Friday, June 27, 2008

Why is this national news? I have done the same thing in a car.

I fail to comprehend why this is on The Drudge Report. I had a car that went that a 55 zone. So what?
A motorcyclist clocked by state police driving 144 miles-an-hour in a 55 mile-an-hour zone in New York's Putnam County faces having his license suspended.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The bottom line is that it is another tax increase

Don't be fooled. Penalties that are levied for such things are nothing but a tax in disguise. Furthermore, when levied by agencies that are not accountable to the tax payers and not by our legislature, they are taxation without representation. At least this one is a law passed by the NC Legislature rather than a bureaucrat's fiat.

From WTSB's news page:
Vehicle Insurance Coverage Lapses Will Cost More Starting July 1
Starting Tuesday, July 1, the penalties charged to vehicle owners who habitually drop liability insurance coverage will increase. The change, which results in stiffer penalties for repeated offenses, will affect vehicle owners who have numerous insurance lapses within a three-year period. The new law, passed by the General Assembly in 2007, is the first change in the insurance lapse penalty of $50 since 1957. The new rates will be $50 for no previous lapses within three years, $100 for one previous lapse within three years, and $150 for two or more previous lapses within three years. Insurance companies are required to notify DMV within 20 business days after they issue a new or replacement policy, terminate a policy or reinstate a policy. DMV then sends a letter to the vehicle owner requiring his response within 10 days. Resulting actions are based on the vehicle owner’s response and his record of accidents and financial responsibility. Owners may face a combination of penalties or revocation of vehicle registration.

Liddy Dole understands it

I really don't agree with the idea of establishing a program by the government to help with battery development. This should be a private sector driven thing. With the exploration and fuel source development, however, I totally agree.

From WTSB's news page:
Senator Dole Introduces Gas Price Reduction Act
On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole helped introduce the Gas Price Reduction Act, which would increase domestic energy exploration and production, bolster conservation measures and strengthen the U.S. futures markets. The legislation would open up Western oil shale resources, which are estimated to have more than three times the reserves of Saudi Arabia, and it would enable coastal states, including North Carolina, to decide whether or not to permit exploration at least 50 miles off their coastlines. “I believe the state of North Carolina should have the option to open offshore areas to energy exploration as long as it is safe, clean and not visible from the land,” said Dole. “The bill I am supporting would allow North Carolina and other coastal states to decide whether to open areas at least 50 miles off their shorelines to exploration and in turn receive a significant portion of the revenues. Now more than ever, responsible and practical steps are needed to increase our energy independence and strengthen economic and national security.” The Gas Price Reduction Act would: Increase supply by replacing the current Outer Continental Shelf moratorium with a statutory moratorium that enables coastal states to petition the Secretary of the Interior to make the area within their state boundaries available for oil and gas leasing; Increase supply by lifting the moratorium and allowing for the leasing of oil shale in the Rocky Mountain West; Decrease demand by establishing a program to accelerate the production of advanced batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles, and make sure the commodity markets are working properly by addressing excessive oil speculation.

SCOTUS tells us what we already knew...the 2nd Amendment is a personal right...DUH!

In another 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to keep and bear arms, including handguns, is a personal Constitutional right. That was obvious to me, but what shocks me is that it is not obvious to four of nine Supreme Court Justices. Basically, four justices attempted to amend the Constitution by fiat and failed. The vote NEVER should have even been close. It just goes to show that liberals (and it was the liberal justices who dissented) are out to control your lives and are willing to do so via the court system since they can not successfully do it via legislation or the amendment process as prescribed by the Constitution itself.

After reading about the court's decision, I was driving down the road and listened to Rush Limbaugh opining about the same thing, that four justices had tried to subvert our rights. I had already had that conversation with my buddy this morning, and here the same discussion was on the radio. I am glad that there are some people that are not so blind and can easily see things for what they are.

Here is the news story on the decision, and here is the decision itself. I have been reading and loving the logic of Justice Scalia's opinion. He uses strong language against the dissenting opinions, even calling them absurdity and grotesque. I love this guy. Finally, it is in an opinion for the nation to follow.

Thoughts on property tax rate hikes

I have been in touch with my elected town officials regarding the proposed budget for Selma. The vote on the budget is today. I highly recommend all citizens getting active enough in their community to take part in their town, as well as county, state, and federal governments. Contact your elected representatives when you have concerns, questions, and comments. It is how you learn and make your voice heard.

I am going to give credit where credit is due. I have always had great interaction with Eric Sellers, who was appointed to fill an open slot on the town council and then beat me last election for that seat. My personal opinions aside as to how he was appointed to the position in his first, partial term, I must say that overall, I have been pleased with how he approaches his job as a council member. Eric has always been pleasant and responsive in my dealings and communications with him. Thank you, Eric, your efforts are appreciated by me if not by anyone else.

I am not going to share my entire conversation with him here, but I did share what I had written previously on this very blog. What I do want to share is some research I did. I have written previously about my best frame of reference, the town where I grew up. I was fairly involved for a teenager in town affairs. I was a stringer reporter for the local radio station, I was involved with youth government programs every year in school, I knew the town manager, and I was in the fire department's youth program. If you search my archives, you may see that I reference Franklin, New Hampshire from time to time. That is my point of reference, since the town is almost comparable to Selma.

