Saturday, September 29, 2007

Scottie has never been so affectionate as he has been lately

The past seven weeks have been an adventure for all of us here at home. Muffin, Scottie, Daisy, and I have been bonding a lot more. Daisy still has her issues, but she comes close when strangers are in the house. I posted a few weeks ago about Muffin being lovey with me, giving me smoochies. I love Muffin smoochies. Scottie has been really affectionate lately, as well. He comes over to me and puts his paws on my leg, asking to be picked up. Sometimes he loves being held and petted for a while, sometimes just a minute or so. Tonight he was being so cuddly, like never before. I turned on the web cam and snapped a picture.

Scottie is a big, handsome boy. He was named Scottie because he was a butterscotch color when I got him. He also came to live with me just a few days after James "Scotty" Doohan (of "Star Trek" fame) died, so his full name is Montgomery Scott. Don't ask about the Scottie vs. Scotty spelling...wasn't the bubble head who came up with it.

He does not normally curl up in my arms like this. He usually likes to be a shoulder baby with me, but he just curled up this way and napped for a while. Since I started typing, he jumped down went somewhere else in the house then came back to be petted more. What a cool cat.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Meet me for FREE coffee and pastries this weekend in Selma!

This Saturday, September 29 from 9:30 AM until 12 noon, you can meet with me at Edelweiss Cafe and Bakery at 101 South Raiford Street in Uptown Selma. Feel free to ask questions, express concerns, share issues, or just swap stories. The coffee and pastries are my treat!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Right vote, wrong reason

Bob Etheridge cast the correct vote on a federal health care bill. He did it for the wrong reason. Besides the cost burden being based upon tobacco taxes and the subsequent effect on farmers, the bill is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and should have been voted down anyway. Unfortunately, Etheridge supports the concept of federally funded health care, just not this particular method of funding. Sorry, but I don't see it in the US Constitution that the federal government is authorized to fund or support such a program.

From WMPM's web site:
Congressman Says NC Farm Families Would Carry Burden Of Federal Health Care Bill - Congressman Bob Etheridge says North Carolina farm families shouldn’t carry the burden of funding a federal health care bill. Etheridge voted against the legislation this week, but it passed the full US House by a vote of 265 to 159. The State Children’s Health Insurance Program would be funded solely through a 61 cents tobacco tax increase. Although Etheridge said he supports funding the insurance program, he was against it being funded entirely by tobacco taxes. The legislation would cost North Carolina $540 million a year through the tax’s indirect economic impact on the state, yet North Carolina would only receive $316 million from the insurance program under the bill in 2008. “I wish I could support this bill to make sure that children receive the health care they need. However, as the bill stands, I must vote no today, and hope that we can come up with a better, more balanced plan in the future,” Etheridge said. President Bush has threatened to veto the bill.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Selma narrows search for fire chief

From today's Smithfield Herald:
By Jordan Cooke, Staff Reporter

SELMA -- Four firefighters, including one local candidate, will take part in a series of exercises next week to determine which one of them will become Selma's first full-time, paid fire chief.

Town Manager Stan Farmer said Selma would pay a private consultant about $3,000 to conduct the daylong assessment of the four candidates. The consultant will bring in "subject matter experts" who will test the hopefuls' leadership skills and level of firefighting knowledge.

"These kinds of methods are becoming more and more common nowadays among employers," Farmer said. "In the 21st century, it's just not enough anymore to look at a resume and ask standard questions. You can see more about a potential employee through role playing than through a question-and-answer session."

In all, 15 people, including three or four from outside of North Carolina, applied for the job, which has been the subject of controversy. Many Selma firefighters oppose the hiring of a chief who would answer to the town manager, not the volunteers. And in June, nine firefighters found themselves in hot water for dumping their gear in the yard of Mayor Charles Hester in protest.

Farmer said firefighters would play no role in the hiring of a chief, but he said the decision to exclude them had nothing to do with tensions between Town Hall and the fire station.

"Actually, I was originally going to have two of them come in as assessors for the interview exercises," Farmer said. "But then I realized that since one of the candidates is an internal applicant, it wouldn't be professional or ethical to have co-workers assessing one of their colleagues."

