Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Latest news on Selma annexation plans

From WMPM's news page:
Judge To Review Selma's Annexation Of 5 Areas - A judge will have to review Selma ’s involuntary annexation of five areas of town after 15 residents have filed a protest saying the annexation was flawed. The petitioners claim certain areas being annexed do not meet population density requirements set forth under state law. A judge will likely hear the matter in the next few weeks. The annexation of the affected areas will take effect next May, unless a judge says there is a problem. The 5 areas scheduled for annexation include over 200 residents and 700 acres of land. Along with McCormick Heights , the forced annexation includes property on US301 and Webb Street , two sites near Interstate 95, and nearly 280 acres near the new Sysco facility. Combined, the properties will generate about $92,000 in additional tax revenue for the Town of Selma each year.

Fair is fair

I was looking over the Smithfield Herald's web site this afternoon. They have been really slack on web content for a newspaper's web presence, though. Anyway, that aside, I did see a letter to the editor that is fair to liberals, and I agree with it. It is fair because the argument cuts both ways and there is not a double standard in its content. Therefore, I agree with the sentiments. I agree also with his opening statements about Hillary Clinton.
In defense of Hillary Clinton

I found myself the other day in the awkward position of defending Hillary Clinton. Awkward, because I believe if elected she will do more harm to this country than any president in history, even worse than Jimmy Carter.

But in defense of Hillary, someone stated that she lied when she said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In a speech defending her vote to go to war, she stated that she went to members in her husband’s administration and people she trusted in the intelligence community and they independently confirmed what President Bush had said about WMDs.

So, if she believed what they told her was true, she did not lie. She might have been mistaken or misinformed, but that is not a lie. So let’s stop yelling she lied or he lied without looking at the facts.


Liberal cowardice

As you may know, I have the internet talk show, Straight Shooting. I often have guests from different views and on different topics. I have invited a good many groups, some liberal, some conservative to be on the show. Typically, liberals are whining cowards that run away from free and open discussion. Today, I got an email doing just that. Here are the details. I will start with the invitation, the reply, and my final reply.

----- Original Message -----
From: Troy LaPlante
To: websafenc@intrex.net
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:27 PM
Subject: Invitation to be on my talk show

I am writing to invite a representative from your group to be on my internet talk show, "Straight Shooting", found online at www.blogtalkradio.com/troylaplante. I have had several shows on gun control and I would love to give the other side of the issue. I am also a frequent blogger and a columnist for a local newspaper.

Typically, I try to do my show on Saturday nights at 6 PM eastern. I have a toll free guest line. Shows typically run one hour each. I can be flexible with days and can schedule up to one show per day, one hour per show.

If you would be interested in discussing your organization and cause, feel free to contact me. I can be reached via this email address or at telephone 919-xxx-xxxx.

My blog is www.troylaplante

Thank you for your consideration.

Troy LaPlante
host, Straight Shooting

----- Original Message -----
From: NCGV
To: tlaplante@nc.rr.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 11:09 AM
Subject: Internet talk show

Mr. LaPlante:
Thank you for the invitation, but we are unable to participate in your internet talk show.
Lisa Price
Lisa Price, Executive Director
North Carolinians Against Gun Violence Education Fund, Durham, NC

----- Original Message -----
From: Troy LaPlante
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: Internet talk show

I doubt highly that it is a matter of inability, but rather lack of courage to be on any one's show that has a different point of view. That demonstrates to me the typical liberal cowardice that dominates anti-gun groups and leftist agendas. I was going to give you an entire hour to express your perspective and reasons for desiring gun control without necessarily debating the topic, as expressed in the invitation. I have given the opposing side two hours of time and wanted to give the other side. As is typical, you are the second gun control advocate to decline an invitation and opportunity to get free publicity and get your message out to the public. It is sad that your group does not have the ability (more like courage) to sufficiently articulate your perspective. People who are on the wrong side of an issue rarely do.

Troy LaPlante

Monday, July 30, 2007

My new web site is up and running

I have been putting together a new web site. I have been experimenting with my artistic side and writing Japanese poetry. Here is the link. I will add more as they come. Enjoy.

Finally got my membership card

Friday, July 27, 2007

Perception is reality. Selma needs to do a better job about appearances

If there is one thing that I have learned from several of my employers over the years is that perception is reality to everyone else. I tried to make a point of that a year ago when the town wanted to tear down an old rusted out water tank right down the street from my house. Personally, I couldn't have cared less whether or not we kept an old, almost useless structure or tore it down. The problem was that the town was in a financial bind, laid off employees, slashed budgets, but still wanted to spend money to tear down an old tower that had been in place for decades.

It is the same thing with the recent maintenance that went on with the town's water tank that IS in service. Here is the WMPM article:
Town Drains Water Tank For Maintenance - A number of Selma residents called town officials or dialed 911 on Thursday thinking there was a major water leak along Raiford Street near the town’s water tank. Selma Police were dispatched to the scene to investigate the calls that started coming in around 10am. Water filled most of Raiford Street near the railroad tracks. Town Manager Stan Farmer told WMPM there was no leak. Instead, public works crews started draining the water tank for scheduled maintenance, which includes cleaning the inside of the tank.

