Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thoughts on a John Adams quote

I was reading a quote by our 2nd President, John Adams.  In writing to his son, Thomas, he said "Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or other. If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not."

Sadly, this is where we find ourselves.  Others have not.  This is why I ran for public office twice in my community.  I have long wanted to serve because I did not want the unwise or dishonest to do so in my stead.  I was once accused by a jackass of a man who also happened to be the local NRA representative, of running for office and being concerned about the way the NRA handled local elections, of it all being about me.  Nothing was further from the truth.  If it was all about me, I would never have expended the effort or money, nor would I have opened myself to scorn, criticism, and ridicule.

I just found that quote to be dead on accurate.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My son John won Pinewood Derby again this year

For the second year in a row, my son, John, has won the Pack 95 (Smithfield, NC) Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.  Last year he made a New England Patriots car.  This year he made a skateboard out of his block of wood.  Not only did he win first place in the races, he won the award for Most Original Design.  John is the one in the middle.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

AR-15 NOT used in the Newtown, CT shooting

Here is one report (finally found some video of a report) that the shooter in Newtown, CT did not use the AR-15 in the shooting, but that has not stopped idiots like CNN's Piers Morgan from demonizing the black rifle.  I read reports like this some time ago.  Finally the mainstream media is covering it.  Obviously it is advantageous to gun haters to perpetuate a lie to further their evil agenda.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Gun control does not save lives

John Stossel gets it right.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My TV rant on JCATS

I have written about the local county transportation system before in this blog post.  This is the TV rant on that topic that aired this evening.

Monday, January 21, 2013

An open invitation to my local school system and government

Sadly, this is how government looks at your rights

I see Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison on this video.  He acted more like Barney Fife, unfortunately.  I found it interesting that one Sheriff cited constitutional law and then turned around and cited Marbury vs. Madison, which was a usurpation of the US Constitution, but it did have an ill conceived precedent in the NC cast of Bayard vs. Singleton.  The people in that meeting attempt to bring to the forefront a valid point about unalienable rights.  As stated in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  The very definition of unalienable is "Not to be separated, given away, or taken away".  To cite a usurpation as a precedent to exercise usurpation is hardly unalienable.

The Guns of Obamerica

The Guns of Obamerica 
This is a good read.  It is a bit long, but worth taking the time to read it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

This was sad to hear on the radio this afternoon

From WTSB Radio's web site:

County Commissioner Wade Stewart Dies

Johnston County Commissioner Wade Stewart passed away suddenly Monday morning at his home near Four Oaks.  Stewart was hospitalized last week after suffering a heart attack, family members said.  He returned home from the hospital just a few days ago.

Stewart was sworn in as a Commissioner in December 1998, representing District 3. He won reelection to his fourth term in 2010, which was scheduled to have expired in 2014.

Stewart was President of Keener Lumber Company. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Campbell University in 1966.

He was very active in public service, with a passion for serving citizens, emergency workers, veterans, and building schools for the children of Johnston County. He loved his family, helping people, and the game of baseball.

In a statement from Jeff Carver, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners he said, “Our entire Board and staff are mourning the loss along with his wife and family.”
“Commissioner Stewart was a bronze-star recipient in Vietnam who never shied away from a fight.  During the financial crisis, he was the Chairman that led with great foresight and was not afraid to make tough decisions.  Mr. Stewart had a significant impact on Johnston County and a genuine love for the citizens.  “
“He loved his family and spoke of them often…they should be proud of his dedication and service to the citizens of Johnston County,” he said.
“During his continuous service to the County people respected his opinion, including myself.  He was not only a fellow commissioner, but my personal friend and confidant and I will never forget him,” Chairman Carver said.

“Wade had great passion for the County and he was one of the hardest working Commissioners I have ever known,” Commissioner Tony Braswell told WTSB. “He was special to me. He was a mentor to me. We bonded because of that and our Vietnam experience.” Both Stewart and Braswell were Vietnam Veterans.

"Sometimes he expressed things only the way Wade could do,” Braswell said. “He will go down as one of the greater commissioners. His legacy will be remembered in the school building era for a long long time.”