Farmer said the four finalists are from North Carolina. He hopes to name a chief by late October.

One comment regarding the quote by Stan Farmer,
"These kinds of methods are becoming more and more common nowadays among employers. In the 21st century, it's just not enough anymore to look at a resume and ask standard questions. You can see more about a potential employee through role playing than through a question-and-answer session."
Well, Stan, this is NOTHING new. This has been the case in the field of emergency services for a century now. Most everyone I know who was hired as a grunt firefighter, promoted to a leadership position, or was interviewed for other emergency services positions has been through a skills battery. I have personally interviewed for many jobs in the fire and safety business in different capacities, both in civilian circles and for governmental organizations. Every one of them asked skills related questions, had a standard testing methodology, or had interview boards of experts in the field of work. Not that I have a real problem with paying $3000 for a consultant, but that fee could easily have been avoided by asking the right people for assistance in the decision taking process. I have a list of people we could have invited and probably not had to pay a dime. Oh, well.

Making lemonade

I have been thinking about Monday's sadness of having my cat, Woodie, euthanized. In my twisted sense of humor, I was thinking that there are a few things that are positive in the situation. I can actually put toilet paper on the dispensers now. When Morris died at the end of May, I wondered if I was going to be able to put the toilet paper back on my dispensers, figuring it may have been him that was guilty of shredding my toilet paper. It didn't take long to find that it was Woodie who continued to tear up my toilet paper. It was funny and I laughed when he did it, but it was annoying. I do miss that crazy cat, but at least I can put my toilet paper on the dispensers now. It took me a few days to realize that, but I did load them.

Tom Cryer was acquitted of tax evasion. Cool.

I have been in touch with Tom Cryer recently about his court case involving the federal income tax and alleged tax evasion. I interviewed Tom a while ago on Straight Shooting. That was prior to his court date. About a month ago or so, he told me that he was acquitted. I didn't know about that the video until now. I am sharing it here for all of you.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Well, boo frickety hoo!

Apparently, I really pissed someone off today with my column in The Selma News. I was treated very rudely by a town official today. It was amusing watching a man in his seventies act like a spoiled teenager. He displayed obvious animosity but didn't have the courtesy or the courage to say anything to me about whatever issue he has with me. He has yet to do so about anything, anyway. So much for his claims of faith and Biblical instruction.

When you write a newspaper column, a blog, do a podcast, and are running for public office, you have to expect these things. Public officials should also expect to be exposed when they do wrong by the town, by state law, and by people over which they attempt to exercise power.

The town was wrong in how they handled the forced annexation issue according to common sense, state law, and just plain decency. They tried to hide it behind closed doors and I brought it into the light. Now it seems that someone is offended by that. I am openly stating that I was right to publish what I did, and would not hesitate to do it again. Furthermore, if I am indeed elected to the town council in Selma, I will not hesitate to expose this in the future and will fight against it.

I will not be run over by men who attempt to rule others around them by intimidation. Intimidation does not work with me. I may be too patient or polite at times to make a confrontation because of courtesy to others at times. I believe that there is a time and a place for everything. That patience, however, has its limits.

I also believe in the truth in Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." I am sometimes sufficiently patient to watch that come to pass. Most everyone who has acted like the man who treated me this way today has reaped where he has sown. I will see it again happen again.

BREAKING NEWS: Now that the column is published, I can blog it here

This is what was printed in my column in The Selma News for this week.


This last week, the Selma Town Council again wound up it monthly meeting in a closed session. This was advised and requested by the town's attorney to discuss a current case of litigation against the town. I fully understand the need for this sort of closed door session, but I have to wonder whether or not this is necessary each and every time something is discussed. This is especially true when the subject matter is a very public affair.

In this case, a reliable source has shared with me some of what the Town Council was discussing in closed session. In journalism (not that an opinion column is necessarily journalism), you sometimes have to know your sources, and with this one, I know that he or she would be "in the know". Sure, I am not Woodward or Burnstein, and I would never want to be either of them, and I have no mystery "Deep Throat" informant.