I hear constantly from citizens about their high utility bills here in Selma. Those bills are for water, sewer, electricity, and garbage collection. So, when it looks like the town may be wasting thousands of gallons of water, so much so that people complain, I get concerned. Just yesterday, I got a phone call from a Selma citizen who complained about their utility bills. Since I am running for public office and a columnist, I get phone calls like this from time to time.

There has to be a better way of draining a tank. For starters, there must be a way to simply stop filling it and allow normal usage drain it. In a time of drought, as we are currently experiencing here in North Carolina, there has to be a better way of using water than just letting it run into the street.

I realize that it is a necessary part of doing business. The town just needs to keep in mind that things like this make for irate citizens, especially when they pay the bills...to the town...during a drought.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A judge screws over law abiding citizens, sides with law breakers

Illegal immigration is not being dealt with sufficiently (or at all) by the federal government. The feds are supposed to deal with immigration. They abrogate that responsibility and local governments pay the price as a result.

Hazleton, Pennsylvania is one town that tried to deal with the effects of this immigration. The town passed an ordinance making it illegal to rent property to those who are illegally in this country. This is NOT regulating immigration. This is regulating to whom you can rent property. There is a huge difference. The federal government has claimed that the states and local governments have no business regulating such activities and claim that it is their jurisdiction sola and therefore must nullify any local laws.

If this was the case, then why the double standard? Why is it that the feds can say that they have exclusive constitutional authority on regulating immigration yet at the same time do not take the position that states and local governments likewise can not regulate gun sales, possession, trade, transportation, and ownership? Control.

The way I see it, and I am sure that there are those with greater legal minds than mine, since I am not a lawyer (but do tend to practice a degree of common sense, unlike this judge), I am sure that the jurisdiction of the court may be challenged, as well as the jurisdiction of a municipality to regulate how people handle real estate transactions as well as labor.

Here is a link to the entire article. Here is an excerpt:
A U.S. judge on Thursday struck down as unconstitutional a local law designed to crack down on illegal immigration, dealing a blow to similar laws passed by dozens of towns and cities across the country.

U.S. District Judge James Munley said the city of Hazleton, 100 miles north of Philadelphia, was not allowed to implement a law that would fine businesses that hire illegal immigrants and penalize landlords who rent rooms to them.

"Federal law prohibits Hazleton from enforcing any of the provisions of its ordinances," Munley wrote in a 206-page opinion following a federal trial in which Hazleton's law was challenged by civil rights groups.

As it turns out, the judge is a liberal Clinton appointee. That speaks volumes. Here are other links with the news story.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Milking the state for cash

I hate corporate welfare. Taxpayers should not have to pay to upgrade a tire plant. We will not get as much money back in tax dollars from the employees as we will grant in tax breaks to Goodyear. Taxpayers shouldn't pay for Dell to be in the Piedmont. We shouldn't be paying for Google to move here, either. All of this makes me want to buy tires other than Goodyear, never buy a Dell, and forsake Google products. This blog is a Google product.

Either way, some pinheads think it is good for North Carolina if we give up tax revenue so that Goodyear can upgrade their facility. Then again, I don't believe in corporate taxation, anyway. However, if we are going to tax businesses, they all need to be taxed fairly and not hose the taxpayers with grants to private industry. If they want government money, let them win a government supply contract of some sort.

Here is the article on the latest taxpayer boondoggle.
As legal battles rage over using state money to lure new business to North Carolina, a legislative committee on Wednesday approved language in a bill to provide Goodyear with up to $40 million over the next decade to upgrade its tire plant in Fayetteville.

The ethical issue aside, there is also a legal issue. As the article states,
The Institute for Constitutional Law previously challenged incentives paid to Dell Inc. for a computer manufacturing and distribution hub in Forsyth County.

"It involves special treatment," said Aldean Webster, executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Law. "It's not surprising that we would have other businesses -- now those that are already present -- trying to get on the gravy train."

I believe in showing mercy, but the council needs to stand by its word

When property owners are given a deadline to bring their buildings up to just minimum specs for habitation, the town has an obligation. The obligation is to follow through on its commitment. If not, then some people who are adversely affected can claim unfair treatment while others are constantly given extensions.

Over a year ago, property owners with unsafe buildings were given notice to fix the properties or have them torn down. If they did not comply nor tear down the structure, the town would do it for them. The owners were given almost a year to do something. A process was set in place to comply, to petition for extension, etc. Some did apply for extensions and they were granted across the board for all. Four months extra were given. Then, some owners started working on their properties. Those that showed an effort were given even more time to complete the work.

There were many who did not do anything. Some who did nothing are now complaining that they were not given enough time. Now, the town council has backed down yet again on yet another request and allowed yet more time.

What bothers me is that some houses are going to be torn down, people are going to lose their properties, and they are going to have a lien against their property to help recover the costs associated with demolition. I have no problem with that concept if the property owners are going to do nothing about properties. However, I am troubled that there is a double standard in place here.

If the town is going to "get tough" on these properties, extension after extension after extension is not going to help the cause. I just read that the town has granted yet another extension to a property owner one month after the deadline had passed. Now, the owner has a two week time line just to get a plan from a general contractor. That could mean that the process with this one property, over which there have already been given many breaks in the past, could drag out indefinitely.

I am all for private property rights. However, I am also all for equal protection and treatment under the law. This action by the town to clean up blighted properties that do not even meet the minimum standards for human occupancy have nothing to do with race, creed, sex, religion, or social status. It has to do with meeting minimum criteria for basic sanitation and safety.

