Saturday, March 31, 2007

Something I can relate to and have personally experienced very recently

"Our Lord said, "Beware when all men speak well of you." Those of us who call into question status quo beliefs and challenge sacred cows are no candidates for global praise. So the onslaught goes with the territory. But let's be careful that we aren't the one's guilty of firing the salvos! It's one thing to disagree respectfully with someone. It's quite another to demonize them and impute evil motives to their hearts." --Frank Viola

Ron Paul on Real Time with Bill Maher

I find it ironic that Maher, usually a liberal, hateful liberal, is actively defending the CIA in this clip. I usually don't like Maher's program, but watch occasionally for either laughs or ammunition.

Ron Paul was much more composed than Maher in this interview. I don't agree with every point of Paul's, but we are in agreement on many issues. Ron Paul believes in global warming, apparently. I do in so much as it is naturally caused, but negligable. Ever since the end of the ice age, we have had glaciers and ice caps melting. No big surprise there, and we can't blame it on mankind. Scientists have told us for years that glaciers would melt...long before we ever heard about global warming and were hearing about the coming ice age.

I don't believe that every war is about oil, nor do I believe that radical Muslims attack the U.S. because of our foreign policies or our current wartime efforts in the Middle East. We have been getting attacked bit by bit, as have Israel, France, Spain, Indonesia, and other nations. This is hardly the fault of the United States but rather of a backwards society and false religion full of murderous zealots.

I agree with Ron Paul's Civil War commentary regarding slavery and the causes of the war. Sure, abolition was a part of the war motivation, but not as much as some say or others dismiss.

Maher sure didn't get into any deep or important subjects. Instead, he tried to make Ron Paul look like a kook. Instead, he made himself look like a chump.

Friday, March 30, 2007

When in Selma, you gotta try this place

Great food, good coffee, friendly people, awesome baked goods. Edelweiss German Bakery in "Uptown" Selma is a welcome addition. Here is a news story in the new bakery. Say hello to Steve when you go. I was referred to as his "first regular customer".

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Home owners AND car buyers may get screwed

Bills now being considered in the North Carolina General Assembly would force people selling their home to pay a 1% sales tax. For example, if you own a $200,000 home, you would be forced to pay $2,000 to the government when you sold your home.

Of course, if I am selling a home, I will charge an extra 1% minimum to cover the cost of the tax. That does not make it an easy sell for me. I am never an advocate of higher taxes. When is enough ENOUGH? Why only punish home owners? Why rip off the equity I worked my ass off to pay for so that the government can suck it from me? Why make houses 1% more expensive for all home buyers?

I am baffled as to why the NC Legislature continues to look for ways to screw over the people in this state. We have seen gross negligence, corruption, and waste, yet instead of just cutting out the waste and fraud, they look for ways to suck more money from honest, hard working citizens.

I don't buy every argument against this proposed tax, such as that it is regressive. 1% is 1% regardless of who you are. The richer with more valuable homes would get hit with a higher tax assessment. Sure, people who make money put forth a larger percentage of their income towards their home purchase, but it is at least no more percentage wise than a wealthy individual will pay.

None the less, 1% that could be used as equity to put towards my next purchase getting siphoned off for government use is just plain immoral. Renters pay nothing. I already pay property tax.

There is a web site on the topic for more info.


According to a WMPM news story, the state wants to raise the 3% sales tax on new cars to 6.75%. In the bill, however, I don't see a provision for a 6.75% tax rate. This is, however, the same bill that will hose home sellers with an excise tax on all real property transfers, as described earlier.

An obvious problem is that the state has continuously raided the highway trust fund for use in the general fund in years past. The state never replenished that fund when there was a surplus. Now, the senate bill aims to replenish and perpetually fund the highway trust fund with car sales taxes.

The bill takes out the deduction on the retail value of the trade in of another car. If the sales price of a new car is $25,000 and your trade in value on your old car is $10,000, you are actually paying $10,000 towards the value of the new car with your old one. However, you would be taxed on the full $25,000 rather than the $15,000 differential.

The bill also provides for a $300 tax on a certificate of title is your previous title was in another state for at least 90 days. Why? It's just another way of squeezing cash out of the average person.

The "cure" is worse than the "sickness"

The federal government is pushing the use of bio fuels. The idea is that the emmissions from the use of bio fuels are less than those from fossil fuels. The idea is also that agricultural businesses can benefit from the growing of the vegetable matter used for these bio fuels.

This sounds fine, but there are some problems with the concept. I was listening to a BBC news interview with a man with According to that organization, there are already problems in the world to support the production of bio fuels.

- There are farmers who are ditching their traditional crops to grow the vegetable crops to make bio fuels instead of food crops. If the trend continues, especially in underdeveloped nations, there will be a growing food shortage.

- As farming grows and more fertile land is needed to grow more crops, forested areas are being cut down and burned to make farmland. The deforestation makes for less trees to convert CO2 into oxygen. Also, the burning of the byproducts of deforestation yields far more emissions of greenhouse gases than can be made up by the differential between the burning of traditional fossil fuels and bio fuels.

There are a few other issues, but those stuck out to me as I listened. I find it ironic that the preparation for a "green technology" actually is worse than traditional fossil fuels and helps to destroy the sacred cow "greenie weenies", rainforests.

If all of this is true, why is Congress along with the President pushing bio fuels? There must be a money trail somewhere.

Get a life

I do agree with Mike Easley on this one. He refuses to have an investigation into the alleged "torture taxi". Aero Contractors are just that...a contract air transportation service. I really don't care who they transport or why. There is no reason to picket the business. They are contracted to supply transportation services...period. If the CIA uses them, so be it. It is not proven that the service is used for transporting prisoners to locations for alleged torture. Even if that was the case, I don't care, since the airline is just that, an airline. They don't perform torture. If a prisoner is tortured by "waterboarding", do the protesters picket the utility company? Get a life.

From the WMPM news site:
Support Growing For Investigation In Aero Contractors - Support is growing among human rights groups calling for a state investigation into Aero Contractors based at the Johnston County Airport in Smithfield . The company has been accused of transporting terrorist suspects for the CIA to countries that allow torture during interrogations. Two dozen state lawmakers have joined the groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, who has asked Gov. Mike Easley to initiate an investigation. Aero Contractors also rents a hangar at the Global TransPark in Kinston for a Boeing Business Jet, which was too heavy to fly out of the Smithfield airport. However, there are no records of Aero Contractors making any payments to the state for the hangar they lease for the jet. So far, Gov. Easley and other state leaders have rejected requests for an investigation into Aero Contractors actions.

