Tuesday, January 12, 2016

House Flipping, Gentrification and Gun Control in..... ..A Green America?

The Nigger & Honkie Tea House

Why don't black and white Americans live together?”

Legal segregation in the US may have ended more than 50 years ago. But in many parts of the country, Americans of different races aren't neighbours - they don't go to the same schools, they don't shop at the same stores, and they don't always have access to the same services.
In 2016 the issue of race will remain high on the agenda in the United States. The police killings of unarmed black men and women over the past few years reignited a debate over race relations in America, and the reverberations will be felt in the upcoming presidential election and beyond.
Ferguson, Baltimore and Chicago are three cities synonymous with racial tensions - but all three have another common denominator. They, like many other American cities, are still very segregated.
In my reporting across the United States I've seen this first hand - from Louisiana to Kansas, Alabama to Wisconsin, Georgia to Nebraska. In so many of these places people of other races simply don't mix, not through choice but circumstance. And if there's no interaction between races, it's harder for conversations on how to solve race problems to even begin.
Newly released census data, analysed by the Brookings Institution, shows black-white segregation is modestly declining in large cities, but it remains high. If zero is a measure for perfect integration and 100 is complete segregation, analysis from Brookings showed most of the country's largest metropolitan areas have segregation levels of between 50 to 70....”

.The Fair Housing Act was passed more than 40 years ago to end discrimination in housing, but it's not been properly enforced.
Last year President Obama pledged to toughen up this law, with new rules. Now government money can only be given for new housing projects if they're shown to further integration in neighbourhoods, and there'll be penalties for those who don't adhere to this. But it only applies to public housing. Private developers can continue to build without such conditions.
"The Fair Housing Act commanded that communities that received government money do what they can to affirmatively further fair housing," Housing Secretary Julian Castro told me in an interview.

"The problem was that for many years that requirement was never adequately defined or enforced....."

You can read the rest of the article here.

A few days ago, I walked into my local watering hole in downtown Chicago on my way home from work. Sitting down to my usual glass of winter Merlot in a bar that was decidedly more subdued than it was during the holidays, the patrons were few, the conversation was but a whisper, and, in general the mood was peaceful and reflective as I suppose people in general were just allowing the energy of the holidays to quietly disperse.
One guy, however, was a tad up and still into “the spirit” if you will – or so I thought.
Ron was “out there” attempting to engage others at the bar with his thoughts. After being there for roughly ten or fifteen minutes and watching those close to Ron quietly excuse themselves from his presence, he set his sights on me and in doing so insisted that he buy me another glass of Merlot while at the same time getting up from his seat at the bar and moving next to me so that “we” could “chat” over a few drinks.
One thing leading to another, Ron's place at the bar was soon strewn with empty beer glasses and at least one mixed drink. Whereas the mood of the place was still subdued, it became increasingly apparent that Ron was not. As Ron sought me out to chat, and I chose to sit and listen, here is what was on Ron's mind.
Ron is a Chicago police officer with 22 years on the force. He had come downtown in his civilian clothes on his off shift to give a deposition. He gave the deposition as he was supposed to and came to the bar to “chill” for a while. When after a few drinks he began to tell me about the case he was involved with, it became quite apparent to me just why in fact this guy was so wound up, why in fact an awful lot of other Chicago cops are just as wound up, and the degree of racial tension that truly does exist in Chicago that is constantly serving to put more and more tension onto the worn out springs of Chicago's ghetto time piece.
Ron is a black Chicago cop involved in policing an area of Chicago that is black, drug, gang and gun infested, and, he was there venting to me a civilian with a fairly long history of community involvement, his overall emotional exhaustion from having to cope with the culture of constant confrontation that he who after all of these years, has simply grown entirely too tired of. As we talked and he went from simply wanting to talk about the successes of his own children and how much they all enjoy spending time together with one another and their dogs, his discussion of constantly having to have his hand on his service piece and never knowing whether or not the next apartment he would be entering into might be his last, it was pretty damn obvious to me that Ron needed to vent. He did for a few hours and he did not stop until I was certain he was in a safe place within himself. That's what friends are for.
Getting to the point of this essay then, is my serious concern over Barack Obama and his obsession over gun regulations that will have virtually no impact on anything that goes on in the city of Chicago any more than it will have an impact in Ferguson, Missouri. As Obama's obsession with talking about this is in large part the reason for ever increasing gun violence in America to begin with, every time this inept nitwit opens his mouth, he continues to fan the flames of racial divide in our America.
As the above statement is of my own making, the sentiment within this statement is shared by Ron who, from is own very personal and uniquely qualifying perspective as a black Chicago cop, describes the gang banger's on his beat as a bunch of “Little Chicago 'In Your Facebook' Obama's” who prance around the “hood” “preachin”their religion cuz, the nigger bro in the White House does the same thing. As in Ron's eyes he sees these kids only getting better at fast talking and sees them as well growing increasingly unwilling to listen to an opposing point of view, every time Obama gets on the air they essentially hear from “their black president” just how important it is to “polish their rap” as opposed to picking up a paint brush and helping the neighbor paint the fence.
Obama further inflames the issue with his broad generalizations that Republicans are fanning the flame of social hate by catering to the needs of an uneducated white male blue collar population that for one reason or another he feels are out to get him. As I actually am a white male that came from a blue collar background and Ron is a black male who came from a blue collar background, both of us are entirely dumbfounded by the fact that an American president can and has become so entirely self absorbed by his own ego that he can deceptively suggest just by his manipulative use of the English language that young or old black men have the right to be arrogant and angry and wholly unwilling to compromise, whereas apparently young or old white men do not.
As this whole notion is an insult to a significant population of honest hard working Americans of various colors, Obama's insistence upon an over abundance of guns in America entirely ignores the fact that there is an under abundance of paint brushes in America, as there is as well, an entire lack of compassionate based community education pertaining to fence painting. The fact that Obama couldn't paint a fence anymore than he can point a gun, belies the fact that his either intended arrogance or general stupidity simply continues to cause the wrong type of fencing to be erected in our American communities in the first place.

