Thursday, January 31, 2008

Have some fun. Call this person.

Since I have just been accused of giving out a phone number by a simple minded jackass, I figure I might as well actually become guilty of doing so. Call him. Have fun. Tell him how much you love his myspace profile.

336-847-9021 cell
336-861-9123 home

Try the cell first just to be sure to get him and run up his cell bill. Better yet, text message him incessantly.

For the record, here is the accusation I found in my inbox just today.
From: the scumbag in question and you can try to talk to by calling those two numbers I just gave you
Date: Jan 31, 2008 11:26 AM

quit giving my phoe no. out ...for some one claming to so smart ... you are so stupid .. this is not a thret and there is no need to respond to me outher than to comply with my request..

I love how someone calling me stupid can not spell nor can figure out spell check.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eye opening video capturing the fraud of ballot security in NH

The attitude of the public officials, the pathetic security measures, the pathetic security tape, and the whole process makes me wonder about voting security around the country. Sad.

Monday, January 28, 2008

It is sad to see that people in Vermont have gotten so liberal

I have no problem with impeaching a President if he actually committed crimes worthy of impeachment. However, the calls for impeachment that I have heard over the past seven years have been purely politically motivated and coming from bitter liberals. Many want revenge for the impeachment of Bill Clinton, who actually deserved impeachment. I find it amusing the people in Brattleboro, Vermont want to arrest George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for federal crimes, which are not even their jurisdiction. What a bunch of whiny, bitter liberals. From the online article:
Brattleboro residents will vote at town meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont.

The Brattleboro Select Board voted 3-2 Friday to put the controversial item on the Town Meeting Day warning...

The article asked the town attorney to "draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution and publish said indictments for consideration by other authorities."

The article goes on to say the indictments would be the "law of the town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro police ... arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro, if they are not duly impeached ..."

Hard to believe I agree with Kid Rock

Recently, I heard Kid Rock's song "Amen" from the "Rock N Roll Jesus" album on the radio. I was actually pretty surprised at the softer side of Kid Rock, and really liked the song and the sentiments contained therein. I can stomach some of his music from years past, but have not been a fan at all. I did not appreciate his lifestyle or values, the message he portrayed, or the role model he became.

However, just as he expressed in the song, I am no fan of organized religion or the "institutional church" or IC, as it is often referred to by home church groups. I often will attend an IC congregation, since I have friends there and enjoy the fellowship of the Saints. The song actually summed up a lot of how I feel about religion. It also summed up a lot of my feelings on race relations, charity, many in the ministry, and about personal responsibility.

Many people have left organized religion, not to run from the faith but to preserve their own. I am in that category. I have not read the book yet, but I did order a copy of Frank Viola's "Pagan Christianity". I have read several of Viola's writings online and in print form. If the interview I heard on The Drew Marshall Show is any indication, it should be a good read.

Here is the interview. It is worth the 38 minute listen. Or, download the audio for yourself. Right click that last link, and "save as" for the mp3 file.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Why does it make news every time someone uses the "N" word?

Some simple minded jackass makes racist comments and it makes news. Why? Why bother edifying, glorifying, or dignifying the act by giving it attention? Let it go away and there will be no incentive to gain media attention by doing it.

From the WTSB web site:
Racist Notes Found In Campbell Dorm
While Campbell University celebrated the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, several students found racial slurs on small yellow notes attached to their doors. Five notes were found in the Small Residential Hall saying "Happy Nigger Day." The incident allegedly occurred as the school was holding its second annual Martin Luther King Day of Service project. Campbell officials said several students reported finding the notes, but it was confined to one hall in the dormitory. None of the rooms where the notes were found were occupied by black students. "If the perpetrator is found to be a student, according to university policy, the punishment for such behavior may be up to and including expulsion," according to Jon Roberson, Campbell Vice President for Marketing. A video of the sticky notes was also posted on Facebook online. Students responded on the Internet posting with comments ranging from disbelief to anger about what had happened.

Big frickin' deal. So what? The obvious double standard is that there can be Black History Month but no White History Month, a Black Miss America but no White Miss America, and no NAAWP. There are just as many racist acts and comments (yeah, you cracker) the other way, but they don't get media attention nor the dismay.

They may be "grants", but still our tax dollars.

From the WTSB web site:
$850,000 Grant Will Help Rehabilitate Selma Homes, Streets
Selma town officials learned Thursday they were the recipients of a $850,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Selma was one of 18 communities across the state Governor Mike Easley said would share more than $13.7 million for community revitalization, infrastructure improvements and the construction of affordable housing. In Selma, Town Manager Stan Farmer said their funds would be used for rehabilitation of housing and paving on South Sharpe and South Webb Streets. Work in the area should be completed in no more than 30 months, Farmer said. Other grants went to the cities of Oxford, Lumberton, Tabor City, Lexington, Rockingham, Raeford, Washington, and Conover. CDBG funding is allocated to the state from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Assistance administers the program for the state.

Here is my commentary. First, perhaps we would have more ability to do things locally if the federal and state governments did not siphon off so much money into Washington, DC. Second, even though these are "grants", they are still coming from tax dollars. Furthermore, the purpose of the grants are to be for "rehabilitation of housing" and the construction of "affordable housing". The term affordable is subjective. The idea of my tax dollars being taken from me, a man who works a full time, skilled labor job, on the threat of force if I do not comply voluntarily to dole out my hard earned money, and having those dollars inefficiently laundered through the world's largest bureaucracy only to be filtered down to another bureaucracy, then to another, then to private citizens for them to pay minimal money for housing or to renovate their existing homes is just plain repugnant. It is insulting. It is unfair. It is a disincentive to succeed. It is anti-Biblical. It is communistic and evil.

The article from WTSB listed a few other towns that also got grants. Multiply this times hundreds or thousands of towns across the country and you can see how our tax dollars are being wasted on programs that are not even supposed to exist. Take this program and multiply it by the countless such programs that some communistic or ignorant fools have pushed through Congress, and some well meaning but selfish President who wants to get re-elected and play politics with our tax money have passed, and the amount of money is mind boggling.

I just got this in an email today. It puts things into perspective. Government waste like this costs us billions of dollars every year.
This is too true to be very funny.

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the politicians spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans. It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division...

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the
Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans.

Interesting number. What does it mean?

A. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.

B. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787 for repairs.

C. Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington , D.C .. HELLO!!! ... Are all your calculators broken??

Tax his land,
Tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirts,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his booze,
Tax his beers,
If he cries,
Tax his tears.
Tax his bills,
Tax his gas,
Tax his notes,
Tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.
If he hollers,
Tax him more,
Tax him until he's good and sore.
Tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.
Put these words upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me to my doom!'
And when he's gone,
We won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance TAX!!

We have:
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Perm it Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened? Can you spell "politicians!" And I still have to 'press 1' for English.

How about this one, from the same day's news, the same source:
Pine Level Fire Department Receives $38,000 From FEMA
The US Department of Homeland Security announced Friday that the Pine Level Fire Department will receive $38,000 for operations and safety. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), administered through FEMA, funds local fire departments and emergency medical service organizations. The Dunn and Henderson Fire Departments were awarded $261,250 each for vehicle acquisition.

Like I said, multiply the dollar figures found here times thousands of towns across the nation. Can you see where we as a nation are over taxing, wasting, then over spending?

