Literary: Editorials


What is the saying...If you don't vote, you can't complain? Actually I can complain, ask George Carlin. I am not the one that had anything to do with electing a person that every country in the world is labeling a bigger terrorist than Osama. Nor would I have voted for a man straighter than a two by four. Who has been running for president way before the world had heard of Bill Clinton.
I have voted once in my life. For what though? History shows the popular vote holds no bounds over the Electoral vote. A Virginian President actually said, we (the taxpayers, citizens, etc.) are too dumb to elect the right person, so we need more intelligent people to really elect the right person. Well, he didn't say it like that, but this is what the Electoral Collage is. This keeps politics and politicians; reborn, bread and inbreaded. Just like Hollywood...The majority is family.
There is as many questions over the 2000 election as the 1980 election, when former head of the CIA , Vice President and our President's father, possibly had something to do with a few hostages release date being postponed. People like Ralph Nader, with morals and values of the perfect teacher, father and president, have no chance competing against the weakest Republican or Democratic candidate. Even a Ross Perot, who knows how to run a multi-billion dollar corporation and has more money than any lobbyist or corporation could match, gets laughed off camera.
This isn't American Idol were 10,000 kids are narrow down until two remain. Is there some law that was passed, we only have a choice of two candidates, who come from histories of politicians, every election? It is not fair for the two parties to control politics. Look at the history of political parties and their actions. The only thing we saw of George W. Bush from his Inaugural day until September 11th, 2001, was his campaigning in every state for Republicans to be elected to Congress and the only thing we will see of him for the rest of his term is his own campaigning for relection.
Democracy has been proven to be one of the best ways to govern. It is also one of the easiest governments to corrupt. Next to a dictatorship where there is no choice except that one person or party, like Iraq, who our government helped enstore, just like the Taliban party.
We have enough problems in our own democratic process, for us to be creating new governments in the world. Look at our track record, we have to take out every party we put into power. And where did we get the right to play God in the ruling of other ethic background countries! Yet once again our democracy wants to establish a US friendly government in Iraq. This is a country of no separation between state and religion. There is only the Koran and Muslims...No Infidels and No Christians! This is like the KKK coming in to revamp the NAACP!
How can a government become unified (and not a dictatorship) with two parties fighting for control? What is the ratio in Congress of independents to partied representation? Right now the only thing our representatives are representing is Big Business and in some cases, they own major stock in some of those Big Businesses. From as many vehicles and helicopters we've lost in the middle east until now you would think Lyndon B. Johnson was in office. When a person of the power and influence on a situation as say, Vice President, Dick Chaney or any other politician over even the smallest thing as a construction job, should never give a contract to a company he has stock or a part in. This is a conflict of interest, immoral and using your power for wealth.
Right now the world is seeing the most extreme example of a special interest politician. Whether you label wars and coupes as terrorism or liberation and you have been in the oil business from the time the Bin Laden family financed you to the collapse of Enron. Make sure a pipeline, your best friend's company collapse and oil interests don't come up in the liner notes.
So I do have the right to complain, not to you, for your vote counted as much as my non vote in the 2000 election. I have a right to complain because thousands of millions of people in this country and every country are complaining. I was born and taught the philosophy don't start fights. This has become a touchy issue since 9-11 when some say the fight started. It did with Al Kadia and Osama bin Laden. Not with the Taliban or the Iraqians or any of the other horrible regimes we selectively overlook.
Have you seen Winchester's yearly budget alone? Nor less every city's, county's and state's budget? There is a lot of money needed everywhere from schools to snow cleanup. Afghanistan and Iraq have already cost over a billion dollars. Where is this money coming from? Is America being ran like Enron and others. Are we spending money that we won't even have for twenty years?
With almost all of our defense, artillery, equipment and money being spent on "Foreign Policy Issues", I feel like America is a life boat floating. When Russia collapsed, I thought whether this could happen to us. Now after two years of watching corporate scandels...I pray to everyone's gods, our CEO isn't running our company into bankruptcy and foreclosure.
If you love America and are patriotic, it's time to take our own country back. Create a new voting system where "We the People" vote on everything and take our leadership for them greedy silver spooned and let the more grounded and humble lead us. If a pawn can become a queen, just like a peasant boy can become King Arthur. Sooner or later the cycle has to change or we have to make it change!

With the arrival of a new police chief to town, the city has taken on the status of a police state. An over abundance of officers have flooded the area. Is this good or bad? Is our crime in little Winchester out of hand?