I called and spoke to Franklin's town assessor's office after reading the tax rate on their web site. I inquired as to what the tax rate included, and she clued me in that this was the total property tax burden on real estate for all state, county, and town taxation. I ran some numbers. I emailed the following to my town council member.
I wanted to share a bit of info with you regarding tax rates. I grew up in a town about the size of Selma in population. They are now not far off from us, about 8,000 people now. I was researching the tax rate in the town. That town has a property tax rate of $18.04 per thousand valuation. That includes the share for the state and the county as well as the town. I was crunching some numbers. Assuming that my house was suddenly transplanted into that town and had the same tax value of $80,840 (according to the Johnston County appraisal card available online on the county web site), my taxes in NH would be $1458.35 per year. Here in Selma, the taxes are $1.27 per hundred valuation. The equates to $1026.67. You may think that hey, the Selma taxes are a lot less, $431.68 per year less. However, once you take into consideration the fact that in my example, NH has NO state income and NO state sales tax, you can see the disparity in effective tax rates. Do I pay more than $431 in income and sales tax each year? You better believe it. Sure, my home would be higher in appraised tax value in NH, but for the sake of comparison, I am comparing dollar value to same dollar value. That is the inherent evil in property taxation (the ethics of property taxation is a whole discussion for a whole other time). In raising 4 cents, my property taxes would only go up $32.33 per year for Selma. I personally will never miss that money. I spend that on two people at Edelweiss for dinner. However, it is the principle of the thing. When does it stop?

I have known for a long time that we in NC were getting hosed on taxes.

Elected morons not working on major problems try to protect us from ourselves, visual aids

Well, the First Amendment is about to surrender to the NC Legislature. So is freedom to handle one's own life as one sees fit. It's bad enough that there is so called "hate crime" legislation. Now the NC Legislature is trying to make it illegal to display a noose when conveying thoughts and make it into a felony. A felony conviction will strip you of your right to vote and own a firearm. Also, there is a bill to prevent people from riding in the back of a pick a rural state...full of migrant labor. Hey, just let us take our OWN decisions on how to run our lives, you bunch of overbearing nannies!

From the AP:
State lawmakers are considering legislation that would make it illegal to hang a noose or burn a cross while trying to intimidate someone.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Doug Berger, said recent high-profile reports of such displays both in and outside North Carolina convinced him to introduce the legislation.

The bill would make the display of a noose or burning cross a low-grade felony punishable by up to around two years in prison.

But the display must be designed to intimidate someone who is of another race, color, creed, nationality or country of origin.

Berger said the bill contains the specific criteria to avoid infringing on an individual's First Amendment rights.

It's already a misdemeanor to engage in ethnic intimidation in North Carolina.

STOP THE INSANITY! Because here is more of it.

A House panel is considering a plan to further restrict riding in open pickup truck beds.

A House judiciary committee is scheduled Tuesday to discuss a bill to prohibit anyone under age 16 from riding in the flatbed of a pickup truck. Current law allows children as young as 12 to ride in the area without a seat belt.

The bill also would remove a loophole that allows passengers of any age to ride in the cargo areas if they're being driven in a rural area.

The plan has already been approved by another committee that studies child and family issues. It needs the approval of both the House and the Senate before it can be sent to Gov. Mike Easley's desk for his signature.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

+1 for Obama, in my book

Occasionally I find myself in agreement with Barack Obama. Overall, we are at odds in our world view, but on this issue we are mostly in agreement. I read about how the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision found that the use of capital punishment for child rapists is "cruel and unusual punishment" and therefore unconstitutional. Well, capital punishment is neither cruel or unusual. It was the application in saying that the punishment did not fit the crime, which does not meet the criteria for deciding upon "cruel and unusual punishment", especially since the 10th Amendment guarantees that the states have such rights to decide these punishments. Personally, anyone guilty of such a crime does indeed deserve death. It is not exactly unscriptural for such a thing, nor is it an outrage to see some perverted child rapist taken out of society so that it will never happen again.

Barack Obama came out against the Supreme Court decision. Though he probably believes in a more narrow use of such a punishment than I do, I do applaud Obama for having the gonads to make such a statement and taking a stand in the arena of ideas.
Democrat Barack Obama said Wednesday he disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision outlawing executions of people who rape children, a crime he said states have the right to consider for capital punishment.

"I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes," Obama said at a news conference. "I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that that does not violate our Constitution."
See, I can give credit where credit is due. And Obama deserves my support for his stance on this issue. That is not to say that I support him for frickin' way! But on this issue, yes.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I just got the URL and have that as a new way to find my blog. That should make it easy for those searching for politically conservative content to locate it in search engines. Of course you can still find me through,, and

Friday, June 20, 2008

This pretty much says it all

Yet another tax increase coming to Selma

I am going to make this simple. All Selma residents need to remember that if this next tax increase passes, Charles Hester, Jackie Lacy, and Debbie Johnson, 3/5 of the Selma Town Council, have been the ones who have been in office and brought us a nine cents per thousand valuation property tax increase. Their terms of office do not expire until a year from November or so. At least that is the next municipal election. We got a five cent increase two years ago. We are getting another four cent increase this year.