I just had this conversation with someone today via email. We were discussing this picture. My female friend said:
My point is that was 1955 & this is 2008. A lot of things have changed since then, like women don’t do things like that now.

I said:
In 1955, most women did stay at home and take care of the kids and do the house work. Unfortunately, our tax burden increased substantially necessitating a dual income family. Also, the women's liberation movement only hurt the family structure. The 1960's forward really hurt with the hedonism, atheistic, and hyper libertine agendas. That led to a decline in the family unit, an emphasis on self reliance instead of family reliance, a rise in births out of wedlock, single parent families, divorce, and the need for women to work outside the home.

I value women highly, contrary to the accusations of my critics. I value them so highly, in fact, that I desire for them to do exactly what they were created and given the instinct to do. That is their high calling in the Kingdom. And nothing is more sexy or lovely to see than a woman doing exactly what she was created to do.

What? No Planning Board meeting? Aw, shucks!

I got a letter from the town of Selma today telling me that because of a lack of agenda for this month's Planning Board, there will be no monthly meeting. I was sort of hoping that we would have some more farm land to have rezoned into heavy industrial use so that we can have some more fun in our little town. The last month's meeting was worth sitting through just for the subsequent entertainment value alone.

If The Herald wants me to read their print edition, this is the only way it will happen

From The Herald's web site:
The Herald, Johnston County’s oldest and largest community newspaper, is expanding its distribution to reach more homes in the county.

Starting March 5, The Herald will switch from paid to free home delivery and will increase its distribution from nearly 14,000 to about 47,000 copies. At the same time, the newspaper will end its twice-weekly printing cycle and will begin publishing once a week on Wednesday.

With these changes, The Herald — and its advertisers — will reach about 75 percent of all single-family homes in the county.

The Herald still owes the ex-wife and I about $125 for delivering their rag back in 2001 (we stopped delivering after just one month since we were getting hosed financially and the psycho ex would not pay attention sufficiently to her route. When she quit, the Herald refused to pay the rest of the money owed to us) so I refuse to pay for a subscription. That is just plain bad business. They refused to pay $125 that they legitimately owed and in turn lost many times more than that in subscription fees. Stupid.

An About Face After Being Saved by a Gun Owner

Forgive me, for I have sinned.
An About Face After Being Saved by a Gun Owner

a letter to the editor mailed to

I am one of those people who you loathe. One of those invisible people who come into your living room without asking your permission. One of those people who follow you while you shop, and make it harder for you to make legal purchases. One of those people who try and tell you how to raise your children, as if you don't know how. One of those who gives ratings to stations that promote our demise as a free nation. I am your enemy. Or at least I was.

I followed it all, all of the propaganda, all of the hoopla. Believed it too. Believed that leaving my house was more dangerous than being in a war. At any given moment one of you evil gun owners would open fire on me. I saw the NRA stickers, the Gun owners of America stickers on the cars that passed, and I thought you were all fools. I did everything in my power financially to try and help more laws pass that would prevent you from owning guns. I wholeheartedly believed that only the Police, and Military should have guns. Every time I heard of a gang shooting, or other criminal act committed with a gun, I honestly believed that if we could curtail the legal sale of guns, we could make a difference.

Boy was I wrong.

I have children, three actually, and to me the only thing more important than raising them properly, was seeing that they aren't hurt in anyway. I wanted to ban guns, save my children, save all children. No child should have to be part of any kind of death, especially the kind that involves being shot. I gave money to all of the anti gun organizations I could think of, went to the "Million" Mom March, even looked at Rosie when she spoke, and actually admire her. Brought the kids as well, and even yelled some not so nice things to those other marchers. I'm sure some of you know who I refer to.

I was on my way back from the march, on my way back to Connecticut, when I stopped off of the highway at a rest stop by one of those McDonalds they have off I-95. By this time I had dropped off two of my kids with their father, and only had my little one with me. I went into the restroom with her, and on my way out noticed two men hanging out by my car. There were only two other cars in the lot at the time that were anywhere near my vehicle. I immediately felt threatened by their demeanor, but continued on to my car. The smaller of the two approached me with a knife as I was about to open the door to put my child in her car seat. He yelled at me to get in the back of the car, they were taking me for a little ride. I obviously told them to just take my keys, they could have the car, but they insisted I get in the back. I then heard a man yelling something I don't quite recall, and saw him running towards me with a gun in his hand. The two men vanished into their car, and sped away. I stood there frozen in time, and by the time the gentleman with the gun got to me I just broke down and cried.

To make a long story short, you were all right, and I'm sorry. This man with a gun saved me, and I just keep thinking if I had gotten my wish and guns were banned, there is no telling where I'd be, and what would've happened to my daughter. The only regret I have is not getting the man's phone number who saved my life. I thanked him over and over again, and told him that he saved me, but he calmly said to me something I'd never forget. He said "That's what people like me are here for Ms., and I'm happy to have been able to help."

"That's what people like me are here for," those words keep on running through my head everyday. Maybe this gentleman by some chance is part of your group, and will read my message. If he does I would just like to say something to him, and to everyone else reading this note.

Thank you for saving my life, and to the rest of you thank you for fighting for this man's right to protect me and my child. Tell him for me that I will no longer be part of the group who invades his home, and tries to tell him how to store his guns. Tell him I will never be part of any group who tries to make it impossible for him to buy his tool he used to save me. And tell him I will never again tell him how to raise his children properly, because obviously I was oblivious to the fact that responsible people such as him know how to raise their children better than I do. I did rectify that situation the other day; I bought a shotgun for home protection, and am in the process of getting my concealed permit. Next time I will be ready to defend myself, or others for that matter. Some of my friends think I'm crazy, but they try their best to understand. I just tell them that as soon as their child's life is put in jeopardy by some criminal with a weapon that they will understand, but until then don't tell me how to live my life. I've lost some friends, but surprisingly most of them understand. If not for this man I could very easily have been killed or raped, and my child could've been taken from me, so once more I need to say thanks for saving me, and with all sincerity to the rest of you, forgive me, for I have sinned.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Are you smurfin' me again? Liberal pablum in the local paper? Just shoot me.

I just read the opinion page of today's The Selma News, for which I write a weekly column. I was amazed at the letters to the editor this week. Though I like and respect Ray Jacklitsch, I am bewildered at his suggestion that the public and media are "lynching" Mayor Hester for his comment about a lynching. He is correct that there is little uproar about other issues in town, however, wrong is wrong and jumping on a situation such as this one is not the wrong thing to do. When you have a bombastic man attempting to steamroll over others and neo-fascist like run a town, then it is merely the law of sowing and reaping.

Ray's comment that baffles me, however, is that if the Jernigan building was spruced up and made prettier that the abhorrent behavior that was witnessed earlier this month at a town council meeting would improve. That is just plain absurd. Bad behavior is not brought on by an ugly room. It is brought on by an ugly heart.

I also read with interest the letter from Dr. Walt Caison. He and I do not see "eye to eye" on a good many things. For instance, his use of the term "democracy" in his letter. We do not live in, have never lived in, nor will we ever have a democracy in this country. We are a REPUBLIC. There is a HUGE difference. Another big difference in opinion is the reference to the use of the word lynching as part of "America's racist heritage." Sorry, but the word does NOT have racist connotations, the term was NOT used in reference to someone of another race, and lynchings were not always racially motivated in this country. So PLEASE STOP perpetuating the lie and racial guilt. That makes no sense. An educated man should have sufficient reasoning capability to see this simple point and concede it.