I have gone on record as opposing forced annexation for Selma or any other town. When the issue came up a few months ago and was a small firestorm, I wrote in opposition to forcibly annexing property into the town corporate limits. Specifically, the folks in McCormick Heights have been upset about their incorporation into the town limits. I am in full sympathy with them, since the annexation seemed to be purely financial in nature and may not have been all that wise a financial deal for the town. Furthermore, the annexation had questionable legal issues that should have been thoroughly addressed rather than having been dismissed with such a cavalier attitude.

Now it seems that a technicality not even brought up in the legal objections to annexation may have arisen. In a lawsuit filed against the town, an issue of procedural voting on annexation may be a snafu for the town's plan to incorporate McCormick Heights. I was informed that a vote on annexation takes more than a simple majority. The reason being is that state law requires a two-thirds majority for any ordinance to be passed by a town. Annexation is accomplished through the process of passing an ordinance. According to state statute, "In addition, no ordinance nor any action having the effect of any ordinance may be finally adopted on the date on which it is introduced except by an affirmative vote equal to or greater than two thirds of all the actual membership of the council, excluding vacant seats and not including the mayor unless the mayor has the right to vote on all questions before the council."

In June of 2004, North Carolina Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr. wrote in a decision for the high court, "Involuntary annexation is by its nature a harsh exercise of governmental power affecting private property and so is properly restrained and balanced by legislative policy and mandated standards and procedure". If my source of information is accurate, then this is a prime example of the reason for the quote by Chief Justice Lake. This annexation seemed rushed, arguments seemed discounted, and technicalities ignored.

By this procedural flaw, it seems that it may very well be that the annexation ordinance is null and void. The town did not have a two-thirds vote in the affirmative. There are other towns that have found out they had the same problem the hard way, when a Court of Appeals ruled against them.

This entire situation brings up one other question. If there was this procedural problem with this annexation ordinance, how many other ordinances in the town may actually have been enacted illegally for the same reason? It looks like the town may want to revisit its minutes of previous meetings in which an ordinance was passed and reaffirm its town code.

When the town residents, the Town Council, and those being annexed were assured that the annexation met all legal requirements, why was this potential snafu not known in advance? The League of Municipalities had this information readily available to the town, not to mention the statutes that someone in the town must have known about in order to conduct town affairs.

When you are talking about taking away the freedom and money of property owners and fellow citizens, a government can not afford to be slack. If this legal challenge is successful, how much town money has been spent on the reports, the consultations, the attorneys, and the procedure that could have been saved by simply respecting private property rights?

Meet me for FREE coffee and pastries

On Saturday, September 29 from 9:30 AM until 12 noon, you can meet with me at Edelweiss Cafe and Bakery at 101 South Raiford Street in Uptown Selma. Feel free to ask questions, express concerns, share issues, or just swap stories. The coffee and pastries are my treat!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Works of beauty

Things of beauty. I have several on this video and would like to have the ones here I don't have yet.

If she gets elected and gets Hillary's health care plan, we will be taxed to death as a result. That pretty much defeats the purpose of health care.

Health care is not a right. It is not a guarantee in the Constitution. It is not even mentioned in the foundation of this nation. Medicine was in existence then. I have no problem with access to quality, affordable health care. I do have a problem with mandating insurance for every person. The taxpayers will certainly pick up the tab for millions of people. Many people do not have insurance by choice rather than inability to pay for it. This is just one more area in which the government needs to stay out of our lives.

Here is the article quote for starters.
Her second stab at a health care overhaul would extend coverage to all Americans and lower the cost of care, Clinton said.

"I believe everyone - every man, woman and child - should have quality, affordable health care in America," Clinton said in Des Moines, Iowa, where she detailed her $110 billion plan. "We should do it because it is the right thing to do, because we can no longer tolerate the injustice of a system that shuts out nearly one in six Americans."

Good news for once

Older men who shack up with much younger women keep the Grim Reaper at bay for the human population and extend our species' lifespan, new research claims.
Here is the whole story. I will sleep better at night knowing this. Good information to have in about a year.

