Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Watch "American Idol" or American Idolatry tonight?

I am getting sooooooo tired of hearing "The State of the Union" address each year. It has almost ZERO to do with the actual state of this union. It is more likely to be a pep rally for foreign policy, meaning that we will probably hear a lot about our activities in other countries and the state of THEIR unions. Also, we will hear lofty proposals, most of them unconstitutional, but ear tickling none the less. Every few phrases or sentences will be followed by continuous applause. Special mention will be made of a featured guest whose presence punctuates some policy decision or proposal that will be a "nice thing to do".

Just once, I want some president to stand before Congress and tell them the following:
1. This is a "State of the Union" speech, so there will be no sabre rattling, discussion of our efforts in foreign unions, no proposals for a bunch more spending on social programs, or political rangling. This will be a speech telling you just what it is called...the actual state of the union.

2. The Constitution says the following in Article 2 Section. 3:
"He [the president] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient" The Congress has been briefed thousands of times more than was the original intent of this clause in the Constitution. Congress is informed of a lot of information. The Constitution does not require a set, annual speech. Actually, there is no time requirement nor is there a requirement of a speech in joint session. Ergo, there will be no such speech next year. We will not interrupt normally scheduled television and radio programming for some lame political agenda speech.

3. Congress is constantly informed of recommendations of measures for their consideration that are necessary and expedient. A budget is submitted annually, Congressmen are in the President's office continually, and there are meetings with staff on a regular basis. Clause fulfilled.

4. Stop your freakin' applause until I am finished speaking. Show some respect for your other Congress members "across the aisle" and those watching on TV.
this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, January 30, 2006

OK, I am finally going to comment on this one.

I found very ironic the story in "The Selma News" with a picture of Mayor Charles Hester with the caption "Selma Mayor Charles Hester shows off the award the town received for its efforts in bringing Sysco to Selma". I realize that he is the mayor, ie town representative, but he had nothing to do with that transpiring (unless he had a part in it being on the planning board, but the property was outside the town limits at the time). He defeated one man in the election who had a part in Sysco coming to Selma and fired the other. Yet has the hypocrisy to sit for a picture holding the award. Sorry, but that one just rubbed me the wrong way.

I get along with Charles Hester just fine. He has some good ideas on leading Selma. Some things I disagree with him about. There are some things I saw at Town Council meetings that I find encouraging. Some things have just cheesed me off, and if I was elected to the Town Council back in November, he certainly would have heard about it by now. At one meeting, there were things I wanted to speak out about, but I was neither a department head nor a councilmember. I also didn't have a copy of the budget in front of me like everyone else to go through. Actually, I was the only citizen/non-town employee there besides the press. Besides that, I was only able to stay for a short while before I had to leave, anyway. I am just an observer and commentator at the moment.

Here is the beginning of the article (for more Selma news go to "The Selma News" web site (hey, Rick...another free mention, buddy!)

The town of Selma and Johnston County were recognized last Friday at the Annual Meeting and Space Awards Banquet of the Triangle Business Journal, a weekly publication out of Raleigh.

The two were recognized for bringing the number one development for the greater Triangle area – Sysco -- to Selma.

Selma Mayor Charles Hester attended the banquet and accepted the award of the town's behalf and Linwood Parker, chairman of the Johnston County Economic Development Committee, accepted on behalf of the county.

Feeling a little better

This weekend, I felt lower than whale dung. I don't know what the issue was, but I was having abdominal pain whenever I hiccupped, burped, or breathed deeply. I didn't have a bowel movement in about 48 hours, I was up almost every other hour Friday night into Saturday and every hour Saturday night. I had no energy. On Saturday, I kept napping in my living room chair, but couldn't nap at all on Sunday. Even laying in bed, I was hurting when I breathed when laying on my side. It made sleep a bit difficult. I researched abdominal issues on Web MD and read that most adbominal pain does not require medical attention, though intestinal blockage may. Signs of intestinal blockage included the inability to have a bowel movement. It took almost 48 hours, but I did have a small one (I know, more information than you wanted) and did have gas, so I figured that may not be the issue. Just to be on the safe side, I tried some mineral oil for instestinal lubricant (I usually use it for lubricant, but not for intestines). For several days prior, I felt like I had a low grade fever and was tiring easily, but working long hours anyway.

This morning, I did feel better. I am not so tired, I am not in the dull pain I had earlier, at least not so much when I have gas or a hiccup. I actually feel like I can go to work. I was planning on a sick day if I felt the same way as I did this weekend.

