Monday, April 27, 2009

Affordable Housing? Chesterfield?

I have been a long time resident of Chesterfield. In being such, I have experienced the pains of living in a condo after college, than trying to find a townhouse and than ultimately trying to find a first home in a County where it appears as though the powers that be have been content for the last fifteen years to do everything possible to make the County a Parade of Homes display of 3,500 sq. feet or more gala of developments.

People always ask me why it is so many who graduated from Chesterfield schools and went on the Virginia colleges find themselves not here in Richmond, but in places like Northern Virginia? Of course, most people think its jobs and income, but as the data keeps coming in about Chesterfield and Henrico County it is less about jobs and more about housing. The proff is also in the rental market and leasing market here in Richmond versus other parts of the country. We have not fallen off as much in large part is there just is not the supply of "affordable" condos and townhomes and even single-family homes relative to those other markets. Ours rarely stay long on the market. Why? there is more people out there looking to downsize, looking for their first starter home or simply single just out of college and into theri first real job of their career and they are looking not for a 3,000 sq ft house but something much different.

The Centralia Station debate last week by the Planning Commission left many residents, including myself, scratching our heads. At some point must we not start to ask ourselves "do we really need" as opposed to "do we really want" some of these developments just because we have someone willing to build them. I mean at some point, and I am no conspiracist, could not a case be made that the County has long been keeping the development of affordable housing at bay while they approve massive large lot developments. Afterall, when you hear about 1/ 2 acre lots folks they are not talking "affordable" based on the current cost of land and current value in Chesterfield. Someone could probably make the case that it has been the policy to in fact deter the development of smaller homes.

Such development views has certainly resulted in the rise of renatl property throughout the County as well. We have to understand that we are a diverse community here and most of us have been in the position of not being able to find a home we could afford in that school district that we want our kids to attend. Since it seem to much to ask these days that all the schools be equal in SOL and No Child Left behind benchmarks, might we want to take a look at "affordable" housing as a means of permitting entry for those who seek the best for their children as well.

Robious Road Community Coalition

The launch of the Robious Road Community Coalition will begin next month and Alter of Freedom and The Contemporary Conservative I have been informed will be featured Chesterfield County blogs in the network.

It is my undertanding that RRCC will have its very on social media networking site for interaction amongst residents as opposed to the open Facebook application. Residents will be invited to join the group from existing members (friends) of the Coalition. Anyone will be eligible however, and there is no residency requirement for involvement.

Expect some great content coming down the pipe for residents as they will have there own inside seat to Board and Planning Meetings and will have, when required, a voice at those meetings should enough residents deem it necessary and want their voices heard but cannot make down to the Complex.

An example, Do you feel that a subdivision should have the right to engage in an agreement with a cell tower company for the placement of such tower independent of the Board of the residents within the subdivision in majority agree it would be in the best interests of the development to do so? Think of the pools and clubs scattered about our developments; what if a cell company proposed to pay the subdivison $500 or $1,000 a month fee for the right to erect such a tower?

More to follow on the RRCC once things are released.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blackwater Worldwide: Another Corporate Victim of Propaganda

I make no bones of my support for the former Blackwater Worldwide or that of the sixty of so private consulting service companies involved in the Middle East over the course of the last six years. The services and expertise that these firms provide is something that our military establishment was incapable of providing in the post-911 environment. Afterall, the military even with its Special Forces elements are not functional in the area of personal security.

In fact, much of the training and expertise that would have been garnered in the military as lessons learned from the problematic issue of Somolia if put in short order into training for the urban conflict were cut during the massive budget reductions to the military under President Bill Clinton. The fact remains the United States was ill-prepared to combat the urban environment with the tradtional force at its disposal following the intial victory in Iraq.

The answer that the military had at its means, as well as that of the installed Iraqi government was private firms that could offer the command and support in order to secure leaders. These services were vital to the implementation of a new government structure as well as the security of our very own government officials on the ground outside the Green Zone, especially if they had to travel the six or so kilometers to the Ministry of Finance or from one Camp to another within the Capital city. Logisticly, the military simply did not have enough expertise nor enough military police on the ground in order to perform such functions and in fact had the military not admitted such there certainly could have been a greater possibility for higher casualties of military forces performing such rolls. If you remember the Army convoy that was ambushed while transporting supplies and was simply unacapable to respond in force to such an attack.