With property rights comes responsibility. One can not constantly ignore the responsibility and claim the rights. If someone does not take care of a property, it becomes a haven for drug users and transients (as the property in question repeatedly has), it lowers the value of the surrounding properties, and affects the neighborhood, then action needs to be taken. Some, apparently, have to be dragged kicking and screaming to their responsibilities. When notified of the responsibility, some have shirked it and a good "head slap" is needed, which in effect, is what John Barwick, the owner of the condemned house has gotten. I merely say that he should have the same treatment as the others who have or will be losing their properties and not have indefinite exceptions unfairly made for one person who has dragged his feet but squawked the whole way.

Has this whole condemnation policy worked? Since I am on the Planning Board for the Town of Selma, I do get to see properties come up for planning review. Four old houses that were condemned and previously given an extension will finally be town down and nice brand new duplex homes will be erected in their place. This will help the tax base for the town, attract a higher quality tenant, improve the neighborhood, and hopefully profit the owners.

Two other duplexes were reviewed at the planning board meeting a week ago Monday. These are going to be built in established neighborhoods that have previously been blighted by the same old, substandard housing. These buildings can only help the neighborhood and the town in the same way.

As much as I would prefer to see these buildings be single family homes that local folks would own instead of rent as tenants, it is a start to change the standard of living in Selma. It is a slow process, for certain, but worth it in the long run.

From The Selma News:
A retired pastor and owner of a condemned house was given just 14 days by the Town Council to hire a North Carolina licensed contractor and bring a plan of action before the Council or have civil action brought against him to have the house torn down.

Council held a special meeting Thursday to hear from John Barwick, the owner of a condemned house at 301 E. Waddell St., Selma. Barwick appeared before the Council on July 10 to request an extension on the June 13 deadline he was given to bring the house up to code.

The special meeting on Thursday was called to consider the matter. By meeting's end, Barwick was instructed to hire a NC lincesed general contractor and to bring that contractor's plan for completion back to the Council within 14 days.

Read more about this and other local news in this week's The Selma News.

Looking for a Constitutional lesson?

Catch my show "Straight Shooting" this Saturday. I will have as a guest, Dianne Gilbert, Chair of The New Hampshire Center for Constitutional Studies. We had an interesting email exchange about topics of conversation. Here is something Dianne mentioned. "You know we often hear attacks upon the Court as being activist - but what about the Oval Office? Since T.R. (Teddy Roosevelt) - that branch of government has also become activist. Perhaps a general discussion on where the powers of that office have gone over the last century."

There are caller lines available for listener participation, as well as instant messenger feedback. There will also be a free giveaway during the show. If you miss the show live (6 PM eastern this Saturday), don't worry. The show will be available via web streaming and podcasting 24/7.

Gotta Get Something Off Your Chest?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wow, I agree with the IRS on something.

With computers at most every public library and the majority of people owning computers with internet access, I actually think that eliminating a service that was costing a lot of money to run is a good thing.
"The TeleFile program, instituted in the early 1990s, allowed people with simple individual or joint tax returns to file at no cost by using a telephone keypad."
Here is the article.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A comment I got from someone regarding my candidacy for town council

This came in to my myspace account from someone who was just added as one of my "friends".
We are not in your area, but our country needs men like you in government.

Troy on Myspace.com

Oh that we had a modern day Patton

I remember talking to a coworker one time about the paradigm of the modern military and the political correctness that goes on with the leadership. I lamented the fact that we don't have any modern equivalents of George S. Patton. He remarked that he did not care for Patton at all.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Patton. I realize that it was a work of fiction based upon true stories. At least some of Patton's contemporaries actually worked as advisors on that movie.

I realize that Patton claimed to be a Christian but believed in reincarnation and used copious amounts of foul language. That aside, from all I have read and seen in biographies, he was a great military leader and tactician. He demanded and got discipline and performance from his soldiers. He led his army to great feats of accomplishment. Here is a bit of trivia that sums up what I found unique about Patton's mindset. Patton was an expert fencer. He re-wrote the Army's manuals on swordsmanship removing the parry. His idea was for all attack. Defense, in his opinion, was just wasted energy. His rock solid ideals and demands for performance made him, in my opinion, a great leader.

Sure, he was a prima donna. Sure, he took risks and was often tactless. He was also underestimated by many, as well as got a bad rap from others. None the less, he bravado is what helped win WW2. I have often wished for another Patton.

Regardless of your views on the war in Iraq, if we are indeed going to conduct a war, we need to treat it as warfare. Patton was a victim of politics during his career. Politics are damaging our war efforts in the Middle East, just as they did in Southeast Asia.

The video actually has a great impression of George C. Scott. From what I have gathered, Patton actually had a high pitched voice. Go figure. This video is a take off from the opening scene of the movie "Patton." Many of the quotes from the opening speech (of the movie) are real quotes from George S. Patton. However, not all of them were said at one time; rather, the speech is an assemblage of Patton moments. It was inspired by a real speech Patton gave before the 3rd Army finally landed in Normandy in support of the breakout in late June/early July, 1944. The speech used is a watered-down version of the actual one. Obviously, the speech redubbed in the youtube clip is changed for modern times.

Easy way to leave feedback for all to hear

Send me a VoiceComment. It's FREE! Just call 1(641)715-0101 and enter *1876186.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo gets an earful on illegal immigration

Though Eurocentric in content, the message is the same. Worth watching.