We found out that there are some things we can do without in this town. We found that we can exist sufficiently without some staffing positions. We found that we can cut budgets with no significant change in how the town does business.

I do not mind working to restore some pay increases and retirement benefits for town employees. However, the proposed 5% cost of living increase is far above the average for business, let alone government. When facing a budget shortfall at home, I simply cut spending. I had this discussion with a retiree just yesterday. He argued that we needed the increased taxes, yet at the same time said that in his fixed income situation that he has to cut his spending when the price of things go up. Well, duh! It is no different for government. Rather than reach into my pocket and increase my mortgage cost through higher escrow payments to cover increased taxation, the town simply needs to cut its proposed budget.

Every year, the Johnston County Council on Aging asks for town money. They do a good work, and I personally like Donna Creech. However, during a budget shortfall, I find it inappropriate to ask taxpayers for more money and then give it away. Only about 40% of the residents in this town are taxpayers, since about 60% of the residents are renters. Sure, there are landlords that pay property taxes, but the 60% have no real stake in our tax rate since it is built into their rent fees.

I have read the budget ordinance. It is still not a complete budget. I want to see MORE than a two page summary. If the town hall staff can print out a full line item budget, they can print it into a pdf file and make it available online as well.

Several months ago, Stan Farmer was boasting about how far ahead we were as a town in our revenues versus expenditures. Now we are facing a revenue versus expenditure shortfall? How do we go from a 3/4 of a million dollar surplus to needing another tax increase?

I could not care less what other town are paying in Johnston County. That argument is being used, i.e., that Selma has a lower tax rate than most towns in the county. What pisses me off is that NC is one of the higher taxed states around. We pay property tax on real estate, property tax on automobiles, vehicle registration, sales tax, state income tax, county property tax, federal income tax, excise taxes and fees, federal income tax, and the list goes on. I was told how much cheaper it was to live in North Carolina compared to New England when I was looking to possibly relocate here 20 years ago this summer. What a lie. And it is only getting worse.

Here is The Selma News article.
Property tax increase of 4 cents likely for Selma
By Rick Stewart, Publisher

Working feverishly right up to Tuesday night’s public hearing on the town of Selma’s proposed 2008-09 budget, town officials recommended a four cents tax increase and a $2 per month garbage collection fee hike.

It also appears likely that electrical rates will go up during the next fiscal year, said Town Manager C. L. Gobble, but he said until the town is given the new rate it cannot be passed along to the town’s electric customers.

Following a public hearing Tuesday night at which only Donna Creech, executive director of the Johnston County Council on Aging spoke, Town Council members voted to delay adopting the budget until next Thursday at 4 p.m.

Because the actual numbers in the budget were not publicly known until Tuesday night, Council decided to delay adoption to give Selma residents a chance to talk with Council members about the tax increase or any other items in the budget.
The budget adds a full-time planner to the town’s staff and adds the position of deputy town clerk to the budget. It also adds two new trucks in the electrical department and two new police cars.

Following up on the recommendation of the town’s strategic planning committee, the budget contains $8,000 funding to revitalize the town’s appearance committee.
Council members, meeting one-on-one Monday with Gobble, stressed to him, said Gobble, that they wanted to bring pay ranges back up to a higher level after two years of small or no pay increases.

With that in mind, Gobble presented a budget with a five percent across the board cost of living increase for all employees and a three percent town contribution to employees’ retirement program.

“It is imperative that the Town keep its pay plan up to day and stay competitive in the market place,” Gobble said in his budget message to Council.

The property tax rate will increase from 49 cents per $100 valuation to 53 cents per $100 valuation. The new fees and rates will go into effect on July 1 if Council approves the budget next Thursday.

A $2 increase in garbage collection I can comprehend, since the cost of fuel is increasing and I am sure that our contracted garbage collection company is passing some cost onto the customer, meaning the Town of Selma. Still, $18 a month for trash collection does almost seem high. I will compare with private contracted services that my friends in the country use for a point of reference.

One pitfall of being a town utility customer is that Electricities is a wholesale customer, not a retail customer of Progress Energy. Therefore, Progress Energy does not need a Public Utilities Commission (or whatever NC calls their regulatory agency) approval for a rate hike. That rate hike hits us whenever Progress Energy decides to make it happen, whereas direct retail customer rate hikes require agency approval. Thus, we get hit when the town gets hit and we already pay higher rates by the time the general public gets an increase.

We are getting hosed with a property tax increase, then will be paying a trash collection fee increase, and then get hit with a utility rate hike. There are many things about Selma that make me want to relocate. The same with North Carolina, for that matter.