At any rate, as the real issue is indeed the collective design of the fence, or, perhaps the collective design of the “non fence”, turning again to the BBC article mentioned at the beginning of this essay illustrates what in my view is the structural solution to both the paint brush and gun problem which in turn will probably have a definitive impact on the so called black and white problem as well.

“….The Fair Housing Act was passed more than 40 years ago to end discrimination in housing, but it's not been properly enforced.
Last year President Obama pledged to toughen up this law, with new rules. Now government money can only be given for new housing projects if they're shown to further integration in neighbourhoods, and there'll be penalties for those who don't adhere to this. But it only applies to public housing. Private developers can continue to build without such conditions.
"The Fair Housing Act commanded that communities that received government money do what they can to affirmatively further fair housing," Housing Secretary Julian Castro told me in an interview.
"The problem was that for many years that requirement was never adequately defined or enforced....."

Again, you can read the rest of the article here.

As the quandary still not successfully addressed in this Fair Housing Act remains the definition of what is the responsibility of the public sector, and, in turn, what is the responsibility of the private sector, the intricacy of regulation needed to assure both sets of responsibilities are met as they are defined by this act is then, far more of an attainable goal than any form of gun regulation would or could ever hope to achieve.

With the drafting of rather simple municipality based, neighborhood upkeep ordinances that among other things, demand of a property owner that the property owned meet a host of environmentally healthy as well as economically enriching neighborhood benchmarks that essentially make any form of building blight illegal, property owners who chose to participate and those who don't, essentially and simply, have to regardless. Thus as the general purpose of keeping the exterior of a house well painted can clearly suggest the outward appearance of an attractive neighborhood, the quality and type of paint being applied as well as the skill sets needed for the paint application become elevated as do the businesses associated with providing the tools and skills required to do the work to begin with.