What I do agree with Dr. Caison about is the asinine complaining by Chucky Hester regarding the fact that there was a large crowd at the meeting for the public hearing. I agree that the approach by Hester is arrogant, laced with intimidation (just not from the lynching commentary), and suppression. Hester was obviously either afraid of or angered by the crowd of people who attended the meeting. Participation in the governmental process and just plain exhibiting citizenship should never be something for an honest man and good elected representative to fear or over which to take umbrage.

A rebate is for those who paid in the first place

Pronunciation: \ˈrē-ˌbāt\
Function: noun
Date: 1656
Definition: a return of a part of a payment

To rebate something to someone who did not pay in the first place is not, by definition, a rebate. I am all for cutting taxes. However, a tax rebate is for those who pay taxes. Those who do not pay taxes should NOT get a "rebate". It becomes a hand out and a form of welfare or entitlement at the expense of all others who do pay taxes.

Here is the full article. And the relevant quote:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader John Boehner scheduled a news conference for 1:30 p.m. EST to announce the $150 billion package, hammered out in a week of intense negotiations with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

"We are pleased that the negotiators have been able to reach an agreement on an economic growth package," White House press secretary Dana Perino said Thursday afternoon. She said Bush would make a statement about the deal later in the day.

Congressional aides, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced, said they hope the checks could go out as early as June.

Individuals who pay income taxes would get up to $600, working couples $1,200 and those couples with children an additional $300 per child under the agreement. Workers who make at least $3,000 but don't pay taxes would get $300 rebates.

The rebate part of the plan would cost about $100 billion, aides said. The package also includes close to $50 billion in business tax cuts.

It is my understanding that the "rebate" for those who do not pay taxes was a concession made by Republicans in order to get the tax rebate/tax cut. Though I am all for the tax cut and find it appropriate, the idea of yet another entitlement is repugnant.

Holy Crap! Troy agrees with the ACLU on something!

It is hard to argue with the sentiment expressed by the ACLU. With all the corruption we have seen in NC government and the fact that government is supposed to be open to the public, I am in full agreement with the ACLU on this one. No, Hell has not frozen over. Every once in a great while, the ACLU gets something right. It is a rarity, but common sense is common sense.

From The N&O:
The Rev. William Barber II is calling for legislative committees to be televised.

The head of the state's NAACP said Wednesday that too much of his group's agenda died last year in committee meetings that were not readily available to the public.

"We need to know what's happening in the committee meetings," he said. "If they can do it for the federal government on C-SPAN, we ought to be doing it in North Carolina.

"Bottom line: Open up this government."

The call comes two weeks after Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Graham called for webcams to broadcast the legislature online.

North Carolina provides live audio for sessions in both chambers, press conferences and all meetings in the Appropriations and Finance Committee rooms, but no video footage is available.

Barber said he would also like to see streaming audio of all of the committees.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Christians" against Christianity

Hey, let's toss out everything we are supposed to believe according to scripture and make up our own moral code based upon what feels good and what we "think" Jesus would do. Never mind that the Bible is adamant about the topic of homosexuality. Why not let secular sources dictate our faith? Yeah, that's the ticket.

From The N&O:
Delegates to the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina adopted a resolution asking the national body to support the full inclusion of gays and lesbians and to encourage development of liturgies to bless same-sex unions.

The resolution passed by a majority vote of the more than 700 delegates to the convention, which met in Greensboro on Friday and Saturday.

I really detest the "nicer than Jesus" mentality prevalent in most liberal theological circles. It is hypocritical, theologically ignorant, and mostly just plain secular humanism. I have no problems with hypocrisy as long as the perpetrator is up front about the hypocrisy and admits it. However, to be so and act as the holy standard bearer is abhorrent. I have my faults, even a few areas in which I am not really much of a standard bearer, but at least I recognize it and admit it. In other areas, I know I have it right.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Play paintball with the Presidential candidates, 2008

OK, not ALL candidates are in this game. You can only move left and right and need to continue laterally to enter a new stage. I found that out the hard way. Remember to duck and pick up more ammo as you go.

Ch-ch-ch-changes. Worth watching.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy James Earl Ray Day.

I am not a fan of MLK Day at all. I believe that King did nothing worth having a national holiday in his honor. His memory and legacy has been hijacked by the likes of Jesse Jackson and the message perverted. I have read his famous speeches and heard the audio that is available online.

I have a problem with the Rev. Johnson's assertion in the article that we should be celebrating King's death anniversary instead of that of his birth. It was not his death that accomplished his activities, it was his life. Why continue to make him a martyr? Why not celebrate a man's life instead of death?

I am tired of people worshiping King as it is. To celebrate King's death turns MLK Day into James Earl Ray Day. I agree wholeheartedly with the quote in the article, "We remember him with parades and galas and banquets, things that are really irrelevant and silly regarding Dr. King's legacy," he said. "If we really want to honor Dr. King, we should do something about people who live under bridges. That would be a great tribute." Very true.

I both agree and disagree with this quote. "We've allowed white America to escape the guilt of his assassination and we've allowed black America to drift back into a coma." White America deserves no guilt for the assassination of King. ONE man pulled the trigger, not all Americans. As King said, he has a dream that one day his children will be judged by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin. Why not afford the same respect in the other direction? If you want respect, give that same respect. Did Black America drift back into a coma? Perhaps. Instead of working to gain the respect of their fellow man, many leaders (who are self appointed, it seems) in the Black community do not work to foster respect but rather hatred and further stereotypes and hatred. That is sad.

Would King have supported BET, the Black Miss America pageant, and other segregational events and organizations; or would he support Blacks, Whites, Asians, and Hispanics competing and interacting on equal footing? Anyway, here is the article:
M.L. King ally says U.S. holiday an insult
DALLAS, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A Dallas minister who marched with civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., said Monday's birthday observance holiday is an insult to his legacy.

The Rev. Peter Johnson, 62, director of the Texas operations for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, told The Dallas Morning News the holiday should be on April 4, the anniversary of the date King was assassinated.

"We have ignored the essence of his life and the horror of his death," said Johnson. "We've allowed white America to escape the guilt of his assassination and we've allowed black America to drift back into a coma."

Johnson said King is considered a martyr by many but said, if he were alive, he would be considered an agitator by many people, the newspaper said.

"We remember him with parades and galas and banquets, things that are really irrelevant and silly regarding Dr. King's legacy," he said. "If we really want to honor Dr. King, we should do something about people who live under bridges. That would be a great tribute."

The invasion of Slime Dog

One of my pet peeves in life is when people leave an animal out to suffer the elements alone. It is one thing for squirrels, deer, wildlife, and the such to be free to roam. However, to chain a dog outside to a post with only about 12 feet to roam and afforded no shelter from the cold, rain, snow, etc. is just cruel.

I am friends with someone whose father and step-mother were taking care of the dog of the step-mother's son. Apparently he could no longer keep the dog, so he dumped off the dog at his mother's place. I have no idea how long that poor dog was chained outside with no attention, no love, no shelter, no dog house, and no way of keeping his food dry.

