Friday, December 30, 2005

Never, ever forget

In case people have forgotten what sort of people we face in Afghanistan, Iraq, or with Islam in general, just watch these videos.

Korean Hostage Beheading

Armstrong Beheading

Pakistani Captives Beheaded

Beheading Of Paul Johnson

Nick Berg's Killing

Execution of 12 Nepalese hostages

Once you see some of these video clips, you will never see "the peaceful religion of Islam" the same again.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hypocrisy in enforcement

Why is it that government is often so hypocritical in enforcing the Constitution? Why are some parts rigid while others are flexible? When it is to their advantage either personally or politically, is my answer.

In the N.C. Constitution, there is the following:
ARTICLE VI, Sec. 8. Disqualifications for office.
The following persons shall be disqualified for office:
First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.

This same type of provision is seven or eight state constitutions, at least. The sad part is that some believe that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution supercedes all of these and therefore nullifies these requirements. These requirements are not just historical relics, left over from earlier times. Times have not changed as much as one may think. Sure, technology and social climate have changed, but people have not. There is nothing new under the sun.

The First Amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. In regards to the state constitution, Congress did not make that law. The state did. So many people miss that point. Congress shall make no law does not mean a "separation of church and state" as so many uneducated lemings believe. It is only those who choose not to be held accountable to the very almighty God so referenced that fight such a concept. Unfortunately, the carnal nature of mankind has not changed and such restraints are fought against. That is the essence of secular humanism.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Wow, I got chewed out today for something I wrote

One of the things that I have been doing on my web site,, is to write restaurant reviews for area establishments. I had pitched the idea earlier this year to "The Selma News" and got no real response or interest on their end. I decided that I have my own platform on which to write, so I will do so. I have written a few reviews, one or two a week.

Just today, I wrote and published my review of McCall's restaurant in Clayton. It didn't take long for the restaurant management to write me SCREAMING IN ALL CAPS to tell me how upset he was about my review. Here is the problem: I was honest in my review. I didn't sugar coat anything and wrote my opinion of the restaurant.

I wish that I could say that I am sorry that they didn't like what I wrote, but it is an opinion column. People disagree with opinions; that is what makes them opinions.

I was asked to come back and give them another chance to show that they are better than my review. I will probably do so. There are other things that I could have included in the review, such as Teresa's love of their biscuits. Then again, I could also have written about my disdain for the lack of real separation between smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants, such as there at McCall's.

I did not actively try to "ruffle feathers", but that is the nature of an opinion column. I am not purposely trying to "drum up" controversy in order to get readers or site traffic. I'm just being honest.

Warrantless search or not?

I was just listening to Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzel on WMPM radio a few minutes ago. Overall, I like Steve and the job that he has done here in the county. However, one thing I just heard him discuss that REALY bothers me is that he is chairing a committee along with a judge in Fayetteville to automate the process of warrrants.

Computer automation for report writing, field information, and criminal histories/databases is great. However, for serving a warrant, I have a serious problem with the concept. A deputy had better have something more than a laptop screen showing an electronic form of a warrant. I had better be served with a formal piece of paper showing all the information and a signature from a court official.

There is a reason that there is a requirement of a warrant for arrests, searches, and seizures. It helps to eliminate fraud and shows proof of the action. An electronic version does me no good as a citizen. The warrant is a protection of the citizen from abuse of government, not to protect law enforcement from the public.

I work in an electronic medium for a living, so I understand the benefit of the electronic process to organization and communication. However, there are certain instances in which "old fashioned paper" should never be replaced.

Anything electronic can be altered. Without paperwork in my hand for a situation requiring a warrant, my rights are not protected. This just opens the door for abuse and is something that we should not stand for.

I will be sharing this in the form of letters to the editor and message boards.

Selma needs to do this

Clayton drops local hot line for 911

The plan to eliminate the town's seven-digit emergency number will cut staff positions

Peggy Lim, Staff Writer

Instead of dialing a seven-digit police hot line, Clayton officials want residents to start routing emergency calls through Johnston County's 911 center, beginning Tuesday.

It won't be difficult for many town transplants to adjust.

"Everywhere we lived before used 911," said Carolyn Allen, 62, who moved to Clayton from Raleigh 13 years ago. It saved you from having to look up another hard-to-remember number, she said.

But the change didn't come without some controversy. The police department currently handles about 25,000 calls to its hot line number (553-4611) a year, said Town Manager Steve Biggs. The switch will eliminate four town staff positions and will close the police station at night.Despite some initial reservations, town council members agreed in June that the county has a better system. Unlike Clayton's system, the county's technology can trace calls back to cell phones or land lines -- an advantage as the town grows. The center also serves most county residents already, except those in the town of Selma. Clayton will pay the county about $100,000 a year for the service.

Clayton Police Chief Gary Ragland said residents will not likely notice major differences in service. The number of police on duty at night - about five - will remain the same. But response times may become faster. Currently, calls from Clayton residents to the 911 center are routed to Clayton dispatchers, who then send out police officers.

Ragland knows not everyone will like having a video camera and a call box replace human dispatchers on duty 24 hours at the Clayton police department.

"Most contact is by telephone calls or officer inquiries, but there will always be somebody who will want to come by to speak with an officer," he said. Sometimes, a victim of domestic violence prefers to go to the police station instead of calling from home. Often, the department is used for custody exchanges, Ragland said.

Currently, people can enter the police department at any hour, speak to a dispatcher behind a bullet-proof window and wait to see an officer in the lobby waiting room.

After the change takes effect Jan. 3, the department's front door will be locked on weekends and from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. weekdays.

Ragland acknowledged that evening hours are when most violent crimes happen, including domestic calls, assaults, larcenies, armed robberies and DWIs. But few walk in after 8 p.m. to file complaints, he said.

Kim Horton, an employee of the Kangaroo Express downtown, will miss the local hot line. She has never called 911, but many times has called the local hot line to threaten drunks into leaving the store. The convenience store has 553-4611 programmed into its speed dial.

"Nothing really happens here -- just your regular old drunk people acting stupid," she said, affectionately calling the store a "family place." "They're like big kids," she said.

"911 ... It's when we really really need [help] ... if somebody were to get hurt or robbed," she said.
Staff writer Peggy Lim can be reached at 836-5799 or

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The meaning behind the celebration of Christmas. A good review for us all.

The Birth of Jesus Foretold
Luke 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,
Luke 1:27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
Luke 1:28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
Luke 1:29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
Luke 1:30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
Luke 1:31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.
Luke 1:32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
Luke 1:33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
Luke 1:34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
Luke 1:35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[3] the Son of God.
Luke 1:36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.
Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God."
Luke 1:38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth
Luk 1:39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,
Luke 1:40 where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth.
Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is thee child you will bear!
Luke 1:43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luke 1:44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

Mary's Song
Luke 1:46 And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord
Luke 1:47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
Luke 1:48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
Luke 1:49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me--holy is his name.
Luke 1:50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
Luke 1:51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
Luke 1:52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
Luke 1:53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
Luke 1:54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
Luke 1:55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."
Luke 1:56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

Luke 2:1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
Luke 2:2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
Luke 2:3 And everyone went to his own town to register.
Luke 2:4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
Luke 2:5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Luke 2:6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
Luke 2:7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
Luke 2:9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Luke 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
Luke 2:16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
Luke 2:17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
Luke 2:18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I still remember

Just today, I was writing an email to a list of people. I was talking about the seasons we go through and hearing from God. Interestingly enough, I was thinking about Sept. 11th, 2001 while writing the email and later I find a reminder of that day in my inbox. Here is what I wrote:

I have a question for some of you. Why do so many people assume that God is on our time table? Every year, I get an email or hear a declaration from someone about getting the "prophetic word" for the following year. Why do we stubbornly assume that
a. we even have to get a word for the coming year
b. that God will speak at the end of one of our calendar years
c. that God will speak about the coming calendar year
d. that God is even on our calendar system

Usually, it is some crackpot prophecy catch phrase that is heard. I remember many of them over the years. Stuff like "open heaven in '97", or "come alive in '95", etc. And people buy this garbage and have great rejoicing over some "Al Sharpton wannabe" or Nipsy Russell type saying.