Whereas one might want to look at the notion of simply keeping a house painted as a patently absurd concept that has little to no impact on either the long term employment of a neighborhood full of gun yielding drug dealers any more than having a freshly painted house being a guarantor of increased property valuation, the collective network of industries associated with environmentally sound house painting more than disperses any such doubt, and is therefore, perhaps the final essay or missing chapter of what the Fair Housing Act was originally intended to attain in the first place some forty years ago, or, in fact a viable justification for an entirely new discussion as to what the concept of living in a socioeconomically balanced community implies in our whole urban 21st century, mixed energy based green economic dialog.

Either way, a discussion of the relationship between public and private sector involvement in whole neighborhood based, green industrial and economic revitalization is most certainly in order.

Let's look at the concept of simply providing hammers to those who live in any given community whose goal is whole community or neighborhood anchored revitalization.

Hammers for Handguns

As it would be fairly safe to assume that there are at least hundreds of types of weapons that shoot dozens of types of projectiles in circulation throughout our country today, and each and every one of them is much more likely known to those who use them, or, those who have watched hundreds of movies in which all of these products have been demonstrated to the American culture in the past 70 or so years, did you ever wonder how many types of hammers were also made in America?

I mean, think about this for a minute.

How many movies have you yourself watched over the course of the last forty years where the muscular hero and the barely clothed lusty heroine were posing with a sixteen ounce framing hammer and a mouth full of 8 penny finishing nails while fighting off a band of invading Turkish house painters?

Do you think that instead of Barack constantly accusing the NRA of excessive war mongering, he would be better served by redirecting his delusional contempt for the NRA towards America's hammer manufacturers forcing the industry as a whole to establish a national healthcare fund for those who hit their own thumbs with one of those hammers, whether or not they were on a multi million dollar, hammer swinging movie set?

As both of these statements are patently absurd, the one that clearly has the potential for being well worth considering is the one that enables America's tool manufacturers the real ability to become involved in community revitalization through public and private sector education as well as commercial based informational advertising whose collective end goal is to fully define just exactly how many hundreds of styles of hammers, as well as, associated fasteners (ammo) are actually being made in our America today as well as the vast amount of industrial applications these products serve to complete a certain residential or neighborhood oriented industrial application process of.

Going back to house painting for a moment. Let's consider just what exactly is involved with getting a house ready for painting in our 21st century green industrial economy and how many different types of hammers are involved in that process.

Considering the fact that painting a house is for the most part, the very last thing that is done on say a fully renovated and retrofitted American home and what takes place leading up to that point has a broad host of hammer oriented processes attached to it, let's start with a few of those processes that today in our 21st century green industrial America have the potential for the most dynamic industrial growth if in fact these processes were addressed in comprehensive building code updating across our nation. Keep in mind also that these processes were not capable of being considered fifty to one hundred years ago due to the fact that hammer technology had simply not evolved to the point that it has today.

The first thing we are going to address is the public sidewalk crossing the front of a typical residential building lot as well as the attached private walkway and driveway leading up to the house.

Considering the fact that these surfaces have settled and decomposed considerably in the past seventy years and the ground surrounding these surfaces has not been able to irrigate itself properly for decades, removing these concrete earthen neighborhood damns has a considerable amount of environmental importance attached to the need to do so. In the same breath, not only have the types of pneumatic hammers required to break this stuff apart evolved, but, so too has the type of hammer based machinery required to fully pulverize the aggregates. In turn, the equipment utilized to transport this aggregate to a processing plant has evolved in part by the utilization of hammer based riveting systems or a broad range of industrial welding techniques that in and of themselves are advanced derivatives of the original hammer based riveting system. Either way, the point is that the old sidewalk has to be removed so that the soil the sidewalk held captive for decades can both drain and breathe properly.

Once this whole sidewalk removal process has been completed, the process of removing old water and sewer and gas lines requires yet another set of hammers that are either designed to be operated by a laborer or heavy equipment operator who has yet another set of hydraulic hammers attached to that equipment. As the old is removed the new is installed but the new is considerably more advanced than the old meaning that now we have underground rain water collection cisterns, garden irrigation piping, geothermal technologies, and, of course the new sidewalk aggregate that has been modified to allow water to drain through as to affect the greater environmental health of the land and the people who live in the home built upon the land, and of course the variety of industries that flourish and use an equally diverse set of hammers for either the original manufacturing or final installation process required of all of the above.