The couple was away for a vacation this past week. I went to hang out with my friend who was house sitting so we could watch the large screen HDTV. I stopped to pay attention to the dog, who was all lovey dovey with me. He was literally starving for attention. It was a cold, rainy day. His coat was wet, he had no shelter, and his food was wet. I went out and bought some dog food, dog chews, and a dog house. I brought them out for the dog to help keep the dog from suffering so much.

The dog was not smart enough to use the dog house. He still stayed out in the wet cold. I spent an entire hour playing with the dog one day last week. He was very affectionate. He kept jumping on me, putting his muddy paws all over my clean pants and jacket. He got me a bit slimy, so I called him "Slime Dog".

I had no idea what the dog's name was. My friend did not either, but just that the dog was there and from whom it came. With snow in the forecast for this past weekend and temperatures in the teens, I dognapped Slime Dog and took him home.

I got Slimy a harness, leash, ball, and collar. He has been staying in my fenced in back yard a little bit when it is not too cold outside. I keep him inside mostly and take him for walks during the day. Right now his is laying at my feet, as he loves to do. Last night he laid next to my bed, which really irritated my cats.

The cats have been in hiding, not even coming out to eat their food. Slimy has chased them a bit in the house. Daisy has gotten along fine with Slime Dog so far. They have sniffed over each other, but have not growled at one another. The only snapping was when I gave each a doggie treat and slimy's treat rolled on the floor in front of Daisy. Slimy snapped at Daisy to keep her away from his treat. Other than that, they have done OK. Daisy just stays away and in hiding quite a bit. Then again, she does that a lot anyway.

One good thing is that two days ago, Daisy let me pick her up and hold her. I held her, petted her, and was even able to groom her with her comb. I spent quite a while grooming her fur, which she has not let me do in almost six months. Perhaps having Slime Dog around will be a good thing for Daisy. She has looked to me from safety and encouragement. When she lets me, I try to talk to her, make sure she is fed, and give her some affection.

One thing I know for sure is that Slime Dog is showing a great deal of loyalty. He loves to play, loves to walk, and be in the middle of whatever is going on.

I did manage to find out what Slime Dog's real name is. The friend's parents came back from vacation late Saturday night. My friend asked what his name is and we were told "Blackey". Slime Dog does not respond to my calling him Blackey for some reason. I don't know if he was never called his name much. He does respond to me when I call him Dog Slime", Slime Dog, Slime, or Slimy. My friend has an amusing Southern accent and called him "Slihhm Dowwg". I know that Slime Dog is not a great name for a dog, but it has stuck so far and he responds to it.

I still have no idea how old Slime is or if he has had any shots. I am going to end up taking him to the vet for a check up and all shots soon. He is still about the size of a large puppy or perhaps a medium sized dog.

He travels well so far. He got up on the bed this morning with a little help and loved snuggling up. He loves to grab socks and underwear and run off with them. He also likes to chew on slippers, so I have to be careful about leaving them out for him to chew on.

Slimy has been safe from the cold rain and snow, temperatures in the teens, has had a warm home, a lot of love, and is fed regularly. Hopefully Daisy, Slime Dog, and the cats will all learn to get along well.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I am torn on the subject of FCC regulation on this

Supposedly, the marketplace decides things such as content provided on TV and radio. I have watched the radio market descend over the years, into a conglomerate, corporate formatting paradigm. Cookie cutter formats, voice tracking, little local content, and bland, bland, content. Deregulation has been good for some things, not so for others. I have heard both sides of the argument on deregulation of the telephone and airline industries. I have also heard the same about the broadcasting industry. Relaxed ownership rules have really killed creativity and local flavor in radio.

At the same time, my ideology leans towards freedom to do what you want with what you own. I realize that the government does not believe that any broadcaster owns the public airwaves. If you doubt this, try building your own radio station and see what happens.

Anyway, I lament the days of local radio and radio stations serving the public good. I read a story linked from a radio message board about the FCC dealing with ownership rules in radio. I do not think that corporate radio bosses care about quality or local flavor; only about the bottom line of dollars and cents. That mentality does not lend itself to quality radio programming, unique flavor, and certainly not public service in broadcasting. Few stations do this today. I miss the days of truly local radio that serves the public.

Anyway, here is the article on the FCC's proposed ruling. There is not much detail on the actual considerations, but the general topic is there.

Feedback from a blog reader

I got this feedback in an email this afternoon from a blog reader in response to my last post. Enjoy.
I don't have a dog in the fight over in Selma and the comments from the Mayor....

...but please don't associate the Herald with the fine town of Smithfield. Remember, they dropped the name "Smithfield" years ago when they decided it was in their best interest to be a "County" paper. Thus now just The Herald.

I haven't seen today's edition, but I would suggest anyone to look at any recent edition and count the "true articles" about anything that is "Smithfield" related. You will find plenty about Clayton ... well, at least that was the case in Tuesday's paper.

Keep up the noise Troy! Some of us are listening!

More articles from "The Smithfield Heresy" on Hester and the ethanol plant

Here is an article about people who think that Hester's lynching comment was no big deal. Here is the Herald's editorial on the need to investigate an ethanol plant, as offered by East Coast Ethanol. I personally have offered to be one of the people who travels to visit, report, and be objective about it.

I do not believe that reaction to the lynching comment has been blown out of proportion, as was asserted by one citizen, quoted in the Herald's article. I also believe that it was not racial, contrary to the NAACP's assertion. I don't appreciate people explaining or excusing away Charles Hester's bad behavior. I also don't appreciate people automatically calling for his resignation, either.

Though I have offered to the majority of the Town Council members and town manager to be one of the citizen delegates to take up the offer to visit an ethanol plant, I doubt it will happen.

Alan Colmes is such a butthole

Leave it to Alan Colmes to twist what an author writes, be ill prepared to speak to an author, and spew liberal pablum. What a hateful, obnoxious twit.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Selma News covers Hester's lynching comment

I just wish that Charles Hester would be honest about his lynching comment instead of trying to perform damage control and denials. It was obvious to all in attendance who the comment was about. People are not as stupid as he is portraying them to be. It is insulting to read Hester's denials. Sure he has apologized repeatedly, and appropriately so. I am not against accepting the apology and moving on, however we should NOT tolerate the repeated offenses time after time. This crap is getting old.

From The Selma News:
Mayor’s comment garners much media, public attention
By Kelly Lake, News Editor 17.JAN.08

An off-handed comment made by Selma Mayor Charles Hester during a rezoning hearing last week has earned him much media attention. The mayor commented on the huge crowd that turned out for meeting and said maybe one day “we’ll have a lynching” and not have to worry about that anymore.

He apologized during the meeting to everyone in attendance and personally to one man who felt the comment was directed at him. Since the meeting, the mayor and his comments have been the subject of many print, web and television news articles. A video of the meeting, complete with his comments is posted on YouTube.

“I’ve apologized – many times,” said Hester. “That’s all I can do. I apologized at the meeting, to Council members, and to people I meet on the street. It (the comment) wasn’t directed at anyone.”

Public opinions about the mayor’s comments, for the most part, are the same – he shouldn’t have said it. However opinions seem to differ about what should happen now and whether or not the mayor’s comments had any racist meaning.

Hester says that he didn’t make the comment about any one person or race of people.

Others say it is time for Hester to step down as mayor and still others say it is time to let the issue drop.

Councilwoman Jackie Lacy said she expected the mayor’s remarks would grab media attention, “given the Jena 6 controversy.”