"He was a strong advocate for Veterans. He started the Family Veterans Advisory Committee when he was Board Chairman. He felt like the County should do all we could for Veterans,” Braswell added.

Stewart was currently serving on the Juvenile Crimes Prevention Council, Nursing Home/Adult Care Advisory Board, Tobacco Farm Life Museum, and Veterans Service Advisory Board. 

Stewart was Chairman of the Board of Commissioners from 2008 to 2010.  He served as Vice Chairman from 2004 to 2008.  He had previously served on the Criminal Justice Partnership Advisory Board, Social Services Board, Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committee, and Local Emergency Planning Commission.

"Wade Stewart was a fine man. I learned so much from him," Johnston County Manager Rick Hester said Monday. "He enjoyed being a county commissioner, because he loved helping people. I will miss him greatly."

"Johnston County has lost a great Commissioner who was truly dedicated to serving others," Commissioner Cookie Pope said Monday. "Like John Wayne, he was a giant of a man whose love for "country store" politics made him a champion of the ordinary man.  Doing for others was one of his greatest joys and no request was too small."

"Wade Stewart loved nothing more than a challenge so he could prepare for the battle that he fully intended to win," Pope said. "No man ever loved his family, friends and County more. What a legacy!"
Funeral services will be held at 3:00pm on Thursday, January 17 at First Baptist Church in Four Oaks. Burial will follow in the Four Oaks City Cemetery with full military honors. Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 16 from 6:00pm until 9:00pm at Rose & Graham Funeral Home in Four Oaks.

Here is the N&O article. 
The Smithfield Herald article.
The WRAL story
Though News 14 has the story on their broadcast, it isn't online. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Dealing with LIBTARDS

This was my TV show for this evening.

Johnston County School Board bans distribution of literature such as the Gideons New Testament and other stuff

I had already commented on this once.  I just hope that they do it CONSISTENTLY across the board.  I am tired of circus ticket coupons and restaurant fliers coming home with my son's school notebook but somehow a Gideon's New Testament is objectionable.  The ACLU SUCKS.  Seldom do I agree with them.

From WTSB:
School Board Approves Controversial Policy
Johnston County school board members on Tuesday deliberated for over an hour before voting 5 to 2 to approve a controversial policy, which limits non-school related materials on school grounds.

School Board Chairman Larry Strickland and Board Member Donna White voted against it.

Superintendent Ed Croom (pictured right) said, for years, Johnston County Schools has allowed organizations like Gideons International to visit campuses and distribute New Testaments and other religious literature.

But Croom said that last year a couple of groups approached him with material, which he deemed inappropriate for students.

"It was stuff I didn't want my son to see, to have the opportunity to see," Croom said.

Croom said an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union told him that if the school system allows one group, such as the Gideons on its campuses, then it must allow all groups.

"I know this doesn't bode well in the Bible Belt and Johnston County," Croom said. "But we can't differentiate any one group over another."

School Board Attorney Jimmy Lawrence (pictured left) agreed. He and Deputy Superintendent Ross Renfrow fielded questions from school board members.

In May, Lawrence said the school board received a letter co-signed by representatives of the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

"We had the ACLU wanting to know where we were regarding this policy," Lawrence said.

School Board member Keith Branch said that, in making this decision, they had Johnston County students' best interest at heart.

"If we knowingly open ourselves up to litigation, we're not acting in the best interests of Johnston County Schools," Branch said.

School Board Member Butler Hall said this issue had been very disturbing to him because of his religious beliefs.
"I've spent a great of time struggling with this policy," Hall said. But he said school officials had received requests to distribute literature, which he described as "blasphemous."

White differed with her colleagues. She said, "Johnston County is a faith-based community and we need to take risks for what's right.”

"This policy will have a domino effect on our schools," White said. "Whatever the outcome of this vote, I won't be part of this domino effect."

School Board Member Peggy Smith said she and her colleagues took an oath to defend the Constitution.

"We can't promote religion. We have a Christian society but its’ churches and parents who have the responsibility to carry on the fight," Smith said.

