Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hard to believe it has been a week already

I looked at my blog earlier today and saw that I have not written an entry since last Friday. Lately, my work schedule has kept me busy, the holidays have been in full swing, and I have been fairly silent on some issues about which I could write.

I have been reading about different news items and can comment, but for some reason, I have not been so inclined. I have spent more time thinking about my column for topics for writing. I also constantly am thinking about writing my novel that has been in my head for a while. In addition to that, I have been wanting to write a theological book. I have started with notes and a direction in the past, but put it on hold. I think that the direction will change, if I am going to write anything.

Christmas was quiet around here. I like it that way. Last Saturday, we went to Greensboro for a family lunch gathering. It was good to see most of the people that were there. All were on Teresa's side of the family, since I don't have any of my family down this way.

There were two notable exceptions to the joyous occasion. Teresa's grandmother is the most henpecking woman I have ever seen in my life. She has absolutely beaten down her husband over the 50+ years of their marriage. She nags him incessantly and treats him like whale dung. I love old Joseph Woodie. We get along well, and I have a great deal of respect for him. I have no earthly idea, however, how he has tolerated that woman all these years.

Another exception is Teresa's father. James Brown may have died recently, but another man by the same name is alive, and was there this last weekend. He did nothing but sit and stare at Teresa. He would not say a single word to me the entire time. No hello, no goodbye. He ignored me entirely. Maybe that is for the best. He has pretty much alienated everyone else in the family with his behavior and attitude, anyway. What a miserable life. Teresa was not comfortable with the staring. If he tries anything like he did in years past, he will join the other James Brown.

Saddam Houssein is dead. Good. As you may have seen, I found and embedded the video on this blog. I have already seen search hits on my blog since I have put it here. I wish that we executed criminals that quickly in this country. Good riddance. I hate the idea that he is probably in Hell, but he lived a life full of evil. He has rejected the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as Abraham's seed, Jesus the Christ. Allah is not the same god (small g) as the God (big g) of Abraham.

Big surprise in this report...the Town of Selma has been suffering from poor accounting practices. Here is a paragraph from The Smithfield Herald.

An audit of the town's 2005-06 finances found improperly reconciled bank statements, unrecorded cash receipts and disbursements, and a lack of checks and balances among town officials with access to public money, said accountant Keith Joyce.


I wish that there was more oversight on such things in the town budget, accounting, and spending in the past. I had no control over that at all. I wish I did. It is good that the mayor and some council members seem to want to continue to work to change all of that. It has been a long year for the town in that regard. I wish that I could have done more to help in all of that, but hey, I lost the election.

I am a bit disappointed that such news items are almost never updated on The Selma News web site. If it was, I would link you there. I know what it is like to try to keep a web site or two updated. I have the same issues myself. I have to totally redo i9570.com in a bit, since the holidays are about over. With the work pace lately, I have not done much with it.

Gerald Ford died. I watched part of the state funeral this evening. I really don't remember much about Ford's administration. I was born in 1968. Ford was President from 1974-1977. I was only six years old or so when he took office. I don't remember much about Watergate and Nixon at all. That is what I enjoyed about reading behing G. Gordon Liddy and listening to his radio show. I loved it when he talked about his days in the Nixon Whitehouse. I don't remember any of that time period, although I was alive then. I am the same way about watching documentaries about Barry Goldwater.

My earliest memory of any sort of Presidential or national politics was the election between Ford and Jimmy Carter. I remember that elementary school students like myself in the second grade cast ballots for President. We were young and stupid. How would we know who to vote for? I distinctly remember how some of us children decided how to mark our little ballots. We asked each other, "Hey, who are you gonna vote for?" The reply was, "I think Jimmy Carter. Gerald Ford has already had a chance. Let's give someone else a turn, too." Thinking like that is extremely immature, which is what you would expect from a six or seven year old. Unfortunately, many adults are just as informed as voters.

I believe that Teresa and I are going to start with a one year Bible study. If any of you want to check it out, it starts January 1 and continues all year long. Here is a link to the site where you can find out more. There is a weekly or bi-weekly email with the daily readings. The one I just got today starts for January 1 and covers the first 10 days.

Undedited video of Saddam's hanging

It isn't a great quality video, but there was more footage from different cameras than just what ended up on the major media outlets. Here is one that is online.

Friday, December 22, 2006

It is hard to believe they actually sang along

I saw this bit on TV. I am amazed that Cohen actually got rednecks to sing along with an anti-Semitic song. That makes it kind of funny, even if I do despise anti-Semitic attitudes. By the way, Cohen (Borat) is Jewish.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A saint has gone to be with the Lord

I remember when I was working at WBZB over a decade or so ago right here in Selma. We played a weekly program of some music that I considered to be "hick". I was never into Southern Gospel or country music a whole lot. We aired a program by a lady named Ginny Wicker. She came by once a week with a new tape for broadcast.

I always thought that she was a very sweet old lady. I never knew just how old she was, but now that I see her obituary, she must have been around 74 or so. I was never much for her music, since it did not fit my personal taste. Hopefully, she did reach some people with her message, though. Like I said, she was a sweet lady and I am sure that the Lord delights himself with her passing on to be with Him.

From the WMPM web site:

Ginny Wicker, 84, Local Country And Gospel Singer - Local country and gospel music fans have lost a member of their family. Ginny Wicker of Kenly died Wednesday at the age of 84. Ginny began singing at the age of three and began making appearances on stage and radio at 11. For years she was featured in The Ginny Wicker Home Folks Show where she performed many off her own original songs. She was a regular at church and community functions as well as the Folk Festival at the NC State Fair. She even appeared as an extra in several movies. Wicker once said, "My country music comes from my imagination, but the gospel songs, well those are real life experiences." Wicker was a member of the Johnston Community College Country Music Showcase Hall of Fame, where she appeared regularly. Her professional associations included membership with the Nashville Songwriters Association and American Federation of Musicians. Wicker was a member of the Kenly United Methodist Church , where she served as a Sunday school teacher, Sunday school superintendent, youth leader, and a member of the church choir. She is survived by her husband, Ralph A. Wicker; daughter and son-in-law, Annette Rains and Victor of Princeton; brother and sister-in-law, H. Milton Wilder and Betty of McLeansville; and one grandson, Marion Victor "Sonny" Rains III, of Wilmington . Funeral services for Virginia “Ginny” Wicker will be held Saturday at 11:00am in the Kenly United Methodist Church . Burial will follow in the Kenly Cemetery .

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A few funny quotes

Conservative Rocker Ted Nugent on Hunting:

Nugent, an avid hunter, was being interviewed by a French journalist. The journalist asked, "What do you think the last thought is in the mind of a deer right before you shoot it? Is it, Are you my friend?... or is it, Are you the one who killed my brother?"

Nugent replied, "Deer aren't capable of that kind of thinking. All they care about is, What am I going to eat next? Who am I going to screw next? and Can I run fast enough to get away? They are very much like the French."

Policically Correct Katie Couric & The Marine Sniper:

Katie Couric, while interviewing a Marine Sniper, asked, "What do you feel when you shoot a terrorist?" The Marine paused for a moment, shrugged, and replied; "Recoil".

Monday, December 18, 2006

An equal opportunity offender

The last two LaPlante's Rants columns of the year (Dec. 21 and 28) are coming. I am an equal opportunity offender. I don't just pick on liberals. I have plenty of rant material for future use. I am going to make people work a little bit in my column for the 28th, though, in order to get the whole commentary. I hope people end up looking up a few things.

Leave me some feedback.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Watching some weirdos

I am sitting in my living room watching a documentary on The Sundance Channel. I have seen similar documentaries before. Here is a description of the movie from the Sundance web site:

It’s no revelation that religion has the power to prompt extreme behavior. Yet among the world’s many bizarre religious rituals, the small group of Pentecostals who handle deadly snakes, drink strychnine, dance with fire and speak in tongues are among the most mysterious. Filmmakers Gabriel Wrye and Michael Mees present four portraits of contemporary Appalachian worshipers who find nothing unusual in these practices, including a brother and sister whose father, a preacher, was fatally bitten by a rattlesnake during a Sunday service.

