OPINION / Sheriff of Nottingham: Is Chairman Stewart a Modern Day Christopher Columbus?
by The Sheriff of Nottingham
The Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince William County
The Sheriff warns readers in advance that they should know the following statement is graphic and shocking, so for the faint of heart they should stop reading.
Children should be sent from the room lest they see the responses of readers at what The Sheriff is about to say.
Chairman Stewart’s trip to China could someday have real benefits for Prince William County.
There, The Sheriff has said it.
Chairman Stewart announced at the September 11th Board Meeting that one objective of the heretofore secret China mission was to establish a Sister-City relationship with the port city in China, Jinzhou. Stewart believes the introduction facilitated by George Mason University will potentially provide potential and critical long-term economic development opportunities for Prince William County.
The initial purpose of Sister-Cities as inaugurated by the Eisenhower Administration, was to build cultural and educational bridges between U.S. and foreign cities. Since the Nixon Administration, China has been included as a focus of such efforts. In the last decade there has been a decided shift in emphasis to economic development in Sister-City arrangements as the priority for such alliances.
For those who need a moment to get over the emotional disruption The Sheriff has heaped upon you, take a few breaths, take a good pull from the bottle of Ale, and continue reading.
Is Chairman Stewart the Modern-Day Christopher Columbus in striking out to find economic opportunities to the west?
Before respecters of history who hold Christopher Columbus in high esteem, and blanch at the thought that Chris’ achievement might be sullied with a comparison to Chairman Stewart, please consider the following historical context.
Some historians claim Christopher Columbus’s explorations inaugurated a geographical revolution that forever altered Europeans’ understanding of the world and its peoples, including themselves. Columbus’s landfall in the Caribbean originated a thriving exchange between the people, ideas, cultures, and institutions of the Old and New Worlds that continues to this day.
That is pretty impressive, and Chairman Stewart took pains in the Board Meeting to articulate, in his own way, that the long-term objective of his journey to China was to build thriving exchanges between Prince William County and China.
Other historians, like Dr. Kwame Nantambu, Professor Emeritus at Kent State University, claim Christopher Columbus was a smooth, slick, deceiving operator who had many aliases. Indeed, Dr. Nantambu claims Columbus was a con-man with numerous aliases: In Italy, he was known as Crisoforo Columbo; in Portugal, he use the name Cristavao Colum; in Spain, he was Cristo Columbo.
These different aliases were used by Columbus as he peddled his pitch for exploratory funds from various countries.
The Sheriff is starting to see some parallels between Columbus and Stewart.
There are many who claim Chairman Stewart is a smooth, slick, deceiving operator who is trying to tell the people of Virginia that is a grass roots conservative leader who has cut spending the Prince William County. The taxpayers in Prince William County are still looking for all those tax cuts that come from cuts is spending.
The truth is that once Columbus discovered there was no treasure to be had in the new land other than its people, he immediately selected 500 men, women, and children to be taken back as slaves to Spain. Only 300 of these captured slaves survived the trip, but when they were unloaded from the ship in Spain they were all sold to the highest bidders.
This complete exploitation of the “New World” paid huge dividends to Columbus personally in that he received a permanent income from the goods and slaves brought back from Hispanola. When he died, Columbus was one of the wealthiest and most comfortable men in Europe.
So, for Chairman Stewart, who is an export attorney by trade, is there any short-term benefit for him personally to have been squired about in China by Hu Business International Group (as in, Hu paid for the trip)? Is Chairman Stewart a Christopher Columbus in waiting to become one of the wealthiest and most comfortable men in Prince William County?
Hu Business International, an international commercial real estate developer, according to a report on the Stone Industry that HU Business International Group is involved in the United States says business “is not so good now.”
“Compared with the same period last year, most of the stone material enterprise in the sales in May have about 20% of the decline. In the first half of this year, the United States of Chinese stone material order is down 30%, the business is very bad.”
Chairman Stewart told the Washington Post in a story on the China trip that “he hadn’t publicized the trip previously because he wasn’t sure what to expect and didn’t want to make promises he couldn’t keep.”
What in the world does that statement mean?
What kind of planning went into a China trip involving the Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors where he could not even disclose in advance that he was going on the trip; who was accompanying Stewart on the trip; who was paying for it; and what were the purposes for the trip?
The Sheriff will likely have to hang around the Hylton Performing Arts Center more often to listen for any more meetings of this Economic Development Alliance that originated the China junket in the first place. Making that trip will give The Sheriff occasion to stop by Mackey’s American Pub that is a favorite watering hole when I get to that part of Prince William County.
This much is clear: Chairman Stewart appears to have a lot more in common with the true Christopher Columbus than meets the eye.
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