The word lynching carries with it a racial connotation, she said, especially when it comes from an official of the opposite race.

“Even though I believe he (Hester) is sorry, it still was an uncalled-for remark in public,” said Lacy.

Sylvia Cox, one of Selma’s black residents, said she doesn’t believe the mayor meant anything by the comment.

“I think it was a slip of the tongue,” said Cox. “It was not directed at black people. They (people in general) were lynching white people before they were lynching black people. Black people, in general, in this town don’t even go to the town meetings. There were maybe three or four at that meeting (rezoning hearing). They don’t even go to the polls for the most part. They have no right to complain.”

Cox said it’s time to “let it go.”

“Mayor Hester has apologized. Accept his apology and go on,” she said.
Others are worried about the image of Selma that is being portrayed on television, on the internet and in local news media. Hester said that while he shouldn’t have made the comments, he is not responsible for the negative media attention it has brought to the town.

“I’m not the one who got it on television or the internet,” said Hester.
Hester said a television news reporter tracked him down at church (Selma Baptist) last Wednesday and knocked on the door to get an interview.
Some people have called for the mayor to resign and have called on Council members to make that happen.

Councilwoman Cheryl Oliver said that elected officials are accountable to their constituency for the public remarks that they make and that remarks, such as the one the mayor made, are usually followed up on by the media as a matter of public record.

She said that she received one phone call after the meeting from a person asking the Council to consider requesting the mayor to resign. She was asked to pass the request on to fellow Council members.

“The comment was inappropriate and I am not expecting similar comments from the mayor in the future,” she added.

Councilman Eric Sellers took a similar stand.

“The mayor’s remarks were inappropriate,” said Sellers. “Our duty as elected officials is to carry out the business of the Town of Selma in a professional manner with the best interest of all of Selma’s citizens in mind. I do not believe that the mayor meant to offend anyone and I believe that he is sincerely sorry for what he said. It would be my hope and expectation that this type of incident would not be repeated.”

He went on to say that he has not heard from anyone asking for the mayor’s resignation nor would expect to.

“I certainly do not and cannot blame the media for picking up on this,” said Sellers. “That is a reminder to each of us regarding what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. At this point, I consider it a closed issue.”

Councilwoman Debbie Johnson could not be reached at press time.

Feedback phone no longer available

The company I use for the voice mail system that does my feedback phone number is going out of business. I guess more accurately, they are discontinuing the service. Therefore, I will no longer offer the 919-975-2210 number as a feedback line. I may find another local number provider, but in the meantime you can use 512-857-9623. I stopped using them for a while, though maintained the number, since it is a Texas exchange and not a local call. Oh, well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Smithfield Herald speaks on Mayor Hester's comments

First, a newsy article.

Some want mayor to quit
Comment made at Town Council meeting draws fire
By Jordan Cooke, Staff Reporter

SELMA -- Sylvia Henry had just settled into her seat last Tuesday night when Mayor Charles Hester called the monthly Town Council meeting to order.

Henry, of Jordan-Narron Road, had come to join more than 100 other people opposed to the rezoning of 106 acres near West Blanche Street. A South Carolina company was seeking the rezoning in hopes of building an ethanol plant on the land. The plant, if approved, would abut a parcel of land that Henry and her four siblings stand to inherit from their mother.

From her seat at the back of the meeting room, Henry didn't hear the next words Hester spoke. But based on the reactions from some in the crowd, Henry knew it must have been something controversial.

"All of a sudden, people in the audience were giving him up the country for what he said," Henry said.

Hester, viewed by some as a polarizing figure in town, had made the following remark: "We have a big crowd here tonight, bigger than we are used to handling. We have people in our community that stir up big crowds and we have one here tonight. Maybe one day we’ll have a lynching, and we won’t have to worry about that anymore."

Several people fired back at Hester, calling the remark rude and distasteful. One resident, Erin Downey of Campground Road, said Hester’s statement was a racial slur.

Hester apologized for his comment and, days later, told a reporter he regretted what he had said. "It was one thing I said, and I shouldn't have said it," he said. "I'm sorry."

But one man in particular said Hester's apology didn't go far enough. Tony Tetterton, owner of RVacation Campground on Campground Road, said he didn't consider Hester's statement racist. Rather, Tetterton said the comment was "a hateful remark" that was "unmistakably addressed toward me."

Tetterton said it was common knowledge that he had printed a flyer speaking out against the proposed ethanol plant. Tetterton said he thinks his efforts frustrated Hester.

Also, Tetterton suggested that Hester had a vendetta against him for speaking out against involuntary annexation last year. "I think what it all boils down to is that I was one of the people willing to point out that what the council did with the annexation was unlawful," Tetteron said.

Friends Tom and Kara Kuebler say they think Hester resents Tetterton for his passion for issues that concern him. "If there's an issue he’s concerned about, he voices his opinion," Kara Kuebler said of Tetterton. "He gets right in there and questions things like the annexation."

"That's been one of the big points of opposition with them," she added, referring to interactions between Tetterton and Hester. "There’s also been the quiet zone [for trains] issue. That was fine that they did not opt to approve that. But in my opinion, the mayor considers Tony ... he expects opposition from him. He expects things not to run smoothly because Tony questions things."

Tom Kuebler said Tetteron is just a "concerned citizen" whom Hester is trying to "demonize." He said Hester’s remark shows he is not fit to remain in office. Both he and his wife are among some Selma residents who want Hester to resign, he said.

"I would like to see him out of office," Kuebler said. "The thing that frustrates me is that he is deciding things for us that ... we don’t have a say-so in in any way, shape or form, except for what we can say at the town meetings."

"My mission is not to personally oust the mayor from office," Tom Kuebler added. "I'm just concerned about the decisions he makes because they affect us. He seems like a vindictive man, just for the comment he made. Here is a man with power that can abuse it."

Tetterton said he too would like to see Hester resign. He said Hester’s remarks at the Town Council meeting not only insulted him personally but also degraded the town.

"As an effective business leader for the community, what outside business would want to come to Selma now knowing they have to deal with someone like [Charles] Hester?" Tetteron asked. "He [Hester] has definitely tainted the ground. On a professional basis, he has tainted the ground with his remark."

"He should step down as mayor," Tetterton added. "You can't, in a public forum, suggest that someone should be lynched and expect that no one would be upset."

When asked by a reporter to respond to statements about his character and effectiveness as mayor, Hester repeatedly declined to comment. And when asked by phone if he had any concerns that his silence would add fuel to his critics’ fires, Hester responded in an unexpected manner.

He hung up.

And the editorial in the Herald.
Selma mayor crossed the line

Mayor Charles Hester thinks he knows what is best for Selma — say, an ethanol plant — and he has no tolerance for people who oppose his will. That is likely why the mayor wanted to lynch the person who rallied his neighbors against the proposed plant last week.

It's tempting in the aftermath to call for the mayor's resignation; he crossed the line when he called for a lynching. But perhaps demanding Mr. Hester's resignation goes too far. Recently, a Golf Channel announcer suggested that Tiger Woods' fellow players might want to lynch the world’s No. 1 golfer if they hoped to beat him on the course.

That announcer got suspended but kept her job.