I don't handle snakes, drink strychnine, or dance with fire. I know there are religious zealots who operate with a twisted notion of scripture. They take things out of context. How anyone can take Mark 16:18 "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." to mean that one should play with snakes and purposely drink poison is beyond me and just plain stupid. Even Jesus himself made it plain about purposely doing something stupid in dealing with Satan and said in Matthew 4:7 "Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

To twist the Bible like this or even allow verses to be taken out of context is just so contrary to the Spirit that I know and have walked with for years . When your father, daughter, and even self get bitten by snakes and then claim it is God's will, that is just plain mockery. If they die because of their own stupidity, it is because of stupidity, not "the will of God".

Some of the bizarre individuals who are "reverends" have a history of child molestation, have married fourteen year old girls, collect rattlesnakes, copperheads, and other poisonous serpents. The possession of these snakes is illegal, they admit. Yet they do it anyway, all in the name of Jesus.

Many people in this documentary sure reinforce the stereotype of Appalachia dwellers.

I am recording it on my DVR for future reference.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I don't believe in ADHD of ADD

Ever since we first started hearing about Attention Deficit Disorder, I knew it was a crock of manure. It is simply a lack of discipline, not a disorder. It is just a matter of making excuses for bad behavior. Here is the best remedy for ADD kids.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Still, too little too late

Jim Black disgusts me as a public servant. He is a corrupt individual, which made him a very corrupt Speaker of the House for the NC House. Unfortunately, he was re-elected to his seat in the House, even after all the scandals. At least he will not be Speaker again. I hope he ends up in PMITA prison for his crimes.

...and I busted my hind end to get there.....

I made it to the Selma Town Council meeting last night before the start time of 7PM. By 7:30, I left along with most of the people in the room. Here is the story on The Selma News web site.

Selma Council a 'no-show'

The majority of Selma’s Town Council did not show up at Tuesday night’s regular December meeting prompting Mayor Charles Hester to reschedule the meeting for Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 11 a.m.

Only Councilwoman Debbie Johnson and the Mayor were in Council Chambers at 7 p.m.

Mayor Hester called on Rev. Rodney Pearce, pastor of Temple Baptist Church, to open the meeting with prayer.

The Mayor then read an article on the Pledge of Allegiance and led those assembled in the Pledge.
Still, no other Council members had shown up.

A special presentation was made to Parks & Rec employee Jen Black. It was nearly 7:15 p.m. and still no Council.

“Would anyone like to sing Christmas carols?” joked Hester to a large crowd of citizens who had turned out for the meeting.

Hester asked Town Manager Stan Farmer to see if he could reach any of the Council members by phone.

At about 7:25, Hester announced that he was rescheduling the meeting for next Tuesday.

After the meeting that didn’t happen, Hester said that Councilman Gary Jackson had a death in the family. He said he thought Councilman Jeff Weaver was still at work and that he had no idea where Councilwoman Jackie Lacy was.

He said he planned to talk to Council members about their commitment to the meetings.

On the agenda for the meeting was a proposal for several huge tracks the town is giving notice that it plans to annex.

Also on the agenda was the town’s audit report plus a proposal to chance the town’s sewer rate structure.

Town Clerk Fran Davis said, in response to question from Hester, that she could recall in years past that meetings had to be postponed when not enough Council members attended to have a quorum.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Are you a tax payer?

Want to read something that will make you angry as a taxpaying citizen of the USA? Here you go.

Response to the letter to the editor

In one earlier blog entry, I shared the letter to the editor that was printed regarding a column I wrote about town council member Jackie Lacy. Today, I wrote a response letter that will be mailed out. If it happens to be read here first, so be it.

------------------

December 11, 2006

Mrs. Yvette Lacy Grantham
308 Fox Ridge
Louisburg, NC 27549-9769

I am writing to you pursuant to your letter to the editor of “The Selma News” that appeared in the December 7th, 2006 edition of the paper. You took exception to my column from way back in October regarding comments made in an open town council meeting by your mother, Jackie.

For the record, I like your mother on a personal level. She and I have never had anything but pleasant words for one another. However, I do believe that comments like the one made by your mother are entirely inappropriate, regardless of who made them.

You were obviously not in attendance at the council meeting in question. I was, as were dozens of others who heard the actual comment. Furthermore, the council meeting was audio taped by the Town Clerk. The recording is public record and available for the public to review. I obtained a copy of the recording, knowing that I would have just such a reaction from a reader as you have shown. I took the EXACT quote from the tape. I also took the exchange between Charles Hester and your mother and put it on the internet so that anyone could hear the comments for themselves.

Mrs. Grantham, Jackie Lacy’s comments were in no way taken out of context. You mentioned the comments that I made on the internet, as well as in my column. Had you actually taken the time to read the comments on my web site, you would have had the opportunity to hear the comments yourself, in their context. Your argument about contextual error are just plain inaccurate.

If you took the time to listen to the audio, you will find that your mother was not provoked into her comment. Again, I was there and I have an actual recording of the meeting, neither of which can be claimed by yourself. I can understand wanting to defend the honor of your mother, but please do not make up excuses for her behavior. She is an adult and can either take responsibility for her actions or not. If she can not, then she does not belong in public office and does not need fallacious excuses from people who were not eye witnesses.

I would appreciate an explanation as to why you believe that your mother is deserving of an apology in this situation. She made an inappropriate and racist comment in an open governmental meeting. A concerned citizen and media figure, such as myself took note of it. Wherein is an apology warranted TO your mother rather than FROM your mother? This idea is beyond my comprehension.

Furthermore, if as you state, she deserves an apology, please explain from whom an apology is due. Certainly you can not mean that she deserves one from me. I am the messenger, not the one who created the message. Should a newspaper apologize for reporting news? Should an opinion columnist apologize for giving an opinion? Factually, I was correct and took great care in making sure that I was correct. Ergo, there should be nothing worthy of an apology. Your mother, on the other hand, has yet to issue any sort of apology for her inappropriate and racist behavior.

Your assertion that your mother may have said something other than what I have quoted is just plain erroneous. Your assertion that someone else would have said the same thing just because Mayor Hester is from an “affluent area” of town is not only speculation, it certainly does not provide a sufficient excuse for inappropriate behavior.

If my mother made such a comment, I would not be making excuses for her. I would rather politely and respectfully rebuke her. If the situation was reversed and it was a Caucasian individual making such comments to a Negro, there would be great outrage over it. I would be included among those so outraged.

Please explain to me why it is fine for a Negro to make a racist comment but it outrageous for a White man to do so. This is an inequity that I find totally hypocritical and deplorable by those in the Negro community who are of such mindset. Making excuses for bad behavior does the Negro race and local community a disservice. It is comments like yours that cause people like me to despise characters such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. I hope that Jackie would have raised someone with higher standards than those of Misters Sharpton or Jackson.

Please show me where I am wrong in anything I have said and I will apologize immediately. If you do not have the audio I referred to, you can obtain a copy at Selma Town Hall as I did, you can download it off the internet, or I will even make a CD copy for your listening pleasure.

Respectfully Yours,

Troy LaPlante
Author of “LaPlante’s Rants” column in “The Selma News”

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Busy week and A Flock of Seagulls

I just got home from Myrtle Beach. It has been a long week, with most work days being twelve or more hours each. Only one day was closer to nine hours. One of my coworkers is out this week (nay, the rest of the year), so I am covering this half of the state every day. There was a maintenance item that I needed to do in Myrtle Beach. The tech called me twice this past week about an alarm. The trip down is almost four hours. Work time there: ten minutes.