Yes, I do believe that the Spirit does speak to those who are willing to hear and he does reveal his secrets to his servants, the prophets. Some people I know do say that they have a burden to pray and hear at the end of the year for direction for the coming year. I have a better idea...why not be open to hearing ALL the time and live at HIS direction constantly? That is not to say that there is not advance notice given about direction, events, and seasons. I have known about seasons coming to the Body and to me in particular for a long time. Oft times, however, the seasons are shorter or longer than I would have imagined.

I do have a hard time with the end of the year declarations and so called prophecies. None the less, I do still believe in foreknowledge. Here is an example. I knew that Sept. 11th was coming in some form or fashion. I didn't hear about this by the Spirit at the end of 2000, I heard it on Sept 10th, 2001. I just didn't know how or when it was going to happen until I saw the TV coverage the next morning and watched live as the second plane hit the WTC.

Anyway, enough of my soap box pontification. Below is one of the few lists I am still subscribed to. Clay Sikes is overall "a good egg", as a former member of this list described him. I am often in agreement with much of what he writes and says. I wish him the best in his meeting.

----- Original Message -----
From: Lighthouse Prophecy
Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2005 5:39 AM
Subject: 2006 Prophetic Decree Meeting

Dear List Members,

Seldom do I repeat meeting invitations...but felt STRONGLY impressed of the Spirit to do so. As previously mentioned, we are having a meeting (Church) at our offices in Hinesville, Georgia tomorrow morning, December 23rd, 2005 at 7:00am. At the urging of the Holy Spirit, I urge you to attend if?physically possible.

I cannot tell you in words my level of anticipation, but KNOW that God is going to decree His Word for 2006 in a powerful way!

I trust that this nudge will produce the excitement and expectation that God has released in us about this meeting.

I still think that the new World Trade Center design is totally wrong and one suggested design that I saw within a week of the destruction of the towers is more appropriate.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm innocent...really!

It is funny how someone's mistake can cause issues. Fortunately, this one was no big deal. A month or so ago, I ended up traveling to Matthews, NC for a training session. I got a hotel room at a Microtel Inn. I spent one night and checked out. Teresa is doing some cleaning and found the receipt/printout I got upon check out. She just came in here a few minutes ago and asked me if I shared a room with one of my coworkers, who also stayed at the same hotel. I didn't know why the question was posed. Then, she showed me the receipt, which I hadn't paid much attention to when I checked out of the hotel. It showed that there were two adults for the room. I only booked one adult in one room, so I can only assume that someone made a mistake in the checkout process.

It could be a bit of a concern to a woman when she sees evidence showing that her husband had a hotel room for two adults when he is away from home. I can see how someone could get upset over that and question it. I can only chuckle a bit about it right now, though. Gee whiz...the hotel is trying to get me into trouble.

Note to self: If I am ever stupid enough to cheat on my wife at a hotel while on a business trip, read over all receipts carefully and destroy all possibly incriminating evidence.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bunch of sissies

I was reading this morning in my usual news spots and found this bit of info: "There was a vote in the House on Friday. The vote was on H Res 612 "Expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to achieving victory in Iraq." Believe it or not, 108 Democrats voted no. Think about it, 108 Democrats are now on record as opposing victory in Iraq."

Just the same as voting "nay" in my opinion is voting "present", which is basically being too much of a wuss to cast a vote one way or the other. I despise non commitment more than the "nay" votes. At least the nay sayers had the guts to say they are opposed to the idea. That is bad enough, in my opinion. What a sorry bunch of representatives we have. I was looking at the NC names on the list. We need new leadership so bad, it isn't funny.

Click on the post title for the vote results.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Power Ball

I can't say that I am a huge supporter of the lottery coming to North Carolina. I diverge from a lot of my peers in my indifference towards it, though. A lot of anti-gambling advocates have a huge problem with the lottery. I have a problem with it not for the arguments of sin or vice, but rather for the argument surrounding the justifications for it. The lottery, in reality, is not and never will be an "education lottery". I am very tired of hearing about things being "for the children" but in reality, they are nothing but another scheme to siphon off money from citizens for irresponsible government spending. A lottery will be no different.

I grew up in the state that had the first in the nation lottery, so it is no big deal to me. When I go "back home" to visit family, I often throw a couple of dollars at lotto tickets. No big deal. I have no feelings of condemnation about doing so as a Christian. Quite honestly, I think that most of Christendom are whacko in their stances on things above and beyond sola scriptura. But enough of that pontification.

I detest the tactics used to pass the lottery through the General Assembly here in North Carolina. There was a lot of evil trading and scheming to get it passed. It is a shame that it was done that way. Furthermore, the obvious corruption with the lottery commission members with questionable political ties just plain pisses me off.

At least one thing I read today is a glimmer of good news. If we are going to have a poorly constructed and corrupt lottery, at least the state will be joining Power Ball. That is a step in the right direction. If you gotta have the stupid system, then at least do it right. By joining with other states in playing Power Ball, at least we can have stakes in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, thereby fleecing people with a voluntary tax. Will I buy Power Ball tickets? Probably, once in a while. Heck, I was just looking at new pick up trucks today. Unless I feel like spending an extra $500 a month on a vehicle payment for a nice truck, the lottery may be the only chance of buying one in cash.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Preambulating, preambling, rambling, whatever.

The Preamble to the North Carolina Constutution, 1868

"We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings to us and our posterity, do, for the more certain security thereof and for the better government of this State, ordain and establish this Constitution. "

Separation of church and state, my butt. Get used to it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Pistol come and pistol go

Last night, I found a good deal on a .45 auto pistol. Regardless of what many critics say, I have found Hi-Point guns to be reliable and accurate. They may be less expensive than most guns, but that doesn't mean less quality in this case. Hi-Points may not be the prettiest guns around, but they are reliable none the less. I already own two other Hi-Points, so I picked up this one knowing that it would be a good purchase. Hi-Point also has the best customer service that I have ever experienced from any company, bar none. They have a lifetime, no questions asked warranty. Whether you are the first or 101st owner, the warranty is unconditional. I bought a used carbine rifle a while back. I sent it in for a full inspection. The factory reconditioned it, gave me two new magazines, a sling and swivels, a manual, and paid for the return shipping. Awesome service.

I found the .45 at Four Seasons Sports in Goldsboro, which is where I have purchased before. This particular gun was $40 below MSRP, which is what I have seen elsewhere. I have even seen $100 over MSRP.

A friend of mine has been wanting to buy a gun for a while. I picked this one up with him in mind. I figured that if he was interested in it, I would have a new one on hand at a good price. If not, I had an addition to my collection.

I took him to the gun range today for the second time. He is really getting to enjoy shooting. After firing just a few rounds of .45 through the new pistol, he turned to me, smiled, and said, "I like!" He now has himself a new pistol.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pains and a pain in the butt

Wow, it has been over ten days since I last posted. There isn't a whole lot to write about, really.

My back is still rather tender from pulling it, as I wrote in a previous blog entry. At least it is not as sharp as before. It is more of a continuous dull (but sometimes strong) ache. Sometimes, I can get out and do some raking in the yard, which will stretch out my back and that helps for a little while. I have to quit before I go overboard with it, though. A few days after the injury, I was doing well. Then, about a week ago, it started hurting pretty bad again. I still feel it whenever I walk or stand up for any period of time. Even sitting, my lower back gets uncomfortable after a while. At least it isn't as bad as it was at first. I can deal with this degree of discomfort.

I find it amazing how some people can be so blind and yet vociferous about it. There is one person on the internet who has made it his personal goal in life to harass, belittle, and argue with me. The reason? I disagree with his staunch views on evolution. The man is a pipeline worker in California who happens to share one common interest with me, thus we are both on the same message board. He seems to have little gun knowledge, since he rarely spends any time posting on the gun fora. Instead, he hangs out a lot in the general discussion area and looks for opportunities to inject his liberal bias and secular humanist views.

Anyone who disagrees with him is labeled as arrogant, narrow minded, and intolerant. That is typical liberal thought. The bizarre thing is that in so doing, they exceed the very accusations they make. This man is right in the liberal train of thought. It is fine for him to take shots at anyone who disagrees with "scientific evidence" and call them names, but of course we all know that he can't possible be the same. Why is that? I would say human nature, but that is not true. It is carnal nature, instead.

He tries to goad me into arguments by posting evolutionary articles. Of course, these are true science. Nothing written by men who have the same scientific credentials and have a contrary opinion are considered, since they must be biased if they believe in creation.