Here is the blurb from WTSB's web site.
Selma Town Council Considering Raising Property Taxes
Selma residents could be paying higher property taxes. The town council is considering raising taxes 4 cents to balance their 2008-09 fiscal year budget. Residents could also pay higher electrical rates and garbage collection fees. The council could approve the budget when they meet again on June 26. The spending plan does include a 5 percent cost of living increase for employees. If the tax hike is approved, the property tax rate would go from 49 to 53 cents per $100 valuation.

I do subscribe to this theory.

Halloween for the little terrorists in splinter cells across America

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sounds like a company with which I am very familiar

Stuff like this has cost me a bunch of vendor accounts that used to service my needs to get the job done. Unfortunately, it is very common in the market place. There are small businesses with which I can no longer do business as a result.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

At the rally today

I took today off from work to attend the ALIPAC rally in downtown Raleigh. I was helping provide the internet audio feed so that people could listen live to the rally via the web. I was asked to be there at 8 AM. I did not comprehend why I would have to be there at 8 for an 11 AM rally, but OK. I left early, found where I was going, and got a parking space. It turned out that I was being asked to be a lobbyist today and help knock on the doors of state legislators and senators. I had no idea that I would be expected to do that today. If I did understand that, I would have dressed more business like. I wore some old jeans, sneakers, and a short sleeve button shirt. I thought I was just going to be a guy in the background that was running the podcast audio.

I got to see how some things run at the state level. I have been asked in the past to go and do this sort of thing with a gun rights group. Now that I know what to expect, I may just agree more readily.

I got to meet a few people that I had talked to on the phone, either through one of my podcast shows or in conversation. I also got to meet people who are legislators from all over NC, from SC, and from various anti-illegal immigration groups. Among them was someone I have seen on TV and read about.

Chris Simcox in Raleigh NCChris Simcox is co-founder of The Minuteman Project. For quite sometime, I have been wanting to go to the southern border and join the Minutemen for a tour. I have often though of spending my vacation doing just that. I got the chance to talk to him a little bit. He personally went on a lobbying tour with some of ALIPAC's leaders, as well. Here is Chris's project web site. I got his contact information and may work with him for an interview when I start my podcasting again.

The picture is one I took of Chris Simcox with my tiny digital camera that is disguised as a cigarette lighter. He was right next to me at the time. I thanked him during the rally told him that I appreciated the work he has done, regardless of what Penn & Teller had to say about him. He chuckled and said that he actually had fun filming that episode with their crew. By the way, Simcox is not to be confused with Jim Gilchrist.

You can even catch me in a shot or two of the news coverage on News 14's web site. I find it amusing that Ms. Chen gave more face time to an opponent of the speakers at the rally than anyone speaker there and used extraneous, useless file video footage. But of course there is no bias in reporting nowadays...yeah, right. I just caught WRAL's news footage, but it is not on their web site yet. I did see myself in the background on WRAL, too. Doggone, I am not exactly beautiful.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

After having 3 kids 6 and under at the house for 3 days...

My roommate's three grandchildren are all here for several days. Since Sunday night, the three kids, ages 6, 5, and 4 have all been straight out. The 6 and 4 year olds are not the best mannered in the world and can be rude and obnoxious. The grandmother and I have both had to get on their cases. The 5 year old has been better than I thought he would be considering the pack mentality that can arise. This video is how I feel at the moment. OK, I am having fun, but this is what is needed on at least the two.

Live from downtown Raleigh and the NC Legislature

I will be there. I took a day off from work and will be providing the live web streaming for ALIPAC. I have interviewed some of these guys in the past and others I have wanted to meet.
Join Immigration Enforcement Groups for Historic Rally in Raleigh on June 18

A diverse group of concerned citizens who represent the 80% of North Carolinians, which want the NC Legislature to take action to curtail illegal immigration in 2008, will gather for a rally and citizens lobby day in Raleigh on June 18, 2008

The rally will be from 11am-1pm on the Bicentennial Mall, which is across Jones St. from the main entrance of the NC Legislature. Supporters are also encouraged to join us, on the 1st floor inside the legislative building from 8am-5pm, to distribute materials and lobby NC lawmakers against HB 2717 that would allow illegal aliens in NC Colleges, while supporting measures to protect American jobs, tax resources, and lives threatened by illegal immigration.

These events will be at the NC Legislature at 16 West Jones St., Raleigh, NC Click here for map.

Signs that are consistent with ALIPAC's platform and American flags only are welcome at the rally, but not inside the building.

The Rally Podium is open to any NC Lawmaker supporting immigration enforcement and several are already scheduled to speak.

Keynote speakers include

William Gheen, President of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC

Chris Simcox, Co-Founder of the Minutemen and President of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps

Ron Woodard, Director of NC Listen

Lee Anthony Nieves of You Don't Speak for Me

Roan Garcia-Quintana, Director of Americans Have Had Enough (SC)

Mike Kelly of NC Voice

Dr. Jameson Taylor of the John W. Pope Civitas Institute

This event is also being supported by NC Minutemen, the Faith, Family, Freedom Alliance, and The Action Club.

Citizens from across the state and nation will be calling NC lawmakers from home during the day on June 18 to ask for immigration enforcement.

The Rally will be broadcast live via streaming audio on the web. Visit on June 18 for listening instruction.