Will Johnston County Make Exceptions?
Before Johnston County school board members adopted a policy limiting the display of non-school related materials, they briefly discussed regulations, which allow annual after school events in which different community groups, including religious groups, can distribute literature on high school campuses.

School Board Attorney Jimmy Lawrence said Buncombe County has adopted a similar regulation.

The Buncombe County regulation allows high schools to sponsor "community information events" to provide organizations an opportunity to share informational material about the services they provide.

Buncombe County prohibits groups from distributing “vulgar, indecent or obscene” material, materials that contain personal attacks, encourage students to commit illegal acts “or acts that violate school rules,” or promote “unhealthy or illegal activities by children, such as tobacco or alcohol use."

Your tax dollars hard at work

I read an article within the past few weeks on the Johnston County Area Transportation System (JCATS). I lamented the possible expansion of tax dollars to further subsidize the poor.  I asked the question, "When is enough, enough?"  I made it into a TV show for "LaPlante's Rants".

Yesterday I saw a news story from WTSB Radio about JCATS getting a matching grant.  More subsidies for the poor at the expense of the producers.  We can't afford this!

County Approves JCATS Grant Match
Area transit system receives $74,556 in local funds

Johnston County Commissioners approved a $74,556 matching grant for the Johnston County Area Transit System.

JCATS Transportation Director Lynn Lamberth requested the funds at Monday's commission meeting.

The total grant from the state Department of Transportation is $598,556. It's the major administrative and capital grant with which JCATS operates.

JCATS' transportation services include medical trips in county and to destinations out of county, workplace and job training, senior centers, child care centers, social services, public hearings and dental care.

Lamberth told commissioners that JCATS provided 110,000 rides last year and that their vehicles traveled over 1 million miles.

She said JCATS provides quite a bit of transportation for Johnston Community College and would love to contract with JCC for additional services.

The truth about Piers Morgan's gun control and violence claims News, Weather

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

An ignorant fool or media whore?

So, the mayor of Morrisville, NC wants their new Gander Mountain store (which I love) to stop selling semi-automatic rifles.  This is pursuant to the recent shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  I guess she missed the story that said that the Bushmaster .223 AR15 rifle was in the trunk of the car and was never actually used in the shooting.

It's no secret that I am a gun enthusiast and a fan of Gander Mountain, for the most part.  I have bought camping supplies and ammunition from them and the new store in Morrisville has a 9mm pistol I have been eyeballing at a decent price.

Sadly, people like Jackie Holcombe are well intentioned but are extremely ignorant about what constitutes an assault weapon, about firearms in general, and fail to acknowledge that it is PEOPLE who do violence, not the tool itself.  If this is not the case, perhaps the mayor is simply looking for some public attention.  My AR15 has never shot anything that I have not aimed at and pulled the trigger.

Here is the story.

Does this sound familiar?

With all the cries for gun control by the government and by ignorant citizens, it is excellent to look to the past to find that this is nothing new.  Take this quote from George Mason, for instance. 

"When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man [Sir William Keith], who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia."

– George Mason, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 14, 1788

Monday, January 07, 2013

Nice project, still not sure I am on board with their message

I can disagree with a group of people and still be on friendly terms with them.  I try to keep a good relationship with some of the people at NC Stop Torture Now, though I have absolutely zero problem with putting old Abdul on a waterboard if it will save American lives.  Also, I am not so sure of the allegations against Aero Contractors out of our local airport.  Furthermore, I doubt seriously that picketing or petitioning the local County Board of Commissioners will do any good.

As a result of maintaining good will with some of their folks, a film maker in the state has asked me for an interview for a documentary on the whole Aero Contractors thing.  We have talked via email but not set a date yet for an interview.

I was invited via Facebook the morning of the clean up by Stop Torture Now, but was not available to help.  Quite honestly, I wouldn't have gone anyway, considering I am not really interested in furthering their cause.  I did find it hilarious that they managed to adopt the highway near the airport, though.  Well played, Stop Torture Now.  I liked that.