I got to take a walk on the beach before coming home, pick up a few t-shirts (I am running low on shirts. My old ones are just that...old, full of holes, and ratty.) I stopped at a seafood place in Myrtle Beach that I have been to before. I am paying the price for it now. I had to make an emergency pit stop on the way home to visit the porcelain throne, had to do the same as soon as I got home, and am about to hit it again. I may want to avoid that place again. They have three locations in MYB and North Myrtle. I went to a different location today than I went to last time.

I have not even had the time to write my weekly column yet. I need to do it tomorrow, for certain. If you liked last week's column, you will love this week's, too.

Our gas insert pilot light went out suddenly last night. The tank gauge says that it is half full. Maybe it isn't accurate. When I push down the pilot gas light knob, it releases gas and I can light it. When I let it up, the flame goes out. I have never had this before, except on my gas grill when the tank was low. I could not keep the grill lit. I wonder if the pressure is just too low in the tank to keep the pilot lit and the regulator going. I sure wanted that fireplace when I got home. I love a fireplace going in the living room.

Friday, December 08, 2006

From my morning news read

This bit of a story/commentary comes from the Neal Boortz new page. This stuff is getting extremely frustrating. First we allow this invasion to happen. Yes, I agree with calling it an invasion. We allow our economy and the public to be pillaged by looters (yes, looters). Then we are going to pay to allow the pillagers to remove money from our economy? You gotta be kidding me. Since when is the government allowed to get into business, much less that of a monetary transfer agency? There is private industry for that. Not only is it wrong to facilitate the transfer of money out of this nation with US tax dollars, it is even worse to do it at the expense of private industry. Damn liberals!!

---------------

FINANCING THE MEXICAN INVASION

The Federal Reserve Bank and its equivalent in Mexico are finalizing an agreement to make it easier to send money back and forth to Mexico. Translation: the U.S. Government is going to make it easier for the 12 million illegal aliens in this country to send money back home.

This is absolutely the reverse of what should be happening. We are enabling and supporting the Mexican invasion by making it easier for the invasion force to transfer money back and forth across our borders.

Can the situation be worse? Why, yes! Thanks for asking!

What's even worse is the fact that the program will be subsidized by taxpayer dollars. So let me get this straight: the American people, who are being victimized by illegal aliens every day, will now pay to make it easier for billions of dollars to be transferred from the United States to Mexico? You got it. This government program is essentially going to replace Western Union and services like it, who hauled in $2 billion in fees out of the $21 billion or so that was sent to Mexico from here in the U.S. Now the taxpayers will presumably be footing the bill for the transfer of looted funds to Mexico.

So there you have it...the ultimate insult. Not only are we paying to put up with millions in illegal alien, we're going to pay to make it easier for them to send their ill-gotten gains home. Should we expect anything less from the politicians in Washington?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Stupid is as stupid does

In October, I wrote in my LaPlante's Rants column about a problem at one Selma Town Council meeting with council member Jackie Lacy. I never really got any feedback about that column...until today. In today's Selma News, there was a letter to the editor responding to my column. Click on the picture of the letter to read it.

I love my mother, but if she made some outrageous racist remark, I would let her know about it and not try to deflect things away from her. To make excuses is just plain stupid. To claim that Jackie Lacy was taken out of context is assinine. It is especially so if you consider the fact that I took a direct quote from her and have the entire meeting on tape. I was present for the exchange about which I wrote. I listened to it several times on tape and put it in a format for internet use. The sound file has been heard by others and there was a room full of people present when the the remarks were made.

That makes the commentary by Jackie Lacy's daughter just plain STUPID.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Searching for Peter Hemmi

As I wrote earlier, I got my K-31 Swiss rifle yesterday. I have been getting used to its operation. The Swiss put a small tag under the butt plate of every rifle with the name of the man to whom the rifle was issued.

I have been spending some time searching the web for clues as to the man's identity. I have located a Dr. Peter Hemmi in Switzerland. I have send a few emails and put a few contact entries on web sites attempting to locate the man.

It looks like the rifle was perhaps issued in 1954, so I figured that it is entirely possible that the man is still alive. If the man I am looking for is the same one I have seen in web searches, I have seen his picture online and the age looks to be about right.

I used a web based language translation service, hoping that it is accurate. The primary language is German, as that is the language I keep finding online for Swiss sites and for Mr. Hemmi.

I hope to hear from him sometime soon. If I do, I will let you know, and maybe even post his picture.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

OK, so I am taking the time to get this one out of my system

I am so frustrated with people justifying their obvious sin as normal and acceptable in the name of God. Here is an example. Read the comments below the picture after looking at the photo. The condescention in self justification just cheeses me off.

One comment on the photo is correct in saying "covering up the sin on this sign doesn't cover the sin in your heart, if you are indeed gay. While I don't agree with Fred Phelps stand on homosexuality, I do however know that God hates no one but does hate the sin they commit. I know that there is pressure on the church to accept this type of lifestyle, but to do so would reading something into the scripture that just isn't there."

Then some "light in the loafers" abomination says this in response: "read your Bible again very carefully. God loves the sinner and forgives the sin. And speaking as a gay Christian, a loving, monogamous, faithful relationship between two people of the same sex isn't even a sin."

First, there is no such thing as a "gay Christian". That is like saying you are a Caucasian Negro or a giant dwarf. It is an oxymoron of two different antithetical concepts. Next, we are told in the very Bible that this homo admonishes someone to read very carefully the following in Romans chapter 6:

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

That person who claims to be a "gay Christian" says that because he lives in sin in a monogomous relationship with another abominable individual that it is fine with God who condemns the very sin they are performing as a matter of lifestyle. Sorry, but that is just plain absurd and entirely carnal. The continued performance of sin in the claim of justification by the blood of Christ is trampling his blood under your feet.

We are saved and given freedom FROM sin, not freedom TO sin. People who pervert the God I serve just frost my flakes.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

If you have been following the Michael Richards (a.k.a. Kramer) story

and are a Seinfeld fan, you are going to LOVE this video.

Hester Tower has finally come down

I came home at dusk this evening. As I turned the corner near Selma Cotton Mill, I noticed a piece of heavy equipment sitting at the corner. I did a head check and didn't see the tower. I pulled into the Cotton Mill parking lot to stop and look. No tower. It must have come down today. I didn't recall noticing its absence today.

Thanks for wasting our money, guys. YES, wasting, which is stealing. If there was extra money in some budget to cover the cost of demolition and removal, that just tells me that we are overcharging utility customers by nearly $6000. It also tells me that our town employees got screwed out of $6000 worth of their compensation plans.

I understand the liability issue, however that was a "straw man" argument. If the town has not mitigated the risk for all of these years, then one more year's wait (actually more like seven months) until the budget accounted for the cost is not unreasonable assumption of risk. If anything, the risk was increased by drawing attention to the structure.

Either way, it is obvious that it was an individual's pet project and was "ramrodded" through. In the end, we as citizens paid the price. We always do. Never forget that.

Before you get all bent out of shape, consult a dictionary

This was a funny comic I saw this morning. Look up the words you are not sure of before being critical, though.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Today's entertainment

Teresa and I spent the afternoon together. I had expressed an interest in seeing Casino Royale. It looked interesting, and I wanted to see the new incarnation of Bond in a modern day production and with Daniel Craig as Bond.

I will tell you that this is the best James Bond movie ever. Craig is now my favorite Bond actor. He was the most believable of all actors who have played 007. The movie did not rely on hokey, unlikely inventions. Daniel Craig is not the most handsome of all the Bond actors, which makes him more convincing, in my estimation. He does have a great physique, though, which also contributed to the believability.

The movie has great scenery of exotic locations, a lot of action, and is well made. If you are a Bond fan, then you will love this movie. It is bar far my favorite 007 movie.

We also went to The Meadow Lights again this year. The light show is nothing spectacular for adults, but children may love the train ride around the field. A mother and her young son enjoyed the $2 train ride, which I enjoyed watching as much as the lights.