Lawsuits for Landlords

Needless to say, I could go on and on about the the sheer scope of hammers that are manufactured in our America today, But as this essay is not necessarily about hammers and environmentally sustainable neighborhood based green industrial economic growth, and, it is also not necessarily about guns, niggers, honkies and drugs, it strikes me that the framework of the original Fair Housing Act is as about as obsolete as the crumbling sidewalks that pass by the boarded up houses of Chicago's west and south side. As of all this is unfortunately obsolete, so to are the rules that Chicago's absentee landlords have managed to get around for the greater part of the past forty years. Thus as we have the clear potential to trade handguns for hammers, we do as well have the potential to hand lawsuits to landlords without again having the need to discuss guns, drugs and gangs.

As the term “Lawsuits for Landlords” would of course become a measure of last regulatory resort on behalf of a community whose goal is to extinguish blight altogether, as the term implies hostile action, a far more engaging and constructive term would be “Loans for Landlords” meaning that within the boundaries of both terms, overall and comprehensive neighborhood economic growth is the outcome.

Loans for Landlords

Whereas the federal government has little to no ability to dictate to private property owners the extent of improvements that should be made on a property to effectively retrofit not only the building but the professional lives of the people who occupy that building, based upon what today can only be considered as an again obsolete Fair Housing Act, once all aspects of America's entire privately owned residential/commercial/industrial as well as municipal public utility based building sectors are fully defined and fully supported by code enforcement, “Loans for Landlords” coming from any one of a number of lending entities working in unison with municipal governments, would in fact become impossible to default on due to the fact that the loan is based upon the final community wide impact the fully retrofitted building does indeed have on the community.

With the landlord's private building no longer considered to be simply an apartment building for private tenants and instead being considered a part of a much broader and much more dynamic industrial mechanism, suffice to say, the topic of guns would in all likelihood be replaced with the topic of being connected to a neighborhood based shared utility grid while at the same time being able to discuss the upcoming theatre performance down the street at either the school, the park field house or the local theatre groups fully retrofitted private commercial performance venue.

As perhaps the key to preventing what might become gentrification of a neighborhood that has been home for decades to a culture born into poverty suddenly faced with wealth, “Lawsuits for Landlords” would in fact become the benchmark for defining loan qualification. Meaning that if said landlord chooses to simply build to sell only to move on and do the same in another neighborhood down the road, he or she would be denied the loan based upon what could only be considered as an act of absenteeism based profit motivation as opposed to community based investment motivation. “If you intend to purchase property in this community for development, then you will stay and actually develop it as well as manage all of it's functions for a full ten years before you can once again put it on the market.” As this longevity clause simply serves to firmly anchor the entire socioeconomic culture of the community to the development and vica versa, in doing so, it does as well, essentially stop the hopelessly archaic white flight investment strategy that brought the community to the condition it was in to begin with. As more and more, communities across America need to have a firm social identity attached to them, this same clause serves to flesh out the micro manufacturing identity, the warehousing and distribution identity, the commercial retail as well as office identity and the overall transportation identity both public and private as well as recreational and health based identities every community throughout America needs to define from within that social identity.

From within the same legal context as such context is again defined by “Lawsuits for Landlords”, the vast technological advancements in a broad host of industries that clearly recognize both environmental based health hazards and also create substantial job growth opportunities within these industries pertaining to the correction of both the interior and exterior built environment most certainly justifies not necessarily the taking of property from within the legal constraints of any form of traditional eminent domain action, but, the much larger rationale of whole community based environmental health as such health not addressed by an individual property or property owner could, and, in fact would serve as both an environmentally based as well as economically based physical detriment to the community as a whole.