I find it odd that a pipeline worker will make a challenge to me to provide just a dozen names of credible scientists who profess creation over evolution. He claims that nobody has ever been able to do that for him. I provided over 25. Then the shmuck back pedals and asked me to whittle down the list for him. I refused to do so, since he "pussed out". He then proceeded to label some as kooks and a few as credible. Yeah, a pipeline worker in Southern California is qualified to segregate scientists. Yup, that is the standard bearer.

Every time I write something contrary to his belief system (make no mistake...evolution is a religion. It is not sheer science. Actually, it is pseudo science. There are more holes in evolutionary theory that Swiss cheese.) this jerk will send me a private message and try to start an argument through PM. He calls me arrogant for having an opinion and standing by it. Apparently, he is not used to the idea of a man having convictions and having both the spine and the intelligence to back it up. He ridicules me incessantly, dismisses any validity, and has even gone into name calling, personal attacks, and cussing at me. He mistakes confidence for arrogance. The Apostle Paul was confident in the God he served. He personally knew the Jesus he followed. Oh, but it is arrogant for me to stand up the way Paul, Elijah, or other Biblical characters did.

I have volumes of scientific papers and articles on scientific creationism. I used to believe in evolution when I was young and stupid. I was closed minded. I ridiculed "religious" people. The difference is that I actually started to read the evidence and science about creation versus evolution.

Just the other day, I found an article that attacks evolutionary theory written by a weirdo that believes that humans were "seeded" here by extraterrestrial beings. The neat thing is that even people like that get it in regards to the farce of evolution. Of course, since I brought up how whackos are also aware of the scientific problems with evolution. When even the whackos are attacking evolution, you have got to realize that something is wrong with what you believe. Nope, I was lumped in with the author and must be a supporter of his. How out of context and stupid that thought is.

One thing about hypocrites is that they can not recognize it in themselves, but they will sure bash others about arrogance. They are often guilty of the very things they accuse others of, making them, well, hypocrites. Jesus had no problem pointing out hypocrisy. Neither do I.

I finally got tired of this man bashing me, cussing at me, and just plain being a putz. I finally put him on ignore, meaning that none of his posts or private messages will show up when I visit that site. I am sure that he has belittled that action openly, but I won't be reading it. He has shown how puny his thought process is. He has openly shunned any thoughts of God. I am going to do exactly what the Bible says. I have been praying for him. I also refuse to allow him to personally insult me.

He has a marginal understanding of religion, which is obvious from his writings. He can not understand spiritual things, and I was told that would be the case ahead of time. Knowing that, I attempted to deal on a logical and para-scientific level. Nope, I must be a religious, ignorant bigot. If I have faith to believe God, I must be arrogant. Whatever. I just know my redeemer and what he has promised.

Monday, December 05, 2005


I have a history of back injury, unfortunately. I have hurt my back three times over the years. Yesterday, I pulled my back again. Fortunately, it is milder than any of the previous times, but it sure was uncomfortable, nay, painful. All I was doing was raking the leaves in my yard. I had not done much work with the rake before I suddenly felt the pull I am all too familiar with. I had to immediately stop, lock up the shed, and come rest in the house. I took some Aleve (actually, the store brand version) and relaxed. I am still pretty sore this morning and will try to take it easy the rest of the day. I have to drive to the office today, so I will do that and try to go easy. Some "Ben Gay" type stuff last night didn't do much good, but I was able to sleep in the bed instead of having to lay on the couch as in times past when I hurt myself pretty bad. That is a good sign.

The odd thing is that each time that I have pulled my back, it was while doing something less strenuous, faily normal activity. It seems that it is never when I am doing heavy lifting or a lot of activity, but even with those activities I do get back fatigue, just not strains like this.

On another note, I have been upgrading my web site day by day. Just this morning, I added more news feeds and a currency converter tool. Yesterday, I started a weekly restaurant review column. The site is coming along and improving almost daily.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Voter registration

This is what happens when the local Republican Party acts like a disorganized, dysfunctional family.

For their fundraising campaign in which they were recruiting people to give either a yearly or monthly membership donation (I never did get the membership card that I was promised or my secret decoder ring), people were given a postage paid envelope in which to enclose their donation. I am not talking about a permit paid envelope, I mean a first class stamped envelope. I put some literature for The Constitution Party in the envelope and mailed it back today.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Government school

I read this on the Neal Boorz web site. The reason for the stupidity contained therein is self explanatory.

There is a history teacher in a government school in Nevada who is risking his job by teaching his classes about the American Revolution. Yup. You heard me right. It's happening in Carson City, Nevada, and in schools across the country. Joe Enge teaches 11th graders history in the Carson City government schools. His custom is to begin with the birth of our Nation and to finish with Watergate. Now the people who run his school want his course syllabus to change. He has now been instructed to begin his history lessons with post-Civil War reconstruction. He is not to teach anything about Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Bunker Hill, the Declaration of Independence, George Washington, Dolly Madison, Paul Revere, The Revolutionary War or the debate leading up to the ratification of our Constitution. The school principal excuses this absurd requirement by saying that other schools are doing the same thing. Well, he's right. According the the Fox News Channel report I saw last night, many schools around the country have dropped any requirement for American history completely! Others, like the school in Carson City, are just focusing on our 20th Century history, completely ignoring what came before.

Could there be an ulterior motive here? The post-Civil War history of this country is a history of growing federal government, the weakening of state governments, increased personal dependence on government, the end of the rule of law brought about by the emphasis on majority rule, and the deification of politicians. Perhaps there is a reason government schools don't want to emphasize the self-reliance and love of freedom that dominated American culture before the Civil War. No sense upsetting the government-owned apple cart, right?

Always remember the central lesson your children will be taught at all state educational institutions. Government is good. Government is great. All rise up in praise of government.

A few days of old acquaintance be no forgot

I have been out of town for two days and it has been great to meet and hear from old friends. I got to spend a few hours with someone who was not really a friend before, but after he got "born again", he was able to converse and relate to me much better. We have since developed a bit of a relationship over time and have been able to have some good conversation. I got to get together with him on my trip to Charlotte Tuesday night. It was good to see my brother and spend time talking.

On the way home, I got a phone call from another old acquaintance. A man whom I met through a mutual friend (at the time) called me "out of the blue" last night. I have always liked this guy and we started a friendship but it got cut short when I had a falling out with our mutual friend. That falling out was a good thing, in retrospect, and I am thankful for that. That was about four years ago. I am thankful to have heard from this man and perhaps can renew a relationship.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I have been pretty busy

The thing that has occupied most of my time since the election has been my new web site. I have been adding to it, getting more content, redesigning, learning a new html editor, and spending most nights right here in front of the computer tinkering with the details. Check it out. Also look for my ad in "The Selma News" starting this coming Thursday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I read this quote today from Teddy Roosevelt

"... if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American ... There can be no divided allegiances here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag,... we have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Teddy Roosevelt -- 1907

Monday, November 21, 2005

I know that I haven't written here since Thursday

I have been fairly busy with several things the past week. I am "on vacation" from work, although I was on call over the weekend.

On Saturday, I went to the state convention for The Constitution Party of North Carolina. I do believe that I am going to step up to the plate and get more involved. The party is in need of a party chairman, maybe even a regional director. The one thing that I will say about the men I met at this meeting is that they don't "play games" like others I have run across. They are a small group, but have their heads clear politically. I hate politics within the party. At least there seemed to be no guile amongst the men at this meeting.

The other thing I like about the party is that it is comprised of men and women of principle. I am very tired of the existing "two party system". Even if The Constitution Party is small, I am still determined to have principle over the compromise and sleaze I have seen in the other mainstream parties. I will work towards getting the party known in this area.

The ballot access laws in North Carolina are harder than anywhere in America. This is another hinderance to the election process here for The Constitution Party. Speaking of which, I will copy and paste a letter I sent to members of the NC Senate. I already got a reply from one senator's office acknowledging the communication. I will also write letters to the editor of some newspapers urging that others do the same.


I am writing to request that as a Senate Judiciary 1 Committee member,
that you act to have NC House Bill 88 (Electoral Fairness Act) be sent
back to the Senate for a vote, and push for its passage. Though the
whole requirement of signatures to gain ballot access is unconstitutional
and biased against independent parties, this bill moves towards
rectifying the issue.