Worth watching

Cool video

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I know that I am not the only one. I have encouragement from someone who doesn't even know he gave it.

I am used to the hard road. I have gone against the current pretty much all of my life. I don't ask for controversy. It finds me. I don't ask for strife. It happens. I have sometimes tried to avoid any controversy and was actively seeking to keep away from it. It didn't matter.

Today's little episode is just one amongst many. I have many more thoughts on the topic, but have refrained from saying all that I think. Some of it is pretty blunt but true, and I don't want to lay some things out. I will keep a few thoughts internalized, because I don't want those things to be released. Someone may get hurt if I do verbalize or write it out. I don't mean someone's feelings. I mean for real, and not by me.

I do take comfort in some things. I was at a friend's house this evening doing the "tech support" thing. Sometimes computers are wonderful to have. Other times, they are a serious PITA and worthy of having all sorts of four letter words directed at them. Anyway, while there, my friend had his radio on. That is normal at his house. Sean Hannity's program was on WPTF in the background. Hannity has a "Hate Hannity Hotline" where people can call and leave all sorts of negative feedback. I have one, too. Every so often, Sean plays a montage of the hateful comments left for him by liberals and those who are obviously not his fans. I am used to that, too. I have my critics.

I should not be amazed at hateful comments from people, especially from those who claim to be followers of Christ. I realize that they are human and often walk in the flesh. Some I know pretty much fail to retain God in their knowledge and have a totally secular walk. Others are merely judgemental yet maintain a "spiritual cloak". Cloaks are easy to see through.

After listening to a few minutes of Hannity's show and hearing the hateful comments, I was a bit more encouraged. I often console myself in this verse:
Matthew 5:11 "Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."

That verse is applicable, since it is true in this case. There were several patently false assertions in the offending email. That man either spoke falsely in an attempt to be malicious or from sheer ignorance. Either way, he reviles me and said evil against me falsely. I am getting more and more used to it over the years. It gets old, though.

She's pulling the race card again

Ol' Sylvia Cox is at it again. She is wanting to help the Brotherhood and Lighthouse Markets. I have no problem with that at all. I encourage that. I am not convinced that the stores are a public nuisance and I am not fond of the idea of closing down legitimate businesses. I am NOT, however, convinced that the store owners do all that they can to keep the crime problem in check on their own properties.

Why does everything with Sylvia Cox have to be racial in nature? She even admitted that she is pulling out the race card in her letter to the editor in today's "The Selma News". She went on a rant about some perceived hazardous conditions that is ancient history in the town and how the problems were never abated because only Black people were living in the affected area.

I can not speak to those issues, since I was not in this town when those issues went on. I do know that there were several happenings in town a decade ago that were racially motivated. I do not necessarily buy into the idea that the public nuisance issue with the two stores in question are necessarily racial in nature. If the clientelle at both of these establishments are primarily Negro and there are crime problems, it is probably a truism that the crime is being perpetrated by Negroes. The same was true when I lived in a state where over 99% of the people there were Caucasian. If there was a crime, it was probably committed by a Caucasian. There is nothing inherently racist about that. Fact is fact.

Either way, I find it despicable to always pull out the race card about every single issue one disagrees with or does not like. The hyper victim mentality just plain falls short of reality.

On the other hand, if the action by the town truly is motivated by racism, then that is equally if not more despicable and worthy of condemnation. I will be the first to say so if it can be so proven. Unlike some arrogant putz who this morning accused me of being racist, I don't care what race is involved. I do, however, care about justice and the truth. Before citing Bible verses and calling down the wrath of God like a "Son of Thunder", as Sylvia Cox has done, perhaps the truth should be known.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Press release by a buddy of mine

Dave Tuttle of Zarahemla Ministries will be the featured guest this Saturday evening (March 24th, 2007) on the LIVE internet talk show "Straight Shooting" with host Troy LaPlante. The subject for the evening's broadcast will be Mormonism.

In addition to the general discussion of all aspects The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the aspects of a Mormon making a campaign run for the Presidency will be examined. Mitt Romney's bid for the White House will bring many of Mormonisms facets into full critical examination.

The show can be heard LIVE at 6:00 p.m. EDT at and can shortly thereafter be replayed from the archives, or downloaded and recorded.

Dave Tuttle is a 35 year expert on Alternative religions, specializing in Mormonism and its history. Founder of Zarahemla Ministries, he provides seminars for Church groups and other ministries on topics including Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Freemasonry. Free materials are available. A veteran of over a quarter of a century in radio and TV broadcasting, he is available as a guest by phone or in person. He resides in Johnston County, NC.

Show host Troy LaPlante is also a veteran radio broadcaster, and newspaper columnist for his hometown newspaper in Selma, NC.

blog radio

I am so glad I found this guy

I was reading the blog of someone I have corresponded with recently and found that she was interviewed on The Drew Marshall Show in Canada recently. I have fallen in love with the girl being interviewed, Crissy, and with the host, Drew. Crissy and I have written back and forth before, but I was unaware of her interview until she blogged it. Crissy, if you ever read this, my wife and I, as well as some of my friends love and support you. I thank God for you.

I also thank God that I discovered the Drew Marshall Show through Crissy's interview and blog. Many of you know that I have a background in Christian radio, in the "church", and some of you know how burned out I am on "churchianity". Wow, Drew is at the same place in life and I have really enjoyed listening to him. I downloaded eight CDs worth of shows that interested me from his web site, burned CDs, and listened to six whole hours of his show while on the road today. I loved it.

Drew and I have both interviewed pro wrestler Ted DiBiase. The bid difference in my interview was that Ted had to bail out early from our interview. My full hour was cut to 20 minutes, so I had to really cut the topics of conversation down. We have both corresponded with Crissy. We both have a heart to be real in our walk rather than just cheerleaders for the church. I really like what I have been hearing from Drew Marshall. He seems to be blunt with no guile...a man after my own heart...and I believe after the Father's.