This brutal treatment is just uncalled for

Whether or not you like John F'ing Kerry (who served in Vietnam), the treatment that this student got for asking a question at a forum at which Kerry was speaking is just plain wrong. Watch for yourself. The student asks a valid question..."What did I do?" What did he do wrong that would justify arrest, severe physical treatment, and being tasered? No staff member did anything to help stop the violence against this young man. Only one student could be heard yelling for the officers to stop their harsh treatment. Why? Because the venue is liberal academia and Kerry is a liberal. That makes it OK to treat a dissenter with disdain and force, in their view.

As much as I found this brutality wrong and serious, there are some videos on the net capitalizing on this incident.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I am a Fanilow, but I think he's a moron about this one

A source tells TMZ that it's not Barry who's writing this song -- in fact, "View" producers pulled the plug on Manilow's performance when his people demanded that he appear on the show without Elisabeth. Manilow has in fact performed on the show twice before -- both last year -- when Hasselbeck's been co-hosting.

TMZ has learned that legendary singer Barry Manilow has pulled out of his scheduled appearance on "The View" tomorrow -- because he strongly disagrees with host Elisabeth Hasselbeck's conservative view!

In an exclusive statement to TMZ, Barry says, "I strongly disagree with her views. I think she's dangerous and offensive. I will not be on the same stage as her."
Barry, Barry, Barry...I love your songs. I think that you are one of the most prolific songwriters of the 20th Century. However, I think you are really off your rocker on this one. Elisabeth is the one bastion of sanity on "The View", not to mention eye candy. For the entire story, click here. For more that I wrote on Barry Manilow, click here.

The death of a friend

The past four or so months in my life have been very rough. Today was one of those examples of how some things can really suck in life. One of my cats seemed to be not feeling well. For a couple days, he would not eat or would eat very little. He has not curled up at my feet on the bed in a couple of days. He has not been walking into a room and rubbing against everyone and everything as he normally does. At one time, I thought I should have named him Ramses, since he was quite a rubber.

Woodie was named after Teresa's grandfather. A year ago in February or so, her grandmother wanted a kitten. We know someone who has a lot of cats and we got her one. We knew who Woodie's parents were, and they were always indoor cats. We brought Woodie to Greensboro, where the grandparents were living. After a few days, this old woman got tired of the kitten, so we agreed to drive all the way back to Greensboro and get him. We had him ever since. I decided to name him after Joseph Woodie, Teresa's grandfather. We just called him Woodie.

Woodie was a joy to have around. He loved to head bonk me and Daisy. Sometimes, he would bonk Daisy so hard, she would almost fall over. He came by regularly and wanted to be scratched on his head. Each morning when I would wake up, when the cats would get the idea that I may be awake, they would come running into the bedroom along with Daisy. Woodie was always the first to jump on the bed and want to be petted. When feeding, he often jumped up on the stove and tried to sneak a preview of the coming meal.

The past couple of days, his appetite was small and he was more lethargic than usual. He would sleep a lot, but not in his usual spot on the foot of the bed. He would not come greet me in the morning. He often just laid down on the floor in one of the rooms. His breathing became a bit labored and rapid.

I took him to the vet this afternoon. The doctor remembered me from when I came in with Morris on May 30th. Morris had feline leukemia and was going downhill fast. We had to put Morris to sleep that day. We gave Woodie a FeLV test and he came back positive, which was quite frankly, expected.

He started to bleed profusely after having his blood drawn, which was a sign that his platelets were not right. I knew what I had to do, but hated to do it. I had Woodie euthanized this afternoon. He was suffering and would not be around much longer, since he had a terminal disease and was degrading fast. In just a few days, he went from being a bit chunky to losing a bunch of weight. I used to say that he was getting to be a roundo from eating all the dog food.

Decisions like this are never easy. It is even harder to see your baby boy suffering, knowing what is ahead for him, even if he is just a cat. He was my companion. I will really miss Woodie.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The N&O has published its online voters' guide

I am here.

The rest of the municipal level candidates are here. Compare the bios and answers to questions and you tell me who is the best choice. Being as objective as possible, I know for whom I would vote.