As what I am suggesting here is to essentially encapsulate a broad range of environmental regulation coming from the federal government based Environmental Protection Agency into the normal day to day function of running and/or regulating a fair and equitable residential business environment pertaining directly to the revitalization of the existing housing within a given neighborhood. Hence, the act of doing so, simply redefines the obsolete 1968 Fair Housing Act entirely and quite favorably for the associated business and regulatory entities involved in the process.

Yes, in fact, we have come a long way baby!

Or, Have We?

Mortgages for Mothers

We Shall Not Be Moved”: A Hunger Strike, Education, and Housing in Chicago

The above article was published I think in September of 2015. As the link is above, and, I would suggest taking the time to read it, the jyst of this article was about how, under Rahm Emanuel, a significant amount of public schools within the west and south side neighborhoods of Chicago were deemed to have an over abundance of under performing public schools located within these neighborhoods. As the article goes onto suggest that over all, enrollment in these schools decreased substantially due in large part to an ever increasing presence of gang based activity, the general assumption that such activity more than justified such school closures was based upon the overall inability of Rahm Emanuel and his staff to address the full spectrum of environmental, industrial and economic possibilities that these communities, as well as all other Chicago communities, do indeed possess to cognitively engage in the whole environmental, industrial and economic retrofit of the buildings and grounds as well as the collective bodies of municipal infrastructures that in fact make up the communities that these people know and love to begin with and are more than capable of retrofitting on their own if in fact, Rahm Emanuel and his staff actually had the regulatory knowledge base required to both educate and enforce in the first place.

Yes, the above sentence is quite long.

As what I am stating here is that Rahm Emanuel clearly continues to look at the west and south side neighborhoods occupied by a predominantly black population as neighborhoods occupied by predominantly black populations, due to his own limited educational and social upbringing, the ghetto these folks have been forced to live in for the past forty years is still the training ground for an entirely nascent sociological assumption that within his narrow view, the ghetto must be perpetually and forever viewed as the ghetto. Meaning that from within his perspective, he as a “government official” still sees his responsibility to these under privileged black people in much the same light as an unenlightened preschool teacher looks at her charges as if they were infant pooping machines with constantly running noses as opposed to the budding early childhood geniuses they actually are.

But, then there is the notion of “Mortgages for Mothers”, which in turn implies there are jobs for mothers who must pay the mortgage, and, of course, schools that mothers work hard to send their children to so that the culture of that mothers collective family heritage continues to thrive while working to pay the mortgage and working just as hard to love and nurture her children wholly unconstrained from Rahm's hopelessly narrow perspective on ghetto life.

If we look carefully at the economic framework surrounding the justification for the issuance of a valid mortgage document, the benchmark for valuation of this document is, in today's 21st century industrial market framework, quite multi-dimensional in scope.

Whereas in the past such a benchmark could be characterized as having some rather basic financial demands of the mortgage issuer met, and, as such demands were essentially based upon the ability of the mortgagee to have a stable job with a stable income so that one could purchase a stable piece of real estate in a stable community, the underlying and broad based community wide social guarantor of that mortgage was based naturally on the assumption that all aspects of a broad industrial infrastructure were both present and thriving in that community as well. Unfortunately today, all aspects of industrial infrastructure have collapsed meaning that the capacity to work within the context of that overall industrial infrastructure is no longer present not only in the ghetto neighborhoods of Chicago, but to all other Chicago neighborhoods as well. Having said this, mothers still need mortgages in every bit the manner as bankers need assurances of extremely strong community based industrial and economic guarantors, and, in every bit the same manner municipalities need sustainable infrastructure from which all of the above assurances ultimately emulate from. As such is true, quite ironically I suppose, of all the simple minded industrial development notions floating around our nation today, “Hammers for Handguns” remains, in my simple mind, the foundation from which all such 21st century, mixed energy based public utility industrial/infrastructure need is ultimately met.

Simply put, if everyone has a full working knowledge of all the types of industrial hammers that exist in our advanced 21st century industrial mindset, the fact of the matter is that such knowledge would have only come from having a job in the multitude of industries that utilize those hammers to complete the full chain of events necessary to integrate a technology such as solar into the full public electric infrastructure of the whole city of Chicago as opposed to the nascent social experimentation of utilizing public housing and the welfare recipients who live in public housing as yet another experiment designed to see if the technology and the recipients can be funded by a grant from either the federal government or a vaguely formed legal funding entity such as Boston Community Capital as it is defined in the article below.