Their candy shop is great, but expensive. They do have a huge selection, and we stocked up on a few favorites that we don't normally find.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Decent shoes

For years, I have been buying shoes and sneakers that were too big for me so that I could get the width I needed. My father had 5E wide feet. I inherited the same wide feet. I have needed a minimum of a 3E shoe for years, up to 5E depending upon the manufacturer.

My father ordered shoes from Hitchcock Shoes in Massachusetts for years. I get their catalogs, but have never really been able to afford expensive shoes. I am used to spending $20 to $25 at the most for a pair of sneakers. I also don't like the idea that if I order from the catalog and they don't fit, I have to keep sending back the shoes until they do fit. Unless I know that a particular brand and size works for me, I won't order from a catalog.

Regardless of the manufacturer, I would only get about six months worth of wear out of sneakers. The last two pairs of sneakers I have owned, I bought for around $25 and the size 13 Reebock high tops lasted longer than previous purchases.

Recently, a Wide Shoe Warehouse opened in Smithfield. They specialize in just what their name says. I bought a pair of Propet brand sneakers, size 10.5, 5E wide. I am not fond of the idea that they do not manufacture high tops. I called Propet and inquired about them. I just like the support and feel of high tops. Nope, they don't make them and don't plan on making them any time soon. Oh, well. My heel often slides up and down in the back of low cut sneakers, and these are no different. These ones cost over $50, which runs contrary to my desired price range. I just hope that they last a long time.

I also bought a pair of Propet's Cliff Walker model boots there. $85 is a bit high for my taste, but I finally got a pair of shoes that actually fit. Size 9, 5E wide. All they had in stock were the ugly "bronco brown". I had to special order the color I wanted, since the store does not and will not carry the one I want. Go figure.

About a year ago, I purchased a pair of $60 boots at the Timberland Outlet Store in Smithfield. They were a size 12. I love Timberland's quality, but they still didn't fit right. At least they found a good home recently. These Propets do fit well, so I can't complain. They hurt for the first few hours, since I am not used to having shoes that fit on my feet. The arches rarely ever line up properly for me in shoes I buy. It didn't take long to get used to them. Hopefully, they will hold up well. So far, so good.

An obvious double standard

OK, so someone set up a scholarship (and only a $250 one at that) for students to compete to win. The criteria is that to qualify, entrants must be at least one quarter Caucasian. So what? Why the big stink over it? Whites can not get United Negro College Fund money. There are plenty of scholarships available for Negroes, Hispanics, and Asians. There are Black colleges, women's colleges, and many other racial or sexual divides. There is Black History Month, Black Pride rallies, and the like. Let one little scholarship be set up and the criteria is that someone must be...NOT WHITE, just ONE QUARTER White, and people flip out. Hey, many people considered Negro are eligible for this scholarship. Tiger Woods and Halle Berry would qualify.

The double standard is clear. If you are White, only you can be a racist. You are not allowed to have any recognition of your heritage or assist any of your "race". There are no poor White people, apparently, who could use some money to help pay for college. Only Blacks and Hispanics can not afford to go to college without any assistance, is the implication. The man who set up the scholarship said, "There are plenty of poor, white, academically gifted students who need that money just as much." And he is correct.

If someone wants to do whatever he wants with his own money, the world should just shut up about it, be thankful that someone will benefit from that money, and stop looking for things about which to be offended. I paid for my college tuition with numerous small scholarships, just like the one described. Some were as little as $100 or $150. Some were more like $500. Either way, they all added up to a tuition paid education. I still had to provide meals, books, and transportation, but at least the cost of the schooling was covered. I worked full time, almost 60 hours a week to provide for myself.

An article on the scholarship is available here for anyone who wants to read it.

Thanks-giving

On this day that we as a nation set aside as a holiday (holy day), I encourage all of us to consider the meaning behind this day. Each year, people think of Pilgrims, feasting, and family gatherings.

As early as 1619, men and women gathered after the autumn harvest to give thanks to the Lord who provided it. In 1863, a national Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed as an annual observance in the United States.

On this day of Thanksgiving, I encourage us all to consider these two questions.

For what are you thankful?

And more importantly...

To whom are you giving your thanks?

As for me, my thanks goes this day and every day to the Lord Jesus Christ who paid for my sins; to God the Father, who gave us His son and provides for me; and to His Spirit who comforts and leads me. Thank you, my Lord.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

For any who care

I reworked my myspace profile. It is very different looking now. I loved Wile E. Coyote, but I wanted something different.

Looking forward to this new toy

From the Modern Firearms website:

Caliber: 7.5x55 mm GP11
Overall length: 1105 mm
Barrel length: 652 mm
Weight: 4.00 kg empty
Magazine capacity: 6 rounds

Swiss army always had very high standards for individual marksmanship, as well as for reliability an accuracy of weapons in use. Since the late 1880s Swiss Army was equipped with Schmidt-Rubin rifles, named so after Maj. Eduard Rubin, who developed the small-caliber rifle ammunition, and Rudolf Schmidt, who developed the straight-pull bolt action rifle. The basic pattern of Schmidt-Rubin was adopted by Swiss in 1889, and then redesigned by the 1911 along with the introduction of the new ammunition, the 7.5mm Gewehrpatrone 11 (7.5x55 GP11). By the 1932 it became apparent that the M1911 rifles and carbines are not up to date, and Swiss parliament authorized development of a new short rifle to replace both G11 long rifles and K11 carbines. In the summer of 1933 the new carbine was adopted as the Karabiner 31, or K31 in short. The K31 was still based on the straight-pull Schmidt action, but with severe modification. Most notable modification was the relocation of the locking lugs from the rear of the bolt to the front part. This resulted in much shorter bolt and receiver, making the new carbine more handy and lightweight. Being intermediate in size between earlier K11 and G11, the K 31 was noted for reliability (at least in the hands of the highly skilled Swiss riflemen), and for great, if not outstanding, accuracy. It was produced between 1933 and 1958, when it was replaced in service with 7.5x55mm Stg.57 / SIG-510 assault rifle. Total of about 580 000 K31 rifles were produced. The K31 also served as a starting point for the K31-55 sniper rifle (also designated as ZfK-55, for ZielfernrohrKarbiner model 1955, or telescope sight carbine), which, while being similar to K31 in general design, was quite different in most details. For example, K31-55 had redesigned receiver with integral scope bases and loading / ejection port moved slightly to the left side, to clear the telescope sight, and a heavier barrel with large muzzle brake / flash hider. K31-55 rifles were fitted with 3.5X magnification Kern telescope sights, graduated up to 800 meters.

The K31 is a manually operated, straight bull bolt-action rifle. The rotating bolt has two opposing lugs at the front, which are locking into the cuts in the receiver ring. The straight pull bolt handle has a large T-shaped handle and a stud, which enters the helical groove on the bolt body. When the bolt handle is retracted, the stud first forces the bolt to rotate and unlock, and then pulls the bolt back for reloading cycle. The receiver has a small opening at the top, which is used to load magazine from the stripper clips and to eject spent cases. Detachable box magazine holds 6 cartridges. Large ring at the rear of the bolt body is used as the manual safety switch, as well as for manual cocking of the striker. When this ring is pulled back and rotated to the right, it locks the firing pin and bolt, so rifle cannot be fired or reloaded. The open tangent rear sight is graduated from 100 to 1 500 meters in 100 meters increments; front sight is adjustable for windage (for zeroing only). K31 carbines were issued with slings, muzzle caps, knife-type detachable bayonets, and carrying pouches for stripper clips.

Yet another reason to encourage concealed carry laws and participation

In every state where concealed carry laws are prevalent and there is a decent amount of participation in same, violent crime decreases. From time to time, I participate and am packing. A lot of it depends upon my mood, my activities, and my work schedule.

I drove right by the scene of the below incident last night. We were in the area after the police were on scene and investigating. I wondered what the deal was at Smithfield's BBQ and up the road at Peedin Street.