Here is a two part interview with Drew Marshall. I enjoyed it greatly.

"I'm from the government and I am here to help"

More insanity from beaurocracy. Government out of surprise there. The stupidity factor, however, is surprising.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

NC to become a "two plate state"?

There is a bill before the NC Legislature to start requiring two license plates on all automobiles beginning January 1. I see several problems with this. First, the cost of registration will go up because of the double cost of equipping all vehicles with two plates. Second, vehicles sold in NC do not necessarily have a front mounting frame, since we are a one plate state.

Basically, this amounts to a tax increase, plain and simple. It is not about visibility. It is about making red light cameras and speed cameras more effective, and get more money for the DMV from fees. In short, it is to squeeze more cash out of motorists for government coffers. It is about more control over the citizens.

I grew up in a state that required two license plates, so the mere fact of having two does not bother me. What does bother me is that NC decided long ago, along with many other states, that we don't need but one plate. Now some busybody is trying to make it a misdemeanor if you don't turn in your license plate when asked to do so and require us all to affix two plates to our vehicles.

This will cripple the front license plate industry in this state, which the state itself is guilty of participating in. Plates for different towns that advertise the community will not be legal. Plates that have religious sayings or any other personalization will be illegal. People can not advertise the OBX any more if we have two plates. Many vehicles don't even have a front plate frame and vehicle owners would have to pay for them to be installed in order to comply with such a law.

Basically, any individual personality and freedom will be infringed and cost will be incurred by vehicle owners. We will be further taxed, and more people will get traffic tickets to fund local governments. Our insurance rates will also rise from the increased traffic enforcement by automated means, which will be enhanced by two plates.

Leave it alone. It ain't broke, so don't fix it. It is bad enough we have to pay for a registration and property tax. Don't raise my registration fees. I want to go back to a vanity plate. I still have my old one and would like to use it again. It is just so much more money to do so, I don't find it worth the expense for one plate, much less two of them.

Abject stupidity

Here is an editorial I just read in The Smithfield Herald:
I attended a meeting recently at which prayers were offered. One included a prayer for our troops. Surely a commendable idea. Almost all of us had a loved one in service. We were praying for him or her.

Then I began thinking: What if I were a soldier — a soldier holding a gun, suddenly facing a soldier "of the other side", also with a gun. Whoever shot first would be the one still alive.

And I realized, I didn’t really want to kill that other guy. I didn’t want his family to be grieving for him — his children, his parents, his friends. I would not wish to be a killer. Why must we turn our youths into killers?

I heard an idea worth considering. Why not make our major objective creating worthwhile jobs for people in their own countries, instead of human beings to be killed or maimed for life? It would show the love we truly feel for all peoples.

DOROTHY ONISKO, Brogden Road, Smithfield

Well, Dorothy, here is the problem. I assume that you refer to the situation in either Iraq or Afghanistan. First, it is not true that whomever fires first will be the one that lives. That may often be the case, but it is not necessarily a true assumption.

Second, the idea that just giving Arabs, Middle Easterners, and radical Muslim extremists jobs will make them want peace is probably the stupidist thing I have heard in a long time. These people don't want jobs. They want you, your way of life, your family, and everyone like you DEAD. Get it? Either dead or converted to Islam. Period. You are an infidel to them and therefore deserving of death.

They don't give a rat's eyebrow about jobs. They want to dominate the world. They want to make sure that we don't. Jobs are not created by anything but the economic engine of the region and private industry. People work to pay taxes that keeps a government going that hires yet other people. With no trade or economy, there will be no jobs. That is part of what we have been providing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even if we pulled out of those countries right now, some who have tasted freedom and economic prosperity would attempt to continue therein. Many will return to business as usual, as has been the case in that region of the world for centuries. Some will work, others leach. Some will prosper, many will continue in or revert to poverty. That is the way of the world.

What jobs do you propose we give them? Should our tax dollars be spent on employing people in other nations and keeping them on our payroll? Should we do this while we have people who need jobs right here in our own nation? Should we take money from people who will work and give it to others in another nation? Or for that matter to others in this nation who will NOT work?

The problem in the Middle East is not unemployment. It is evil men, following an evil religion. Any other thought on that is just plain ignorant, nay, stupid. If Middle Eastern people want jobs, they can come here and drive cabs, start a Subway franchise, open a motel, buy a convenience store, or a run a Dunkin' Donuts. It seems to work for many others.

Rush's 35 Undeniable Truths of Life

I didn't write them, but I wish I did.


All of these truths are of the same importance.

1. There is a distinct singular American culture - rugged individualism and self-reliance - which made America great.
2. The vast majority of the rich in this country did not inherit their wealth; they earned it. They are the country's achievers, producers, and job creators.
3. No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity.
4. Evidence refutes liberalism.
5. There is no such thing as a New Democrat.
6. The Earth's eco-system is not fragile.
7. Character matters; leadership decends from character.
8. The most beautiful thing about a tree is what you do with it after you cut it down.
9. Ronald Reagan was the greatest president of the twentieth century.
10. The 1980s was not a decade of greed but a decade of prosperity; it was the longest period of peacetime growth in American history.
11. Abstinence prevents sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy -every time it's tried.
12. Condoms only work during the school year.
13. Poverty is not the root ("rut") cause of crime.
14. There's a simple way to solve the crime problem: obey the law; punish those who do not.
15. If you commit a crime, you are guilty.
16. Women should not be allowed on juries where the accused is a stud.
17. The way to improve our schools is not more money, but the reintroduction of moral and spiritual values, as well as the four "R's": reading, 'riting, 'rithmatic, and Rush.
18. I am not arrogant.
19. My first 35 Undeniable Truths are still undeniably true.
20. There is a God.
21. There is something wrong when critics say the problem with America is too much religion.
22. Morality is not defined by individual choice.
23. The only way liberals win national elections is by pretending they're not liberals.
24. Feminism was established as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.
25. Follow the money. When somebody says, "It's not the money," it's always the money.
26. Liberals attempt through judicial activism what they cannot win at the ballot box.
27. Using federal dollars as a measure, our cities have not been neglected, but poisoned with welfare dependency funds.
28. Progress is not striving for economic justice or fairness, but economic growth.
29. Liberals measure compassion by how many people are given welfare. Conservatives measure compassion by how many people no longer need it.
30. Compassion is no substitute for justice.
31. The culture war is between the winners and those who think they're losers who want to become winners. The losers think the only way they can become winners is by banding together all the losers and then empowering a leader of the losers to make things right for them.
32. The Los Angeles riots were not caused by the Rodney King verdict. The Los Angeles riots were caused by rioters.
33. You could afford your house without your government - if it weren't for your government.
34. Words mean things.
35. Too many Americans can't laugh at themselves anymore.

