Thursday, November 4, 2004
LandWatch: Not Racist Policies
It disturbs me that anyone would consider LandWatch “racist” for attempting to limit the unbridled development that is done in the guise of “smart growth” and affordable housing. Their anger should be directed at the politicians who hype the promise of affordable housing as justification to launch their large development projects such as Rancho San Juan.
At RSJ some 800 homes are being designated as affordable. Forget it. To build these affordable houses the developer must inflate the cost of the high-end homes starting in the $500,000 and $600,000 range to cover the costs of building discounted “affordable” houses. Furthermore, these “affordable” homes will cost in the upper $300,000-price range. This, plus taxes and insurances, will put these homes way out of reach for the first-time buyer or lower income employee.
To add further insult, buyer eligibility is determined by means of a lottery that cannot discriminate on location of the buyer’s employment, hence buyers working in San Jose would be eligible as long as they lived in Monterey County for a year. Also, once designated as “affordable,” future resale will be capped below market value. Not so inviting, is it? —Warren L. Worthington | Salinas
Cheney: No Soldier’s Friend
Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, is giving Dick Cheney $36 million in retirement after only four years. They are now hiring in Texas, paying people $100,000 per year to go work in Iraq—while our troops’ families go to food banks (which the Republicans—wonderful Christians that they are, would love to close). However it does not appear Dick Cheney and Bush the Deserter (who would not go fight anywhere ever) will provide our troops with the armor they need or protected trucks that run to fight in the war they started to enrich themselves and their corrupt energy and other companies.
Bush has spent the surplus Clinton left and now has run up the deficit to the largest ever—$413 billion.
Cheney failed to provide body armor for troops in Iraq for more than a year. The war on Iraq commenced in March 2003. In an interview with Brit Hume of Fox News on March 17, 2004, one year later, Cheney said, “I believe the chief of staff of the Army and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs have testified recently that all of our troops in Iraq are now properly equipped with the newest body armor. So there were—the main problem had been just the sheer capacity to produce these items early on.” [Fox News Special Report with Brit Hume, 3/17/04].
The Bush Administration first promised that all troops would be fully equipped with body armor by the end of November 2003. They continued to extend the deadline to the end of December, January, and then February, until they finally claimed in March 2004 that all troops were equipped with body armor. However, Major General Charles Swannack, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, reported in March that, “We are still short a significant amount of vehicles, radios, and body armor to properly equip [soldiers].” The AP reported in late March, “Soldiers headed for Iraq are still buying their own body armor—and in many cases, their families are buying it for them—despite assurances from the military that the gear will be in hand before they’re in harm’s way.” [House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, 9/24/03.]
Cheney has failed to keep faith with those who have worn the uniform. —Shari Welsh | Marina