Part of the responsibility of carrying a weapon is knowing when and when not to use it. It entirely depends upon the situation as to whether I would engage criminal scumbags like this. The sad thing is that when a responsible citizen does take action, he is often put under intense scrutiny. In Selma, a security guard was even charged with an offense after taking action, fulfilling her duty as a guard and a citizen.

I have not been placed in the situation to confront a criminal like in article below. Therefore I can not say definitively what I would or would not do. All situations are different. I can say that I have no ethical problem with shooting dirt balls like this at all.

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From the WMPM web site:

Police are following up on fresh new leads in their search for robbers who have hit four Smithfield businesses in six nights. The latest business robbed was Smithfield ’s Chicken N Barbecue on Brightleaf Boulevard . Two men wearing ski masks, dark clothing, gloves, and armed with weapons, burst into the business around 7:05pm Tuesday while it was filled with about 15 customers and employees. The gunmen forced the manager to hand over cash, but as they tried to flee in the parking lot, an undercover US Customs Agent, armed with his service weapon confronted the robbers at gunpoint. The suspects started to flee in their Nissan Sentra when the officer fired shots at their car, deflating two tires. The robbers crashed their vehicle about two blocks away near Brightleaf and Peedin Streets before they jumped and ran. Police suspect they are responsible for holdups at Andy’s Cheesesteaks on Thursday night, Lowe’s Home Improvement on Saturday night, and CVS Pharmacy early Sunday morning. The businesses are located within a half-mile radius. The SBI is now assisting in the investigation. No one has been hurt in any of the robberies, but police are very concerned because the robber’s actions are so brazen.

So much for vacation

There is a large project going on at work. It was originally scheduled for August. Therefore, I didn't take any vacation in August. It was then pushed off until September. So, no September vacation time, except the one week I could squeak in, knowing that the project would not hit that week. October, now November. The one week I did already have scheduled months in advance was the time for the project. The equipment and vendors were finally lined up, and it coincided with my vacation time.

I worked all last week on the project. Now there is a hiatus until next week, when other departments' and vendors' equipment will be ready for my equipment. I took Monday and Tuesday off. I had most of today off when I got a phone call that my coworker that covers the coastal region is taking time off. His wife is having her baby today. We knew it was coming any day. Now I am back to work. My holiday plans just changed, and I am liable to end up working instead of enjoying a few more days off.

I am trying to merely grin and make the best of it. It is just very typical of my entire life, it seems.

I read this today.

Someone hit my blog in the last day or so with a Google search on Sheriff Steve Bizell. I looked at the link and saw the results of the web search. I found this interesting speculation online:

Johnston Co. Sheriff Steve Bizzel (R): A guy with a great biography, he dropped out of high school to take care of his family, then went back for his GED. He's slowly building his name outside the county and is thought to be considering a bid for Ethridge's NC 02 seat when it comes open.

That will be interesting to see. If he runs against Etheridge, then he will have my support. Then again, I would vote for the neighbor's Doberman over Etheridge.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Finally writing a new post

I know that I have not written much lately on my blog. I have been busy at work plus trying to keep up with a calendar of activity. A lot of people have placed demands upon my time, including friends, family, community, and employer. Today, I am trying to relax some. I am technically on vacation. Last week was supposed to be vacation time, but the long awaited project at work fell during that week, so I had to postpone my time. This week is quiet, since we have gotten as far as possible without other vendors' equipment working properly.

Saturday was our 12th wedding anniversary. We went out to dinner Friday night and exchanged gifts. Saturday was going to be taken up with a day trip somewhere. Instead, I woke up feeling lower than whale dung, so I went back to sleep. Eventually I got up and took a fistful of Aleve. We ended up going shopping in Goldsboro instead of travelling.

Sunday, we decided to go to the Fairgrounds in Raleigh. I went to the Dixie Gun and Knife Classic show. Teresa went around to the flea market. The gun show was packed. I do believe that many people are wanting to go to shows before Democrats try to outlaw them, now that they will be in power. This was the last show of the year and the last one before they take office in January. The show was just OK. As usual, I found some items I really would like to have. However, they were overpriced and I can get them cheaper elsewhere. I did see a .22 target pistol at a fair price that I absolutely loved, but just didn't have the cash. I did manage to pick up a few toys, but won't elaborate.

Other than all of this, I wrote my column for this week, have talked with family, and am taking it easy.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It needs to happen here, but more stringently

Yet another town has been working to make English the official language for town business.

TANEYTOWN, Md. -- English is now the official language of a central Maryland town of 5,000, after the Taneytown City Council approved a nonbinding resolution, deciding against a charter that had drawn complaints from civil rights groups and residents.

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I really don't care about complaints from so called civil rights groups. Not every citizen can have his or her viewpoint implemented. There is nothing wrong with conducting all business in ENGLISH. If people are to reside here, they should assimilate, not have the town assimilate to them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

From my cold dead hands???

Food for thought. Groups like the NRA are single issue organizations. Fortunately, I am not.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Teresa's singing gig

Teresa was asked to sing at the Graham, NC Lions' Club first annual Lionfest. She was asked to perform the National Anthem for the opening ceremony. I caught it on video tape. Here it is.

You can't see me

John McCain does his best immitation of WWE star, John Cena.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Borat

The wife and I went to see the movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan The movie was very crude, full of off color humor, and made me cringe at times. But I have to say that this is absolutely THE funniest movie that I have ever seen in my life.

The movie really does address the oversexed society of American culture, the ridiculousness of religion, and even exposes many of our own personal bigotries. The movie was brilliantly presented. Even my normally prudish wife literally fell off the movie seat and rolled on the floor laughing. I almost feel guilty for liking this movie, but I laughed the entire time until I was streaming tears.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Prophetic dream come true

I am passing along this documentation of a prophetic dream that was proven accurate. I believe in prophecy and prophetic dreams. I have a journal full of them. The following was emailed to me BEFORE the election results were announced Tuesday night. I waited to see if it came to pass or not before judging. Time was the judge.

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A friend of mine who has never voted in his life, and barely knows the difference between Democrats and Republicans, had a dream recently that I think is appropriate for tonight.

In the dream he found himself in the early nineteenth century. He then found himself walking up a flight of wooden stairs towards a room where a seamstress was working on a flag. When she began working on the flag the piece of fabric she started with was red, but he noticed that the fabric was dirty and stained. Then blue yarn dropped from the ceiling, she took it and began to make blue stripes on the red flag.

My family knew what this meant immediately (although he had no clue and that is why he told his dream). Whereas red is always associated with the Republican Party (hence "Red State") blue is always associated the Democratic Party (hence "Blue State"). In other words, that the seamstress would sew blue stripes onto the flag means that the Democrats are coming to power tonight. What's more is that the dirty and stained red flag means that the Republican Party is just that, dirty and stained right now. Yet, that she did not replace the stained red flag with another means that there will be shared power after tonight (i.e., executive in the hands of the GOP and legislative in the hands of the Democrats). Finally, that the blue thread would drop from the ceiling signifies that this power shift is from heaven; it is from God. After emailing different people at MorningStar and a few other prophetic churches including Kansas City, the general consensus amongst the prophetic community is that something is out of balance in regards to our political climate right now and that God will be bringing about a correction tonight.

I'm not the only one

I have been reading a lot of commentary about the election results. I see that I am not the only one who believes that the Republicans did it to themselves; that the media has run a spin campaign for six years and it was successful; that we can look forward to a minimum wage increase, illegal alien amnesty, frivilous investigations into the Bush administration, higher taxes, softened national security, and more redistribution of wealth in the form of entitlement programs.

I have also been reading some comments from other bloggers about the Robinson campaign. Some were from as far away as Canada or New England. One from New Zealand, if I recall. The campaign ran by Vernon Robinson had ads all over the internet for people to enjoy and lampoon. You're famous, Mr. Robinson. Not for good reasons, though. Know what I mean, Vern?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A quote I found today

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt.