Neal Boortz deals with Muslim caller. Worth the listen.

Every so often I read some good news

From Nawansega: Islamic Village Accepts Christ!!!! - Cliff Pash

Nawansega - a village that is over 90% Muslims - a place where there is no church of the Christian faith. The nearest churches are approximately one hour walk from this village where there is no water and no electricity.

We have counted over 700 salvations from our first 13 days of crusade meetings. We believe most of the people are now born again from the Islamic religion.

We have seen dozens and dozens of people being healed as God demonstrates the power of His great name. Julie and I have never seen an open heaven such as we are experiencing in this village.

Every baby that Julie prays for is healed. Some have been very sick with high fevers from malaria, but when Julie prays, they are walking and eating within the hour and the fever is greatly reduced or gone. Read On> http://www.openheaven.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=17195&PN=1

Saturday, July 21, 2007

How "Democrat am I"?

You Are 4% Democrat

If you have anything in common with the Democrat party, it's by sheer chance.
You're a staunch conservative, and nothing is going to change that!

Yeah, that's about right

I am told that people agree with my column about the same percentage, +/- 1%

You Are 84% Brutally Honest

The truth hurts, especially when it comes from you.
You don't mince words, and you probably take this result as a huge complement.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Gun free zones

You might like this one, too.

Looking at 2 religion news headlines...no shocker there

As if this was a total shocker to me...
While Paula White enjoys a meteoric rise to the top of Christian evangelism, she must juggle mounting concerns at home. In the last few months, Without Walls, which White leads with her husband, Randy, has been embroiled in controversy over allegations of a lack of integrity and questionable business dealings.

The next blurb is an oxymoron.
A gay Christian has won a discrimination claim against the Church of England after it was found to have blocked his appointment on the grounds of his sexuality.
A "gay Christian"? You can not be something that does not exist.

Update on election filings

From WMPM's news site:
Filing Period Ends: Selma, Clayton, Benson Mayors To Face Opposition - The filing period for the 2007 municipal elections came to a close at noontime on Friday, but not before a flurry of last minute filings...In Selma, Charles Hester will have opposition as he seeks his second term as mayor from political newcomer William Overby. Four have filed for two town council seats: Troy Laplante, Tommy Holmes, Eric Sellers, and Cheryl Oliver.
I knew about Tommy and Eric. I don't know Cheryl Oliver. They spelled my name wrong, even after I made sure that the info sheet for the press would have it spelled correctly. Go figure.

I noticed that Cindy Sheehan didn't include Selma on her tour

So Cindy Sheehan went to Carrboro to protest on her "impeachment tour". I feel for the woman that she lost her son in Iraq. So did thousands of others. She, however, is a whack job and full of pure hatred. I tire of the incessant calls of "impeach Bush". I am no fan of the man, either. However, I still fail to see any impeachable offenses committed while in office. I have heard accusations, but not seen any proof. Even the accusations are lame. Where are the "high crimes and misdemeanors"? Impeachment is for malfeasance of office and criminal activity, not because you simply hate someone. In their hatred, liberals don't understand this. They just want to get even over Bill Clinton, who did actually commit high crimes and misdemeanors.

Cindy Sheehan chose Carrboro because of its liberal leanings, like Chapel Hill. She never could have gotten away with her manure in any other town, most likely.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A form of gun control coming to NC

HB 1287, "The Gun Buyer Registration Act," is in the Senate Judiciary II committee. A hearing was scheduled for Thursday morning but was pulled from the calendar at the last minute. It is expected to return early next week.

A little refresher on the basics of HB 1287:


* REGISTER anyone who is denied a pistol purchase permit by his sheriff into a DATABASE with the State Bureau of Investigation.

* Keep the denial in the SBI database for 8 YEARS.

* Require the denial to appear in all subsequent records checks.


Unlike concealed handgun permits, which are "sheriff shall issue,"
sheriffs have broad latitude in denying pistol purchase permits.
Reasons for which sheriffs may deny permits under G.S. 14-404--beyond
finding a criminal background-can include something as simple as
having applied for more purchase permits than they decide you need,
or even arbitrarily deciding you are not of "good moral character."


Although HB 1287 requires the SBI to expunge data after 8 years, the
Translation: If you are denied a permit for not being of "good moral
character," the denial could be sent to the FBI, BATFE, local law
enforcement or others who have NO OBLIGATION TO EXPUNGE THE

In the 2005 session of the NC General Assembly, your
overwhelming input was crucial in killing a bill GRNC dubbed "The Gun
Buyer Registration Act." As is so often the case with gun control
bills, however, the bill has risen from the dead this year as HB
1287, sponsored by the usual suspects: Reps. RONNIE SUTTON
(D-Robeson, GRNC 1-star), PRICEY HARRISON (D-Guilford, GRNC 0-star),
MAGGIE JEFFUS (D-Guilford, 0-star) and VERLA INSKO (D-Orange,

Ironically, although the bill is entitled "Report Denial of Some
Pistol Permits," it actually registers ALL denials, even for the
arbitrary reasons described.

Here are the committee members working on this bill and their contact emails.