I don't know if it was a "bug" or whatever. I have never had a sickness that felt quite like this before. I hope I continue to feel better.

Redneck Haiku

I saw these on another web site. Funny. Sadly accurate, but funny.

Damn, in that tube-top
You make me almost forget
You are my cousin

Unemployment's out
Hey, maybe I can get on

A painful sadness
Can't fit big screen TV through
Double-wide's front door

In Wal-Mart toy aisle
Wailing boy wants 'rassling doll
Mama whups his ass

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sounds like my town, so I am told

The personnel that I have seen in the local fire department with a few exceptions, seem to be a bit older. Also, I am told that many of the department's members are from out of town. Here is an article about a small town dealing with similar issues.

Recent Fire Has Officials Concerned

A fire this week in Eagle Harbor has some township fire officials worried about the future of their department. They've had a difficult time recruiting young firefighters in recent years. The average age of the 18 volunteers is 61.

Eight men responded to Wednesday's fire. It wasn't completely out until 10:30 at night, and 12-hour fires are exhausting.

According to township officials, a majority of the 450-acre township's population are retirees. That leaves them without younger residents who could join the department.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Second time this year

Selma Electrical Rate To Jump 8.1 Percent Next Month - Selma residents will be paying more for electricity next month. On Thursday, the Selma Town Council passed along an 8.14 percent wholesale cost increase to customers. The rate hike took effect on January 1, but the board delayed passing along the higher rate until February 1. Similar rate hikes were recently approved in Smithfield and Benson. Clayton’s wholesale electric rate jumped 9.8 percent on New Year’s. Clayton council members will meet in February to discuss how much of an increase will be passed onto business and residential customers.

Troy's comment: Funny how natural gas prices are dropping and electrical prices are going up. Many power plants use natural gas to power the steam turbines, and that price is dropping. Not electricity rates, though. Personally, I think incinerating trash would be a better source of fuel to generate electricity. It is sure a cheaper source of fuel. One problem that we have in Selma is that the state does not regulate our prices as it does with regular Progress Energy customers. A regulatory board gives the OK to a rate hike, so their customers don't get whacked every time they decide to raise prices, as they did with the town, who is a wholesale, not a residential customer. Bend over, grab ankles, wish for KY.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New eyeglasses

I finally got a new pair of glasses today. I had an exam about a week ago and paid for the glasses up front. Today, I got to pick them up and wear them all day. It sure is different wearing a different type of frame. The picture in my profile has me with an old pair of glasses (two frames ago, at least). The last frame that I got, three years ago, was too small and left dents in my temples as well as blue-green tarnish lines on my head. The lenses were getting very scratched.

The new lenses are not much different from the old in terms of prescription. I needed new glasses because the old ones were getting too scratched for my liking and I hated the tight frame. The will be fine for back up, though, since my prescription has not changed much in the last three years.

Like last time, I got Transitions lenses or a reasonable facsimile. Also, I sprung for the Crizal treatment and polycarbonate thin lens. Even after the insurance payment, the bill was about $240. It was worth it to me. The titanium frames are a lot lighter on my face and actually fit properly.

For years, I could not afford to go back to Transitions, which I missed having. I also could not afford new frames each time, so I used the same frames several times each for new lenses. I remember when plastic lenses were not good at the Transitions thing, so if I wanted them, I needed to get glass lenses, which were heavy. Eventually, the normal plastic lenses also were very heavy on my face. Then, I went to a smaller frame (my last pair) and splurged for the Zeiss anti-reflective coating and Transitions. I wanted them again this time. I also went back to a rimless frame, which I haven't had in a while.

I dumped my last eye doctor. He conned me into getting contacts one year, and I regret spending all of that money on them. They worked great when they would stay in place, but that would just not happen with my astigmatism. Usually, the world was blurry because the lenses rotated. That was my third dive into contact lenses. What a waste. Teresa does well with contacts, but not me. Our doctor was also rather abrasive. We both agreed that we did not enjoy going to him at all and wanted a change.

It will still take a little time to get used to these new frames, but at least I have scratch free lenses (at least for now) and my head is not being pinched all day. Hopefully, the dents in the side of my head will go away soon. A dent in my scalp went away fairly soon after minor oil gland cyst surgery a few years ago.

I know that I will draw heat from my fellow party members and liberals alike, but...

