Many people have indicated they have something to say about the state of the world. Too much is happening in the world for me to keep up with it. Here is everyone’s opportunity to discuss whatever. Enjoy.

76 Thoughts to “Open Thread, as promised”

  1. Moon-howler

    People serving in a military capacity who are not members of our armed forces.

  2. kelly3406

    Private firms like Blackwater do provide security for diplomats and VIPS. There is also a huge contractor footprint to assist with maintenance, supplies and transportation, functions that were previously performed by military personnel. If attacked, these contractors are allowed to defend themselves. However, combat operations are the exclusive domain of the U.S. military. I would not agree that we are using anyone in a military capacity (i.e. combat) that is not a member of our armed forces.

  3. Poor Richard

    M-H, A MCPD news release states the two suspects are:
    – Silfredo Barrientos(18) 7551 Hyde Ct. (PWC – Westgate area)
    – Jose Alvarez (20) 9109 New Britain Ct (Manassas – Point of Woods area)

  4. Emma

    kelly, I absolutely agree that that the forces were not built up to optimal levels, and the major hiring blitz in the intelligence forces happened only about 3 years ago, leaving a large number of junior officers in the ranks while the baby boomers continue to retire in droves (run-on sentence, I know). And I have never heard of “mercenaries” in a combat capacity in the U.S. forces. I always appreciate your military insight.

  5. Gainesville Resident

    Actually, New Britain Ct. is not Point of Woods, it is near one of the newer parts of Point of Woods, so Point of Woods area would be a way to describe it. I think it is part of the Cannon Ridge townhouse neighborhood. It is off of Liberia Drive sort of above the newer part of Point of Woods and below the older part. Anyway, just another sign of that entire area kind of going downhill. There’s been plenty of arrests in the Point of Woods area for all sorts of things, in the last few years.

    In regards to Emma’s earlier comment – indeed along Stonewall Rd down toward the park there was always lots of contractor trucks parked there, for a long time a Taco truck (I forget the name of the company0 was parked there that emitted a rather odd odor if you walked by it. There were always many junk cars with expired stickers, no stickers, etc. Sometimes the police would ticket the junk cars, and they’d stay there with tickets on them for a month or more. One car had broken out windows taped over, a flat tire, and was parked there for 2 months. Definitely very pleasant things to look at walking down toward the park, not to mention huge amounts of trash, broken bottles, and so on tossed into the woods that backed up to my townhouse. Walking on the pavement was an obstacle course to avoid stepping on broken glass – it was somewhat safer to walk in the middle of the street but not by much – as with the hill cars would crest it at high speeds and not give you much warning they were zooming down the road down there. I don’t miss Point of Woods one bit, let’s put it that way. Where I am now, I have not seen so much as a piece of loose paper floating around, it is a pleasure and 180 degree polar opposite from the disgusting mess at Point of Woods – apparently many people there haven’t mastered the concept of a garbage can.

  6. ShellyB

    I agree great discussion here. For those shopping for reasons to be against Obama, they should look to Emma’s reasoning rather than Fox “News” or Rush Limbaugh. We need both side to be thoughtful and reality based (as we see in this thread) in order to have a healthy democracy.

  7. Moon-howler

    I can’t speak with certainty about current situations regarding non-military performing military duties. I suppose it all boils down to defining ‘military duties.’

    However, mercenary troops, and that is exactly what they were, were used routinely in Vietnam to do things the military wasn’t authorized to do.

    I have heard although not directly, that the same thing happens in the middle east. It is all covert so I don’t expect any of us to hear the real truth.

    I have talked to enough people involved in that sort of thing during Vietnam to believe every word of it.

  8. Moon-howler

    Poor Richard, Are those two bad boys with the spray paint actual gang members or wanna be jerks? I wish the regular newspapers would print the story. If charged with gang activity, does that mean they were gang members who did bad things or does it mean that because they did bad things, they were charged as gang members? That part is confusing.

    I hope that MCPD can extract the money from both kids. What ever became of that jerk who trashed those houses (and stores) last fall down in Gainesville? Did he pay back for the clean up? I hope community service will be part of the punishment. I wouldn’t mind seeing some jail time also for all concerned, after the money was given to pay for clean up.

    Clean up is extremely expensive if you have a service do it. I sure wouldnt want my house or fence painted with that hideous red paint I see around Westgate.

  9. Emma

    Worthy debate partner/worthy debate.

  10. Lafayette

    Hyde Ct. is NOT in WestGate…It’s in Sudley between BenLomond Park(Splashdown for newcomers) and Sudley Elem. Sudley is in the WestGate area, but is it’s own neighborhood. WestGate has enough problems without having to claim Senor Sifredo Barrientos. Sudley owns this joker.

  11. Lafayette

    The red paint has not been in WG for sometime. The county crew repainted WG and Sudley townhouses with a more “natural” color.