And as an added bonus:

The 14 Commandments of the Religious Left

1. Thou shalt have no other God except thyself; after all, it's thy self-esteem that counts. If thou doth not love thyself, who will?
2. Thou shalt not make any graven image out of any substances which cannot be recycled.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of liberals in criticism, including feminists, racial minorities, or any person who thinks he is a victim of America.
4. Remember the anniversaries of Roe vs Wade and Anita Hill's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and keep them holy.
5. Honor thy mother. If she is dysfunctional, it is thy father's fault.
6. Thou shalt not kill. With these exceptions: life forms under the second trimester, and those opting for medically assisted suicides.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Unless thou aspirest to high political office, useth a condom, or cannot help it.
8. Thou shalt not steal. Unless thou art disadvantaged or upset with a jury verdict.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Unless thou art discussing the history of the 1980's, art campaigning, or can afford good legal counsel in the event that thou art discovered.
10. Thou shalt not covet. Unless thou art the victim of gender-related oppression or institutional racism, or art still angry with Reagan's tax cuts.
11. Always hide the real truth about thyself.
12. Never admit who or what thou really art when campaigning for office.
13. Always blame someone else for what thou dost - even so far as to blame the entire society.
14. Thou shalt oppose all punishment - except when conservative Republicans or religious right people criticize thee.


I have no idea why someone would turn down free publicity or the opportunity to promote their cause or their organization. I have made contact with dozens of organizations, government officials, and groups about the new talk show. I have let people know that it is here for them if they are interested in promoting their group or cause. One group that supposedly promotes the region and is for public relations for Johnston County flatly refused the opportunity to be on the talk show with no reason given. It is unbelievable that people who market and promote the region would turn down the opportunity to freely market and promote the region. Go figure.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

First show segment

In theory, this player is supposed to be able to play back the last segment I have done. I finished mine about 45 minutes ago. I probably should have gone longer, since I had more material than I expected and could have taken more of a slower pace. Since it was the first time ever, I also learned how things work with the control panel. I learned not to pay any attention to the count up of how long I have been connected but rather to the count down of how much time is left.

If you want to have a show done about a particular topic, contact me. For those who have not had the opportunity to express yourselves at a town council meeting or forum, you now have the opportunity to do so with four of your friends at the same time. OR to have someone on the other end of the argument if you wish. Just contact me and we will set something up.

Press release

(PressMethod) - A new internet radio program has just hit Johnston County, North Carolina. "Straight Shooting" is a new program that will be heard on and syndicated via iTunes for podcasting. Local media veteran Troy LaPlante started a the new show Sunday night, March 18th. The show, which can be scheduled as often as one episode per day or as few times as desired, will attempt to focus on local, state, and national affairs, opinions, and provide a forum for local citizens to find out what is going on in their area.

"I have missed working in radio for quite some time," LaPlante said, "and I see this as an opportunity to continue not only in broadcasting in one form or another, but also as an extension of my newspaper column, blogging, and public involvement." Troy has been an active blogger for years on his site,, is a weekly opinion columnist for the local newspaper "The Selma News", and has worked at several radio stations in the Raleigh/Durham market, including one in his current home town of Selma.

"Straight Shooting" will be a live, call in show that is sure to evolve as time goes on. LaPlante has already invested in mobile recording equipment, audio production equipment and software, and has plans to be able to produce full programs in advance. The idea is to foster a sense of community involvement by offering a forum for debate, public comment, government officials to share, and for citizens to participate. There is more equipment on the way to be able to put any pre-produced shows on the internet without doing live programs. "This will allow for greater flexibility, the ability to have guests in person rather than just be a voice on a telephone line, and time for community fellowship." During live segments, there will be the ability to have up to four guests live on at any one time.

To see show topics that are already scheduled, to listen to the broadcast archives, and find out more about the program, listeners can go to the show's home page at or link there from Troy's blog at

Troy LaPlante lives in Selma, North Carolina with his wife, Teresa. He has been a Selma resident for about five years, in Johnston County for about ten, and been a North Carolina resident since 1988.

More teat suckling

Johnston Memorial Hospital is going to go ahead with its plans to build a hospice center after getting state approval. The approval was previously denied. The denial was based upon the state's failure to see a need sufficient enough for the $4 million facility. That is a bit high for just 12 beds, in my opinion.

The hospital is looking for federal money. Big surprise there. From the article:
Ed Simpson, who is the hospital’s CFO, assured state regulators that if the campaign fell short, then Johnston Memorial would draw from operating funds or take out a bank loan.

In the meantime, Kevin Rogols, the hospital’s chief administrator, is seeking $2 million in federal aid to help pay for the project. Already, Culver is lining up support. She has gathered about 200 letters from local people and called on Congressman Bob Etheridge and Sens. Richard Burr and Elizabeth Dole in Washington, D.C.

Someone please show me where it is listed in the U.S. Constitution where the section is that the federal government should spend taxpayer money on a hospital in one community in North Carolina. It is not the federal government's authority to earmark money for such a project. We shouldn't allow spending of federal dollars on a bridge to nowhere in Alaska, which gets heavily criticized. Likewise, a hospital in Smithfield, North Carolina is pork spending an an earmark.

If we don't stop this sort of spending and the expectation that the federal government is an endless supply of cash coming out of a teat off which to suckle, we will never get back to Constitutional principles. We have strayed so far from the rule of law, every good idea and not so good idea becomes a project on which to waste taxpayer money for political purposes.

Unfortunately, Bob Etheridge loves a photo opportunity and an opportunity to score points by bringing home pork. Thus, I figure that it is just a matter of time before the hospital gets its federal funding.