Besides, Selma needs Mr. Hester and his leadership, particularly his fiscal conservatism. What it doesn’t need is a monarch, and we're willing to give Mr. Hester another chance if he now realizes he cannot impose his will on Selma. Last week, he faced a room full of people who did not share his vision for Selma, and while that no doubt frustrated the iron-willed mayor, we hope it opened his eyes too.

We hope also that Mr. Hester will take from this episode that running Selma is a partnership that requires compromise. Just as important, we hope that Town Council members now know that the mayor’s voice is not the only one in Selma government and policymaking.

Mr. Hester has been generally good for Selma. He has restored fiscal discipline while courting business investment in town. And if he truly learned a lesson last week, we think Mr. Hester will be an even better mayor.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Graham Calls for Fetal Homicide Bill

My first choice for NC governor, Bill Graham is in support of a fetal homicide bill. I support that idea, and have for a long time. I got the following press release today.
Salisbury, NC- Bill Graham, Republican candidate for Governor, announced today that as Governor he will aggressively pursue a fetal homicide bill in North Carolina.

"Our state leaders in Raleigh have failed us once again. Beyond the obvious failures in education, jobs and roads, they have failed to protect the most innocent among us. As Governor, I will change that." Graham said today.

"It is unconscionable that a murderer who takes the life of an expectant mother is not held accountable for the death of her fetus. Twenty-five states currently have fetal homicide laws on the books. Once again the politicians in Raleigh have failed to act. I will aggressively pursue legislation that will hold those accountable who commit criminal acts in causing the death of a fetus," said Graham.

You gotta be smurfin' me! 50 years?

I remember the 1981 debut in the US, but I had no idea they were that old. Ever wonder why there was only one Smurfette? I did. I had Smurf sheets on my bed, which were purchased as a joke after the neighbor's boy had them. I used to babysit for him and saw his Smurf sheets. They were kind of cute, and I remarked about the sheets, so my mother bought me a set for my bed. I often wondered why the Smurfs were blue. Perhaps they had no lungs.
Smurfs celebrate 50th birthday
By Alexandra Stadnyk, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The Smurfs - led by Papa Smurf and Smurfette - kicked off a year of 50th birthday celebrations Monday with Smurfberry cake and sasparilla juice.

The late cartoonist Pierre Culliford, best known by his pen name, "Peyo," first introduced the tiny blue figures in a comic strip in October 1958. He called them Schtroumpf and they became known worldwide as the Smurfs.

The Smurfs, forest dwellers who live in little white-capped mushroom homes, developed their own "Smurf" language in which nouns and verbs were interchanged.

Their debut on U.S. television in 1981 launched their global rise to stardom and made the Smurfs a household name. A Smurf is a Pitufo in Spanish, a Schlumpf in German, Nam Ching Ling to the Chinese, a Sumafa in Japan and Dardassim in Hebrew.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thank you for expressing some ballsy rhetoric

And I mean that in a good way. I am glad that Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson at least have the idea of how to deal with the threats by Iran towards our navy vessels. These two quotes express exactly how I feel. I am not for injecting ourselves into every situation around the world like many neo-cons, but I am for protecting ourselves and not taking crap from some third-world renegade Islamofascists.

Here are the quotes from the Republican debates last night.
Asked whether the American commanders on the scene were right in not attacking the Iranian boats, Mr Huckabee said he backed their decisions, before warning Iran: "Be prepared, first, to put your sights on the American vessel. And then be prepared that the next thing you see will be the gates of Hell, because that is exactly what you will see after that."

Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee senator and Law & Order star who is banking all on victory in South Carolina to revive his campaign, said of the Iranian boat crews: "I think one more step and they would have been introduced to those virgins that they're looking forward to seeing."

Good job, Chucky. Thanks for bringing shame to Selma.

As I blogged earlier and shared on my internet talk show, Straight Shooting, Selma Mayor Charles Hester made an inappropriate remark at the last Selma Town Council meeting during the opening remarks. He made reference to a lynching. Specifically, he was referring to Tony Tetterton. Tony gets involved in local affairs and has again injected himself into this situation. I do not have a problem with this, by the way, and actually applaud him for doing what he feels is right. If more people would do this, our nation would see a lot more benefits.

Charles Hester denies that his remark was directed specifically at Tony. Of course we all know better. Tony is the one who really got the ball rolling, so to speak, on getting opposition to show up for the public hearing. The mayor has thought of Tony as a trouble maker for some time. We all knew that the comment was directed at Tony. Some at the meeting said that the comment was "racist". No, there was nothing racist about it. Negroes were not the only ones ever to be lynched in this country. As a matter of fact, they were not even the most lynched population in this nation. Anyway, enough about that.

There were at least three TV stations covering this story, from the angle of both the proposed ethanol plant and about the commentary by Hester. Just this morning on the WNCN channel 17 news was carrying the video of the remark. Yesterday, I met channel 17's reporter. By the way, Barry, the GM over at channel 17 has a habit of hiring beautiful women. I have seen it and had the opportunity to be around some of them a few times. Thanks, Barry.

Charles Hester's comment was inexcusable. He is an abrasive man, thinks it is fine to be obnoxious, and enjoys exerting power over others. I have seen this man throw a tantrum, purposely back his car into a political rival's car, make fun of others, insult people publicly, and try to remove knowledgeable and competent people from town boards. He has been a disgrace to the town with his methods and his attitudes. I am ashamed to have this man as our town figurehead.

Hester has tried to minimize the damage by saying that it was an accidental discharge, just something that slipped out of his mouth, and that it was just "Hester being Hester". He has also said that he did apologize at the meeting. He did, and I have to accept that he did, regardless of how sincere I believe he was at the time. I find it ironic that Mayor Hester decided to wear a suit and tie for the WRAL interview and even tape the interview outside of Selma Baptist Church, where he attends, helped build the church, and even teaches Sunday School (I am told. I am glad I don't and would never attend one of his lessons.)

He said that people taking the comment personally is just small town politics and that those claims are because people do not like him. HELLO, Chucky!! NOBODY is more guilty of small town politics than YOU are!! We who live here and have been around you for any significant amount of time know this for certain. In a small town, it becomes entirely obvious to whom Hester was referring. That is just plain hypocritical.

Here are links to the various stories on the web about King Charles Hester.

WRAL web coverage

NBC17 web coverage

WTVD web coverage

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ron Paul on illegal immigration

I have personally interviewed William Gheen of ALIPAC. And as you know if you just look at my blog, I am a Ron Paul supporter.

A new bumper sticker that may be seen around Selma. I managed to find a copy of the conceptual.

Who should be the one lynched, Mayor Hester? Keep that up then look in the mirror.

I was at the meeting. My audio recording started in the middle of the comment. Somebody else got the comment on video. NBC17 is carrying the story on their web site. Don't blame me, I voted for William Overby.
SELMA, N.C. - Some residents in Selma attended a public hearing, not expecting to hear Mayor Charles Hester begin the meeting with offensive remarks, resident Tony Tetterton told NBC17 in an email.

The comments were recorded on video.

City leaders held a public hearing to discuss the rezoning of a tract of land for industrial use for a proposed ethanol plant.

At the beginning of the meeting, Hester commented that there was "one" that "stirred up the crowd" and then suggested that there should one day be a "lynching".

The Mayor did apologize for making the comment.

NBC17 called the Mayor's office about his remarks, but has not received a call back.

The video is now on

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I have no idea if this was a plant or genuine. Either way, the sentiment is funny.