Obtaining an inordinate number of signatures of support merely to be
offered a choice on a ballot is unethical. Remember that in 1850, the
Republican Party was a small, unknown political third party on the
American political landscape. Had they the same measure of difficulty as
independent political parties with ballot access, would Abraham Lincoln
ever have been elected?

As an American, I feel that it is important that all views and
political parties be represented on our state's ballot, not just the dominant
main stream parties. With the passage of this bill, we can move closer
to the original intent of our founding fathers regarding elections.
They had stated many times that the downfall of this country would be the
establishment of a two party system.

I look forward to your positive response in seeing this action taken,
and your continued support by voting yes on NC House Bill 88.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The new site is finally ready for public consumption

I finally got the new web site to the point where I am comfortable at least letting people look at it. now has a home page, links page, media page, message board, guest book, and chat room.

Glad I am not the only one who thought this

During the election season, I talked to the mayor, the town manager, and the fire chief about the fire department. One thing that came out of these conversations was the fact that the fire deparment still acts as its own, independent corporation even though it is now a town department. There seems to be no real financial accounting or reporting, so I have been told. The scary thing is that I was told that is no big deal and not a battle worthy of fighting. That is just plain absurd and irresponsible. If the fire department is receiving tax money or any sort of money from the town (regardless of whether it is from utility sales or taxation) for its funding, then every citizen should be able to look at a report and see where the money is being spent, an account of budgets, and feel confident that the town is spending their money wisely. If we have no such reporting, then this should be required IMMEDIATELY. That was my stance then, it is my stance now.

Here is part of "The Selma News" story.

Audit finds ‘weaknesses’ in town’s accounting
By Kelly Lake, News Editor 17.NOV.05

Town’s fire department still being operated as though it were a separate department, says auditor

The town of Selma’s 2004 annual audit, received by Town Council Tuesday night, pointed out numerous “material weaknesses” that the auditor said the town should be aware of..

Although the auditor pronounced the town’s finances “clean,” which means that the town is in sound financial shape, he did point out areas where attention is needed.

One of those areas involves how the town handles the fire department. The auditor reported that even though the town formally made the fire department a town department in 2004, it is still operating the fire department as though it were a separate entity.

“As of June 30, 2005 it was determined that all transactions related to the fire operations had been recorded as though this remained a separate entity,” said the audit. “Transfers were made to the fire department and recorded as town expenditures, for contracted service reimbursements to firefighters. These funds, along with other revenues, were deposited in one of several separate bank accounts maintained by the fire department over which town finance staff had no control or knowledge thereof.”

Monday, November 14, 2005

I am glad that I am not the only one to see such hypocrisy

Check out this article on the hypocrisy of public approval of civil disobedience...or not. I mean no disrespect to the memory of Rosa Parks. She did what was correct in her refusing to "go to the back of the bus" in her day. There were other questionable values in her life, however. In the meantime, a man stood for righteousness in the public spotlight and got skewered. This is a thought provoking article for people of faith. I have done teaching on civil disobedience and the scriptures in the past. This is the sort of thing that should give Christians pause. If you are a liberal Christian, you are going to get annoyed with this article. If you value your skin color and racial accomplishments above your faith, then this article will cheese you off. If, however, you allow your faith and the values you claim to shape your opinion, then you will appreciate this article.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


If you have literally hours to spend reading the internet and want some belly laughs, check out this site: You should be able to link to an internet message board for people who are really into 4X4 off road activity. One young punk sold some gears for a truck to another list member. He started some junk about the price after having received payment, sent him used parts instead of new, lied about it all, and suffered the consequences. Don't check out the message board if you are adverse to foul language, since you will find that there. If you can get past that, enjoy how the internet community struck back at a thief and a liar.

Stuff I have said for years about Islam

Five questions non-Muslims would like answered
By Dennis Prager

November 13, 2005

THE RIOTING IN France by primarily Muslim youths and the hotel bombings in Jordan are the latest events to prompt sincere questions that law-abiding Muslims need to answer for Islam's sake, as well as for the sake of worried non-Muslims.

Here are five of them:

(1) Why are you so quiet?

Since the first Israelis were targeted for death by Muslim terrorists blowing themselves up in the name of your religion and Palestinian nationalism, I have been praying to see Muslim demonstrations against these atrocities. Last week's protests in Jordan against the bombings, while welcome, were a rarity. What I have seen more often is mainstream Muslim spokesmen implicitly defending this terror on the grounds that Israel occupies Palestinian lands. We see torture and murder in the name of Allah, but we see no anti-torture and anti-murder demonstrations in the name of Allah.

There are a billion Muslims in the world. How is it possible that essentially none have demonstrated against evils perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam? This is true even of the millions of Muslims living in free Western societies. What are non-Muslims of goodwill supposed to conclude? When the Israeli government did not stop a Lebanese massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, great crowds of Israeli Jews gathered to protest their country's moral failing. Why has there been no comparable public demonstration by Palestinians or other Muslims to morally condemn Palestinian or other Muslim-committed terror?

(2) Why are none of the Palestinian terrorists Christian?

If Israeli occupation is the reason for Muslim terror in Israel, why do no Christian Palestinians engage in terror? They are just as nationalistic and just as occupied as Muslim Palestinians.

(3) Why is only one of the 47 Muslim-majority countries a free country?

According to Freedom House, a Washington-based group that promotes democracy, of the world's 47 Muslim countries, only Mali is free. Sixty percent are not free, and 38% are partly free. Muslim-majority states account for a majority of the world's "not free" states. And of the 10 "worst of the worst," seven are Islamic states. Why is this?

(4) Why are so many atrocities committed and threatened by Muslims in the name of Islam?

Young girls in Indonesia were recently beheaded by Muslim murderers. Last year, Muslims — in the name of Islam — murdered hundreds of schoolchildren in Russia. While reciting Muslim prayers, Islamic terrorists take foreigners working to make Iraq free and slaughter them. Muslim daughters are murdered by their own families in the thousands in "honor killings." And the Muslim government in Iran has publicly called for the extermination of Israel.

(5) Why do countries governed by religious Muslims persecute other religions?

No church or synagogue is allowed in Saudi Arabia. The Taliban destroyed some of the greatest sculptures of the ancient world because they were Buddhist. Sudan's Islamic regime has murdered great numbers of Christians.

Instead of confronting these problems, too many of you deny them. Muslims call my radio show to tell me that even speaking of Muslim or Islamic terrorists is wrong. After all, they argue, Timothy McVeigh is never labeled a "Christian terrorist." As if McVeigh committed his terror as a churchgoing Christian and in the name of Christ, and as if there were Christian-based terror groups around the world.

As a member of the media for nearly 25 years, I have a long record of reaching out to Muslims. Muslim leaders have invited me to speak at major mosques. In addition, I have studied Arabic and Islam, have visited most Arab and many other Muslim countries and conducted interfaith dialogues with Muslims in the United Arab Emirates as well as in the U.S. Politically, I have supported creation of a Palestinian state and supported (mistakenly, I now believe) the Oslo accords.

Hundreds of millions of non-Muslims want honest answers to these questions, even if the only answer you offer is, "Yes, we have real problems in Islam." Such an acknowledgment is infinitely better — for you and for the world — than dismissing us as anti-Muslim.

We await your response.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Herald's post election coverage

Yesterday, I read "The Smithfield Herald's" coverage of the election. It is funny how paragraphs of conversation shows up as a ", word,". I was asked my opinions on the outcome of the election. I talked about how the two incumbents have been here all their lives, know a lot of people in town, have NAACP support, had more monetary support, and name recognition. I did comment on how I knew that since I was fairly new to town by comparison and that I didn't have the same name recognition that they did, I would need to work harder. I didn't have the cash flow to pay for the name recognition, and that I didn't have the money to do some of the things I was hoping to do. I also talked a bit about the nonpartisan ballot and how I was listed last on the ballot. All of these things individually contributed to the loss, as well as the amount of time I was able to invest. However, even if all of these things went my way, I am not sure that it would have changed the outcome.

I was talking with Tom Bell, owner of "Life and Times Cafe" and newly elected Dist. 4 councilman in Smithfield. We ate at his restaurant, as we do from time to time. He shared some of his experiences running for office in years past and the news reporting in the papers. He, too, was a bit frustrated in times past with the misquotes or errors.