Groups interested in supporting this event should contact William Gheen of ALIPAC, for possible inclusion on the permits.
For More information, visit

Good quote

"Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and those abandoned to vice are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them."

(Joseph Story - Justice of the Supreme Court, son of Elisha Story, a member of the Sons of Liberty.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jim Cramer was awesome in this clip.

Jim Cramer was asked about windfall-profits taxes on energy producers on MS-NBC’s "Morning Joe". I love it.

Why have concealed carry in NC?

From an online forum, the question of how to answer a question on a CCW application, "Why do you want a concealed carry permit?" There were some answers from others. Here was my response.
Several answers come to mind.

1. Because a police officer is too heavy to carry around.
2. To exercise my Second Amendment RIGHT. Rights should not require permits.
3. Because my CCW permit is a convenient tool as it doubles as a handgun purchase purchase permit instead of individual permits for each purchase (at least here in NC, don't know about elsewhere)
4. Because I always wanted to spend $90 to exercise my rights.
5. Because I always wanted to spend $90 to be fingerprinted and investigated.
6. Because it is a convenient way to find out if I am indeed a criminal, since I do not have personal access to NICS.

Yeah, sure, like it is all about race...

When two black men commit a crime such as breaking and entering or larceny and one of them gets accidentally killed by the victim of the crime, you can count on the NAACP crying racism. Let the homeowner that accidentally killed the criminal get off light in the court system (instead of being applauded as he should be, in my opinion) and you can count on the NAACP protesting. People like Timothy Hodges is nothing but a race pimp. He exploits his own people for his personal agenda and power. People like him spoke at the town council meeting in Selma when Mayor Charles Hester made a comment about a lynching that had NOTHING to do with a black individual. Yet, the NAACP took the opportunity to exploit the situation as a racist remark. Hester deserved the negative attention as far as I am concerned, but racist it was not. Hodges was just looking for an opportunity to pimp his victimhood message.

John Reid did what he SHOULD have done to protect his livelihood and his home. Of course you will not hear from people like Timothy Hodges that people like Cornelius Brown and his partner should never have been performing criminal acts in the first place. That would not show victim status to the black race. When the perpetrator got caught and killed, then it is to the advantage of a race pimp to exploit the situation. On top of that, when Reid was not indicted, that added fuel to the race pimp's fire. Hey, Timothy Hodges and the NAACP, it is NOT all about race! It is about right and wrong. If you REALLY want to help, educate your own people to avoid being stereotypical in their behavior! Even Barack Obama got that one right yesterday. Why can't YOU?

Wow, Obama actually nails it.

It is about time that someone, regardless of political affiliation, sees and comments upon the truth. This time, it is actually Barack Obama.
Barack Obama celebrated Father's Day by calling on black fathers, who he said are "missing from too many lives and too many homes," to become active in raising their children.

"They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it."
Read more at this link. Some truths just transcend politics, and I am glad to see this commentary.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Friday, June 06, 2008

It just ain't normal

Follow up to T.D. Jakes post

New Jersey pastor saddened by Jakes praising of Obama

Fellow black pastor Clenard Childress says Jakes, the man Time Magazine and CNN once referred to as "America's Best Preacher," is showing that biblical moral values are not his top priority...

...says he is saddened that Jakes and others in the black community have "lost sight of the values that made this nation great and made African-Americans a resilient people"...

...Childress says it will be difficult for Jakes to preach biblical moral values to his church members now that he has aligned himself with a politician who has no problem with abortion and homosexuality.

Here is the full story.

Yup. Uh huh. Amen.

And I hope they KEEP blocking the bill!

The Senate bill sponsored by Joe Lieberman to control non-existent global warming has been blocked by some Republicans. Thankfully, they have not allowed the bill to come to the floor. This cap-and-trade bill would have amounted to the largest tax increase in US history. Compliance would kill the economy and household incomes. Of course, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the ignorant fool, said "There is no tax increase." Sorry, but any government mandate and restructuring of economy will in essence be a tax increase. Both Presidential candidates are for action to stem the fallacious "global warming", having been hoodwinked by the myth. We will eventually be screwed, either way.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

T.D. Jakes puts his race ahead of his faith

I read with disgust a commentary by T.D. Jakes about the pending nomination of Barack Hussein Obama for Democrat candidate for President. Jakes says that it is an "historic accomplishment". No doubt. Never before has a Black made it so far in a Presidential campaign. Let me say this straight up. I could NOT CARE LESS ABOUT THE COLOR OF A MAN'S SKIN if he is running for President of the United States of America. I care about his beliefs. I would probably vote for Condi Rice if she was running. I would vote for Allan Keyes over most other candidates in a minute. What I care about are a man's principles and leadership.

It is with amazement that I see a "Bishop" (I hate titles in the Church. Bishop is the latest fad. Before that it was Apostle. Before that, Prophet) giving such accolades to a man simply because he is of the same race. Two things, Mr. Jakes. First, Obama is HALF Black, since you are paying attention to race. He is not fully Negro. Does THAT matter, or are you just happy to claim someone as one of your own if he has ANY Negroid blood in his veins? If we all go back to Adam and Eve, and again down through the lines of Noah, as his "faith" teaches, then we ALL sprang from a common ancestry, just different genetic combinations. It is with great wonder that I look to see how simple yet so complicated it is for genetics to propagate under God's plan and create all varieties of people.