I tend to disagree with them on one major issue as of late and side with the current administration. I have heard Libertarians, Constitution Party members, and Democrats all complain about the "domestic spying" of monitoring communications that come into or out of this country to known foreign terrorist states.

In the 1700's, correspondence to someone in this country from a known enemy would be in the form of ink and quill writing on parchment. Today, it is via telephone and computer. I doubt that there would be any issue with intercepting such communications then. I don't have any problem with interception today, either. That is, if there is sufficient probably cause for doing so. Listening in on phone calls to a suspected terrorist or to countries such as Afghanistan are, in my opinion, fair targets. If grandma is being listened to when little Johnny calls to wish her a happy birthday, obviously that is unacceptable and should be illegal. However, when it involves known enemies of this nation, I give latitude.

The odd thing is that other past presidents have had similar programs, including Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Now that it is a Republican president, the Democrats are going ballistic and looking for blood.

A program such as this is covert by definition. Now, it has been made public, which damages the program. I know that it is an unpopular stance and that I will be accused by Constitution Party members as being a "noe-con" on this issue, but I want our country spying on terrorists. Period. From what I have heard in most media outlets I have read and heard, that is the extent of the "eavesdropping". I don't believe that for a minute, but I still want Muhammed lovers tracked and considered enemies of the state, especially when they call back to a known terrorist infested country.

Pete DuPont has a decent column on how Benjamin Franklin and the early government of this nation supported "the Constitution's original intent was that the president had the authority to take undisclosed foreign actions to protect America.".

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bad news for Johnston County

This "good ol' boy" has got to go. I have no problem with Will Crocker on a personal level, since I don't know him personally. However, in my professional dealings with him, I find Mr. Crocker next to useless. It is time for him to go. I hope someone will rise up and beat him in the election. By the way, why the heck do we elect some of the positions in county government that we do, anyway? Registrar of Deeds and Clerk of Court? Come on.

From the WMPM web site: Clerk Of Court Will Crocker Will Seek Seventh Term - Clerk of Court Will Crocker has announced his intentions to seek a seventh consecutive term in office. On Wednesday, Crocker told WMPM he would seek reelection this year. Crocker said it has been a privilege to serve the citizens and wants to continue in public service for another four years. He said the biggest change the Clerk of Court’s Office has undergone since he was first elected in 1978 was computerization, including full automation four years ago. Will Crocker said he strives to operate his office as effectively as possible in a manner to serve the people of Johnston County as best as possible.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Pink Panther can talk????

I was watching Cartoon Network a few minutes ago. I saw an episode of "The Pink Panther". Since when did the panther have the ability to speak? I just saw one that I have never seen, to my recollection. The panther was speaking with a British accent. What the???!!!??? The panther is supposed to be mute. I don't ever remember the panther being able to talk. Wow, when did that happen?

A few thoughts on several rulings by SCOTUS and one other topic

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case of Fayetteville citizens fighting against the annexation of their neighborhoods. Though I fully agree that the annexation should never have happened and is government run amock, I do believe that it is NOT a federal issue. I really get annoyed that cases constantly go to the U.S. Supreme Court when they are state issues and should never even be allowed to go to the federal level. That is beyond the scope of the Supreme Court's authority/jurisdiction. The new residents of Fayetteville got screwed, but at least the Supreme Court did the right thing.

The Supreme Court also upheld Oregon's assisted suicide law. I thought that the first rule of the doctors' oath was to do no harm. If people want to die badly enough, they can do it themselves instead of attempting to absolve themselves of the responsibility for their death by having a doctor or two perform the dirty work for them. If you are going to take the cowardly way out, put the barrel in your mouth and do it yourself.

The Court ruled that families of firefighters that died on 9/11 can not sue the city of New York over "faulty radios". They claim that the radio system was not sufficient to give communicate the evacuation order from the towers. First, there is no such thing as a foolproof radio system...especially in high rise buildings. Motorola was also in the suit. They can't be blamed for the purchase of their equipment. The equipment works fine, just not in high rise buildings. Makes sense to me. Second, there is no way of knowing that a timely evacuation could have happened in time for them. Next, these families, though grieving, already took monetary compensation for the loss of their family members. Now they want more? Hello??? Look, I was in the fire service for almost ten years. It is a dangerous occupation. The firfighters are running IN to a building when most have or are running OUT. Think about it. All this is about is greed on the part of blood sucking lawyers and families who want more money. Sorry, but I don't have so much sympathy for the families that we should just hand them over a wad of cash in addition to all the death benefits, charitable giving that came their way, and the fact that they took payments. I hate that sort of greed.