And it is the government's job to pay for people to watch TV WHY???

I disagree with the federal government's decision to make analog TV a thing of the past. I disagree even more with spending our tax dollars on the purchasing of converter boxes for people to use to watch TV. This is NOT a function of the government and it is an illegal use of our tax money. Nobody ever reads the Constitution any more, apparently.

From The N&O. Click on the link for the full story.
Millions of older and disabled Americans in nursing and adult-care homes are excluded from a government program that helps people convert their TV sets to receive a new digital signal next year.

The reason? A federal program that pays for digital converter boxes for older televisions -- necessary when all TV broadcasting goes digital early next year -- specifically requires recipients to live in a "household" as recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau.

And speaking of alternative fuels development in NC...

From The News and Observer:
The Biofuels Center of North Carolina has started working toward new sources of energy that can be grown in the state.

The General Assembly created the biofuels center last year and gave $5 million to start the project. The group held its first meeting last week and is adding research staff from across the biofuels industry.

Officials with the center said North Carolina imports about 5.6 billion gallons of petroleum-based liquid fuels into the state each year. The center has one goal: to ensure that a decade from now, 10 percent of the liquid fuels sold in North Carolina are grown and produced in the state.

Biofuels center president John Ganzi said that North Carolina is well-position to develop biofuels because it is a leader in biotechnology and agriculture.

Your tax dollars hard at work...argh!!!

Bunch of pussies

Here is the story link.
An academic delegation of Columbia University professors and deans of faculties plans to visit Tehran to officially apologize to Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

The delegation plans to express regret for the insulting remarks Columbia University President Lee Bollinger directed at Ahmadinejad on September 24 in his introductory speech...
Lee Bollinger made some of the best, most accurate, and poignant commentary to come from the world of academia in a long time and some pandering pussies are going to kiss the feet of Ahmadinejad. Sad. Pathetic. Vile. Disgusting.

Looking at the NH primary numbers

I was checking out the primary ballot results for New Hampshire. Rudy Giuliani is not doing so well after two primary elections. Ron Paul got only about 2000 votes less than he did in NH. Tom Tancredo might as well hang it up. He got just 66 votes in the entire state. "No name" candidates we never heard of got a bunch more votes than he did. Write in candidates got about 4700 more votes than he did. Duncan Hunter announced he would stay in the race, but it is a lost cause. Here are the numbers. The numbers there differ slightly from CNN's numbers.

Ethanol plant and Selma rezoning

I went to the public hearing last night at the Selma Town Council meeting about the proposed rezoning request to accommodate a possible ethanol plant. The Selma News had an article on it last week, you can read it at their web site. I recorded the audio from the public hearing last night and will be putting it on the internet. I will get more into commentary on it later. You can read my column that will be in this week's "The Selma News" here.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Two headlines that intrigued me this morning

During my internet news read this morning, I found a couple of headlines that interested me. By the way, I do not get all of my news from that site. It is one of many I read daily.

First is this one from New Hampshire (my old stomping grounds).
Dixville Notch, New Hampshire has cast the first votes in the New Hampshire Primary. McCain and Obama win the town. Hillary gets 0
It is good that Hillary got no votes. Bad that Obama got 7. McCain got 4.

The State of New Jersey has apologized for slavery. Why?
New Jersey apologizes for slavery, Bon Jovi

Here is the full article.
The Assembly and the Senate 29-2 both voted overwhelmingly to approve the resolution, which expresses the Legislature's opinion without requiring action by the governor.

"This resolution does nothing more than say New Jersey is sorry about its shameful past," said Assemblyman William Payne, a Democrat who sponsored the measure.

The resolution offers an apology "for the wrongs inflicted by slavery and its aftereffects in the United States of America."

It states that in New Jersey, "the vestiges of slavery are ever before African-American citizens, from the overt racism of hate groups to the subtle racism encountered when requesting health care, transacting business, buying a home, seeking quality public education and college admission, and enduring pretextual traffic stops and other indignities."

Legislators in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia have issued formal apologies for slavery.

According to the resolution, New Jersey had one of the largest slave populations in the Northern colonies and was the last state in the Northeast to formally abolish slavery, not doing so until 1846.

I dealt with this very issue on my talk show last year. Feel free to listen.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Harnett County government complex evacuated

I have a close personal friend who just called to let me know that her office was evacuated yet again because of a bomb threat. Once in a while, the Harnett County courthouse complex gets evacuated for such threats, usually because of someone not wanting to appear in court that day. The same thing happened about a month ago. I bet that there are some links to the last threat, such as someone being on both the last docket and today's docket. The government for Harnett County will in essence be shut down for at least four hours while the complex is searched and most likely, nothing will be found there.

Ethanol plant in Selma or not?

I am on the Selma Planning Board and was at the meeting on Dec. 10, 2007 when the board approved the rezoning request for a proposed ethanol plant in the ETJ of Selma (outside the town limits but still within the zoning and planning reach of the town's jurisdiction). Since that meeting, I have been in conversation with one main opponent of the plant. I have had discussions with a town council member on the proposed plant. I have read articles and seen videos online about ethanol plants.

There are several main arguments against the plant. They consist of objections to the rezoning request based upon legal precedent, the keeping of harmony with the neighboring town's zoning, and improper zoning based upon definitions of what is and is not "spot zoning". Other arguments are that the plant will use a lot of water for production, especially during a drought. Also the possible pollution aspect is being touted.

Is all of this true? I really don't know for several reasons. Not all ethanol plants use the same technology, will be the same size of physical plant, and have the same methods of production. One thing for certain is the end product being the same. Unfortunately, ethyl alcohol is not a bad product and is needed in various processes. As far as being a source of an alternative fuel, I believe it to be a load of bunk.

The town council will hold a public hearing on the rezoning request tomorrow night. I will plan on being in attendance and possibly recording audio of the discussion from the public input commentary and from the council. I will probably be writing my column for this week on the topic. I have been thinking about the column all weekend and I believe I know what direction I will take in the scribbling of my paltry column.

I am quite frankly surprised at the comments by Mayor Hester. He keeps talking about improving the tax base and how this may help Selma in that matter. Hello??? The proposed plant is NOT inside the town limits.

Here is the Selma News article on the plant.
Selma could soon be home to an ethanol manufacturing facility capable of producing 110 million gallons of ethanol per year. Not everyone views this in a positive light.

At its December meeting the Selma Planning Board approved the rezoning of a piece of property located along West Blanche Street in Selma from residential-agriculture (RA) to industrial-2 (I-2) with a special use permit to allow for the construction of the facility.

The Selma Town Council will make the final decision on the matter following a public hearing on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. inside the Jernigan Building on East Anderson Street.

During the planning board meeting Keith Parrish, a representative of East Coast Ethanol, who is the potential buyer of the property from the Parker heirs, spoke about the project. Grace and Bruce Parker, requested the rezoning on behalf of the heirs, who plan to sell the property to East Coast Ethanol.

Parrish said plans are to build a 110 million gallon ethanol manufacturing facility on the property, most likely along West Blanche Street. He said the facility should provide a minimum of 45 full-time jobs.

Parrish told the planning board company engineers are looking at the best access point to the property, which he believes will be at West Blanche Street, with the majority of traffic entering and exiting on Highway 70.