I am not saying that I was misquoted in this case, but rather barely quoted at all. To give a list of things with no context as to why they were on a list certainly made the conversation seem insignificant and different than was actually had. And then to top things off, the "controversial quote" was the one printed. I said that Selma voters are "going to get exactly what they deserve" with this election's outcome. Also I mentioned that they re-elected two liberal Democrats that helped put this town into the current spending pinch. There was one more controversial quote, but that one didn't make it into the paper. I had cited "the redneck factor" in some of the voting. If you have ever lived elsewhere in the country, then perhaps you know exactly what I meant by that.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Why do people fall for things like this? Check out their web site.

Some time ago, I wrote to a man who runs Their master plan in that organization is to move a bunch of Christians there, take over the state, and secede from the union (a second for SC). Then, take over other states one by one. About a month ago, I emailed the director with a few simple comments:

I was surfing through the CE site and your blog. We are very much on the same page politically and in our views on our government. We do differ on the premise behind the existence of CE, however. There are other groups doing the same thing in New Hampshire but for Libertarian causes. Zion, Illinois was founded for much the same ideal. My big question is simply, "Why not allow your light to shine where you are and be the salt of the earth there, rather than moving the salt to South Carolina?" The concept of secession will never work. We are promised that things will get worse, not better in the scriptures. Instead of gathering the saints together in one place for habitation and control, I would think that a concentrated effort in shining the light of the Spirit and converting those around you (wherever you may be) would be more the aim of the Gospel...It seems counter to the idea of "go into all the world". When the early Church stayed in Jerusalem rather than going, as was ordered, the received a good dose of persecution to make them go.


Almost a month later (this morning), I got this reply:

Dear Troy,
I appreciate your honest inquiry, but I think your premise is flawed. Going to South Carolina IS going into the "world." SC is part of the world, is it not? Furthermore, your premise assumes that God does not call anyone to go to South Carolina. You assume that since you're called to your current location, others must also be called to their current locations. Your vantage point can be argued to be clearly in opposition to the Great Commission by promoting "staying put" rather than "going into the world." I believe your position is not in opposition to the Great Commission, nor is mine. Your commission might be to serve where you're currently located. The commission of others might be to move to serve somewhere else. It is arrogant to determine what another believer's commission should be. Is Peter faulted because he didn't do as many church plants or travel as much as Paul? Is Paul faulted because he didn't stay put and be "salt and light" in Ephesus or Corinth or Rome?

Lastly, ask yourself the question: have American Christians been salt and light in America? I say no. I think they've lost their saltiness, and Scripture reminds us that tasteless salt cannot become salty again. Our strategy at Christian Exodus will enable a portion of America to be salt and light for the world. And from this Christian base of operations, evangelists can be trained, financed and launched. Of course, you're free to disagree with me. :-)

I don't have time for lengthy discourse, but I do try to respond to honest inquirers like yourself at least one.

OK, I gotta run.

God bless you,

Cory R. Burnell, MBA
Phn: 877-727-3578
Fax: 815-572-8086


My reply was the following:

Thank you for your email, Cory. I did not expect a reply, so it was nice of you to do so. I, too, do not plan on a lengthy discourse. I did, however, find a few things amusing about your reply. You made a big assumption that I actually made assumptions. I got a chuckle out of that. Next, you also assumed that I am even remotely attempting to determine what another believer's commission should be. The next chuckle was at you calling yourself and your associates saltless then proceed to tell me how CE is going to be salt and light. Are you excluding yourself from the statement "have American Christians been salt and light in America?" Personally, I have known many who have epitomized that very thing. I know many who have not exemplified that.

As to Peter's vs. Paul's ministry, do not mistake the work of an apostle and that commission for the work or relocation to South Carolina for something that sounds like a good idea. To many, moving to Waco, Texas seemed like a good idea, too. Paul went to a region, evangelized, converted the heathen, and started the new believers on their paths of following Christ. He didn't go to Corinth, invite all of the church at Jerusalem or other areas to come to settle with him, try to take over the province, and maybe secede.

Yes, SC is part of the world. No, my premise in no way assumes that God doesn't call anyone to SC (why he would is beyond my comprehension, being from NC. SC one of the states that NC can make fun of. Just a little humor. ;^)

I do wish you success in the spread of the gospel in SC.


It is pretty, but it is useless

Since the inception of the color coded homeland security advisory system, I have thought it to be useless. First, the colors and ratings mean nothing to the average individual. Also, why advertise to potential terrorists that we are or are not on a "heightened alert" status? It is not like the ozone level reports during the summer on your favorite weather forecast.

Being prepared is a good thing and is the responsibility of every citizen. The nation of Israel takes this seriously, since they deal with terrorism more than any other country. There is some good information on the Homeland Security web sites.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rick Stewart's comments on the election

Rick Stewart, editor of "The Selma News" made a keen observation about the election. I said the same thing on Tuesday. I am going to quote part of his commentary from the web site, which I assume will also be in today's paper. To see the full commentary, just click on the post title, which will be a link to the web page. Rick, I am trying to send as much traffic to your web site as I can, now that "The Selma News" has a web site up and running.


I congratulate Selma's mayor-elect Charles Hester today. In addition, congratulations to incumbents Jackie Lacy and Debbie Johnson, both of whom retained their seats on Selma Town Council.

All worked hard to earn their seats.

In every race, there has to be someone who does not win. In this case it was incumbent Mayor Harry Blackley. I'd also like to congratulation Harry on his efforts as well as those of Council challengers Troy LaPlante and Tommy Holmes.

It takes guts to put your name on the ballot. And, it hurts when you don't win. I've covered elections for more than 30 years--I know.

While it does hurt, there is no shame in losing. Harry, Troy and Tommy showed courage to campaign and run on issues they felt important. My hat is off to them for having the courage to run.

Voters did send a mixed message. Charles said Tuesday night that he went door-to-door over the past few weeks in Selma. He said voters told him repeatedly they wanted a change in Selma. They told him they wanted new leadership.

While voters made a change at the top, they retained the two incumbent Council members.


Yup..."we want change, but are not willing to change to get it," said the majority of the voters.

I am leaving the Republican Party and the aftermath

For years, I have considered leaving the Republican Party. The things that I have seen on a national, state, and local level just frost me. I am going to change my party affiliation ASAP (as soon as I can make it to the courthouse to do so). I tried to give them one more chance, but can't take it any more. Here is a transcript of recent emails.

First email from me to a Johnston County GOP official:

My wife and I will both be changing our party affiliation immediately. We will no longer be registered Republicans, therefore I wish to cease my monthly contribution that is being charged to my Visa card effective immediately. Please ensure that whomever needs to know this information within the Johnston County GOP is aware of this.

After long consideration, a while trying to work with the local GOP, seeing its flaws, and becoming more than frustrated with what I have seen, we will be joining a third party. In the words of Ronald Reagan, "I have not left the [Democratic] Party, the [Democratic] Party has left me." Just insert GOP, instead.

I would rather spend the $12 a month on taking my bride to the movies or something.


After I received a glib response containing several assumptions, I sent the following:

If that is all that you can get out of my email, then you have really missed my reasons. You really have no idea why someone would be disappointed in the GOP in this county? You assume it is because I lost an election? Dude, if that is what you see or got out of my email, please stop, think, and look at the organization of which you are a part. That is mighty puny and myopic thinking.

The Johnston County GOP is the most leaderless and aimless organization I have been around in years. I have heard stories of similar frustrations from others who have been a part of the party in the past. I saw many of the same problems years ago that I see today. I had hoped that they would have changed.

I have been thinking about changing parties for years. I only held on to the Republican Party since they were the only game in town, as far as I was concerned. I decided to give it one more attempt at developing relationships and getting involved before I even decided to run for office. It has nothing to do with losing the election. It has everything to do with how I saw things being run at the leadership level and the total apathy towards anyone but a clique of people. It has to do with the pathetic attempt at forming a men's group and leaving it to flounder. It has to do with the total lack of support when I did ask for information. It has to do with the total lack of communication or caring that I had heard about years ago and still see today. It also has to do with the shame I feel when looking at the state of the party as a whole on the state, local, and national level. I am absolutely disgusted at the wimpy mass of spineless corruption and compromise that I see at all levels.