Bertrand Russell
(1872-1970)

Here is one horrendous result

I was watching the Jim Black race last night along with the local races. Jim Black is possibly the most corrupt politician in North Carolina and has to go. Unfortunately, the returns shown after midnight showed him losing, yet the final results showed him winning by a mere seven votes. SEVEN.

State House (District 100)
James Black (D) 5298
Hal Jordan (R) 5291

As it turned out, the vote tally for Clayton voting districts came out in the negative by just 52 votes. There are 52 more gullible Claytonian voters than enlightened ones.
NO 1095
YES 1043

Maybe the Mansell loss was almost the landslide I thought. It was a 2:1 ratio. I expected it to be worse, though.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election results

Here are my comments on the election results so far. It looks like the Democrats will take over the U.S. House of Representatives and need just three seats for Senate control. It is sad to see, but I can say that the Republicans did it to themselves. They have spent like drunken sailors, increased the size of government, had several scandals, and been disappointing in other social and domestic security issues such as illegal immigration. They have also ticked off a lot of people about the handling of the war in Iraq. My personal viewpoints aside, a lot of people find that to be an important issue.

Republican leadership on the county level is just as obtuse. Been there, seen that.

As of just after midnight, the Democrats will have a majority in the House by six votes. Hold on to your wallets. Expect bills for tax increases, hikes in minimum wage, failure to renew Bush tax cuts, more calls for impeachment of Bush (though it will never happen), bills to cut funding for the war in Iraq, and socialized medicine to pass the House. Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House? What are people thinking?????

Regionally, I can only wonder why people would vote for Ty Harrell over Russell Capps. Harrell is an arrogant liberal hack and tax dodger. Another race that surprised me is the one between Vernon Robinson and Brad Miller. Robinson led a harsh and shameless campaign. I loved his conservative stances, but his arrogant putz politics really hurt him. He lost in a big way.

In Durham, after all the negative press and the mishandling of the so called Duke LaCrosse rape case, voters actually re-elected Mike Nifong. If his opponent, Lewis Cheek had won, he already said he would not serve. If he wouldn't serve, then the Governor would have to appoint someone to fill that position. Nifong was in the position as a result of appointment by Mike Sleasely as it was. Even if he lost, he probably would have kept the job.

One good result that is yet to be finalized is the race for re-election for NC House Speaker Jim Black. As of just after midnight, the results are 95% reported and Black is losing by a thousand votes. Jim Black is an incredibly corrupt politician and I will be very glad to see him go away. However, I still wonder how anyone can vote for the man with a clear conscience, knowing his corruption. His disgrace was all over the news. I saw interviews with some of his campaign staff, and one Negro lady was raving about what a great man Jim Black is. Is she talking about the same Jim Black we have all been reading about in the newspapers and seen on TV? The same Jim Black who has had many liberally biased newspapers in NC call for his resignation? How can over 4,600 voters be that stupid?

Locally, I am glad to see the Town of Clayton has said yes to voting districts. I am saddened to see the nearly one billion dollar school bond referendum pass in Wake County. The current structure of schools is inefficient and millions of dollars are being wasted. Handle money and manage effectively and then maybe you deserve more. Stop paying for illegal immigrants to go to school free and then perhaps we can slow the rate of growth and need for new schools.

Here are the predictions I made and my comments on the accuracy or lack thereof:

US Congress Dist. 02

Bob Etheridge - my predicted winner in an unprecedented landslide victory Not quite the landslide I thought, but it was still a 2:1 margin.
Dan Mansell - my vote

NC State Senate Dist. 12
Sherry Altman
Fred Smith - my vote and my predicted winner in a landslide Got that one right.

District Attorney District 11
Dale Stubbs - my predicted winner in a tight race
Susan Doyle - my vote I got this one wrong, to my glee. I saw that the results see-sawed throughout the evening as results trickled in.

County Commissioner District 3

C.P. Thompson
Wade Stewart - my vote and my predicted winner Called that one right.

Sheriff
Jerry Holloman
Steve Bizzell - my vote and my predicted winner by a landslide Called that one accurately.

Clerk of Superior Court
Will Crocker - my predicted winner by a landslide I called the result correctly but was surprised that it was a closer election than I thought. I was glad to see that it was not as bad as I thought. Good run, James Gerrell.
James Gerrell - my vote

Supreme Court Chief Justice

Rusty Duke - my vote
Sarah Parker - my predicted winner Called that one right.

Supreme Court Associate Justice

Rachel Lee Hunter
Mark Martin - my vote and predicted winner Got this one right.

Supreme Court Associate Justice
Eric Levinson - my vote
Patricia Timmons-Goodson - my predicted winner Right again.

Supreme Court Associate Justice
Anna Marie Calabria - my vote
Robin Hudson - my predicted winner Correct.

Court of Appeals
Kris Bailey - my vote and my predicted winner I blew this one. Sorry. Wish I was right.
Bob Hunter

Court of Appeals
Linda Stephens - my predicted winner
Donna Stroud - my vote My vote getter is ahead in a tight race as of about midnight and the majority of precincts showing results on various web sites. Glad to see that I may have been wrong.

Superior Court Judge

Jackie Lee - my vote
Tom Lock - my predicted winner Got this one right.

Board of Education (3)

Brian Keith Hale - my vote and my predicted winner Got this one wrong. He came in fourth. Butler Hall came in third.
Dorothy Johnson - my predicted winner Got this one right
Larry Strickland - my vote and my predicted winner This one, too.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sort of funny looking at it now

I have a few metric tools I use on my web sites. I have one on this blog. Just today someone from Walnut Creek, California did a web search on " water towers for sale" and found my blog. I know where that person can find one...free.

My election picks


Here are my picks for the election tomorrow. I will show who I think will win and who I am voting for. I will not include uncontested elections, since those are "no brainers". In less than 24 hours, I should know how accurate these predictions are.

US Congress Dist. 02
Bob Etheridge - my predicted winner in an unprecedented landslide victory
Dan Mansell - my vote

NC State Senate Dist. 12
Sherry Altman
Fred Smith - my vote and my predicted winner in a landslide

District Attorney District 11
Dale Stubbs - my predicted winner in a tight race
Susan Doyle - my vote

County Commissioner District 3
C.P. Thompson
Wade Stewart - my vote and my predicted winner

Sheriff
Jerry Holloman
Steve Bizzell - my vote and my predicted winner by a landslide

Clerk of Superior Court
Will Crocker - my predicted winner by a landslide
James Gerrell - my vote

Supreme Court Chief Justice
Rusty Duke - my vote
Sarah Parker - my predicted winner

Supreme Court Associate Justice
Rachel Lee Hunter
Mark Martin - my vote and predicted winner

Supreme Court Associate Justice
Eric Levinson - my vote
Patricia Timmons-Goodson - my predicted winner

Supreme Court Associate Justice
Anna Marie Calabria - my vote
Robin Hudson - my predicted winner

Court of Appeals
Kris Bailey - my vote and my predicted winner
Bob Hunter

Court of Appeals
Linda Stephens - my predicted winner
Donna Stroud - my vote

Superior Court Judge
Jackie Lee - my vote
Tom Lock - my predicted winner

Board of Education (3)
Brian Keith Hale - my vote and my predicted winner
Dorothy Johnson - my predicted winner
Larry Strickland - my vote and my predicted winner

Johnston moratorium on new homes?

My biggest question is why has the county had no workable plan to deal with growth? We have known for years that Johnston County was one of the fastest growing in the entire nation, not just North Carolina. Are we now being told that there has been no real plan to deal with this growth and leaders are just now coming to realize that we need some form of planning? Hello????

Here is part of an article in today's N&O. Click the link for the whole article.