Here is an absolute apostacy of a quote from Jakes.
However, what I really hope people take away from that night is that this is not just a victory for African Americans, it is a victory for democracy that proves that our country provides possibilities for all people. It is also a sign that a metamorphosis is in progress. Today we saw that Americans respect experience, but are interested in change. I hope that we can somehow merge the best ideas of our differences and emerge with a president who epitomizes our highest and best ideals.

Here are some problems with that quote. First, it is not yet a total victory for anyone. It is potentially a nomination and it is not yet secure, but most likely will be. Second, it is not a victory for "African Americans". Personally, I despise that term since it is a misnomer. Not all Blacks in America came from Africa or from ancestors that came from Africa. Furthermore, there are millions of Whites in Africa, as well. I do not consider myself an "Anglo American" or a "Franco American". I am an American. Period. Should White men and women who immigrated from South Africa or other nation on that continent also be referred to as "African Americans?" If my French ancestors were native to French colonies in Africa, then later immigrated to North America, should I start referring to myself as "African American"? Why so many terms by which Black wish to be referenced? There was Black, Colored, Negro, now "African American". Choose one and stick with it. Thus, I refuse to use the term in every day vernacular, just as I refuse to use the term "gay" to refer to homosexuals. Both are hijacked, inaccurate terms arbitrarily and autocratically derived.

Third, we do not live in a "democracy". We live in a representative republic. There is a huge difference. Mr. Jakes should know that, but he instead perpetuates the lie of us being a democracy.

Fourth, Americans DO respect experience. Barack Hussein Obama just has very little of it to be taken seriously as a candidate by everyone who will not vote for him. That has been a major topic of discussion since he announced his candidacy. Mr. Jakes, to WHAT experience do you refer?

Fifth, we can not "emerge with a president who epitomizes our highest and best ideals" in this election cycle. None of the three candidates (stooges) reflect that statement. If Obama epitomizes our highest and best ideals, then the United States must be a Socialist nation and no longer exists in its original form as bound by its Constitution or foundation. Wherein does Barack Hussein Obama reflect the highest ideals of America? He wants to socialize medicine, he refuses to meet with our military leaders in Iraq, he wants to raise taxes, and turn a Republic run on capitalism into a Socialist Utopia.

Another quote by Jakes is
I congratulate not just Sen. Obama on his victory, but the country on this landmark event that has shattered a past all too often filled with reasons to separate us as opposed to a voice of reason to unite us.
Mr. Jakes, it is not the color of Obama's skin that divides him from those of a different skin tone. It is his politics, his beliefs, his lack of experience, and just plain being an inappropriate candidate for President. The only people who are united are those who put their skin color ahead of their principles, or are liberals and therefore have no sound principles.

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, T.D. Jakes of all people should be absolutely disgusted with the racist, hateful, and theologically errant pastor, Jeremiah Wright's teachings. As the leader of his home, Barack Hussein Obama chose Rev. Wright to perform his marriage ceremony, baptize him and his children, provide spiritual nourishment for his family, and to sow into that infertile ground with his money and time. Nobody can convince me that you can go to a church for two decades and not understand the sort of philosophies perpetuated by the leader of said church. To deny that is a blatant lie and is of the Father of All lies. For T.D. Jakes to endorse this behavior, indirectly endorse these values, and to approve of a man who has been thusly indoctrinated is just plain wrong and antithetical to the Gospel he claims to represent.

I have no problem congratulating Barack Hussein Obama on his accomplishment. It is indeed an historic event and great accomplishment. However, when men of principle fail to exhibit the very substance for which they purport to stand, it disgusts me. I am a man of faith in Christ before I am a White man or an American. My faith determines my principles and my identity, not my skin color. I have had problems with the theology of T.D. Jakes as it is. This obviously shows more problems with Jakes' theology. Disgusting.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

This should be interesting

For the FIRST time in my life, I have received a jury summons. Within the last month, I got a survey from the US District Court. I filled it out and returned it as required. Today, I got a summons. Hhhhmmmm.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Fan mail and hate mail about my last column

I apparently hit a nerve with my May 29th column. Just a few hours apart, I got some fan mail and some hate mail. Here are both. The fan mail is shorter, so I lead with it.

Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2008 15:49:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Janie"
Subject: tired of paying-----
Glad someone is speaking up about these kinds of things. The gov. certainly is not listening tho. I wish they could get hold of some of this wrong doing. I had a hard time getting to whePre I am but I worked hard and did it. So can others. Thanks for speaking out. Janie Corbett Wilsons Mills

And now the hate mail, to which I wrote a LONG response and offered to print her letter as a rebuttal column one week.
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2008 19:58:53 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
From: "jennifer"
Subject: tired of paying for others

Mr. Laplante, I would like to start off by saying that I too love in Public Housing so may not reach the criteria necessary for you to even read this e-mail. I will however write and send it to you for my own benefit. I moved into housing as a single mother of three children recently divorced with only a high school education. During my stay in public housing I have obtained an associate degree and a bachelor degree with the help of Financial Aid, Loans, Scolarships and work study programs. I have not once been without a job since I was fifteen and worked throughout my college career. That having been said I graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work this past May and have gained employment in a field relative to my degree but due to the lack of experience on my part still strive for better paying employment. I cannot afford to move out of public housing even on my income which is higher than most of my fellow project buddies. I personally know the family whose home was broken into. The family has a set of twins both suffering from cerebral palsy. Can you imagine? My sister lives next door in the same set of projects as me and she also has a daughter with cerebral palsy. I personally have no children who suffer from any disease, but I can tell you that my sister pays the full amount of rent which runs about the rate of a house in our neighborhood. The only benfit is the utilitiy costs are substantially lower. Both my sister and I strive to move out of public housing where our homes are entered weekly, our children are not allowed any outside toys, no pools, no tramploines, no sport equipment, we cannot put up border, plant flowers, get satellite without permission, and have any personal privacy. I have no central air, no dryer hook up, and my clothes line is under some trees in a neighbor's yard where birds do there buisness on my clothes daily. My son has been stung by a bee that hid
in his underwear of the line. He has also been biten by a spider that caused him to have his leg sliced open to drain the poison. None of this compares to living in fear that someone that is in our same project will break into our home while we are gone to steal the few possessions we do have not to mention the fear of a home invasion from these same thieves risking the lives of our childre or ourselves. I have so much anger and rage toward your comments about us having to shop in thrift sotres because we cannot afford to have nicer things. Who would choose poverty of prosperity. So many of these families have obstacles you cannot even imagine. Regardless of your claims of poverty, I cannot believe you have endured the lengths of which so many of us in these neighborhoods have. I feel that you have been spoiled by life and are in a position to judge freely because you pay taxes. Had you lived in the years of the depression and seen the government create these programs that helped so many American's to survive. To benefit from these programs should not mean that the person should live the most impoverished life available. You should be ashamed of yourself and your printing of such comments in my opinnion. Who am I though, just an educated poor person striving to gain the luxury you have. I still have so much I would love to say, but I truly believe my experience and beliefs will be waisted upon your ears and eyes. I am just greatful that there are people out there that are not so spoiled by there lives to see that everyone deserves to have a little luxury in there lives that last so short and that there children should not have to be clothed by the local thrift store just because they recieve a little help in this harsh world where they were blessed with two severly sick children who will not recover and will continue to be sick. Diapers for life, specializes equipment, nurses, docters visits, drool that dosen't stop, the lack of speech, feeding tubes, a trach in the throat, and so much more than you can imagine and your worrid about tax money. Money can't buy you or those three babies health or happiness. You disgust me with your thinking. Write a letter to George W. Bush and complain to him about feeding and fighting for the Iraqi people and the war. There are levelsor castes in every society. The rich, the middle class and the poor.It has to be that way according to some philosphers. You should be glad you don't have to work the fields for the fruits and vegetables you eat or for the cotten that your clothes are made of. Be happy you don't have to flip the burger that your family eats on a trip out. Be happy you don't have to wash the nice vehicles of those who come to the car wash. Be happy you have what you have and leave those of us just struggling to have a little of what life has to offer alone. I hope that you are not angered by my opinnions and I hope I sounded a little knowledgable on the subject. I hope these things for myself though not for you. You already have to much luxury in life.

Jennifer Williams

I don't know if ALL positions are needed, but I would like to know more

I was reading an article about the special town council meeting last week in which the town of Selma is looking to add back some of the positions it cut under the budget crunch two years ago. I can understand that when things are better financially, we can then contemplate hiring back staff. I have no problem with that concept. I do not have sufficient information to complete my opinion, however. I am not convinced yet that we would need to hire a complete planning department for a town of only 3.5 square miles. I am also not convinced that we need three part time positions in the fire department, either. I would have to get more information and justification from the chief before taking a decision as to my opinion on the matter. There was a huge opposition to hiring a full time chief, but I was in support of the idea and think that the department and the town are better off as a result. I do not know, however, if we need the part time slots or not. I look forward to reading more on the subject.

Wow, it this yutz in for a big surprise

Maybe it does not bother others, but I am bothered by the fact that Barack Hussein Obama is willing to sit down with people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but not with our own generals on the ground in Iraq.

Ahmadinejad is a saber rattling mosquito that needs to be dealt with eventually. I doubt that it will be handled unless he provokes the issue. I have no problem with turning the sands of Iran into a sea of glass if Iran provokes war.

Islam is inherently evil. Its genesis determines its nature, being founded on a fraudulent premise and violence by a false prophet. I know that I have been labeled a "zionist" for supporting Israel. However, I know the scriptural implications of not doing so. I know that God is not through with his chosen people with whom He still has a covenant. Jews are despised around the world because they are God's people, period. Often, evil Islamic blowhards threaten to wipe them off the fact of the earth. They teach hatred for Jews and Israel from one generation to the next. They will one day be in for a huge surprise when the Lord deals with the infidels of Islam. It is ironic that they refer to non Muslims as infidels when they, themselves are the true description of the term.