When reading this article, keep in mind that although this community solar project expresses itself as being able to provide solar energy to low income residents, the figure of $10 Million to do so for a handful of essentially cubbyhole style apartment complexes that are funded by the government anyway is an absolute insult not only to those who live in those low income projects and are promised what are at best temporary jobs in the solar industry as the solar industry relates to a handful of solar collectors placed on a Lego styled toy utility grid that supplies a minimum amount of alternative electricity to the Lego styled low income apartment buildings these low income Lego people live in?

Do you get the picture here?

If you do, and you are paying attention to what it is that I am saying in this essay, the notion of investing $10 Million into what can only be considered as perhaps an idea that is coming from the mind of a tiny flea who has landed on the ass of a two thousand pound bull grazing in a field along the foothills of the front range of the Colorado Rocky mountains, at $10 Million the flea will go bankrupt long before getting to the forehead of the bull who sees the whole front range.

But, again, as what we are talking about in this particular section of my essay, is simply getting a “Mortgage for Mothers” and I am stating that in order for this to happen, we collectively as a nation need to embrace the equally simple notion of trading “Hammers for Handguns”, this next essay by the folks at Drexel University will help drive home the truly dynamic industrial nature of our national industrial potential.

Drexel University survey finds broad misperceptions about impact of cleaner indoor air

Indoor air quality, or the lack there of, is an issue that is for the most part, looked upon as something that, historically in our country, can only be addressed by the medical profession. If you are having difficulty breathing, go to the damn doctor, get a pill, come home, sit on the couch, breathe more stale and mold infected air from the eighteenth century that has lingered in your home and soon you will feel just as good as your dead nigger and honkie ancestors.

While this simple minded notion has sufficed during a course of time that has spanned two entire industrial ages in our America, technology in a vast array of filtration systems, building materials and labor functions associated with the above, suggests quite clearly today that not only does the pill have virtually no impact on our overall physical health, but, in fact, serves to negate the potential growth of an industry that is just as dynamic and profitable as the solar industry. Having stated this, and, again we are talking about getting what appears to be a simple mortgage for a loving mother, and, we are also talking about the evolution of the Fair Housing Act, getting these interior clean air industries on the market is crucial to the overall financial strength of that mother's mortgage.

As it is, fair housing can only become fair if indeed the mother looking for the mortgage is employed in either the indoor clean air industry or the solar industry. or, the rainwater management industry, or the sidewalk aggregate reprocessing industry as well as a broad host of other industries that not only enable her to qualify for the mortgage, but the house she is living in qualify as a valued piece of real estate whose valuation is indeed tied to the growth of all of the above industries in the neighborhood she lives and works in to begin with.

As again Rahm Emanuel, as well as his buddy Obama, and, their half sister Hillary, seem to think that all such industrial nuances can and will be rectified by the appropriate, government mandated, social or funding based response; such responses clearly have not stopped babies from killing babies in west and south Chicago, nor have they done anything to increase the labor rate or the overall property valuation of the real estate in these areas. As this lack of a response is indicative of an overall failure of our nation's long vacant attempt at welfare reform, the scope of technologies ready to enter into our national industrial marketplace are more than capable of finally putting a stop to this ancient and arrogant exercise of contrived socioeconomic equality transforming it instead into the simple act of walking into a store in any neighborhood in the city of Chicago, and discussing with the shop owner the needs one has for solar energy or the needs one has for indoor air quality technologies and on and on. As the only thing the government has either the right or the responsibility to do is to establish municipal building codes that are bench marked by broader and wholly inclusive form based urban planning codes, the character of the neighborhood transformed by such actions becomes both the responsibility and the joy of those who actually live and work in the neighborhood as opposed to being the orders handed down by men who are afraid to go into the neighborhood in the first place.

Thanks for stopping by.

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