From WTSB:

NC Stop Torture Now Continues Protest
A group called NC Stop Torture Now has adopted a two mile stretch of Swift Creek Road, in front of the Johnston County Airport, for the NC Department of Transportation’s Adopt-a-Highway program.  The signs went up just before Christmas. The NC Stop Torture Now organization held their first roadside cleanup of litter on Saturday and used the occasion to draw attention to Aero Contractors. 

Organizers of the event held up signs for motorists to see. The group claims Aero Contractors is a CIA-affiliated aviation company that helps secretly transport detainees to overseas prisons where interrogation through the use of torture is not illegal. 

Allyson Caison, a resident of Selma, is a leader of NC Stop Torture Now. “The CIA and other government agencies can’t hide that they’ve used Johnston County for a global program of enforced disappearance and torture."

“Torture has stained Johnston County and North Carolina,” Caison said.  “It’s been well documented, and other countries are taking responsibility.  Why can’t we?”

About two dozen people turned out Saturday for the event. Participants say they will return in a few months to continue to bring attention to the company.  Aero Contractors has never publicly commented on the group's allegations.  Photo by Carter Rabil

I know it's been a long time

I have not been blogging much at all over the past five years.  There have been a lot of life changes over the past five or six years.  I have been through a dissolution of marriage, remarriage, and having three children come into my life.  I have stuck by my same job for eighteen years now, but gone through a lot of changes with technology.  I have gone through changes in Church fellowship and friends.  I got a TV talk show, then it got canceled after a six or seven month run.  My newspaper column was canceled after a six year run.  I now do a recorded short TV commentary each week that I also put on YouTube.

Overall, I truly lost me passion for blogging.  Sure, I still have opinions and enjoy media work.  I have just put my priorities in other directions.  With a 9-year-old, 3-year-old, and now a 9-month-old, I have been kept extremely busy.

I have known for a long time that I had to revamp my blog.  I just haven't done it.  I am not so sure I even like my blog's template.  I just chose something to use for now until I decide to take the time to invest more time.

I have put most of my links, commentary, and interaction on Facebook rather than blogging it.  I may change that concept.  If I blog things then share them on Facebook, at least I may get more blog hits and some revenue out of it.  I dunno.

Will Johnston County Schools Ban Gideons?

Will Johnston County Schools Ban Gideons?

Proposed policy will prohibit group from distributing Bibles on school campuses
For generations, Gideons International has distributed New Testaments at Johnston County Schools. If a new school board policy is passed, that era is over.

The Board of Education, at its Tuesday meeting, is scheduled to vote on a policy regarding the distribution and display of non-school materials.

Johnston County Schools spokesperson Tracey Peedin Jones confirmed the new policy will affect the Gideons.
"If this new policy passes," Jones said, "the Gideons will not be able to distribute Bibles."

Jones said no school policy exists directly related to the distribution of literature by outside agencies.

The Board has been utilizing case law and Supreme Court rulings in making decisions.
"At this point, Jones said, "the Board believes that the school system needs to implement their own policy that complies with the latest mandates of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court."

The proposed policy states, "Only school-sponsored and curriculum-related publications and materials may be distributed or displayed during the school day, on school grounds or at school activities."
At least one area pastor expressed disappointment in the proposed policy.
"Having worked with the Gideons all my life I am aware that it is becoming more and more difficult for them to get into our schools," Micro First Baptist Church Pastor Tim Stevens said.

“It would certainly be sad if at the same time that the Gideons are finding new opportunities in Russia and China to distribute Bibles they were excluded from doing so in our own public school system,” Rev. Stevens said.


Troy's commentary:  If the policy passes, I hope that ALL such stuff will be stopped.  We get constant coupons for circuses, restaurants, fliers, and marketing materials that come home with our son THROUGH THE SCHOOL.  I find these items far more offensive than a Gideon's New Testament.

UPDATE: The Johnston County Superintendent of Schools has said that this was in response to the ACLU making a stink about an agnostic group that was denied access to the schools to pass out their literature. Basically, the school system, rather than standing up to them, wants to knuckle under to their pressure.