It is of no surprise that an evil man is threatening and boasting that Israel will soon cease to exist. Every so often, some nut case spouts off like this.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted on Monday that Muslims would uproot "satanic powers" and repeated his controversial belief that Israel will soon disappear, the Mehr news agency reported.

"I must announce that the Zionist regime (Israel), with a 60-year record of genocide, plunder, invasion and betrayal is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene," he said.

"Today, the time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started."

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Selma Strategic Plan

I have not read the entire document, but The Selma News has published the newly released Strategic Plan. The plan was printed in its entirety in this last print edition of The Selma News. I have not read the entire document yet, but shall. I will most likely do a column or two of my commentary on said plan. Read the linked page for the article on the plan and the pdf file of the report itself.

It is good to see someone like Cheryl Oliver working on the plan for one reason to which I am sure that some others may be oblivious. I do not mean this in an insulting manner, but Cheryl was "dumb as a brick" on town matters when she ran for town council. She was obviously ignorant of a lot of things facing the town when we were interviewed by The Smithfield Herald during election season. I was dumb as a brick before I made a conscious decision to become informed and get involved several years back, myself. I use that expression often, noting that I expect people to be dumb as a brick before becoming educated on different topics or fields of study. I am hoping that this effort has been good for Cheryl to become autodidactic. I have liked some of her perspectives on a few things and how she seems to want to learn all she can to perform her duties as town councilor with an informed opinion. I am glad to see that. I only wish others would do the same.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

NC Public Records Bill a good thing. I hope it passes

Even here in a small town, the local officials will "stone wall" efforts to obtain public records when requested. I know of one person who had to hire a lawyer to get information that was supposed to be public record. Under a newly proposed bill in the NC Legislature, local governments that illegally deny access to their public records would be required to pay the legal fees of those who request records. Good for State Sen. David Hoyle. Here is the full story.
Government agencies would be required to pay citizens' lawyer bills when they illegally deny access to public records, under a legislative proposal the sponsor says was spurred by several recent newspaper lawsuits.

The bill, introduced by Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston, would ensure citizens and groups receive money to cover their legal costs when they sue for access to public records under the state's open records law.

Hoyle, a longtime proponent of open government laws, said the measure would make government agencies think twice about denying access to public records.

"I think this may cause them to pause and say, 'Wait, why did I want this, and if I happen to lose in this situation, it could cost me some money,'" Hoyle said. "I think you'll see less litigation."

Many government organizations have opposed similar proposals in the past, citing fears that they will be hit with big legal bills for unintentionally blocking access to public records.

Current state law leaves legal fee awards up to a judge's discretion. That means courts can decide to award no money or part of the victors' legal tabs if it decides the agency had "substantial justification in denying access" or there were circumstances which would make awards "unjust."

The bill would make payment of "reasonable" legal fees, as determined by a judge, mandatory, Hoyle said.

The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners are inclined to support leaving the award decision up to a judge to prevent local governments from getting socked with hefty bills for unintentionally violating the law, spokesman Todd McGee said.

"Sometimes it could just be a situation where it could be an honest mistake or a lack of a person's understanding of the rules," McGee said.

But John Bussian, a lawyer and lobbyist for the North Carolina Press Association, said the prospect of paying large legal bills sometimes dissuades people from challenging access denials – even when they know the record they requested is a public record. He said he backs Hoyle's proposal because it will help ensure government openness.

"If a citizen or a member of the press has to wonder are they going to be able to recover what they invest to get the government to do what it's supposed to do, a lot of times the choice may be, 'We'll have to let this one go,'" Bussian said. "If they forego a lawsuit, well then, the government goes Scott-free."

The bill also would create the Open Government Unit, as a wing under the attorney general's office. The unit would function as a "sunshine" office, charged with issuing non-binding opinions about open records disputes before they entered the courtroom.

Hoyle said he was spurred by a number of cases where newspapers – including the Outer Banks Sentinel – endured protracted legal proceedings to access public records.

For three years, the Outer Banks Sentinel tangled with Kitty Hawk officials over access to records related to the town's legal fees. Local officials denied the paper the files, so the paper sued and won both in a lower court and the Court of Appeals.

The paper racked up about $135,000 in legal fees in the process, said Managing Editor Sandy Semans. A judge awarded the paper $75,000 for legal fees, while the law firm representing Kitty Hawk settled out-of-court for $20,000, Semans said, leaving the Sentinel to cover the rest.

"The fear of having to pay those kind of fees, even if you win, is certainly a detriment to pursuing open government situations," Semans said.

Hoyle pegged the legislation's chances as "better than even" but acknowledged that opponents have time on their side, as lawmakers are focused on passing the budget and adjourning quickly. Both the House and the Senate would have to approve the plan before it would head to Gov. Mike Easley for consideration.

If it does not pass this year, Hoyle said he will propose it again next year.

"You know, this is not high on a lot of people's radar screens," Hoyle said.