  12. Gainesville Resident

    The Gainesville incident, if I remember correctly the culprit was to do community service and also I believe he was held liable for the damages. There was an article about it sometime back anyway, but I think that was the outcome if I remember it right. That did happen not far from where I live, although wasn’t in my neighborhood and was right before I moved to Gainesville at the end of last October. I did see the graffiti on the shopping center as we drove right by it that weekend when we were going to look at the progress on the house. The graffiti on the shopping center, particularly on Mimi’s Cafe was really digusting. They did get it cleaned up really fast though, at least there, and I assume in the neighborhood where the rest of it occurred. The kid was a jerk, that’s for sure. I still have my doubts that he was the only one who did it, as he sure covered a lot of ground in a single night.

    Indeed, I hope these culprits are forced to pay for the cleanup. In a way, it’s too bad part of the punishment can’t be for them to cleanup the mess they made themselves, but due to the way our justice system works, they can’t be tried and convicted fast enough to allow that to happen. Maybe though they should be made to go around and clean up other graffiti, to get a taste of how much work it is to remove/repair the mess they make. I think that would be somewhat fitting punishment. It’s a whole lot easier to spray the stuff on than it is to take it back off – by probably 2 orders of magnitude.

  13. Gainesville Resident

    Indeed, as to Layffayete’s note – Point of Woods has enough problems and idiots living there too – so glad the one in the Point of Woods area was not actually in Point of Woods. I believe that one is part of Cannon Ridge!

    Funny how both neighborhoods have enough bad guys without having to take ownership of either of these two!

  14. Gainesville Resident

    I’m unable to locate the follow-up of whatever happened at his trial.

  15. Lafayette

    New Britain is it’s own subdivision. It’s situated behind Cannon Ridge and next to Stonewall Park. You do have to drive through Cannon Ridge to get to New Britain per the google map. I couldn’t place NB

    I think most neighborhoods have enough problems and don’t won’t to claim others from near by neighborhoods. I do find interesting that both of “men” live within blocks of public parks with swimming pools.

  16. Lafayette

    New Britain is it’s own subdivision. It’s situated behind Cannon Ridge and next to Stonewall Park. You do have to drive through Cannon Ridge to get to New Britain per the google map. I couldn’t place NB without the help of a map. Here’s the link from google.

    I think most neighborhoods have enough problems and don’t want to claim others from near by neighborhoods. I do find it very interesting that both of these “men” live within blocks of public parks with swimming pools.

  17. Lafayette

    Sorry for the double post the second post is complete.

  18. Gainesville Resident

    OK, thanks for the clarification Lafayette. I confess to not knowing either New Britain or Cannon Ridge all that well, even though I’d pass right by Cannon Ridge all time when I lived in Point of Woods. I never actually ever made it back into the New Britain area, in that case.

    Quite true, I don’t think any neighborhood would want to take ownership of criminals that don’t actually live in it! Every neighborhood has its troublemakers, in general.

  19. Moon-howler

    I don’t think the neighborhoods have a choice in any of incidents. There has to be someone else involved. Why would either of these toads have an interest in Wellington?

  20. Gainesville Resident

    That’s a good point – neither of them lived near Wellington, I forgot about that. One would expect they had a friend in Wellington – they must have been visiting someone there – one would think.

  21. Moon-howler

    It sounds like either a companion has not been apprehended yet or…they were just 2 older teens with a can of spraypaint.

    They didn’t look like harded criminals to me, but what do I know.

  22. Gainesville Resident

    I find it hard to believe they just picked Wellington by accident. They must at least have a friend there, or some reason to be visiting there. I sort of doubt they were just driving through and said to themselves “Hey, let’s get out and do some graffiti”! Then again, who knows what goes through the minds of teens carrying spraypaint!

  23. Gainesville Resident

    I also think, in the case of Point of Woods, with the large amount of graffiti there – many of the culprits either lived there, or knew someone who did. Down at the Stonewall Park end though – a lot of it may just be caused by visitors to the park – in the last 3-5 years I’d say the crowd it attracted grew rougher and rougher looking, and quite often the Manassas City Police would be down at that end of Stonewall Rd. talking to a group of young adults! There were sometimes fights down there that the police were called up – and I’d be sitting in my living room which overlooked that direction to see 4 or 5 police cars zooming down there to go break the thing up. This happened on a monthly basis every summer for the last 2 or 3 summers I lived there – usually on some weeknight evening after dinner. Just another fun part of living in my old neighborhood that gave one the feeling you lived in a “nice area”!

  24. Moon-howler

    Let’s face it, most of us are not real comfortable walking past a crowd of rough-looking people. Is this being prejudiced? I don’t think so. It is human nature to avoid that which we find frightening.

    I would not like this in my neighborhood. I think we all need to keep this in mind when we start making comments about how others deal with race.

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