Chairman Sen. Fletcher Hartsell (R4) (919) 733-7223

Vice Chairman Sen. Austin Allran (R4) (919) 733-5876

Vice Chairman Sen. Doug Berger (D0) (919) 715-8363 Dougb@ncleg.net

Vice Chairman Sen. Ed Jones (D) (919) 715-3032 Edwardj@ncleg.net

Sen. Tom Apodaca (R4) (919) 733-5745 Toma@ncleg.net

Sen. Bob Atwater (D0) (919) 715-3036 Boba@ncleg.net

Sen. Stan Bingham (R4) (919) 733-5665 Stanb@ncleg.net

Sen. Walter Dalton (D0) (919) 715-3038 Walterd@ncleg.net

Sen. Charlie Dannelly (D0) (919) 733-5955 Charlied@ncleg.net

Sen. Katie Dorsett (D0) (919) 715-3042 Katied@ncleg.net

Sen. Don East (R4) (919) 733-5743 Done@ncleg.net

Sen. Eddie Goodall (R4) (919) 733-7659 Eddieg@ncleg.net

Sen. Jim Jacumin (R3) (919) 715-7823 Jimja@ncleg.net

Sen. John Kerr (D2) (919) 733-5621 Johnk@ncleg.net

Sen. Joe Sam Queen (D4) (919) 733-3460 JoeQ@ncleg.net

Sen. John Snow (D4) (919) 733-5875 Johns@ncleg.net

Sen. A. B. Swindell (D0) (919) 715-3030 Abs@ncleg.net

I have dropped them each a note. Won't you do the same? Protect your rights. Let yourselves be heard.

Charles Hester is running for re-election

I heard today that Charles Hester has filed for re-election for Selma mayor today. I saw it on The Selma News web site when I got home, as well. That makes this campaign season a little more interesting.



I have always loved this t-shirt, but it has never looked better

Considering my views on Islam, I have loved the "Infidel" shirt that has been out for a while. Of all the ads and pictures I have seen of this shirt, I don't think that I have ever seen the shirt look better than this.

NC trying to give away our state sovereignty

SB 954, introduced by Sen. Clodfelter (D Mecklenburg County), could award North Carolina's electoral votes to the
presidential candidate that gets the most votes nationwide. It has
passed the Senate and is now in the House Committee on Election Law &
Campaign Finance Reform.

A similar bill was passed in Maryland recently. As a matter of fact, I commented upon it and I was skewered by a Maryland resident who accused me of being totally illiterate regarding the Constitution. I support the idea of the electoral college so that states like California, New York, and others can not dictate how our vote goes. I want North Carolinians to vote NC values, not those that are dominated by California.

This is just a ploy by liberals, who know that large states are highly populated with liberals in the large cities. Outside the larger cities, many such states are actually conservative. These conservatives, however, are drowned out by the large city liberals. Some are just still pissed over the loss of Al Gore in the 2000 election and this is one way that they feel that they can right that wrong. It wasn't a wrong. The system operated the way it was meant to, thankfully.

I have emailed several key state senators with the following message. I urge you to do the same.
Senate Bill 954, the so-called "Popular Election" bill is up for consideration in the Senate. I strongly urge you to oppose this bill for one very simple reason. It usurps the people's voice and votes here in North Carolina. The U.S. Constitution provides for an electoral college for a reason. It is so that states like New York, California, Texas, and Florida can not dominate the entire election cycle with popular vote because of their large population. As a medium population state, North Carolina must hold onto that which is our sovereign right, to vote for President as a state and with our values.

As a citizen of North Carolina, not California or New York, I want North Carolina voters to decide how North Carolina electors vote, not the popular vote. To automatically give away our sovereignty to the whim of the popular vote eliminates our state right and power. It also usurps the U.S. Constitution. If this was a truly good idea, then the Constitution would be amended according to its provisions for such.

Please retain our state's vote, our sovereignty, and our right. Vote NO on S954.

Troy LaPlante
Selma, NC

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Judge Halts Beach Driving on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

A federal judge has taken it upon himself to decide unilaterally that nobody can drive on the beach at the Outer Banks. There was one idiot who drove recklessly and therefore the butt hole judge has decided that no vehicles will be allowed on the beach. There are already rules against DWI, driving on dunes, speeding, and driving in protected animal sanctuaries. But that is apparently not enough for this power hungry judge who has decided that he is the decision taker. The property custodians, Congress, and the State of North Carolina (who regulates vehicles vehicles in the state) apparently have no say in the matter, but some judge, just because he decides that he can take the authority to do so, can make such rules. There was no court case, no lawsuit, and no clamoring to make the sand off limits to vehicles. The judge just decided upon his own that this is a good idea and so he made the ruling. This is a fine example of judicial tyranny. Judges like this need to be removed from the bench. Better yet, we need to refrain from appointing such power hungry liberal men who do not follow their jurisdictional authority or oaths of office.

Private property rights abridged...again

I saw this report yesterday on WRAL's news cast. The state Court of Appeals ruled that people can go onto private property to visit family gravesites. I feel for the old lady in the case who wants to visit the graves of her grandparents, but I also believe that the private property rights of the land owner trump the visitation rights to some old grave site.

When people are buried on their own land instead of a cemetery, that is what happens. The land is sold to another owner, the graves may not even be known to the new owner, and the land is now sacred to someone else for another reason.

What bothers me is that there appears to be no real limit as to relations that can claim rights to another's property because of some claimed right to visit a grave. Can someone claim to want to visit their great, great, great grandparents' graves and have rights to be on someone else's property whenever they please?