Vote for Troy

Sharing my brother Dave Howe with you

This video is of a man whom I have had fellowship via telephone, email, and in person. Dave Howe is a really cool brother from England and I have been blessed to be able to consider him a friend and a brother in the faith. Obviously, the video is germaine to his area and people present at the time the video was made. I have not been able to share Dave with anyone before now, so I wanted to introduce you to a real cool brother.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Feedback on today's "LaPlante's Rants" column

I got this voice mail message today from a column reader. Enjoy.

Nothing like an avoidable blockage

For a long time, I have not really been able to use the spare bathroom toilet in my house. For many months I have been meaning to get someone to work on the problem. The toilet would back up easily. Besides that, the kitchen sink would not drain real well. I figured that we had a problem with the main sewer line. If nothing else, maybe a blocked commode.

I payed a contractor to snake out my sewer line, which is not a bad thing. We found some roots in the system that were dug out while snaking the line. By the time we finished that, we had better flow from both toilets and the shower. The line trickled by the sewer clean out before. Now it flows freely.

I decided that if we were going to have to remove the toilet in the guest bathroom, I was going to get rid of that horrible, short toilet in that bathroom. I hated the bowl shape and it was so short, it was uncomfortable. I bought a taller, elongated toilet which was installed today. As I am typing, I am waiting for the town to turn on the water to the house. The cutoff valve would not shut off for the toilet feed, so we needed the house water supply cut off in order to change out that valve and remove the old toilet. The new one is installed, but the town utilities department has not been back yet to turn the water back on.

When we removed the old toilet, a non-flushable plastic feminine hygiene applicator was found cross ways in the toilet exit. All the previous snaking I did in that toilet would not have gotten it out of the way. The toilet snake just went right on by the applicator. At a minimum, I would have needed the toilet taken up and that obstruction removed. At least now I have a new toilet and a clear sewer line.

Between that and some other work I am having done, I am having to fork out some cash. I have more work to be done this week. It has been needed, and I am glad it is getting done. I don't like spending so much money, but it is needed.

Coming soon to Selma, NC

Presidential candidate on Straight Shooting Saturday night

No, I am not interviewing Rudy, Mitt, or Ron Paul. Not Hillary or Obama. John Bootie is an independent candidate for President. He has been running a total grass roots campaign and will be a guest on my show, Straight Shooting this Saturday night at 6PM eastern.

John Bootie is an ordinary guy with extraordinary ambition and a conservative view on life and politics. Do you have a question for a candidate for President? Tune in Saturday night or listen later via web streaming and podcast.

Gotta Get Something Off Your Chest?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Easley just couldn't stand his ground. Bend over, taxpayers.

Gov. Mike Easley has signed into law a compromise bill meant to give financial incentives of up to $60 million to two tire companies that will upgrade their North Carolina facilities.

The bill signed Tuesday is a compromise between Easley and legislators, who approved the incentives earlier in the day.
Click here to find out more!

The law would give cash incentives to companies with at least 2,000 full-time or contract employees willing to make a $200 million investment in a manufacturing facility over six years in a financially distressed county. The facilities of two tire companies - Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Fayetteville and Bridgestone Firestone in Wilson - fit the bill.

Click here for the entire article.

I really despise corporate welfare.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Who in the world is searching for me, I wonder?

On this blog, I have a common tool used my many web sites, which is a hit meter. I routinely check to see what sort of traffic I am getting and from where. I am sometimes just amazed at what brings people to my blog.

Sometimes a picture I use will be a popular topic and people find it through Google search. Since Google owns Blogger, they send people to their own products first. I comprehend that. Sometimes I find web searches for topics upon which I have written. I understand that, too. Just since I started typing, I found one new hit from looking for a picture I used on my blog months ago of "Secret Squirrel".

Then there are the web searches that amaze me. I find quite a bit of web searches for my name. There are three people in North America named Troy LaPlante of which I am aware. Me, of course, and one man in Maine, another in Canada. Both make sense to me, since LaPlante is a French name often found in French-Canadian populated areas such as northern New England and Quebec province.