For the record, since you brought it up (not me), NO the YR did zippo to help at RR Days. Nor with anything else. You are correct in that the county has typically done little work in municipal elections. For that matter, at the county level. I know men who have run for office at the county level here and gotten absolutely no support from the leadership. I was warned about this lack of desire to see that Republicans actually get elected. I was the ONLY Republican running for office in Selma. I guess that second largest town in the county doesn't matter to the party.

When we have a candidate running for ANY office, I don't care if it is "dog catcher", then our leadership should be on it like flies on manure. [I edited out this sentence just to be more polite, but it sure would have tied the previous sentence to the next. I am really trying to watch myself on what I write here, since it would not have been pleasant.] It is no wonder why I have heard dissent from other party members recently.

Look at the Democrat's web site in this county. Then look at our own. Just those two glances speak volumes as to the degree of care we have in our own camp. If you saw the Dem's booth at RR Days and what they were doing, you would see just a sliver of my frustration with this party. Why would I want to support that? Or be a part of that any more? I figured I would give the Republicans one last shot at winning my loyalty.

Since I would rather be stabbed to death with a plastic fork than become a Democrat, it looks like The Constitution Party is the only organization that stands as I do. I have been contemplating joining them for many years. But, I held on to the GOP with a fading hope and wanted to "give it the old college try". I have already been contacted by two leaders in that party with open arms. I have met several of the party's national figures. Even though they may be a small third party, I would rather be a part of a nothing third party and be able to vote any way I choose when in the voting booth than be ashamed of the group to which I belong.



I have gotten no reply to this as yet. I did, however, see a cc sent to me regarding my monthly contribution:

Please find the attached request from Troy LaPlante to resign from the GOP and stop his monthly donation. I do not know the reason for this change of heart. Please fulfill his request immediately, make no further charges, and destroy any card information you have.


I wasn't going to let that "change of heart" comment go unanswered and allow for room in interpretation or give way to gossip. That is one reason why I am posting all of this here, so there is no question as to where I stand or what I said. Here is my additional commentary:

For the record, since [name withheld] expressed it, I have not had a change of heart. I have had the same heart about this for years. We have been talking about whether to stay with the GOP or move on to another party for years now. I gave it one last try to work within the GOP, but just can't freakin' take it any more. [name withheld], since it was just brought up, I will copy and paste what I just sent to [name withheld]. I want there to be no questions or inaccurate rumors/gossip floating about. And NO, it has nothing to do with having just lost the election in Selma. Win or lose, my wife and I had already planned to change our party affiliation after the election was over. We decided to wait until all was done for the sake of consistency. I was even promoting our county GOP on my web site (now removed) since that is where my membership and loyalty still was. However, with my frustrations with my recent involvement with the local GOP, and the state of affairs with the state and national GOP, we have decided that there is no place for us in the Republican Party. This is a decision that has been literally years in the making.


I have been thinking about something else that was said in one of the emails from this local GOP officer. Keep in mind that I did not say anything in my email about a lack of GOP help in my email asking to stop charging my Visa card. All I said was that we are leaving the Republican Party, please stop charging my card. He made some assumptions in his reply to me. This morning, I decided to address the one issue that bothered me in another email:

>>>Sorry you feel this way. I thought some folks (primarily YRs sponsored by the county) had tried to help you at Mules Days and RR Days.<<<

[name withheld], also for the record, I offered to help the YR and the party and donate/share my space at RR Days with them. It was never a matter of if they would help me, it was that I had offered to help them get out the GOP message, register voters, whatever. No overture was ever made to help me. It was my idea and offer to try to help the party. There was no plan nor interest in ever having the YR come to RR Days, yet it turned out to be the biggest RR Days ever. It took me two different attempts at contacting YR leadership in the party, since the first offer was never responded to. The second call I made was eventually returned saying that they declined the opportunity. Wow, that is party cohesion at its finest. I certainly had no desire to do anything at Mule Days for a municipal election, since that was in Benson and I am in Selma.

If you want more areas for improvement, I can supply them.



OK, now all is in the open except for the glib email that I got from the GOP officer. I can post it all here, but I wanted to spare him and you. Now that it is all in the open and all that was said on my part in the open, I don't want any rumors or gossip from any Republican. It is now public record and your questions should be answered.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Be careful what you wish for, you are going to get it

OK, asked for it. You are going to get it. Most people in Selma are unaware that the mayor is not a decision maker in Selma as much as the town council members are. The mayor can not make motions, second motions, but can vote. That means that he can not bring his own agenda to the table without a motion from one of the council members. He is not an administrator, since we have a town manager and town clerk. If you really think that Charles Hester is going to get his agenda of lowering utility bills, health care for all citizens, and total beautification through, you are mistaken. If he does get some of his agenda through, it will be at your expense as a tax payer. If you are a renter, your utility costs and rent will reflect it all eventually.

Here is some info in the paper and on web sites about the election results.

Selma Elects New Mayor - Selma Mayor Harry Blackley was upset by challenger Charles Hester, who won a court appeal to have his name placed on the ballot. Hester received 62 percent of the vote total to Blackley's 38 percent. Both incumbent Selma town council members, Debbie Edwards Johnson and Jackie Lacy, won. Lacy carried 38 percent of the vote total, Johnson 37 percent. Tommy Holmes and Troy Laplante finished a distant third and fourth with 13 and 12 percent of the vote total respectively.

WRAL's web site They spelled my name incorrectly.

"The Selma News" article My name is spelled wrong in this article, too.

"The Smithfield Herald" article Look for a complete article in Friday's paper. They spelled my name correctly.

"The Kenly News". The numbers change somewhat depending upon what source you read. Again, my name is spelled incorrectly. Since it is the same company as "The Selma News", no surprise.

The N&O chart of results. My name was spelled incorrectly here, too.

Over 677 voters turned out for this municipal election. The N&O shows 677 total votes for mayor, so I know it is more than that since I know some people did NOT vote for mayor but only for town council.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Final vote count

I just saw the final vote count.

Hester 422 62%
Blackley 255 37%

Lacy 439 38%
Johnson 424 37%
Holmes 147 12%
Me 134 11%

In looking at the stats from the east and west sides of Selma, I can see the following things. I did much better in the west side than I did in the east as a percentage of the vote. That tells me that some people paid attention to the fact that I was from the west side. The final tally also tells me that I was only 1% behind a man who has been here in Selma all his life. I have only been here three years.

Debbie Johnson and Jackie Lacy had a lot of core support, name recognition, and are incumbents. They have been here all their lives. Jackie won a huge support base in the Black vote. I still pulled down 134 votes. Sure, that is less than a third of their vote totals. I had no campaign workers except my wife. I did not have yard signs all over town. I had less time to campaign than I wished I had. I still came in a close fourth to third place and took some conservative votes. Imagine what could have been if I was here longer, knew more people, had more resources, and had name presence all over town. Even better, if we actually elected people by district, as we should be doing.

If you want more of the same out of your town council, congratulations. You got if for at least two more years, Selma. You just elected two liberal Democrats for town council and a Democrat for mayor. If you did not vote in this election, don't complain about the results of what you get from your town government. For the 134 of you who did vote for me, I thank you with a deep sense of gratitude. For those who didn't, if you only knew what you are NOT going to get as a town council member, you would have voted differently. But hey, that's politics.

There is one story I found amazing today. My wife and I put out flyers the past two Sundays. One woman confronted my wife who was at the west side polling place. She railed on my wife telling her that if she was going to vote for me before, she certainly would not do so now. The reason? She found a flyer on her automobile in a church parking lot. Oh, the horror!! Wake the children, call the neighbors!! An election flyer on an automobile on the sacred acre of the church parking lot! She was nasty, judgemental, and rude to my wife, from all accounts.

You know what folks? I have been active in the church for fifteen years since becoming a born again Christian. I have seen many false holiness, false humility, and self righteous people in churches. This just adds one more to the list. Just because our "church gatherings" are not necessarily on Sunday and apparently we should be meeting in a building on a Sunday rather than BEING the church all week long, we are somehow anathema. There is no pleasing bitter people like this. I won't even try. I just wish that she had said these things to me, to my face rather than berating my wife.