Now there are numerous road blocks and speed traps weekly. Citizens are being harassed daily for reasons only known to the officers. We have given these officers unlimited power. They are like vigilantes taking over the city. There cruising speeds through town are topping 20 miles over. That reckless driving! Their driving is far under the acceptable requirements citizens need to abide by. Their attitudes towards citizens are rude and uncalled for.

Of course we have crime. Every city has crime, but the answer doesn't lie in, more police. I fear for my safety. Not from crime, but the police. I have nearly been hit 5 times by patrolling cars speeding down the mall, harassed numerous times by mountain biker cops and roadblocks. My friends are scared to visit me because I live downtown and they do not want to deal with Winchester Police's Gaza Strip patrol.

I have seen a problem in our beloved Northern Virginia town. It is not an isolated one, but a problem each city, county, and state faces across the country. Unfortunately the world does not see this problem to the magnitude it is at. What is this problem you ask? Our laws and the enforcement of them. It begins with our elected officials. The ones we actually have the power to elect. Our councilmen, representatives, mayors and governors. These people bring forth laws that are obnoxious, useless and uncalled for. They are simply in effect to make money.

Enforcement. For the last 10 years I have been observing and studying society's answer to law enforcement, our police. People that are higher than the law. No longer is the motto "To Protect and Serve" a correct generalization of their duties. It should be changed to "To Fine and Harass" because that is what they do. Instead of upholding justice, you could say they rewrite justice to their own terms.

Everybody hates the saying "Do as I say and not as I do." So why do we let it happen? I have been a victim of the enforcement wrath and believe me, so have alto of others. Did you know the average person (that's you) breaks 3 to 10 laws a day? Of course not. The average person doesn't even know a forth of the laws we can be cited for.

Next you can say, well hey, that's the law. But hey, these laws are made by people that are immune to them. They don't see the outcome or the product of their "Rules". We've all seen police abuse the traffic violations that we get cited for. Unfortunately, we all cannot witness the other obstructions to justice they indulge in.

These people that we trust our welfare with, abuse it and take advantage of us everyday.When will we see the light? After your child's life is ruined or another mentally ill man is clubbed to death. You may call me out of line, but I'm not the boy that cried wolf. For the wolves stalk us everyday. Like a cruel game that gives them amusement and satisfaction life doesn't. Now with the new crime bill, it will only get worse. More police we don't need and more harassment we can live without.

You may be brainwashed like the rest of the world that see's our crime rate increasing. This reason is simple. More police, more tickets and busts, more crime. Our police our doing there job, but not the job of protecting us, but the job of being a revenue maker for the city, county and state. How many of you fight the citations you get or do you just send in your check and become a statistic. Most of you, because we hate sitting in a courtroom all day.

I personally do not like being treated as a criminal every time I am pulled over because someone has nothing better to do. Watch out for Big Brother's little brothers.

Virginia Dept of ABC

I condone the actions of your department for the sting operation ABC agents organized at the Virginia Wine Festival in Warrenton VA in 1998. There are cheaper, easier ways to prove a point, then making criminals and ruining people's lives including myself.

The wine festival is a 21 and over (unless with a parental guardian). I assume this. For I have and had no prior training or knowledge to what a volunteer job entailed. Nor did I have any training in I.D.'s or was told of the consequences of ABC laws. Neither did most of the volunteers.

Now how easy would that be for an underage informant, brought onto the property for the purpose of a sting operation. So easy, you have a date and courtroom filled with upholding citizens now turned into criminals with an unconscious, ignorant move.

Like I said, there are easier ways to make a point. Whether the narc infiltrated or was let onto the property, becomes the responsibility of the organizers and promoters, Shows Inc. If they had inadequate security, the festival should have been shut down.

Once this goes to court, it could last for years. Lots of law suits and the worse thing, the destruction of the Virginia Wine industry. Use this incident to retool protocol for the festival. Have a mandatory seminar before hand for all volunteers. Teach them the laws and responsibilities before they screw up, so there is no incident.

Like I said this could ruin alot of innocent lives and the Virginia Wine Industry. If I receive the penalties for what I am being charged with, (up to 1 year in jail and a $10,000 fine for handing a paid bottle to a woman that was an underage narc.) I will have alot of time on my hands to make sure there will never be another festival and that the ABC was the reason why.

When this went to trial. The ABC agents entered with their narc and a stack of cases as big as the ATF bible they were carrying. Over 15 wineries and volunteers were cited for distribution to minors. Most victims had expensive lawyers backing them. I myself was prepared to take them on alone. Totier Creek showed up in my support and also faced a fine. In the end, a $50 fine, entry into permanent record, for all volunteers and a $1000 fine to all wineries. Which equals nearly $20,000 for a days worth of work. Does that make the operation justifiable? Hell No! One more reason to get rid of the ATF and change some laws.