Johnston may hit brakes
Commissioners consider moratorium on new homes until a plan managing growth is adopted

Johnston County never looked back when its livelihood turned from growing tobacco to growing houses in the 1990s.

While other Triangle counties have placed controls on development -- either by restricting where homes and businesses can go or forcing builders to pay for schools and roads -- Johnston has continued to welcome it.

But now even Johnston leaders are giving growth a second look.

In a surprise move last month, the county planning board voted unanimously to stop approving new homes temporarily until the county adopts new recommendations on managing growth.

A letter to the editor

This was sent to me and to "The Selma News". This is an editorial comment from a blog reader, not my own comments. It is properly signed at the bottom by the author. Don't worry, I know where he lives. :-) (a little inside humor, there)

TO THE EDITOR---

Historic Site or Slumlord Tenement???

For years I've been a member of a national volunteer civic organization which has a chapter team in Selma. Our Region has three meetings per year to which officers and voting delegates from surrounding teams attend. Each year, our Selma team hosts one of these. We conduct these business conventions in the Selma Courthouse.
Saturday, November the 4th was our most recently hosted meeting. Teams came from all over North and South Carolina to participate, and were lodged in local motels for the two-day event, as usual. One can only imagine my surprise at the drastic change in the condition of our meeting facility from years past.
While I applaud the commendable work that has been done to upgrade the outward appearance of the Court House facade, and the quality of the Selma Visitors' Center (located in the LEFT half of the building), I am compelled to wonder just what color the sky is in the Town Council's world when it comes to the interior of the courtroom itself.
Historically, we and many other groups have used this as a civic meeting room just as it sat; a courtroom...complete with all the trappings of justice including the judicial bench. For quite sound economic and security reasons, such a facility is no longer needed in Selma. However, the action taken so far regarding it is puzzling. We were always accustomed to meeting at the long conference tables used for the prosecution and defense which sat before the bench. They are still there. The bench, however, is not. Instead, it has been ripped out at the roots. The large area of floor where it once resided is now covered with two cheap, mismatched, odd-sized area throw rugs. The lower wall exposed by the removal of the riser platform is now ugly, exposed, ragged, and devoid of plaster. Someone's solution to this eyesore was no better than that of the floor. Three cheap looking artificial plants now sit in front of a four-foot wide portion of the twelve-foot expanse.
All we've heard from the town board for over a decade now are the "history" and "antiques" concepts. Can you say "HISTORICAL SITE"? Could the Town Council please explain what would have been wrong with such an attraction as the original courtroom? Could it not continue to function as a civic room as it has for generations? As an aside to the visitors' center, would not some have gotten a kick out of having friends and family take their picture (perhaps in an available judge's robe) as Selma's honorary "Justice of the Day"? The town has not even seen fit to replace the filthy and stained carpet remnant that serves as a doormat at the entrance. Can the town not cough up even ten bucks for a decent Welcome mat?
Obviously, the emphasis is on making what the visitor sees while passing through the town look respectable. As to what those who actually live and work here see...well, that's not on the priority list. I guess we all remember what Jesus said about all those white sepulchers and cups that were cleaned only on the outside.

Dave Tuttle

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What is it with NC roads?

I have driven a lot of miles in my lifetime. I have been all up and down the eastern seaboard and a few trips out west. My job keeps me on the NC highways a lot. I must say that I have never seen a state with more litter, debris, and roadkill than North Carolina.

Just a few minutes ago, we drove home from Patetown (north of Goldsboro) to Selma and we saw a lot of litter, one dead fox, three dead cats, three dead raccoons, one dead deer, and one dead squirrel. I have never seen a state roadsystem that allows roadkill to stay on the side of the road as long as North Carolina does. I have literally seen carcasses stay on the side of the road for months and never be picked up. This is absurd and needs to change.

A lot of the litter is not necessarily litter but debris blown off trucks. I have seen garbage trucks, dump trucks, and semis have debris blown off them and all over the roadways. I have also seen pick up trucks full of debris lose some of it. This seems to be how most of it happens, as most of what I see is not just something thrown from passing automobiles.

Why are there no real thorough efforts to clean up the roads from debris and animal carcasses in this state? Once in a while, I do see prison work crews bagging litter and every once in a great while an "Adopt a Highway" crew. However, they don't pick up dead deer, cats, dogs, and the like. We need to do better. This state wastes enough money on stupid stuff that we can make the effort to do better.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

OK, so he is facing the death penalty. So what?

There is a lot of noise being made about the possible verdict coming in the trial of Saddam Houssein. He could face a death sentence to be carried out in the method of a hanging. OK. So what? Next!

There have been warnings of a civil war within Iraq if Houssein is executed. From the reports we constantly have heard, the Iraqi people are happy that Houssein is out of power. If that is the case, we should not have any issues with his execution. If the reports are false, then there could be some unrest. So what? I realize that it is the job of the defense to build fear in the populace and court to influence his client's case. However, this should still not be a factor if the judge has any spine.

OK, so let us assume that he will be found guilty and sentenced to death. I believe that it should be a public event, carried on pay per view television worldwide. The proceeds of the event should go to the families of the hundreds of thousands of people he slaughtered or the cost of the war that the U.S. has paid for. Maybe a fund to benefit the families of our soldiers who have died to free Iraq. For that matter, the oil production should be ramped up and all the proceeds from the sale of oil go to pay for our invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Leave me a voice mail for all to hear


Quelle surprise.

Doogie Howser is a homosexual. Like we never saw that one coming.

Friday, November 03, 2006

That poor wet pet

As you may have known from my previous writings, our dog Daisy was a rescue dog. She is still very shy about a lot of things and has not had great socialization. We have been working with her since May. She still is hand shy at times and is unsure of her safety around us. She has made progress in meal time, snack time, and showing affection. Those are wonderful to see.

One area in which she is horrible is bathing. She is a slob when it comes to eating dog food. She often gets dog food gravy all over her fur. Teresa tried bathing her a few weeks ago, and it didn't go well. I told her to take her to Dog Days Inn in Tarboro, where we got her. The owner is the lady who rescued Daisy and the six other Pekingese, cleaned them up, and adopted them out. We figured it would be nice for her to see how Daisy looks n0w that a lot of her fur has grown in and she has put on some weight.

Daisy was scared witless when she came back. She was scared, wouldn't eat, and was literally shivering. We took her to the vet for an exam. I wrote about that, too. It took her a week to get back to her old self of a bouncy, happy, dog food vacuuming Daisy.

Teresa just put Daisy in the tub and gave her a bath. That dog fought furiously. I snapped a photo with my cell phone while the bath was going on. I am posting it here, along with another picture I took of her a while back with the same cell phone. She is adorable.

South Park explains the stupidity of Darwinism. Sounds right to me.

Yeah, in some Bizarro land parallel universe, maybe

This was in The Smithfield Herald as a letter to the editor. This man obviously has live backwards. What color is the sky in his world?

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Election time is here again, and if it’s ever been the time for change in this county and this nation, I think it is now.

I am appealing to Democrats, Dixie-crats and truly conservative Republicans. Are you tired of one party running this country and nation? Are you tired of paying for growth and growth not paying for itself? Are you tired of being told by some people how moral they are and how immoral you are because you are a Democrat? Are you tired of borrow-and-spend Republicans telling you how conservative they are while spending more money than Democrats?

Johnstonians will always have a better way of life when Democrats are in control. Please vote Democratic this year, and may God bless.

GLENN McLAMB, Morgan Road, Benson

If you have children ***READ UPDATE***


I found the perfect Christmas gift.

Update: I shared this with a few people I know, including an email list I started years ago. I got some replies of "that was funny" and the like. One bonehead replied with a nastygram. Here it is:

Not funny. Yet another pharisee bashing a godly man. I have had probably more direct interaction with Pat Robertson than anyone on here and good reason to be offended with him, but I do believe that he serves the Lord and only someone with little or no discernment or respect for God and those He uses would mock someone like this. The spirit of antichrist comes in some pretty disgusting packages these days.