Another part of the story that bothers me is the old lady plans to put a fence around the grave site. Sorry, but that is not her property upon which to erect a fence. Visitation is one thing. Construction is another. If it was me involved in this case, I would be opposing this lady tooth and nail, up to and including having an armed guard around the property in question.

Another opportunity taken to expectorate on the 2nd Amendment

Check out this video of a Louisiana news cast. NOTE: It does not like Firefox. Use IE, if you are going to watch.

Windsor Street is usually quiet but late Saturday evening it was swarming with investigators from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.

"There was nine cop cars and four unmarked... And so we were a little concerned," said Chrissie Gillett.

"There were detectives, people in uniform everywhere," said Loma Broussard.

Detectives say they received an anonymous tip about possible illegal weapons inside a home on Windsor Street. "We found several weapons, approximately 55-60 weapons and we're unable to determine if any are illegal at this point," said Sgt. Robert Manuel.

Investigators say all of the weapons were found locked safely in a vault inside a shed behind the home. While 80 percent of them were rifles, several guns brought out have nearby neighbors concerned.

"Some of them have really long barrels and some of them look like they have the large magazines that would be automatic weapons. They wouldn't be just for hunting... So that's scary," said Gillett.

"That's scary, that's really scary. My husband hunts, but I mean we're talking -- lots of guns -- that's scary because somebody could go off. You don't know what they would do," said Broussard.

All of the guns were tagged, inventoried and taken to the sheriff's office where investigators will run serial numbers on all the weapons. At this point, investigators say no one is under arrest or wanted in connection with a crime.

Apparently, an anonymous tip is sufficient to have all of your Constitutionally protected firearms confiscated to see if they are illegal. In watching the video, I saw old bolt action rifles. Those are not illegal to own. If they are, I guess I need to be charged with a crime.

These weapons were all stored safely in a vault of some sort. The victim's neighbors are obviously indoctrinated into the liberal, gun hating paradigm. I love the totally frickin' ignorant quote, "Some of them have really long barrels and some of them look like they have the large magazines that would be automatic weapons." News crews obviously found the biggest rube they could find and interviewed her.

Is there something wrong with owning 55 or so firearms? The last I knew, it was legal to collect them. If that is wrong, then I am on my way to being very wrong.

Just because someone gives an anonymous tip, someone can have all of their firearms (personal property) confiscated by the government. Every single firearm could be legally owned, but they want to take them all from the owner to make that determination. They want to run serial numbers, but in the meantime, the owner is being deprived of his property. There is NO evidence that a crime has been committed. Nobody is under arrest. Yet, these overzealous cops think that they have the right to confiscate personal property for no apparent reason.

This, by the way, is one reason why I have a HUGE problem with the way alleged drug busts are taking place on I-95. There is the assumption that because an individual is carrying a large sum of money that it must have been gained as a result of illegal activities. The money is then confiscated. I understand that it is very possible that the money was gotten by dubious means. However, if there is a lack of proof as in absence of drugs and just a large sum of cash, then it is entirely unethical to confiscate the money and it never be returned. No drug organization is going to risk complaining, attempting to collect, much less sue to get its money back, so the law enforcement agencies get to take it. Then, instead of it being turned over to the school district, as is state law, the local sheriff (in particular) turns it over to the FBI, who has no business in the matter. The FBI holds on to it and acts as a laundering outfit. They keep a percentage as a handling fee then turn the money over to the local law enforcement agency, which is legal. It is a short circuit of state law on the part of the law enforcement community to pad their budget rather than schools. But I digress.

We are not supposed to be living in a police state. The last I knew, the 4th and 2nd Amendments were still in place. That, apparently, does not mean much any more. If I was the one who had all of my weapons confiscated, I would be pestering the LEO to return them ASAP. If they failed to return a single one in the same condition in which it was taken, then I would sue their butts. I would also consider suing the neighbors for their participation and encouragement of law enforcement to take my property. I would also work to find out who the anonymous tipster was and sue them, too. This is just plain wrong.

If any of the weapons in question are found to be stolen, then fine. However, the manner in which they were gathered should taint the evidentiary support of their possession.

I guarantee that this guy is going to get hosed by the very people meant to protect his rights.

Somebody else finally files for Selma Town Council

I know that there was at least one person waiting until Friday to see about filing for town council. Personally, I question the wisdom of doing so, but that's just me. Here is the latest report on who has filed for office, according to The Selma News.

William Overby

Troy LaPlante
Eric Sellers (Incumbent)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Good news: Johnston County's bond rating is up. Band news: we still have a bunch of bonds passed and will continue to float more

From the WMPM news page:
County Bond Rating Goes Up - Johnston County's bond rating has been raised from AA- to AA by Standard and Poor's rating service. County Manager Rick Hester said the move is important because it will decrease the county’s cost of borrowing money. "Elevating our bond rating has been a high priority of the Board of Commissioners," he said. Hester said the rating analysis he received from Standard and Poor's listed several actions of the county which are responsible for the higher rating. Among them are strong management practices, a healthy fund balance, programs to attract jobs to the area, and commitment to infrastructure development including the expansion of self-sufficient public utilities, highway and road construction, and public school upgrades. "We just passed a bond referendum and in the next few weeks we're going to be selling the first installment of that referendum in the amount of $32 million, and also the last installment of the 2005 bond referendum in the amount of $20 million," Hester said. "We hope with the new rating to acquire an interest rate somewhere near 4 and 4 1/2 percent." David Rose, senior vice president at Davenport & Company LLC and financial advisor to Johnston County, said the latest upgrade marks the third time in five years the county's bond rating has been upgraded. "This sends a clear signal to Wall Street that Johnston County continues to grow fiscally stronger with each passing year," Rose said.