Landlords Take Your Medicine

Landlords need to relax. Hold their noses and swallow the medicine on the spoon. It tastes exceptionally good, but unfortunately doesn’t have much of an impact like most medication. If I got to make the new regulations and laws currently going into effect, landlords would be crying and in an economic scare like the rest of the country. Unlike other industries, the landlord supplies one third of our essential needs...Shelter. Which can cost us more than half of our income. So there is never a decrease in business. Just increases with population growth.
The landlord has and knows they have a great deal of power. In a recent article, a landlord quoted some of the new restrictions affect tenants that have never complained. This landlord is living outside the box. When you have the power to send an eviction notice for any deemed reason or increase the rent just because you want to, that can hamper a majority of the tenants complaints. Next add the difficulty of making the monthly rent on time and some landlords probably never see their tenants or have to track them down.
I have rented in Winchester alone for the last ten years and I am now facing my second eviction. This time because of these new restrictions being imposed on rental units. Landlords are as different as they are the same. It seems they live by many equations. One being:
High Rent - the Least Amount of Maintenance = Big Profits.
Recently I was appalled to find out my Uncle & Aunt had been renting the home they lived in for the last thirty years, because they never had the money or credit to buy a house. They ended up spending $200,000 on rent for a house worth $70,000 bought. That made me think of how much I have wasted in rent. I have been renting for fifteen years. My current residence has cost me over $25,000 in the last six years.
I always wondered growing up, why the houses across the street, that were barely big enough for a family, were cut into two & three apartments? After delivery pizzas for years and seeing every apartment in every rental property in the area, I finally understood...The Equations of Landlords. The more tenants. The more income. The more profit.
Trust me when I say. There are some scary apartments around here. The quality of living begins with the home. If you can’t have a substantial beginning foundation for life. How can a decent life nurture and grow?
If you look at the construction of our new & old apartment complexes, townhouses and homes. There is no thought in preserving the quality of life. Plywood, partial board and 2x4s. Here is an equation I can’t understand.
Cheap building material + low quality housing + non caring, rigorous renters = High Maintence and Costs.
Their can be many misconceptions of the renter by the landowners. But for every renter, there is at first a person. Who needs a certain quality of life to live peacefully. Secondly they are people forced to live in apartments. They are working 2&3 jobs. Rebuilding their credits. Raising families, losing income and trying to make it through life.
The landlord is the person or company that has decided to make profit off a property. In this ever evolving world, weather conditions and cost of living, the landlord is responsible for all upgrades to his property. The normal person has ten times the electronic products allowed in a current electrical grid. The normal family lives louder and never sleeps. The quality and life of household items is poor. Crime rate is up. More storms and harsh weather increases yearly.
Stricter building codes need to go into effect for new and existing homes/apartments. The price of rent should be based & regulated on many factors. Landlords should be more caring for their tenants and their own property.
I currently live in a two apartment house split by the levels. I hear every sound my neighbors make, to the point of torture. I have had my vehicles broken into three times in a private parking area. My apartment has been tampered with on more than one occasion. I have faulty wiring, appliances, broken fixtures, structural damage that goes unfixed and I pay almost $1000 a month with rent & utilities. Then add renters insurance and other security costs.
That’s alot of money to just throw away each month. Especially when you are losing money for never ending damages. Getting higher utilities bills. Going insane with 3 sets of neighbors sharing the foundation wall and the over 14,000 vehicles blowing by daily. Still a few days late on the rent and I am the bad guy risking to get eviction or late penalties from $20 to $50 a day. If you can’t come up with the monthly rent on time. How would you be able to pay a daily fine?
Now my landlord is evicting me because he has neglected the property for six years and doesn’t want it inspected. How is this right? Since I run my business out of my apartment. This not only effects my living conditions, but my employment also.
What I’m trying to say is renters put up with a lot more than a landlord does. We have to live with conditions that harm our health with no security that our landlord won’t impose their wrath for any reason.
If the city wants to make some serious budget money. Go after landowners that have the money, instead of giving downtown patrons unnecessary parking tickets or collecting unfair personal property taxes yearly.
As for the landlord association. I hope this letter can speak for every renter that never spoke up to you and let you get away with what you do. To the renters association, there are many renters out there that are just scared to stand up. At least now you have one more to stand!

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