The hospital is pushing the following:

If you are in support of this project, please write a letter to your congressional representatives listed below and forward the letters to April Culver, Vice President of Government Affairs, Johnston Memorial Hospital, Post Office Box 1376, Smithfield, NC 27577 or via email at The letters will be taken to Washington as a package in support of the project.

I doubt that my letters will be included in the package to support the project. You know that I couldn't let this one pass by without standing up for principle. Here is a copy of the letter I wrote to Representative Bob Etheridge, Senator Elizabeth Dole, and Senator Richard Burr. I also included a copy of each letter for the hospital's Vice President of Government Affairs. Here is what I wrote:

I am writing to you about a campaign that has been mounted by our local hospital, Johnston Memorial Hospital. The hospital wants to build a new hospice wing and is in need of funding in order to do so. Unlike the majority of letters that you have been receiving, I am writing to oppose any and all federal government funding for this project.

I do not oppose the project itself, only the federal funding of it. My opposition is based solely on a revered document that you should be familiar with called The Constitution of the United States. As noble as such an undertaking is by the local community hospital may be, I urge you to do the right thing, even if that is not the popular thing to do.

Federal government spending is out of control. Most of our spending is contrary to the Constitution and should never be undertaken. There have been many earmark projects that are nothing more than pork spending by the Congress. As a member of my elected Congressional delegation, I demand that all of my representatives abide by simple guidelines. Those guidelines have been spelled out since 1787. Please have the courage to abide by them.


Troy LaPlante
U.S. taxpaying citizen

Free land...I would love it!

Here is a news story about how a town of 300 people in Alaska is giving away land to people who are willing to put down a deposit on the lot and build a house within 2 years. I have long been fascinated with Alaska. I have wanted to go there as long as I can remember. I often joke about moving there when we have 99 degree days with high humidity here in Carolina.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

One way or another, I am going to be a talk show host

I Have a Talk Show

Some of you may know that I worked for years in radio. I enjoyed most of them. I really had a lot of fun when I was able to do audio production and be the guy behind the microphone. I have done most everything in radio, having worked for small radio stations, primarily. Two of my good friends are guys I met at one radio station and we all three ended up working at a second one together, as well.

My favorite format of radio is talk radio. To me, it takes real talent to carry on a talk radio job. I miss the interaction with callers, topical discussion, and the ability to be creative and spontaneous. I would love to work again in radio or own a station, for that matter.

I have pondered about starting my own internet radio station. At one time, I tinkered with audioblogging. The audio blog company I used went out of business. I have thought about podcasting. There are several services online that I have seen others use. I did not jump into it, though. At one time, I thought I would do sermons or teachings via podcasting.

One thing I have really enjoyed is following current events and public affairs in my own community. Hence, this blog. I don't blog everything or every thought. Sometimes, the things that I ponder are just for me and nobody else. Other times, they are either unfit for public consumption or I just really don't feel like sharing. Sometimes, I feel like writing all day. It all depends on the subject and my level of interest at the time. That is what I love about blogging. I have not placed any stringent requirements on myself. I do it as I see fit...or not. Some blogs are revenue based, meaning they make money off them, so they are highly driven by fresh, daily content. Many are politically based only. I rather write about what I want instead of trying to be a news source.

I saw a link that tickled my fancy yesterday. There is an audio service that acts like streaming audio, sort of like an audio blog, but also a podcast service. I figured that I would love to start doing that. People can even call in for live discussion and interviews.

I have done a lot of thinking about this and how I am going to approach it. Sure, I can do the live call in type show, and may yet do that. However, I am just starting out with zero audience. I just signed up for an account this evening. There is no promotion so far. What I will do, however, is perhaps record my first segment and upload it Saturday night around 7PM. That is when I have scheduled my live broadcast.

An unlimited number of people can listen in, and up to five people at a time can call into the show. It is up to me to control the callers that have access. If the show grows in popularity, I may extend the length and make it more live. Maybe I can have one live show a week and one pre-recorded. The possibilities are pretty limitless.

People can listen to old shows on my new site and can get the shows via iTunes as a podcast. That will allow people to have their own copies to listen to at their leisure.

One thing for sure, if I can not do things with a standard of quality, I don't want to do it at all. I have thought about having a community gathering for debate and/or discussion on certain topics of interest. I have thought about setting up at Sweetwater's Restaurant here in town. Maybe we (myself and any regular listeners) could make a regular Saturday night event out of this. It would patronize a local establishment while establishing a sense of community.

I would love to sit down with our town manager, mayor, county commissioners, charitable workers, and concerned citizens for a time of recording or call in. One thing I have thought about is the recent hot topic of involuntary annexation. Since so many people were limited to only 3 minutes of public forum time at the last town council meeting, I would love to sit down with the opponents of the proposed annexation. This would allow them to have up to two hours of time to air their side of the argument, have it available on podcast later, and even on CD if we produce it right.

I have thought about music rights and music that I can and can not use in production. I have already purchased and licensed a bunch of production music that I may be able to use for any announcement segments, ads that people may want to place in the program, and for introduction music. I have a decent portable recording set up and several microphones. I have the editing software and digital conversion equipment. Though broadcast quality, for internet and podcast quality audio, especially telephone fed, it is not imperative to be top notch quality. None the less, I would prefer it that way.

I would also like to have it quality for possible broadcast on local radio stations as a public affairs program. I could make CD copies available at little or no cost for particular causes and guests, but may also decide to charge several dollars for the general public. Of course, podcast copies are free online.

There are many possibilities and I am sure that the program will evolve over time. As I learn the system and get used to it, it may grow in content, quality, and hopefully, listenership. I want it to serve the public good and have fun while doing this whole thing.

I had a piece of equipment to put and audio signal on the telephone. I have been digging through my storage room, desk, and closet for it. Dog gone, I can't find it. Guess I need to buy a new one.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Once again, forced annexation took stage in Selma

UPDATE: Be sure to follow the comments on this post.

At last night's Selma Town Council meeting, a full house was in attendance. Most were there for the public hearing on the proposed annexation of five territories. Most of the people were from the McCormick Heights subdivision, not too far from here. People were passionate in their opinions about being annexed.