One other story that pisses me off is that yet another hostage is being threatened in Iraq. This time, a female reporter for "The Christian Science Monitor" is being threatened with death female prisoners in Iraq are released within 72 hours. If Al-Jezeera can find these animals, why can't our own intelligence agencies and contacts? Somebody please track and whack these pieces of debris.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Piss away your time on this site ;^)

TV shows and Christian activism

Over the past month, I have received numerous emails from Christians decrying the TV show, "The Book of Daniel". Now, I know what I am about to say is not going to be popular with my Christian brethren, but SO WHAT? What did you expect from the world's system? Here is what one email in particular says about the show:
- The main character is Daniel Webster, a drug-addicted Episcopal priest.
- His wife depends heavily on her mid-day martinis.
- Webster regularly sees and talks with a very unconventional and non-Biblical Jesus.
- The Webster family includes a 23-year-old homosexual Republican son, a 16-year-old drug-dealing daughter, and a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop's daughter.
- Webster's lesbian secretary is sleeping with the priest's sister-in-law.

Both my wife and I are of the opinion that many well intentioned Christian and family organizations over react to things, just making the world of Christendom look stupid. Thus, we decided to watch the show for ourselves before making judgement on either side. I was this way when I was a heathen and the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ" came out. I saw the protesters out front of the movie theater right around the corner from where I was living. So I went to the theater, stood in line, bought a ticket, and got to heckle some picketers. I knew that mnost likely none of the protesters had seen the movie, they just heard commentary, got their marching orders, and lined up like lemings. They carried signs saying "that's not my Jesus", and other pithy sayings (a little Bill O'Reilly lingo there).

Yes, the homos are in the story line. Yes, the Episcopal priest pops a few prescription pills to calm him down. Yes, the wife has a few martinis and needed something to drink after dealing with her mother on a touchy subject. Heck, I want a beer after dealing with family sometimes, too.

The part about an unconventional and unscriptural Jesus? I don't know about that part from the one episode that I saw at first. I caught part of a second episode and did see that the Jesus character just shrugged his shoulders at the news of the clergyman's son fornicating and exclaiming "Kids!" The Jesus that I know doesn't speak in King James verbiage. I hear from the Lord in language that I can clearly understand. If he is "a friend that sticks closer than a brother", then he will talk to us the way he does in the show. I know that some will accuse me of being a nut, but I have seen and have talked to Jesus myself. Quite honestly, though he may not have appeared to me the same way as he does in the TV show, he has shown himself to me. By the way, we are talking about a television show here...stuff is fabricated for entertainment and the ability to relate a concept. That is exactly the license that the show takes. I can deal with that. The most real part of the program to me was the communicating Jesus. Granted, I don't believe that he would so communicate with an Episcopal priest, much less one that is all accepting of homosexuality. I certainly, however, do NOT believe that the Jesus that I know and have read about for years would just shrug off the sin from which he came to set us free. The show takes great liberties in that regard, which is why I most likely will never see another episode. I am not, however, going to participate in boycotts, letter writing, email campaigns, press releases of condemnation, etc.

Focus on the Family had this statement: “Having previewed the pilot and an additional episode, I find NBC’s new television show, The Book of Daniel, extremely repulsive in its portrayal of Jesus Christ and intentionally offensive in its flippant attitude toward behaviors almost universally agreed upon as unhealthy to society, morally bankrupt, and, dare I say it, sinful. Adultery. Teen sex. Involvement in a ménage a trois to spice up a marriage. Homosexuality. A pastor who expects, and supports, premarital intercourse. Drug use as a sexual boost. And the list goes on and on.

“Still, most egregious is its portrayal of Jesus. On Daniel, the Individual believed to be the Savior of the world by nearly a billion people around the globe is cast as a wimpy, white-robed visitor who cares little about evil, addictions and perversity. This Christ glosses over a teenager's sexual romps with a, "He's a kid, let him be a kid." [Troy's comment: I agree with this totally. Yes, Jesus would certainly never condone fornication or sin. It is contrary to his very nature.]