-Lonnie Mackley lonbret@yahoo.com

I responded with the following:

Lonnie,

In case you were not paying attention, I DIDN"T MAKE THE COLORING BOOK nor did I "bash" anyone. Talk about little or no discernment. And yes it was quite funny. Did I say a single thing about Pat Robertson? Did I say anything negative? No. Try paying some attention next time before you rant ignorantly and like the pharisee you claim someone else to be. You are
acting hypocritical. If you can't look at what the world says and offers, as the link I posted and laugh at the stupidity while thanking God that you are no longer in the kingdom of darkness as the book's author obviously is, then you are the one with no discernment. Period.

Troy LaPlante

Hate groups in NC

I do believe that there are several groups that have been left out of this list of hate groups in North Carolina. I am familiar with the group The Southern Poverty Law Center, which owns the web site. I have much disagreement with their staff on several subjects. Either way, I thought that this was interesting.

I do NOT write the column titles!

For those of you who read my column in the November 2, 2006 "Selma News", I want to assure you that I do NOT write the column titles that appear each week. I submit the column itself and the paper staff writes the title. Even when I submitted titles, they have written their own.

In the Nov. 2 column, the title given by the paper staff totally distorts the column content and actually yields a totally different meaning than what the column says. For that I wholeheartedly apologize, though it is not something that I have control over.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Campaign 2006

I guess that I just have not watched much television lately, because I have only heard of the negative campaign ads and have not seen many of them on TV. I have seen some in mailers, on the internet, and on phone call recordings. This morning, I heard a few of them while shaving. I don't recall the magnitude of negative ads nor the content thereof in any other election. Even District Attorney races have gone negative.

A thought. If you are a candidate who owes a ton of back taxes such as Ty Harrell or Dan Mansell, why put yourself in the position of being hammered with that during a campaign?

Below is a WMPM news story about the funds of the two campaigns for Congress. I am not surprised that the sell out, corrupt Congressman, Bob Etheridge has the amount of cash that he has for his campaign. Political Action Committees (PACs) have poured money into his campaign. The Mansell campaign surprises me, though. Ninety days out from the election, I was told that they had about $40K for campaign cash. One week out and they have only bested that by $11K. Huh? You know that Etheridge had $750,000 90 days out and you only managed to raise $11k more? It looks like others know what I have known for a while. Etheridge is going to win in a landslide.

Why, if you have such a hard time with campaign financing would you NOT take up someone on their offer of help? Stupid.

----------------

Money Flowing In Second District House Race - Second District Congressman Bob Etheridge has raised sixteen times as much money as his challenger heading into the last week of the race for the District 2 congressional seat. Dan Mansell, a Republican from Johnston County is challenging the Lillington Democrat. According to campaign filings, Mansell has raised $51,132 and has spent $37,376 in his bid to upset the incumbent. Etheridge has raised $821,535 and has spent $632,004.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Latino Propaganda

From time to time, I actually watch the cable channel MUN2, a primarily Spanish/bilingual channel. They rerun a program that I catch each week on another network. They are owned by the same parent company, NBC. I just caught an ad that disgusts me. It is for the web site votolatino.org.

Basically, the ad goes through how over two million Latinos took to the streets in protests this year for illegal aliens. Note that I did not say for Latinos. There are many Latinos here legally. They were marching in support of illegal immigrants.

The ad goes to mention major cities across the US and the rough numbers that took to the streets in protest. Then the ad goes on to chastise those who did not march, saying that they were just sitting and waiting for others to do something for them while the ones who did march were being good and responsible. One guy in the ad wore a shirt that said "The can't deport us all". The ad went on to say that "it is your country" and encouraged Latinos to vote.

NO, it is NOT THEIR country, it is OUR country. When I say OUR, I mean it belongs to all of us who are LEGAL citizens. What part of illegal aliens do they not understand? It is NOT the country of non-citizens. That is what makes them alien to this nation.

This is just plain propaganda. They keep repeating it over and over again. The Democrats already buy into this garbage since the Latinos are a potential voting block. They really don't care about them as a group or race. All the liberals care about is the alliances they can build to put and keep their representatives in power. They are America hating, anti-capitalist, worshippers of the Church of Socialism.

As I shared once today on the internet, this is an example of the technique exemplified by Joseph Goebbels in the Nazi Third Reich. I have been reading more on his life and techniques lately. I have recognized much of his groundwork being used in the leftist agenda to demonize conservatives and push the Communist Manifesto to reality in this country. I have run across a few people in particular who exemplify this methodology and swallow the propaganda "hook, line, and sinker".

The Latino population has learned from this and is doing the same thing. I for one, am not going to buy into it or allow it to go unchecked as best I am able.

Here is the video about of the ad I mentioned. The video is actually hosted on holamun2.com. Makes me think I may boycott that station for now on. I found out that the video does not like Firefox, but it does work fine in IExplorer.

Whiners found a wuss judge

Federal Judge Blocks Pa. Town Crackdown

This article shows why electing conservatives is important. Notice that I didn't say Republicans, I said conservatives. Liberal judges appointed or elected to the bench love to exercise power plays like this and restrict the sovereign will of an elected group of local lawmakers. Judges like this need to find a new line of work.

Someone please tell me how this would be a bad thing

Here is the headline: Hispanics Flee Pa. Town Before Crackdown

I wrote on this blog and in one of my newspaper columns about Hazleton, Pennsylvania's ordinance that gets tough on illegal immigration. Their town was suffering from an influx of illegals and the pursuant increase in crime and drain on the economy. The town had the guts to pass a tough ordinance dealing with illegal aliens, and they started to leave. Now they are leaving in larger numbers because of the coming crackdown.

I wish that the town council here in Selma had the guts to do the same thing. I promise you that if I ever get elected to the town council, an ordinance similar to that in Hazleton will be on the table. I doubt it will happen until then, though.

I want to see lawbreakers and their cost to society mitigated for the taxpayer. I also want to see equity in the services WE pay for. I have several friends who have been disabled because of injury or sickness and can't get Social Security Disability. They have paid into the Social Security system for years and can't draw the very benefit for which they have paid. Let a Hispanic who is here illegally go to the government and they are handed a driver's license, Social Security benefits, welfare, food stamps, and housing assistance.

What is wrong with this picture? Why do people not have the balls to stand up to this as citizens? I already know why politicians don't. It gives them power by courting the favor of an ever increasing possible voting population. That is pure evil.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Absolutely despicable

And I am referring to Herman Munster's comments, not what he is ranting against. He made a faux pas, not a botched joke. The left spin machine has tried to turn the meaning of his misstep in another direction. He has some blatant falsehoods in this press conference, and is just plain a bitter man. He has railed against the President and his administration for a few years, consistently told us how honorably he served (by the way, did you know that Kerry served in Vietnam?) in the military, and then rips the Commander in Chief. His hypocrisy and venom are overwhelming. He needs to go. His wife isn't much better. What a sorry individual this man is.

What Beg-O-Ween means to me

Not much. I am not into pagan holidays, although some of the so-called Christian holidays have infused some pagan influences. Either way, I don't want to celebrate the day. This year, no little motley clothed beggars have knocked on our door. If they do, we still accommodate them. Some years we are more apt to cooperate than others. Some years, we have given flyers and gospel tracts along with a hand out.

What October 31st means to me more than anything else, however, is the anniversary of the day we closed on our first house. I wanted a house for years and couldn't afford one. The timing was right for us on our present home, so we went for it. We closed on the house on October 31st, four years ago. We moved in that afternoon and spent our first night there that evening. We had some people knock on our door in Halloween costumes that night, but we had to explain that we just moved in the same day and were not exactly prepared for them.

Anyway, the house thing is a bit more meaningful to me than anything else. That is how I remember what day it was when we closed on the house, it was Halloween Day.

Monday, October 30, 2006