And yet, these private security firms have been under constant attack by those who have been against the Iraq War from the beginning. No one has been more critical and in frankly biased with very selective liberities taken with the facts than Jeremy Scahill. He has been all over MSNBC in particualar peedling his anti- private security agenda and especially targeted Blackwater only after the incident where seventeen civilians were slain by contractors employed by Blackwater because it was politically hot enough to attract attention to his anti-war cohorts on the left and in the liberal media. This barrage of negative attacks, never highlighted the success of Blackwater, Hart or Armour Security on the ground in Iraq has been no stop since the publication of his book. At no time was Scahill ever set up against an individual on Countdown and other shows with the other side of story. The propaganda, much like the attacks on companies like Hlaiburton as "profiteers" has been never ending since 2004 in the same light the left has attack Dominion Resources here in Virginia and now AIG. They do not single out those who may have been guilty of misconduct or inappropriate actions, but tarnish an entire corporate entity for the actions of individuals.

An example of the portrayal following the incident in Iraq resulting of the deaths of civilians from Blackwater helicopters and ground contractors escorting dignitaries or officials by MSNBC and Scahill purposely withheld the context and backdrop of the incident nor the conditions on the ground in the weeks prior nor the failed ambush attempts along the route in the days leading up to the incident. Scahill neglects to speak to the hightened conditions within all security forces after the March 31, 2004 killing of 4 Blackwater contractors escorting cargo in Fallujah that of course was not reported by the liberal media which had a ripple effect throughout the entire private security world. These four contractors were ambushed by grenade attack when caught in traffic and identified, killed and then dragged through the streets and hung upside down by their legs left dangling from the bridge over the Euphrates. Of course this got massive play on Middle Eastern television, but you would have intially had to go to the internet to get the breaking news of the story and not mainstream media in the US. The reason being the last thing that the left wanted at the time was support being generated by the deaths of Amercians (civilians) over in Iraq. What makes it worse is they do not have the journalistic integrity to speak to the event when addressing the actions of contractors on the ground when responding to the situation later. You also have to underatand that the compound housing the Balckwater contractors as well as others had also come under direct attack in Iraq by insurgents and the contractors were informed by the military (US) that no help could be sent to them and they were on their own in the defense of the compound. Ask yourself what would be going through your mind if in such a situation.

Instead, forgetting the thousands of successful missions, convoys protected, airlift services in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as close security for officials on the ground the company Blackwater has been tarnished by the portrayal by left wing extremists as being "rampantly violent", "murderers", "hired mercenaries" and simply "corrupt". They even portray Blackwater as a firm that was formed under the Bush administration to "profit from the escalation in Iraq", when in fact the company Blackwater USA was formed in 1996 during the Clinton years to provide security training to police, sherriff and private security contractors. It was not until 2002 that Blackwater Security Consulting was formed to focus on the post-911 requirements as a division of Blackwater. Instead the portrayal the the enitire company was formed to profit from the War and because of the founders support in contribution to Bush that Blackwater was simply another Haliburton in Iraq simply to profit from an unjust War.

They fail to even make any admission as to any credibility given by those that were protected by their services, nor have they ever attempted to investigate the other side of the story worldwide. The liberal mainstream also determined without any investigation that Blackwater's role in Hurricane Katrina in protecting New Orleans from looting after hundreds of police abandoned their posts of duty. They focused on armed contractors in the streets providing protection and civil service duties as a negative rather than address the fact that they filled a void left behind by those police that abandoned their responsibility to protect and defend.

The weight of the proganda has weighed heavy on Blackwater as it would any private firm as the liberal media has shaped a view of Blackwater that is based solely in political agenda than fact. The power of such propaganda however has resulted in Blackwater to withdraw from the role it was peforming in Iraq and concentrate on other areas of training like it had pre-911. It has even gone as far as to change its name, now known as XE (Zee) in an effort to rebuild its image.

I have found each and every Blackwater operative I have had the pleasure to meet to be of the highest moral and patriotic character and have always found them to be very respectful and focused-based on their mission.

It is shameful what were are experiencing with the determined demise of Corporations based in the United States by the very same people who contend that they will create jobs in this country. I wonder what company will be set in the crosshairs of the liberal media next once the Blackwater's and the AIG's are in the rearview mirror.