Hilarious...cruel, but hilarious

Video clip.

Note: I changed the embedded video to just a link to the page with the video. I HATE embedded video and audio that play automatically (although I just added an audio to one of my own web sites.) I changed the attributes of the embed code to "false" on the start up, but it still played each time the page loaded. Sorry about that. I would prefer that you have the choice. If you go to that site and poke around, just use your own good senses. They have a lot of NSFW material there. You were warned. I do like some streaming video clips, but have to be careful on the rest of that site. That does not negate the clean content, though.

Talk show on gun control

Coming up this Saturday at 6 PM will be another issue of "Straight Shooting". I will be talking to John Landreth from Grass Roots North Carolina. GRNC is "a non-profit, all volunteer organization devoted to educating the public about trends which abridge the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and engaging in grass roots activism to preserve those freedoms."

Listen Live

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Selma fire chief position is now posted on the internet. I have forwarded the job description and application procedures on to some friends of mine in the fire business.
Fire Chief - Selma, pop., 6,841. A progressive town located in the eastern portion of the Triangle along I-95 and Highways 70 and 301. Successful candidate will have a strong fire service career with proven mgmt. and leadership abilities. Must be NC firefighter II cert. with 5-7 yrs. of exp. in firefighter work, articulate in the knowledge of fire prevention and fire services admin. in a muni. dept. Chief will coordinate the admin. of the daily ops. of a 25+ volunteer department with an op. budget of $234,000. Also resp. for planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and/or conducting the training activities of the dept. Work requires that the employee stay abreast of state-of-the-art fire suppression procedures, techniques and equipment and modern fire prevention techniques. Will perform regularly scheduled maintenance on all vehicles and equipment and some fire inspections, requiring a Level I Inspections cert. Req’s. ability to make decisions under pressure in all aspects of work, particularly in fire ground command. Req’s. considerable knowledge of supervisory principles and practices, ability to communicate clearly in oral and written form and to make effective public presentations. Starting salary $44,396-$46,644, negotiable based on skills and quals. Apps. may be received by emailing: selmaclk4u@nc.rr.com and online at www.selma-nc.com or at the Employment Security Commission, Smithfield. All apps. must be returned to the Employment Security Commission by 5 p.m. on July 30, 2007. EOE/ADA.

The longer I live, the more I understand this. Tonight, especially.

Why Guns Are Better Than Women

10. You can trade an old 44 for a new 22.

9. You can keep one handgun at home and have another for when you're on the road.

8. If you admire a friend's handgun and tell him so, he will probably let you try it out a few times.

7. Your primary handgun doesn't mind if you keep another handgun for a backup.

6. Your handgun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo.

5. A handgun doesn't take up a lot of closet space.

4. Handguns function normally every day of the month.

3. A handgun doesn't ask , "Do these new grips make me look fat?"

2. A handgun doesn't mind if you go to sleep after you use it.

And the number one reason a handgun is favored over a woman


Thursday, July 12, 2007

If you hate illegal immigration, listen to this segment from Laura Ingraham

Some ingrate who came to this country illegally is wanting to boycott talk radio because he feels that conservative talk shows are against all he stands for in regards to immigration. He claims to be against illegal immigration yet defends it. He claims to be Republican, though is certainly not conservative. He claims to want to be away from Mexico's problems to seek betterment here in the U.S.A. but bites the hand that feeds him. He claims to be a good citizen but scoffs the very laws under which he is subject. Finally, someone like Ingraham is calling someone out about their hypocrisy and being brutally honest with a known felon.

Having fun with double standards and borderline stupidity

For any of you who have a myspace.com account, here is something that may amuse you. This morning, I invited a local, tax payer funded organization to be a "friend" on myspace. This afternoon, I got a denial message from the Johnston County Arts Council's executive director. I have had my page up for some time and had a decent amount of visitors since it was created. My site is about me, my tastes, and my life. What is different is that I simply have an avatar for myspace (www.myspace.com/troylaplante) that has a little "vote4troy.com" graphic. The director thinks that adding my personal myspace page as a friend would appear to be an endorsement of my candidacy for town council, since the graphic shows up when someone sees my on the friends list.

If I had a picture of myself, a Star Wars character, Homer Simpson, my dog, the cover of a Playboy issue, Marilyn Manson, or even Charlie Manson, or a Budweiser, that would be fine.

I encourage you to add The Johnston County Arts Council as a friend on myspace. Later, change your avatar to your favorite Presidential candidate graphic, a Fred Smith for Governor graphic, or something political. See what happens. This is abject stupidity on their part, not to mention just plain an inaccurate double standard. OUR tax dollars pay for a bunch of the funding for groups like this. I couldn't care less about whether or not I have a friend on myspace. What I do care about is honesty, fairness, and the avoidance of sheer stupidity.

Here is their myspace page http://www.myspace.com/johnstoncountyarts

Here are the messages thus far, in order.


We can't approve your request to be a "friend" as I fear it would look as if the Johnston County Arts Council was endorsing your candidacy.