I don't blame these people one bit. I am on the record as not being in favor of forced annexation except under some common sense, strict conditions. I don't always agree with Mr. Tony Tetterton, especially on the topic of quiet zones for the local railroads here in Selma. I don't agree with the idea that he was allowed to comment in the public hearing, since he is not personally affected by the proposed annexation, he not a resident of the town, and does not pay property tax to the town.

However, last night, he was correct in what he attempted to convey. There are other valuable properties that could be annexed and it would make sense to annex them since they are totally surrounded by the town city limits. They are mostly commercial properties and get all the benefits of being in the town but technically are not. He was also right about it being a political thing that they are not being considered instead of the residential areas. Tony is further correct that the only reason for the proposed annexation is tax revenue.

Mr. Tetterton had a 15 minute presentation but was not allowed to give it. He was only allowed the same three minutes that everyone else was granted. However, that three minute rule was not enforced once he left the meeting. That was just unfair. If there is going to be a time limit rule, apply it equally. I do not believe the time limit was appropriate to begin with.

I heard grumblings from the crowd near me that if they get to vote in the upcoming election, they will do everything they can to vote out anyone who voted for the annexation. Mary Tyndall (who has been at Johnston Medical and Surgical Supply as long as I can remember) said so in her three minutes of commentary, which were the first ones given in the public forum.

I hope that the residents remember this when it comes to the election in November. Here is the column I wrote for The Selma News on involuntary annexation.

Here is The Smithfield Herald article on the council meeting.

Hard to believe that this IM conversation just happened.

There are web sites that will allow you to turn an IM conversation into a cartoon. I am still amazed.

:-)hey troy
how are you
hi. not bad. sitting here watching Idol
on tv or did you record it
i just turned on tv an hour earlier than the time it is supposed to be on, so i got the show an hour early
i am going to watch tomorrow morning
oh okay
created using chatfu - a comic strip generator

A charlatan gets unwanted attention

I don't enjoy seeing shame come upon Christians or prominent leaders who "represent" Christ. Every so often, they will do something stupid and get their due reward here on earth. The obvious examples are Robert Tilton, Jim Bakker, and Jimmy Swagart. More recently, it was Ted Haggard. There has been a resurgence of Bakker, Swaggart, and Tilton, but none to their former glory.

What impresses me about Billy Graham is that he has been in ministry for all this time and has never had a scandal. He does what he feels called to do and nothing more. I believe that he does not fit the Biblical example of an evangelist, but he does preach the Gospel.

I want to believe the best in all preachers. I want all "televangelists" to be reputable and truthful. Unfortunately, many are "money changers" and preach the abominable "health and wealth gospel". Sorry, but been there, done that. I know what they teach. I have been a part of their congregations, done their radio ministry, and even preached their pablum myself. Thankfully, I have been delivered from that mess.

It seems common lately for big name ministries to believe that they are beyond reproach financially. Even if that means in terms of taxation. Kent Hovind is going to prision for tax evasion. Now, Morris Cerullo is in trouble for the same thing.

Cerullo, like most televangelists, started out clean. Rod Parsley was clean at one time. Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis started out with a clean ministry at one time. Some have varying degrees of leaven and are more tolerable than others. Cerullo had great intentions and tried hard to do what he believed was his God given call. He picked up some of the pieces of the Bakker's fallen TV network. Unfortunately, he has been corrupted by the love of money.

Several years ago, I was invited to go with a friend to a Morris Cerullo meeting in Raleigh. The meeting was only by invitation, and was held at the Meymandi Concert Hall. The only ones invited were those on his ministry/financial supporters list.

We had the obligatory pep rally "praise and worship" music. It was announced that Morris Cerullo had a special "word from the Lord" that he wanted to give just for those in the Raleigh area. Cerullo finally took the podium and talked in his slowwww, drawn out way. He proceeded to tell everyone that he had a word from the Lord, started quoting scriptures about obeying the prophet's word, and finally got to his message.

His entire so called prophecy was that God said that all of his financial supporters need to give more money to his ministry. Period. That was the bottom line. He took many more words to say it, but that was it. I was so pissed, I couldn't stand it and had to leave. While people were rejoicing, giving "amen" after "amen", and dancing in the aisles over a false prophecy, I was steaming mad at the insult given in the name of my God.

I am very careful about where I give money in regards to ministry. Sometimes I give, other times I refuse. This was one occasion where I refused. I had a bad witness about that whole event the entire time I was there. I knew the deception and discerned that something was wrong, even before Cerullo spoke. While others celebrated, I wanted to weep. I wanted to do as "Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest" did and run a javelin through him. Phinehas dealt with corruption and whoring in the congregation. Cerullo was whoring for money.

The indictment was in 2005 and the trial is about to begin, it seem. Look at the bottom of the page on that link for the indictment part of the story.

Take heed where you put your faith, and IN WHOM you put it. Be careful where you sow your seed. It may not be as fertile a soil as you think. If you enable the corruption, you may reap it.

I am probably going to vote for this man in the primary election in 2008

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If he only knew how right he is.

I would like to see this when it gets released in this area

This is a movie made about and in the state of New Hampshire. It will be interesting to see if Live Free or Die has any scenery that I am familiar with. Either way, it should be amusing.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

2nd Amendment court victory. Freedom protected.

I have seen several stories today about the 2nd Amendment victory in Washington DC today. Great news for gun owners and our right to keep and bear arms. Here is a compilation of information on the court ruling. Why bother re-inventing the wheel, so to speak. Just go to their blog and see it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Stupid reasoning

Outdoors retailer Cabela’s has turned down Four Oaks as a site for a store. That's too bad. I was watching this story and hoping that our area would get a Cabela's. The stupid part is the reason for not putting one here. "Cabela’s plans to build a store in Richmond, Va...The company felt that a store in Four Oaks would be too close."

Too close? Richmond is a three frickin' hour drive away! I don't drive three hours to go to a sporting goods store, thank you. I am glad that Wal-Mart doesn't think that way. Dick's Sporting Goods is doing fine with stores right down the road from each other. The same with stores like Petsmart. That is a retarded reason for not putting in a Cabela's. I am going to write them and tell them so.

Here is The Smithfield Herald story.