“The Jesus of Daniel is a long way from the holy, compassionate Second Person of the Trinity who created the universe, then found the sin-problems of mankind so egregious that He gave His very life sacrificially to bring redemption. You won't find that Jesus on Book of Daniel. Sadly, if the Jesus of Book of Daniel was the real deal he'd need to apologize to the woman caught in adultery (in John 8) that he instructed, "Go now and leave your life of sin." Viewers with limited knowledge of the Bible are going to be asking themselves, why was He crucified? And that's a great question for us on this show, Jesus winks at the behaviors the genuine Jesus was crucified to save us from." [Troy's commentary: Sounds like a great chance to open the door for discussion and witnessing. Turn that negative into a positive.]

There is more on their web site.

Yes, the homosexuality, heavy drinking, drug dealing, and fornication are all abhorrent. The program is billed as a "serious drama about Christian people and the Christian faith." No, it really isn't. It is Hollywood's attempt to push a homosexual agenda and acceptance of sinful activities. Let me let you in on a little secret. IT IS THE WORLD SYSTEM PRODUCING A WORLDLY PROGRAM! I EXPECT THIS STUFF FROM THE WORLD, WHY CAN'T MOST CHRISTIANS? What did you really expect? I expect the world to act like the world. They have not been translated into the kindom of light. How can we expect them to understand Christian values if they are not Christians?

What gets me is the pushing for boycots of advertisers. I don't buy clothes from Burlington Coat Factory, use H&R Block, or consider buying a Mazda, anyway. Let the marketplace take care of it for you. If you want to let people know about the program and its content, fine. But to show outrage, draw attention to a program that most people would never have heard of, bring viewer ratings to a potential flop, and make the Christian faith look petty and stupid is in itself stupid. Groups like Renew America, well intentioned political candidates, the American Family Association, and others are into being boisterous rather than spreading the truth on such things. OK, let the truth be known. Staging boycots only brings eyeballs to the very thing they oppose.

The bottom line is that the world will be the world. I expect the Christian faith to be ridiculed and distorted in the world system. I expect Jesus to be misrepresented. I expect some things to be askew in Hollywood, especially. Why does this so surprise or outrage people? If you know the truth, then you are free. The antidote for falsehood is truth. Pass the truth along.

I won't be as interested in this year's Superbowl

The Patriots lost to Denver last night, as I wrote last night on this blog. I was really hoping for the Pats to go all the way again this year. Season over.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Board of Education election districting

I am tired of hearing the absolute B.S. reasonings behind not wanting to go to districts in electing members of the County Board of Education. All of the board members are elected "at large" in the county. That means that if the western portion of the county continues to grow at its current pace, the vast majority of the board members could be from that area, thus leaving less populated regions of the county, such as in eastern and northern Johnston County with little or no representation.

The problem, as seen by many vocal ethnic minorities is that the changing to district elections will lessen the possibility of "minority representation" on the board. First, representatives are elected by MAJORITY vote, not minority. They are called minorities for a reason. 12% of the population should not dictate what the remaining percentage of the population does, how they vote, or have more than 12% of the seats on the board just because they would possibly "lack minority representation". We live in a representative republic (we never have been a democracy and I am tired of hearing people refer to our system of government as democracy). The whole idea behind a republic is that elected representatives are sent to a governing body on behalf of the constituancy.

If you really want to talk about minority representation, try talking about the areas of the county that have NO representation at all. That is my biggest complaint about the municipal elections here in Selma.

If a "minority" candidate is good enough and deserves the vote of the represented, he/she will get elected. To expect that someone will be elected simply because of the color of his/her skin or the alleged need for representation by an ethnic minority is very contrary to the message propagated by Martin Luther King (see next post). My simple advice to minorities is simply to quit whining, learn the system instead of demanding that it bend to your whims, become BETTER than those you oppose, and compete on the same playing field with superiority. I just watched the Denver Broncos do just that to the New England Patriots :^(


My employer and many governmental agencies will celebrate "Martin Luther King Jr. Day" on Monday. Personally, I do believe that this is an "appeasement" holiday and should not be celebrated on my tax dollars.

This holiday is akin to Kwanzaa to me. It is a fabricated day or celebration forced upon the majority by a minority. If the majority were to use common sense to oppose the "holiday", then they are labeled with the tag of "racist".

I don't personally believe that King was worthy of a holiday. He has been almost deified by the Black race in America. I have sat in church and literally heard a Sunday School teacher in a Black church proclaim King to have been the most balanced and spiritual man in history. Statues have been erected and streets have been renamed in his honor. Doctor King proclaimed that he wanted to see all men judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. Unfortunately, many have departed from that battle cry. Oddly enough, those who vehemently fight to lift King as a shining example of Black America support affirmative action, segregated groups, their own "cultural centers", repairation payments for slavery, and other special considerations. That is entirely contrary to King's message of being judged by character rather than skin color.