I got a call from "The Smithfield Herald" reporter Jordan Cooke this evening asking for my feedback and thoughts on the election. I told him much of what I have written here. I am newer to the area, I didn't have the budget, name recognition, incumbancy, and know as many people as the others did. I didn't have the campaign time I wanted to devote. No excuses, just fact. There is also the "redneck factor", as I call it. I can't help the fact that my parents raised me in the northeast. I moved to the South by choice. I ended up in Selma by choice. I am choosing to serve my community. This is my home. However, there are some that will never vote for me simply because I am from "up north" originally. I was born further south than most people who live here. I have lived in North Carolina almost half of my life. Oh, well, can't please everybody. Also, the election is non-partisan, you pick two candidates, and I am listed last of the four on the ballot. I have seen this affect races before, and this is no different. No excuses, just fact. There should be a few interesting quotes in "The Herald" on Thursday.

I learned some things about the local political process and climate. I learned some about campaigning. I also learned a lot about people. I have not decided two years inadvance as to whether I will run for office again. I have been asked three times already. The next municipal election is a full two years away.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Coming soon to this area

I have been working on a new venture that is starting to come together. I have bought the web site name The site is not up and running yet. I just have a free web page holding its place until the rest of the site is developed. Here is my latest creation about it.

Image hosted by

It is almost poll time

It is almost 9PM on Monday night. It is hard to believe that the election is tomorrow. I have tried to get as much exposure as I could fit in. I bought radio and newsprint ads, put out about 2500 flyers, business cards, put signs in my yard and on my truck, put out a few unique banner road signs, been working on this web site, and been wearing specially made t-shirts. Hopefully, the word has gotten out. I will be at one of the polling places all day tomorrow. My wife will be at the other. We are still finalizing our plans, having never done this before at two different locations. We kept a few flyers and signs for people to see before going in to vote. I hope to see you Tuesday. Thank all of you for the support that you have given me so far and the kind words you have expressed about my writings on this site.

This is why I called the Board of Elections and did not want to do something stupid with WMPM

The last thing I need in a political race is for something to happen to discredit me as a candidate. Just an appearance of impropriety is enough to tarnish a person, even if it is not true. This is why I contacted the Johnston County Board of Elections before even considering participating in the WMPM ad sales rate cover up. I wrote about this earlier in this blog. I wanted to avoid any accusations of doing anything illegal. It can bite you if you don't. Allegations of illegal activity have come to the public attention in another race. Ironically enough, the following story is from the WMPM web site.

Postcard Alleging Misconduct By Elected Officials Muddies Tuesday's Race - Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday to decide a number of contested races. In one local town, handwritten postcards to voters alleging criminal activity, infidelity and misconduct have made the race very ugly. In the town of Coats, Commissioner B.W. Holland has filed a complaint with the Board of Elections over the postcards. There are seven candidates, including two incumbents, seeking three at-large seats on the Coats Town Board. Two are running for the vacant mayors seat. Some residents believe the postcards were written to discredit certain candidates, while others believe they will have no bearing on the outcome of the elections. The NC Board of Elections is investigating the illegal mailings.

I feel compelled to write more

I was out late putting out campaign flyers last night and then working on some web design until the wee hours of the morning. I am supposed to be on vacation but have already had four phone calls from work asking me questions. I already answered some of those questions via email, but some people don't check email prior to opening up their mouths and bothering the man on vacation. I am dedicated, I guess, so I answer questions and take phone calls anyway. Funny how that works. Oh, well. Now to the subject that is burning inside of me.

I feel compelled to write about what I see written in the N&O voters guide. I just wrote about how I am the only Republican running for office, and there are some things I do want to comment on. I have REALLY tried to be good about these things, but I have things that just burn within. That is why I am running for office.

Here are some issues that we will be facing in the near future before the Selma Town Council. Because these are issues that are favored by some of the candidates, they are relevant to this election. I am only going to mention the things that I see publicly written in the "News and Observer" and leave thoughts on other subjects out. Here we go.

Harry Blackley


My comment: OK, I can understand that. JFK was for tax cuts, a tighter government, and had the guts to stand against impinging Communism. I contrast that to his brother Edward...(shudder). JFK was where the Republican Party is now that they have moved to the left over the years.

What are the most pressing issues facing Selma?
Blackley: Ensuring the safety of Selma citizens. Bringing good paying jobs to Selma. Keeping power, water and sewer capacity ahead of the town’s needs. And bringing more single-family homes to town.

My comment: I am in full agreement with Mr. Blackley.

How should Selma continue to develop economically?

Blackley: We just brought Sysco to Selma with about 450 jobs at an average of $45,000 a year plus benefits. And we just got ThyssenKrupp Precision Forge to expand. We’ll continue to recruit industry and business; make sure our water, sewer and power capacity are beyond our needs; and work with developers to bring more single-family homes.

My comments: I don't think that all 450 jobs for Sysco will be filled by either present of future Selma residents. I have no problem with recruiting future industry and business. I do have a problem with it if we are going to throw a lot of tax payer funded incentives. I agree with keeping the water, sewer, and power capacity ahead of development. I also agree that we should make it easier for development of single family homes...not rental units, but home ownership is the key there.

Charles Hester

TOP PRIORITY IF ELECTED: “Reduce spending, eliminate waste, form historic districts, beautify town, health care for all citizens.”

My comments: The issues listed here are in direct conflict. We can not reduce spending but spend taxpayer money to fund private "beautification" of the town. Yes, we can do our part with the town property, sidewalks, and streets. I can see that and can agree with that. However, I do NOT SUPPORT WHATSOEVER spending tax money so that private developers and businesses can beautify, renovate, or improve their properties. Next is the "health care for all citizens". Just HOW do you intend to do so? How can we reduce spending and then provide health care for all citizens? Why is it my responsibility to provide health care for those who have failed to do so themselves? Why should the town spend money on health care for anyone other than those in its employ as a necessary benefit? Doing so would only encourage freeloaders to move to Selma at public expense. Considering that renters outnumber property owners in this town, it is unethical to place such a disproportionate burden on tax payers in this town.

How should Selma continue to develop economically?

Hester: The town needs to maintain a no-growth posture for at least a year and let our spending “catch up” with our income. Then, the town can look to bringing more housing (affordable) and other small industries. We need to concentrate on taking care of what we have.

My comments: If by "no growth" you mean town budget and spending growth, I can understand that. However, we do need to spend money in areas of necessity such as infrastructure repair and replacement. That is indeed what was said in "concentrate on taking care of what we have". I have no issue with holding the line on spending and town expenditure growth for a year. Limiting growth in the private sector is another issue entirely and it is not clear in the publication as the the intention.

What are the most pressing issues facing Selma?

Hester: Reduce spending, and therefore reduce the amount of utility charges to our citizens.

My comments: Reducing spending in the overall town budget will not necessarily reduce utility bills. We purchase electricity at a $x and retail it at $y. If the electrical, water, and sewer revenues are not used to re-invest into our infrastructure, we are not handling those funds wisely. If the town budget is supplied with money in large part from the proceeds of the utility sales to citizens, then yes, perhaps cutting spending will reduce the utility costs. We do have a high utility cost to consumers in this town, in my opinion. If we can indeed reduce the utility charges, I am all for it.

Debbie Johnson

AGE: Not given.

My comment: Why not? It is a fair question to ask of someone running for office.

Other comments: It is hard to tell with Debbie just where she stands on issues. She is fairly vague other than to say that we need to keep doing what we are doing to encourage businesses to come to Selma. Other than that, I don't see any real commitments on issues.

Tommy Holmes

My comments: Tommy seems to be a single issue candidate. Keeping tax and utility bills low is his answer to every question or issue. Fundamentally, I am in agreement with this. There are other issues that the town and council members face, however.

Jackie Lacy

FAVORITE MOVIE: “The Passion of the Christ”

My comments:
This raises "red flags" to me anytime anyone claims a great love of spirituality and supports Bill Clinton. Clinton was a shame to this nation. His politics and behavior were antithetical to Christendom. Don't get me wrong. I have many issues with the Republican Party, as well. However, I do take issue with any claim that Bill Clinton is any real sort of "hero" except to the reprobate. I enjoyed Mel Gibson's "The Passion" and own my own copy. I paid to see it in the theater twice. It is overall a great movie. When I see Bill Clinton, I see no resemblance to Christ. When I see Christ, however, I do see Bill Clinton. Jesus became sin for us, and died for Bill Clinton, too.