Planning Board Chairman Dennis Davis told Parrish that there needs to be a traffic study done, because West Blanche is not made for heavy equipment. He said because this is such a busy thoroughfare, road improvements to West Blanche and potential turn lanes or stacking off of Highway 70 will have to be a part of the special use agreement.

Parrish said that the vast majority of product (corn) and any equipment would come by rail, and that much of the ethanol will be transported out by rail.

Davis reiterated that West Blanche is a secondary-type road and that the special use permit will require upgrades and improvements to the roadway.
It was determined that the majority of the property surrounding the Parker heirs’ site is already zoned I-2.

Parrish introduced Lee Denton, project manager, who has an office in Benson.
Parrish told the board that the ethanol company will be going public with its stock offer soon, but is in the process of filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, so are limited on how much information can be released to the public at this time.

Tony Tetterton, who owns RVacation Campground on Campground Road, not far from the proposed site, is against the rezoning effort. He said the plant would be situated in a mostly residential area, not an industrial area.

He also has concerns about the amount of water the facility will require and the effect that will have on the water table in surrounding areas. He contends that an ethanol manufacturing plant of this size will produce more than 200 tons of pollutants each year and that those pollutants will affect a several mile radius beyond the plant.

"The thing is, if this plant were constructed just two years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency would have required it to reduce emissions 95 percent," said Tetterton. "That would take the 200 tons to an average of 10 tons a year, a much more manageable amount. Two years ago any plant that produced more than 100 tons of pollutants a year was considered a major polluter and had to adhere to these guidelines. Now, those who produce in excess of 250 tons of pollutants each year are considered major polluters. That’s quite a jump. So, this plant most likely won’t have to attempt to reduce its emissions."

Tetterton has been distributing a flyer, detailing water consumption and the types of toxins that could be released into the air surrounding the plant.

"The information on the flyer comes from the Environmental Protection
Agency and from ethanol producers' websites," said Tetterton. "There are three processes by which ethanol is produced – dry mill, wet mill and one new experimental process that is being tested now. The air pollutants listed are those that are produced through a dry mill process. The wet mill process also produces air pollutants, similar to those produced through the dry mill process."

Tetterton admits that he does not know which process the plant plans to use, but said it is highly unlikely that the experimental (and cleaner) process would be used.

"There is only one such plant under construction in the nation," said Tetterton. "The process is in the testing phase and it is unlikely that it will be used in the Selma. Of course, there is no way to know what process will be used, because the company planning the plant is being so tight-lipped about it, waiting to go public."

He said a plant utilizing the cleaner process takes about 200 people to operate. Since East Coast Ethanol is estimating about 45 employees, Tetterton says there’s no way they plan to use this process.

Information on Tetterton’s flyer states that is three gallons of water is required to produce just one gallon of ethanol. That's 330 million gallons of water a day or 904,000 gallons a year.

"Experience shows that this will reduce the water table for miles around the plant, drying up wells," said Tetterton on the flyer.

The list of "hazardous and toxic air pollutants" on the flyer include acetaldehyde, acetic acid, ammonia, benzene, dichlorobenzene, ethyl acetate, formaldehyde, manganese, toluene, and xylene.

Tetterton is encouraging Pine Level and Selma area residents to attend the public hearing on Jan. 8 to discourage Selma leaders from granting the rezoning of the property, thus preventing the construction of the ethanol plant.

He also has asked residents to contact their town leaders in Selma and Pine Level to voice their concerns, if any.

Selma Mayor Charles Hester said the plant is not definite. The only issue at the moment is one of rezoning.

"We’ve just been asked to rezone the property," said Hester. "If the plant is constructed, it will have a positive impact on Selma. It could add $100million to our tax vase. That's significant for the town."

He said there will be no incidences of hazardous or unsafe pollution because the plant would be required to obtain permitting that would prohibit contamination.

"Ethanol is made from farm products, so the farming community could benefit from such a plant in Selma," said Hester. "It will bring jobs. Those who come into town to construct the facility will stay, shop,a nd spend money in Selma. I believe the beneifts would far outweigh any negatives."

Here is the Smithfield Herald's article on the proposed plant.
A South Carolina company is expected to ask the Town Council on Tuesday to rezone a 106-acre plot just east of town for commercial development. The project would be one of the first ones in North Carolina.

East Coast Ethanol of Columbia, S.C. hopes to build an ethanol plant on the site, located along Selma-Pine Level Road about one mile from the town limit. The plant would produce 110 million gallons of ethanol from corn, the company's Vice President Keith Parrish said.

Parrish declined to discuss at length the plans for the plant, citing as a concern that his company is currently in the process of registering with the Securities Exchange Commission. But Parrish did note that construction of the facility, which would initially employ about 45 people, could begin as early as 2009. The cost of the project could exceed $200 million, he added.

Selma Mayor Charles Hester said this week that a company representative met with the Selma Planning Board Dec. 10 to request that the property be rezoned. He said the planning board recommended approval. The Town Council then called for a public hearing for Jan. 8.

"In the event that this does happen, it could potentially be a major development for the town," Hester said. "It could have a major impact on our tax base. That would be important for us."

East Coast Ethanol was formed in September 2007 through a merger of four ethanol companies in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, Parrish said. The plant in Selma was originally planned by Mid-Atlantic Ethanol of Benson, one of the four companies that merged.

The Selma plant would come with its challenges. Among them would be providing enough water to supply East Coast's needs. Reports indicate that the company would require about 1.2 million gallons of water a day. Tim Broome, county utilities director, said East Coast's demand for water could pose a problem if the company were allowed to draw from public water systems. Designating so much water for the ethanol plant "could shorten the life of our resources," he said.

Broome suggested as an alternative that the plant rely on reclaimed water for its production. He said Johnston has more than enough reclaimed water in reserve to meet East Coast's need.

"It might not be preferable, but we have plenty of reclaimed water, and using it wouldn't put any strain on the public water system," he said. "But of course these decisions are totally up to the county commissioners."

Should the Town of Selma approve the rezoning request and any subsequent requests for development, East

Coast stands poised to be among the first companies to build an ethanol plant in North Carolina. Five plants have been proposed in the state, but so far only one — a $100 million refinery in Hoke County — is under construction.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Silence! I kill you!

I found this video months ago on another video service. I was thinking about it today so I wanted to find it and share it.

And looking back to the enjoyment of the holiday season...

First post of 2008, recovery efforts in progress

It has been a rough start to the new year. I am suffering from a common disease reportedly of Chinese origin. This comes as a result of a Christmas gift I was given. I got a cold from a four year old this Christmas. Last week I started the sniffles, followed by full head congestion, which lasted all weekend. By Tuesday, I was totally run down, had a full chest cold going, and my ribs hurt from coughing. I got an early bed time on Tuesday night, which really helped me for yesterday's return to work. I have been hacking up yellow and green slime from my lungs for days, sometimes more clear.

I used to get severe bronchitis and pneumonia each winter. This happened each and every winter for years. Fortunately for me, the past five years or so, I managed to escape the bronchitis thing and colds in general. I still got a few head colds, but nothing major. Today I got in to see my doctor who put me on an antibiotic, as much as I don't want to have to take one, and an inhaler to help open the lung passageways.

I am actually doing better as far as volume of phlegm and coughing both yesterday and today, but I typically have lingering bronchial infection after a chest cold. Hopefully this congestion and cold will go away soon.