Here is some of what I wrote them:

The recent decision to not put a Cabela's in our area is greatly disappointing. The most disappointing part is one very STUPID reason, and I quote, "Cabela’s plans to build a store in Richmond, Va...The company felt that a store in Four Oaks would be too close." Apparently, someone doesn't know how to read a map. Richmond is 3 hours drive away!!! It is one thing to turn down the location for other reasons, and I am sure there are other legitimate reasons for it. I serve on the local planning board for a town just several miles up the interstate and would love to work on helping Cabela's come to the region. I am a firearms and sporting collector and enthusiast. Don't let some reason as stupid as another planned store a few hundred miles away hose up wonderful plans for a store we have been longing for!!!!! You will find comments left on and for starters. We need a store like yours in this area, and really hate to see stupidity reign.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sweetwater's Restaurant is now open again.

I took my wife out to dinner this evening. I noticed that Sweetwater's was open again. A while back, the restaurant closed without warning. I have since heard some of the reasons as to why, but I am not going to publish them here. I will give you the news story about it. Don't believe every detail you read in the media, though.

I had the Polynesian chicken with mashed potatoes and snap peas. Great stuff. We never got to try the new menu items before the restaurant closed in January. The chicken dish was not new, but the addition of mashed potatoes was new. I am glad of that. Give them a try. Here is their web site.

I was born with more hair than this

When I get a haircut, I like to get it cut short. Last time I went, I checked out a local barber shop and had a nice young man, Cleavon Earp, cut my hair. I enjoyed talking to him and he did a good job. This time, his shop was busier and I had to wait a bit. He is used to cutting very short styles on Black men, and he really cut me shorter than I am used to. I don't believe I have ever been as close to being bald as I am right now. I will have to tell ol' Cleavon to "leave on" just a little more than he did this time. Sure, I will go to him again. I just need to be a bit more specific about just how short I want my hair. It is more like stubble than hair. I have grown my beard out longer than this in a week than I now have on top of my head. Boy, it feels weird.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

County insanity...then a bit of sanity restoration...and then maybe more insanity

There are two items of interest in this afternoon's news read. First is the rejection of the proposed county fees for Health Department restaurant inspections. The next is Johnston County's proposal to publish tax delinquency notices in just one newspaper.

First, let me start with the proposed county fees for Health Department inspections of restaurants and hotels/motels. State law requires sanitation inspections. County departments of health supply that service. It is an unfunded mandate by the state with the burden placed on local counties. Johnston County Health Department claims that the service costs about $375K per year. They want to recover that cost, since the state pays almost nothing towards these costs. It is my understanding that all restaurants already pay a fee to the state for such services. If the state does not turn that money over to the county department that actually performs that service, that is a business owner's problem HOW???

Well, that is why we pay taxes. Our tax dollars pay the state to administrate the issue. Unfortunately, we also pay county taxes for these same services. The county picks up the tab and we county tax payers fork out for that. I don't care if half of the other counties in the state do charge a second fee for these services. That does not make it right.

I see two things here. First is that even if the county did charge inspection fees and recover the costs of inspection services, I doubt highly that the county will lower the tax burden by that same $375,000 to all of us who pay that money. They will just add it to their budget and continue to spend.

The second effect will be that the increased fees will be passed along to us who eat at these restaurants. We will foot the bill for the cost of inspection fees by way of higher food prices. We will also continue to pay the same $375,000 in taxes. We already pay for the state inspection fees (for inspections they do not perform) in our food prices. We already pay for these inspections twice. Why pay a third or fourth time?

The insanity of the fees was hard to swallow. The County Commissioners rejected the fee proposal. For that, they have my kudos and my thanks.

Here is the news item in today's WMPM news page:
County Rejects Restaurant And Lodging Inspection Fees - County commissioners have rejected a proposal from Health Department Director Dr. Marilyn Pearson to begin charging fees for food and lodging inspections. The resolution, from the Johnston County Health Department, said inspections of restaurants and motels costs county taxpayers $375,000 annually to meet state requirements. However, the state provides less than $13,000 per year in support of the inspections. Dr. Pearson told commissioners that 50 boards of health and two dozen county boards of commissioners have adopted the resolution, which if it becomes state law, would give counties the right to cover the costs of inspecting establishments. Linwood Parker, the owner of White Swan and the Mayor of Four Oaks, said the resolution was government imagining a new way to tax small business. Parker said restaurants already pay the state to have the inspections, but it wasn’t restaurant owners fault the state kept all the money. Commissioner Wade Stewart said, "It sounds like our local health board has signed on to try and hit our local businesses." Commissioners Ray Woodall and Allen Mims tried to get the resolution approved, by it was voted down by fellow commissioners.

The next bit of insanity is the county tax administrator's proposal to publish the delinquency notices in just one newspaper. Look, if it is a requirement to do so, then it should be published in ALL newspapers in the county. Not everyone reads "The Smithfield Herald". I don't subscribe to their paper. I only read their web site. I subscribe to "The Selma News". If it is required that the notice be made public, then I will not get the notice.

I really don't care about reading who owes taxes and who does not. However, if it is a public requirement, then it should be made a public publication everywhere. It is only fair that all areas of the county be covered, not just the territory or subscriber base of one particular paper. It is also not fair to exclude all other publications in favor of one. That is just unethical. I don't care if The Herals has the higest subscriber base. What about those people in Clayton, Kenly, Wilson's Mills, Benson, Princeton, and Selma?

If it is required to publish the list and the county wants to exclude newspapers, then ads should be placed in all newspapers and on radio and local TV stating that a list will be available in all county offices, libraries, and on the county web site. THAT would be the fair way of handling the issue.

I don't believe the quote in the story, "The financial savings are less than the time value involved in preparing and taking notices to the different publications". That is just an excuse for either a lazy staff or the issue really is about the cost. If it is really about time, then have the publication made ONE time by ONE printer and have copies delivered to each publication for inclusion as a supplement or insert. That would take away that excuse real quick.

In terms of fairness to each publication, yes, it would indeed be favoritism of one newspaper over another. I don't see The Herald as needing favoritism. They are part of a huge corporation, the McLatchy Company. That is the same company that owns "The News & Observer" in Raleigh, amongst a group of about 80 newspapers. If you are going to favor publications, favor the small town newspaper that struggles to meet deadlines, payroll, and budgets yet serves the public with a less corporate flavor.