Sometimes the searches for my name are even more specific, such as "Troy LaPlante Selma NC". Sometimes, "Troy LaPlante blog". Many of these searches are in the Charlotte area, which I would think is bizarre, since if the search is by anyone I know there or by coworkers in that area (my company HQ is in Charlotte), then you would think that they would either bookmark the URL or just type in my URL, rather than search via Yahoo or Google.

Today I found a search for me out of Dallas with the search parameters being "troy laplante of selma, north carolina". I found one from Fayetteville, NC for "troy laplante". Sometimes I even find that my blog has been forwarded in email and some people check their yahoo or AOL web mail and link from there. Go figure. I never knew that someone as unknown as me was so popular.

To the thousands of people who have visited my blog and the many local readers, I give you my sincere thanks. I am humbled by your paying attention to this boring, lonely, ordinary guy.

This song has been going through my head for over a week


Sunday, September 09, 2007

The enemy is active

For some time, I have known that a strategy of Satan would be to attack families. I have seen it escalate more than I have ever seen it before. I have seen Godly men attacked in their family lives. Men who have stood by their brides for years have been finding themselves either abandoned by their wives or betrayed by them. Men who should be stable have exhibited great stoicism have turned violent.

This has been especially prevalent lately in those in ministry. Men of God have fallen because of infidelity. Preachers have been in the news lately about unfaithfulness and violence.

Just today, I met with a pastor I know who's marriage ended recently after over 20 years with his wife. I don't know all the details, but I guess his wife decided she didn't want to be a preacher's wife any more. Some women do not want change or have the strength to continue down the right path. Some prefer what seems an easier road, the wide path. The enemy uses that weakness against marriages.

I have heard several tales lately about women being seduced on the internet, some even leaving their husbands because of it. One such situation, I know intimately. It is just that, a seduction, and it is evil. The enemy intends to rob men of their manhood, their aspirations, their course in life, and squash their effectiveness for the Kingdom of God. This is sad to see. People are so very undisciplined in their lives and are being tools of the devil.

Lord deliver us. Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly.

Friday, September 07, 2007

One of the few things upon which I agree with Sleasely and the veto may get overridden

A showdown that could make history is set for Monday, when the governor and legislature will face off over paying taxpayer money to keep factory jobs.

Gov. Mike Easley on Thursday sent notice for the General Assembly to convene next week. At that session members will consider overriding his veto of a bill that would give Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. as much as $40 million to stay in Fayetteville.

If lawmakers negate his action -- and that appears likely -- it would be the first time an North Carolina legislature has overridden a governor's veto.

Here is the whole story.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mexican tourism

Want to go?

Here come the boneheads

Sure they have the right to do so. I support that. Their message, however, is seriously flawed. From WMPM's web site.
NC Stop Torture Now Wins Approval For October March, Peace Rally - The group NC Stop Torture Now has won approval for a peace rally and march in downtown Smithfield . Dr. Walt Caison appeared before the Smithfield Town Council in August requesting permission for a parade and rally. The council expressed concerns, prompting Caison to return this week to address those issues. Caison said his group will hold a Walk of Remembrance and peace rally for the victims of war and torture on Saturday, October 27. The sidewalk march will begin at the Smithfield Herald on South Fourth Street , proceed down Market Street , and end at the Smithfield Commons. Organizers say they expect as many as 300 people to attend, and needed council approval to close South Front Street that day for vendors and portable restrooms, along with permission for a public address system for speakers and music. Stop Torture Now officials dropped the idea of a parade down Market Street because of logistical concerns, but will still hold the sidewalk march. Police Chief Steve Gillikin said additional officers will be brought in to provide security in case any protestors show up for the march or rally. Stop Torture Now has been vocal about their beliefs Aero Contractors, based at the Johnston County Airport , is involved in the war on terror, including the alleged transport of prisoners to countries that allow torture to be used during interrogations. The council gave Dr. Caison and his group unanimous approval for the march and rally. “You all are certainly invited to attend,” Dr. Caison told the board as he walked away from the podium.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mark your calendars. FREE coffee and pastries

I will be at Edelweiss Bakery on Raiford Street in Uptown Selma for an opportunity for YOU to meet and ask me questions, discuss town issues, get your feedback, and give you an opportunity to get to know the candidate. The coffee and pastries are on me! So why not come out for a time of discussion, fellowship, and free food? I will be there from 9:30 in the morning until noon. For those of you who want sandwiches or a meal, Edelweiss offers a full menu of breakfast and lunch items. Come, enjoy, partake, and fellowship with me on Sept. 29. Visit my campaign web site.