What are the most pressing issues facing Selma?

Lacy: Economic development and availability of low-rent housing for low-income families. Recreational facilities for youth and seniors. Collaboration between the town and the Hispanic population.

My comments: The concepts of economic development and low rent housing are opposed to one another. We already have too high of a percentage (majority) of the citizens of Selma who are renters. We need to rather encourage home ownership. Recreation facilities are fine and I support their existence. However, they do not keep the electricity running, the water and sewers flowing, streets repaired, fires extinguished, or criminals in jail. Collaboration with the Hispanic population? Here is my proposal for starters. If you do not have legitimate documentation that you are here in this country legally, you do not get to have city services such as water, sewer, trash pick up, and electricity. PERIOD.

Those are the major things that I have seen, believe in, and support. I am not trying to be just critical, but these things burn within me. These issues show the difference between the candidates, offer choice, and let you know where I stand. If this appeals to you, then vote for me tomorrow on election day.

The N&O voter's guide

The N&O finally published their voter's guide. It is available online, as well.

For mayor

For town council

Of course, there is the obligatory error/misquote. The reporterette that called me didn't get everything accurate in what I said, specifically regarding the library/parks and recreation proposed expansion and the electrical system upgrade, but the general sentiment is there. Of course, only a small fraction of what was said actually made it into the publication. Thoughts such as maintaining our existing infrastructure never really made it into the guide. Oh, well.

NOTE that I am the ONLY Republican running for elected office in the Town of Selma. There is only one more conservative running for office in Tommy Holmes. I am most disappointed, however, in the total lack of support from the county GOP. I am just as disappointed in the same from the NRA. I have been "going it alone".

It is this sort of government mentality that will kill this nation

Check out this article. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California is at it again. When some parents were not all that pleased with some sex education courses and materials that were being used in their own government schools, they filed suit and lost. The 9th Circuit wrote that "there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children.... Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students."

Parents have no fundamental right be the exclusive providers of information regarding sexual matters to their children? Then they are no longer parents and have become merely surrogate breeders for the state to be the parent. Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools? What happened to the concept of a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people"?

This mentality must not become prevalent in any level of government. Fortunately, it is less so at the town level than at the state or federal level. In Selma, we don't have the governance over the local schools as I wish we did. I believe that such matters of determination are best handled at the local level rather than a county or state. Either way, YOU, as a voter, must help safeguard against this mentality when electing school board officials, men who appoint the judiciary, and yes, even your town council and mayor.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Another lost day and some hope

I may have been on vacation for the last week plus, but I was working today. I had intended for today to be a day to get out and meet people, pass out flyers, and let people get to know about me. Unfortunately, I was "on call" for work and ended up working a 14.5 hour day. From the time I woke up until late tonight, I have been working to troubleshoot problems on the job.

It seems that if anything could go wrong in this campaign season, it has. I have put up with problems with advertising, flyer copying, data gathering, lack of help from the local GOP, lack of desire to help from the NRA, funding shortages when needed for campaign supplies when it would be beneficial and then an abundance when it was too late to purchase those things, friends/family sick and in the hospital, others in need, one complaining business owner who just lost thousands of dollars in business from me and others, sign printing problems, audio blogging unavailability when I wanted to do so, weeks of very long work hours, a lack of vehicles for use as family is borrowing them, and the list goes on. I know that this sounds like a lot, and perhaps borderline complaining. Nah, just stream of consciousness and venting a bit. I am a little frustrated, but I am hoping that I have gotten enough exposure with enough potential voters to have made a difference.

None the less, I will continue to do what I can between now and election day. I will be out tomorrow and tomorrow night. Hopefully, Monday will be clear, as well. Tuesday, I plan on being at one polling place and my wife at the other. From all reports, it looks like it will be a light voting turn out. There are about 2400 registered voters in Selma. That is only about 36% of the population in this town. Of that 2400, it is expected that only about 10% may turn out to vote. That means that only a few hundred votes could decide the election. Hopefully, the poll results on this web site will be at least partly accurate and I will be chosen by those few hundred people. If you will be one of those few hundred people, then I thank you in advance.

Here is a trick I have learned about nonpartisan voting when there are multiple candidates for multiple positions. If you wish to help make sure that I am elected, then I have this tip. You are allowed to vote for two candidates for town council. Vote for ONLY me and no second choice. That will be the equivalent of giving me two votes while only casting one. It means that another candidate will not be getting a vote to count against me. It is working the system within its design.

I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the public and from people who have been reading my web site. Thanks to each of you for your kind words, expressions of concerns about our town, suggestions, and most importantly, for your vote. I look forward to serving you. You all have an open door to contact me via email, telephone, or in person.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I originally posted this at the end of August

I know that there are some questions about me and my positions. I have answered a few general questions for you to get to know me better. I welcome your questions, as well. Since this information was originally posted two months ago, I figured that it may be hard to find in the archives. So, I am reposting it here for any of those who have not read it thus far. You can click on any of the monthly archive entries on the right side of the page to see previous writings.

Q: Why are you running for office in the first place?
A: I can answer that in two words: PUBLIC SERVICE. I have a long history of public service. I have not been doing a lot of public service over the past few years and have wanted to get back into that mode for a while. I have seen candidates run unopposed for a while in various elections and that bothers me. It especially bothers me if a liberal runs unopposed. The last election cycle, I even went to the county courthouse on the last day for filing and was ready to file for office on the county level if any Democrat was running unopposed for any office for which I was qualified to run. Fortunately, a conservative Republican was the only person who filed to run in that election, so I let him have it all to himself.

Q: Then why Selma? Why town council?
A: Because I live here. I moved to Selma because I wanted to live here. When we were looking to purchase a house, we had only a few areas in which I wanted to look. We found a decent deal on a house we wanted near downtown (oops, excuse me…Uptown) Selma. My wife and I liked the quaint, small town feel we could still have in Selma. We also liked the access to highways, shopping, and the growth we found in Johnston County.

Since this is where I chose to live, I believe in serving and blooming where I am planted. I have had the strong burden to get involved in my community in some fashion. I knew the elections were upcoming, so I decided that was a good way to serve my community.

Q: Describe your political views.
A: That is easy to know but maybe a bit harder to express. I am a registered Republican, but only because there is really no other choice or political party that I can call "home". I have a problem with much of the Republican Party as a whole, but there is no other party that is on the ballot that I can come close to identifying with. If they become more well known and popular, I might join the Constitution Party. I don't see that happening anytime soon, however.

I am very conservative in my political views. I believe that there are essential services that government is supposed to provide, for which we pay taxes. I believe that the government that governs least governs best. At the same time, I do believe in smaller level governments being proactive in promoting and protecting their towns and cities.

I guess that I can put it this way. If you like Jesse Helms, you will love me politically. I may not agree with every social viewpoint he held, but I do believe in his conservative message. His reputation for having spine enough to say the word "NO" regardless of the populist opposition, I find honorable.

Q: Where are you from?
A: I spent the first two decades of my life in New Hampshire. While there, I was active in the local fire department, went to school, and worked my way through college at a radio station. Much of my family is still there. After graduating college, I relocated to Raleigh to take a position at NC State University in my field of study. While living in Raleigh for nine years or so, I found a beautiful wife, was active in ministry outreach, worked to found several Christian fellowship groups, and worked to pay the bills. Eventually, I relocated to Smithfield where I closer to where I worked here in Johnston County. I lived there for about five years until my wife and I could afford to purchase a house in our chosen hometown of Selma. We moved to Selma about three years ago.

Q: What do you see as the greatest challenge for the Town of Selma?
A: Maintaining fiscal accountability and responsibility while experiencing growth. I have addressed this a bit in my blog in the past, but it is well worth repeating. There are issues that I see that are worth re-evaluating. One big one that jumped out at me as I read it was the growth plan for our parks and recreation facilities. Selma only has about 6,000 population. We may well experience growth in the future. However, I do not believe that building seven mini parks and three dog parks in our little town makes good economic sense. It seems wasteful to me. I do not want our town to be turned into another Cary, North Carolina.

If we want to maintain our slogan of "A Charming Place to Be", then we must continue in the things that make us charming. We need to make effective use of our resources while still making our town charming. There are some areas in which we do well. There are other areas in which we could stand some improvement. I do not know ALL of those areas, but I will be diligent to work for improvement where it is necessary.