G.Gordon Liddy claims that he has personal knowledge of FBI files of MLK that say he was an adulterer and had shady dealings. He said that J. Edgar Hoover's staff has numerous recordings of King in hotels with strange women. Many saw King as a troublemaker. Some even go so far as to call Martin Luther King Day by a different name; James Earl Ray Day.

Part of what bothers me about the recognition of MLK Day is that Veterans' Day has all but disappeared so that MLK Day could be a holiday instead. We no longer honor our vets as we used to. Furthermore, we do not declare a holiday for other great men in our history. We have not declared a Thomas Paine Day, a Samuel Adams Day, or even a Benjamin Franklin Day. We have had many great men who have preceeded King and all of us. The honest truth is that none of them were a prominent minority who was murdered. King fit the bill for a hero and a banner under which to march.

Those who were civil rights leaders in the 60's, but more so today, the leaders tended to have the title "Reverend", yet I have never heard any of the "reverends" preach Jesus. Usually, it is a politically charged, perverted monologue of liberalism. People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are far from the roots of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I remember having a King disciple (also carrying the title "reverend")yell at me for two solid days, telling me (and a whole group of others) how horrible I am for being Caucasian. By nature of the fact that I am "white", I must be racist. Yup, that is judging someone by character rather than the color of skin. I am the type who would probably have been very active in the civil rights movement in the 60's, had I been alive then. I was born in 1968, so it was sort of hard to be part of that. The civil rights movement was right in their goals. I do believe that they have been successful in their actions, and this nation is a whole lot better in this decade than forty years prior.

MLK did a lot of good, from what I can tell from reading. He brought attention to a legitimate problem of inequality in this nation. Unfortunately, he has attained martyr status and has been nearly given godhood status and his message has been hijacked and perverted. Many churches and minorities have added the worship of King to the worship of Christ.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Interesting Selma news

These stories were on WMPM's web site. Considering the recent comments that I have read in the newspaper, these stories are a bit surprising in some regards. It seemed that there was great support for closing the court house. I am not sure what all is behind the resignation of Jeff White, but I have a few ideas. Time will tell.

Selma Town Manager Resigns - Selma Town Manager Jeff White has resigned, reportedly at the request of the mayor and town council. The resignation was announced Tuesday night immediately after the council returned from a closed session. The council agreed to pay White for 90 days and to continue his health coverage. No reason for his resignation was given. Selma Mayor Charles Hester could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

Troy's comment: I am not surprised, considering the talk I have heard over the past several months. I know that there are a few more people on a "hit list". I will wait and see if it happens.

Selma Courtroom To Remain Open, At Least For Now - Following a public hearing, Selma town leaders said they will keep the Selma District Courtroom open for at least another six months but will look at ways to improve parking and loitering. A committee, made up of business owners, citizens, and an attorney, will be formed to look at ways to make improvements. Discussion started two months ago about closing the Selma courtroom after an inmate was stabbed outside the building. Sheriff Steve Bizzell raised safety concerns about transporting prisoners outside the Johnston County Courthouse. Afterwards, some businesses said the weekly session of court was a nuisance to them because of parking problems and so many people loitering outside. Selma Police Chief Charles Bowen said he didn’t care if the courtroom remained open or not. He said it would have no detrimental impact on his department other than the slight inconvenience of officers having to drive to Smithfield for court.

It is amazing how petty some people can be

Here is yet more proof that you can not please everybody. I got a complainer about my web site that just amazes me.

Why is The New American site listed as a news source ? It's a political web site not a legitimate news agency.
Thanks, G

My reply was simply: Because I felt like it, and it is after all, my web site. By the way, you will often times find news items there not found elsewhere. Hence, its inclusion. If you don't like that section, don't read it.

Of course, that is not good enough for a complainer. He wrote back: Nice,,,, I guess I'll pass on your website completely. Since it's your website you can sit there and read it all by yourself.

