD can respond faster than the police in 2017 makes me wonder if the numbers we get are accurate. 


Traffic delays take lives when first responders need to move quickly, which is on the board of supervisors' lack of controlling growth and funding infrastructure. Also, note that I could not find average response times on the Police website or the Fire Department website. I look forward to a response from the FD to my question concerning response times in 2022. 


Summary:

James City County does not pay a salary whereby a person can live in the county and live a life beyond paycheck to paycheck. Jame City County is losing employees to other adjoining counties simply because the pay is better. Our children are not coming home to live in JCC simply because the cost of living ratio to salary does not meet a life lived beyond paycheck to paycheck in some instances. 


I am still awaiting the fire chief's response to my question concerning response times. 


I emailed Mr. Stevens and John McGlennon first with my concerns. I had emailed a version of this commentary. I wanted to clean up the grammar before releasing it to the public. 


Here is what I got back from Mr. Stevens, as John never replied. Our board of supervisors and the county Administrator could interact with JCC citizens better; one might suppose to be true. I will assume my math is correct since Mr. Stevens had the opportunity to tell me otherwise. 


From the desk of Administrator Stevens: 


"Mr. Johnson,

 

Good morning.

 

Thank you for including me in your email. I appreciate your approach in sharing your thoughts and opinions. 

 

Let me know if you need anything from me."




The material used was taken from the NFPA 2016 standard. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

If not in my backyard then where?

If not in my backyard, then where? 


 Winsome Earl-Sears's father moved to America from Jamaica with a dollar seventy-five in his pocket. Today, his daughter is the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Ms. Sears said, and I quote, “You have to make the right friends.” Nothing could be truer in life; nothing could be simpler. “A lot of temptations” in downtown Newport News was a reason to use a rural setting for recovery, remarked Rev. Travis Hall. Let there be no mistake; getting people away from those of bad influence is a key to recovery. “Prime Real Estate, and we are not even going to get any tax revenue for it while I believe there will be a draw on our services.” Commission Laura Rose said. I must ask, what higher power is there than to help your fellow man become a better citizen? The question that should be asked is as follows. Is money more important to the commissioner than saving lives? 

 A petition commented concerning a rise in crime. According to Recovery Research Institute. “NIMBY (not in my back yard) has been a pervasive attitude that has created resistance to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment centers being built and barriers in access to care. Researchers at Rutgers University tested the claim that publically funded addiction treatment centers were related to violence in excess of other commercial businesses. They found that violent crime around publically funded addiction treatment centers was no different than around convenience stores & even less than around liquor stores & “corner” stores in Baltimore, Maryland, one of the highest crimes-ridden regions of our country. The program would be attended on a “voluntary basis by non-violent offenders.” Commented Rev. Travis Hall. My position is simple. It is not the person who wants to get better you need to worry about. It is the one who does not want to get better you need to worry about. It is the person who has not yet willing to turn or repent you need to keep an eye on. 

 New Kent residents have been wearing orange for many reasons over the years. Trying to protect their rural way of life, not wanting change. “If there is one constant in life, it is change,” I might argue. Twenty-thousand people in New Kent expressed their opposition to gun control and then turned around and boycotted a gun range for training. This is more about staying rural and opposing change, in my opinion. Who can blame the fine citizens of New Kent? 

We read about death every day in Newport News and other surrounding urban centers. In the last election, thirty-three percent of New Kent County residents voted Democrat, and 66% voted republican. New Kent County's violent crime rate is 8.1%, compared to the US average of 22.7%. One can see New Kent County as a safe place to live, and we should applaud this achievement. With Republicans firmly in control, why would anyone want to change? Rural America is watching our urban centers disintegrate under democrat rule, and now there are those in Newport News who want to send us their worst 

My neighbors of New Kent County, the world needs you. Newport News needs you. We need your help and your guidance as fine citizens of this Commonwealth. It is a known fact that the governance of Newport News has failed miserably to protect its citizens from crime and drugs. Our Federal Government has failed miserably to stop the flow of drugs into our country across the Mexican border. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have failed all Virginians, as you, my fine citizens of New Kent, know well. Our only saving grace is Rob Wittman on the Federal level. 

 There are citizens of Newport News that need your help. They come voluntarily seeking change in their lives. We can make a difference in this world one urban dweller at a time. We can teach self-reliance and help those addicted to drugs overcome this affliction. We can be a model of conservatism, moral decisions based on high rural ethics. We can teach trades helping people live better lives. We can do what Newport News has not been able to do, and that is to help its own citizens. We can teach a better life for those who wish for it. My fellow rural Americans, we are the last holdout who believes in the American dream for all. Let us not fail to show compassion for others as our bible teaches us.

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. 

Richneck School shooting: The police and school division are not explaining or the right questions asked.

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