NC Listen on Saturday night's Straight Shooting

NC LISTEN is a North Carolina-based 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization involved in immigration reform and educating the public about immigration and its effects on America. Our associates in NC LISTEN share a common belief that today's out-of-control immigration is not serving the needs and interests of our country. We believe our nation's immigration policies must be reformed to bring immigration back into balance, by stopping illegal immigration and reducing legal immigration to a sensible number.

NC Listen's Ron Woodard will be joining me on Straight Shooting this Saturday evening at 6 PM eastern time. Ron has been a guest on WUNC radio, WRAL-TV's Headline Saturday, NBC-17 TV's At Issue, appeared on CNN Lou Dobb's Tonight, a guest on Bill Lumaye's WPTF talk radio show, Allen Handelman's WZTK show, Curtis Wright's Big Talker FM show, Lockwood Phillips' WTKF show, and Matt Mittan's WWNC radio show, among others. Ron has had numerous op-ed pieces published in the News and Observer and other newspapers and statewide magazines.

Join us.

Listen Live

Monday, September 03, 2007

Arrested for not showing a receipt at Circuit City

Here is the story. Papers, please.

I know that I am not supposed to have a girlfriend, but I do anyway.

Yup, it's true. I was seeing someone just today. She is a bit younger than I am. OK, a LOT younger than I am. OK, so I am old enough to be her father. In fact, her father is a few years younger than I am. She is very attracted to me and I to her. She didn't want to leave me when we parted company earlier this evening, and I wish that I could have taken her home. She is just adorable to me.

All right, so she is just four years old, but I am in love with her anyway. My cousin by marriage, Misty, invited me to spend the day with her and her family. Her husband, David is just a couple of years younger than I am. They have two children, McKensie, 4, and Daniel, 2. Daniel is growing up so fast. He is getting huge and at half the age of his sister, he is almost bigger than she is.

McKensie was attached to me like Velcro all day. We walked around the mall together and she held my hand most of the time. When we walked in or out of a building, their apartment, or to a restaurant, McKensie kept asking me to hold her hand while we walked. It was so adorable. She is a little cutie, and I absolutely loved it.

McKensie and Daniel were showing me today what I have been yearning for, for many years now. I have wanted to be a daddy for so long, and especially of a little girl. When I see little girls, I want to start singing the song, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls". Sure, I want a son, too, but I have always had a soft spot for wanting a little girl. In my family, boys were always prevalent for some reason. My grandparents had four boys and my father had five. Two of my older brothers both have just boys. One older brother has two boys and a girl. My younger brother has one of each.

I am teary eyed as I type this, both in lamentation and in joy. I lament that I have not been given children at age 39. I rejoice in that my desire has not died and there is a glimmer of hope that someday I may still yet become a daddy. In the meantime, perhaps I can enjoy the relations I still have and have fun with Misty and David's crumb crunchers.

Psalm 127:3 Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward.

Patriot's Pub

If you are into American history, then you may want to check out The Patriot's Pub. The Pub is a podcast featuring three guys who are taking you on a journey through colonial America circa 1763 through the writing of the present Constitution of the United States.

There are many history books and lessons that neglect the history leading up to the drafting of The Constitution. Many of the provisions in the document were a direct result of the happenings in the colonies under British rule.

I guarantee that you are going to hear things you were never taught in school, just as all three of us on the panel have discovered in our own reading and study.

Tune in live each Thursday night at 8:00 eastern time or listen 24/7 online. You can also download each show in mp3 for your own library.

To date, in our five shows so far, we have taken you from the Royal Proclamation of 1763 through the signing of The Declaration of Independence. We do the shows with no political agenda or commentary, just facts. This allows you to draw your own conclusions and learn from history, not through some filter of a political agenda.

Check us out.