I had this to respond with: One thing that I learned a long time ago is that you can't please everyone. No matter what you do, right or wrong, you are going to piss somebody off about something...even something as petty as this. Petty people are annoyed by petty things. I guess that every site on the internet should build their web sites to your exact specifications in order to please you, then? Or should people actually have the freedom to make their own creations in the manner they see fit? To "pass on [the] web site completely" because you don't like five lines of one page is truly petty. That is like saying that you don't want the seven course meal because you don't like the brand of whipped cream on the strawberry shortcake. Forget the prime rib, salad, and rest of the meal laid out for you, because you are annoyed over whipped cream. Intelligent.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Scammers must be able to find enough greedy and gullible idiots to keep at it

I guess some can always count on good old fashioned American greed. As with many others, I get scammers emailing me from out of the country trying to play on greed. If I really have an inheritance, I wouldn't be getting an email notification. If I really won a foreign lottery (kind of hard to win a British lottery, since I haven't been there since 1989). And I doubt that I can help some oppressed Christian deposed leader in Africa get their money out of Africa. It must work on some gullible people, however. Here is the latest one I got. They even personalized the name in the email. They are getting more and more clever.


FROM BARRISTER BELLO UMAR BELLOUMAR CHAMBERS LOME TOGO LOME TOGO WEST AFRICA. TEL 00 228 90907020 Attention:Laplante I have decided to contact you due to the urgency of this matter.Let me start by introducing myself properly to you.I am BARRISTER BELLO UMAR the Attorney to your late uncle Engr.I.E.Laplante (Snr) a contractor with the Federal Government of lome-togo,until his death last two years ago in political crisis in Abidjan capital of Cote d'Ivoire,He deposited funds with Global Financial Trust Securities,lome-togo and had a closing balance as at the end of September, 2003 worth US$10,000,000.00(Ten Million United States Dollars). The financial firm now expects the Next of Kin to come forward as Beneficiary.Efforts has been made by the Global Financial Trust Securities of lome-togo to get in touch with any of the Deceased Family Relatives,but they have met with no success. As the deceased being a foreigner,that was why I decided to contact you so that you can put claim on this fund as you bear the same last name with him.Now the management under the influence of the bank Chairman and Members of the Board of directors, that arrangement has been made for the fund to be declared Unclaimed In order to avert this negative development, it is my duty to contact you so that you can stand as the next of kin to his properties.All documents and proof to enable you get this fund will be carefully worked out by me for this claim.I have secured from the probate an order of Mandamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiaries,and more so I am assuring you that this claim is 100% risk free. Now it is left for you to deceide on what you will give me as my percentage for assisting you in this claim.I hope to hear from you soon . I want to let you know that this trasaction have to be done legitimately and confidential as i dont want any one to know that you are not the right applicant. REPLY BY EMAIL. Yours Sincerely, BARRISTER BELLO UMAR ESQ

Friday, January 06, 2006

The death of Lou Rawls

One of the great singers of the seventies just passed away today. Lou Rawls died at age 72. "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" is a classic tune. I have it burned to CD and keep it in the car. Lou Rawls sold more than 40 million albums and won three Grammy Awards. He was most recently known for his celebrity endorsement of Colonial Penn life insurance. We play those adds on cable TV a lot. He had a distinct voice and style.

One thing that was always funny to me is that I have a close friend who looks A LOT like Lou Rawls. He even sings a little like him. For years, friends of his have compared him to and joked with him about being Lou Rawls. I even set his computer up to go to Lou Rawls' web site as a home page. My old buddy, Cedric is our own Lou, live and in person. Here is a picture of Lou, I mean Cedric, with his wife, Annie.

electronic warrant commentary

My letter to the editor, which I also included about a week ago in this blog, was published in both "The Selma News" and "The Smithfield Herald". I have already gotten several comments from a few people who have read the letters. It will be interesting to see if there is a response at all from Steve Bizzell on the topic.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

You can't please everybody

One thing that I have learned is that you can not please everybody. On the new message board, I have drawn criticism from both sides of an issue. It is the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" sort of thing.

When the site was first launched and nobody even really knew about it, I debated whether or not to let the message board stay with open access and have people post as "GUEST" by not registering and logging in. That gave a degree of anonymity where people didn't have any sort of accountability or be known at least as the same person posting several comments. I figured that I would let the board go along for a while and see what develops.

When the site hit the N&O article, people who were banned from 4042.com for behavior that was a bit obnoxious flocked to my site, told me how excited that they were to post here, and were all nice. However, they were a bit bitter in talking about the other site.

I knew that once the news article got around, I would draw criticism on the 4042 forum. People there tend to be very critical and harsh. Sure enough, someone started a thread criticizing my site and the people who came to it. They condemned the posts and me for "allowing" their posts (as if I can monitor every post every moment of the day).