Here is the story from WMPM's news page.
Request To Publish Delinquent Tax Notices In One Newspaper Could Be Seen As Favoritism - Johnston County Commissioners want more time to think about a request from Tax Administrator Pat Goddard to only publish delinquent tax lien notices in the Smithfield Herald and bypass paying for the ads in other local newspapers, like the Kenly News and Clayton News Star. Goddard said by only advertising delinquent tax notices in the Smithfield Herald, it would save time and money. “The financial savings are less than the time value involved in preparing and taking notices to the different publications,” she told commissioners. County Manager Rick Hester said such a move by county commissioners would most likely be seen as favoritism and should probably be reconsidered.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Do I D.A.R.E. say it?

I made a trip to the local Wally World this evening. I saw an off duty police officer in a suit (I assume he was, based upon the look, the haircut, and the program he represented) handing out propaganda about the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.

From the several sources I have read over the years, D.A.R.E. has been a colossal waste of time and money, with statistically little or no success. I have heard police officers admit that very thing, as well.

I seem to annoy the officers who teach this program each time they set up a propaganda table outside the local supermarket or show up at a local festival. Each time they want to pitch to me, they usually ask if I want to "check out something new going on" and then ask me if I am familiar with the D.A.R.E. program. I usually answer something like I did this evening, "Yeah, it is one of the most ineffective and useless programs ever created".

When I give that answer, I NEVER get any argument. I actually have gotten agreement that the program was a colossal failure, but am told that it has since been restructured and is more effective now than it used to be. I don't know about that, though.

I am rather libertarian in my views on drug use. I really could not care less if my neighbor smokes a joint, puts a straw up his nose, or a needle in his veins. However, once his habit starts to affect me, cost me money, attracts riff raff in my neighborhood because he is dealing, or he gets behind the wheel of a car, then I have a serious problem with his drug habit.

As much as I hated growing up with an alcoholic for a father who was also a chain smoker, I never payed much attention to the anti-alcohol campaigns. I have never tried smoking because I thought it was a disgusting habit. I never tried drugs because I thought it was a stupid thing to do. I did drink quite a bit in my teens and early twenties. I have never been an alcoholic, though. I never allowed it to control my life.

I still have a good cold one now and then, but usually only one and they are few and far between. I have had associates who believe it sinful or evil to consume any beverage containing alcohol, but I really don't care, nor do I have any theological problems with such. From what I have read and wholeheartedly believe, it is a matter of moderation, not total abstinence. Hey, they called the Lord a "wine bibber". At my age, I have long since decided that if I am going to have a beer or any other adult beverage, it is going to be a quality one, and I can afford to be picky. When I was in college, I was far less picky, but still had my favorites.

My point is that people are going to do or not do what they have a mind to do or not do. A cop standing in a classroom imploring kids to never do drugs may seem like a good thing to do, but I sure wonder about its worth or efficacy. I have heard stories of old cops who taught D.A.R.E. 20 years ago getting kind words from former elementary school kids thanking them for their efforts and praising the effectiveness thereof.

Still, I have not read any favorable statistics over the years and wonder if it is really worth it. Google the phrase "D.A.R.E. effectiveness" for yourself. One interesting page in the search results is this one.

Eminent domain abuse least in this case.

The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution says "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." That is pretty straight forward. Occasionally, the federal government, states, and municipalities will abuse their authority in taking private property. Sometimes it is for public use. Other times the abuse is solely for political favors and increasing tax base, such as in the Kelo decision. That was one horrific and unjust decision.

Locally, we have seen eminent domain abuse by shafting property owners by not paying the fair value of the property being taken. The Smithfield Herald has a story of one couple who were getting hosed by the State of North Carolina and were not being paid the fair value for their property. Not only did the State condemn their property and then grossly undervalued it, their justification for the undervaluation was based upon a situation they themselves created for the property years ago when they took some of that farm for eminent domain use.

The first eminent domain property taken to build a highway left the remaining property with no main highway access, only service road access. Allegedly, that made the property less valuable. That is not a situation created by the couple who owned the property. It was solely a creation of the state. Now the state wants more of their property to do more highway construction. The state has undervalued the property, based upon the fact that they created a lack of access to the property previously. That is just wrong.

The couple put up a fight, had a private appraisal of their land, and won in court. To attempt to shaft the property owner while taking away their land "without just compensation" is morally wrong. I am glad to see that they won their case and will get their true just compensation for their loss.

My inner dialogue precisely

Monday, March 05, 2007

One great thing about getting older

As time goes by and the music I used to listen to gets older, the better and more classic songs get put on to "greatest hits" One greatest hits compilation I bought recently is one that I had in the late 80's. Journey's greatest hits CD used to be in my collection before I sold off my entire cassette and CD collection in the early 90's.

At the time, I was young and poor. I had also just come to Jesus and was very tender in the faith. I could not handle listening to secular music as a babe in Christ. I boxed up all of my secular music collection, which was just about everything, and sold them to a used record store. I only got about $150 for everything, but I needed the cash. 15 plus years later, I have found myself buying a lot of those same CDs or compilations containing many of the same songs.

This morning, it was Journey on the way into work. Music from the 80's was a lot more fun than the rock or hit music in the 90's and the 2000's. There is still some good stuff I run across from time to time, but much of it is dark in its sound.

I have not listened to contemporary Christian music for years, either. Ever since I stopped working in Christian radio, I have not listened to much at all. The stuff I have heard has not impressed me.

Anyway, the conference call I am in is almost over and I need to get back to soon as people stop talking and hang up.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

This sums up my feelings well

I have seen several episodes of the Showtime series, "Penn and Teller's Bullshit" over the past two years. The two guys are talented "magicians" and have a great act. They are also very politically minded. Usually, I find myself on opposite sides of their beliefs, though. They are avowed athiests and bash any and all religion, often out of sheer ignorance. They are crude in their use of vulgar language in their show, as well.

Sometimes, they hit a perfect note, so to speak, on topics like gun control, on exposing false religious icons, Ouija boards, mediums, etc. I loved their gun control episode enough to dub it to tape.

This evening, I ran across a clip of theirs on the net about their message to terrorists. I feel much the same way and have ever since 9/11 happened.

WARNING! Language in this video clip is NOT suitable for work or for children!
Now you can't say you weren't warned ahead of time.