In discussing moderators and board control, it was discussed that I should probably set up the board to require that only those who register be able to post. I checked my traffic report and found that a lot of people from 4042 were coming to my site and posting negative comments as "GUEST". I don't want anarchy. After consulting a veteran of online forums and reading criticism, I decided that it would be appropriate to require registration in order to post. I made the change.

I immediately got whining from those who just started coming to the site questioning my decision and claiming that I am killing the site. The person who was most opposed to the idea was under a misconception as to what site traffic numbers are like and the benefit on a small site of having s special interest group dominate the board and flood it with traffic. I got a few "nastygrams" accusing me of ruining the site, killing my own web site, and that things were too good to be true for them.

In doing what is right, you don't please everyone. People who want to post as "GUEST" don't have the courage to own their own convictions and hide behind "anonymity". I have no problem owning my opinions. It is appropriate to the venue. Basically, if someone doesn't like how I set things up and run them, they can go do it themselves elsewhere.

I have busted my tail setting up my site and improving it over time. For some newcomers to disparage it annoys me. I offer the service freely, at my own expense. It is no cost or obligation for use of my site, and some individuals are wanting to take, not give. That is a bit selfish and petty, in my estimation.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Reporters never cease to amaze me

"The News and Observer" published an article about my web site, i9570.com today. Amazingly, the article bears little resemblance to the interview I had on the phone with the cute little reporterette. We had a long, pleasant conversation on the phone. I tried to steer things towards the site, not ME. We talked about the reason why I created the site, the content, the way I created it, and some of the influences that affected the site's creation.

The article spent most of the time talking about me in the beginning, then compared a start up web site like mine to a long standing and successful web site like 4042.com, and then proceeded to spend most of the time discussing the other web site. By the way, I was very complimentary of 4042.com in the interview, and have been for years.

Hopefully, my site will become the same sort of area icon as 4042.com. That would be great. They have been in existence for years, my site for less than two months. The first month or so was mostly for my learning, tweaking, playing, changing, adding, and getting things off the ground. I was a bit disappointed in the traffic comparison and the reporting of the failure of other sites. There may not be a real sustaining market for i9570.com. I don't know. Only time will tell. Either way, I found it a bit odd that a story that I supplied turned into a general discussion of regional web sites, contained few of the details of the interview, and spent pretty much no discussion of the site.

Some day, I will figure out reporters. Even though I took journalism classes, was in the media for years, and read a lot of news, I am often baffled by reporters. None the less, I am grateful for the exposure.

I have gotten a lot of positive feedback about the site so far. Word is slowly getting out. I do the site as a hobby during my spare time. I am not necessarily looking for a business, but rather a fun hobby in which I can learn and have personal enrichment.

The funny thing is that there is a thread on the 4042.com message board about how great it is that their site got mentioned in the article. You guys over there are welcome for the article genesis. Don't forget who got it started for you.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

BET'S PERSON OF THE YEAR...yet one more reason I won't watch that network except for reasons of employment

I read this on the Neal Bootz news page today.


Black Entertainment Television has announced their 'Person of the Year.' And just who has this TV network chosen to bestow this honor upon? None other than the racist, anti-Semitic liar himself....Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan. What's more ridiculous are some of the statements the channel made in support of their choice.

"An overwhelming percentage of our users agreed that Minister Farrakhan made the most positive impact on the Black community over the past year and chose him as the person most worthy to receive the honor of BET.com's 2005 Person of the Year," said the network. Question: What does this say about those who watch BET and voted? And just what did Calypso Louie do to deserve all of this praise? He worked to "mobilize hundreds of thousands of Blacks around the issues of atonement and empowerment, and to convince the masses of our people that we must be the primary catalysts and engines for positive change in our communities." Sounds important, let's look at what Farrakhan was really up to in 2006. We need look no further than New Orleans and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. There was this fraud, Louis Farrakhan...actually saying that the government blew the levees in order to wipe out the black sections of the city. This is what Black Entertainment Television considers to be "person of the year" material?

And just who else was passed up for this honor? Oprah Winfrey, Senator Barack Obama and BET founder Robert L. Johnson. You know...people who have actually achieved something in their lives.

Thus far I haven't heard Farrakhan's response to this "honor." Perhaps he has taken another shuttle up to the mother ship in orbit around the Earth for tea with Elijah!