Jessica Meadows


I can see your point but definitely disagree wholeheartedly. Just because I have a small jpg as a picture does not equate to an endorsement of what anyone does. My myspace page is not a candidate page. I have had it since long before I was ever running for town council here in Selma. Just a week ago I had a personal picture on that spot.

By using the same logic you just did, I guess that having the Arts Council on my friends list would appear that I endorse wasting my tax money on the "arts".

Sorry, but your point is ridiculous. If you have "The Flipside" on your friends list, it would seem that you endorse music styles that many seem to find inappropriate, the consumption of alcoholic beverages, and prefer their business to other restaurants or coffee shops. By your logic, your having them as friends shows a formal endorsement of their business over others. The same goes for Tarheel Music.

If you are going to have a definite preference as to friends and consider someone showing up on your friends list as an endorsement, then as a tax payer here in this county, and since your organization is tax supported, I demand that you stop endorsing one business over another. Can you see how your own logic can be extended?

If a friend of mine who is on your friends list replaces their picture with one for Rudy Giuliani or Hillary Clinton for President, would you immediately remove them from your friends list? The individual is not a business or candidate. My myspace page is my personal page and I am doing the exact same thing as they would be doing. If this is endorsement principle is the same, then I also demand that anyone who would put up ANY political avatar at any time be immediately removed or denied on your friends list, as this would seem to be an endorsement on your part, and I don't want my tax dollars paying for that.

By extension of your own policy, all of this only seems to be appropriate. If you would like, I will make sure that every one of my contacts in county government and the several commissioners that I know personally take an interest in your "endorsement" philosophy to help ensure that all that I just detailed is enforced. Each and every morning, it could become somebody's job to log into myspace and check each and every avatar of every friend you list for endorsements. We can also ensure that your organization no longer unfairly endorses one business establishment over another.

This could easily become a requirement before any funding comes your way. Since I can also easily pass this along to people in state government, the ACLU, and other organizations and competitors of the businesses you apparently formally endorse, we can take your own policy to the extremes.

I am illustrating absurdity by being absurd, but it could still happen. I personally could not care less if the Johnston County Arts Council is on my friends list or not. Your reasoning for a denial, however, just does not make sense nor site well with me. I have a lot of visits to my profile, my wife has participated in groups affiliated with your organization, we have been to several events you were instrumental in putting on, my web site promotes your group (maybe I need to take that link down now. I certainly will be taking your group out of the rotation to be on the front page spotlight), and was hoping that your organization would be getting more exposure as a result.

But, it is your policy, not mine. Tomorrow, I will start contacting my elected representatives on the county level and some restaurant owners. I will be putting this information on my web site(s) this evening.

By the way, I am not angry, upset, or anything of the sort. I am amused, however, and will play by your rules. It is, after all, your organization and web presence to govern.


Unfortunately it is the IRS policy, not the Arts Council's. According to IRS code 501 (c) 3, no non-profit can seemingly endorse a political organization or candidate on threat of losing their tax exempt status. It does not prohibit the endorsements of businesses or individuals, so we have continued to work with those.

If you have found people that I have added as friends that have changed their pages to a political site, please let me know and I will remove them.

If you would like to create a seperate page with information about your radio station and other personal information, I'll be happy to add you.



You have TOTALLY missed my point. The obvious DOUBLE STANDARD aside, my profile page IS NOT A POLITICAL PAGE CREATED FOR A CANDIDATE and never has been. Did you even bother looking? It is my PERSONAL page and always has been. It is about ME, not the fact that I am running for office.

I am very familiar with the IRS regulations to which you refer. Putting someone on your friends list on myspace.com who has an avatar in support of their favorite political candidate is in no way, shape, or form and endorsement. To think that it is just baffles me.

It would be one thing if you put a link on your own organization's web site pointing to my campaign web site, www.vote4troy.com and asking for people to support a candidacy.

You still have not addressed the issue, though you came close. If someone who has a personal myspace.com page and is on your friends list simply changes the picture on their profile (and that is ALL I have done), are you going to also consider that to be an endorsement of the reflected candidate and therefore remove someone from your friends list?

If the answer to that question is yes, then I am astounded by the sheer stupidity of that action. If not, then you are holding up an extreme double standard, which is one that I will certainly address with those who would need to know about such hypocrisy and lack of fairness. They just happen to be the same people who hold the purse strings that your organization depends upon.

Can you see the absurdity in this? Remember, it isn't MY idea, it's yours. It isn't even the idea of the IRS, since their regulations are not applicable, as you falsely have interpreted them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Being "nicer than Jesus"

I have decried the intolerance of those who preach tolerance for a long time. I also have a serious problem with those who are not Christians, yet hold a standard of how they believe that Christians should act. If they know that there is a moral superiority, then they should follow that moral path themselves rather than hypocritically condemning others when they either fail or do not meet their own personal expectations.

Then there are those who are Christians but are very much into false holiness and hold an unattainable and unrealistic standard for others to measure against. The truth is that they often fall short their own selves. Sometimes these expectations are nothing more than false doctrine.

For years, I have used the term "being nicer than Jesus" to describe these expectations. This never seems to get through to those on whom I use the phrase. If they do comprehend the concept, they often dismiss it with a rather cavalier attitude and vehement self righteousness.

I have finally run across an opinion column in which someone else has employed the phrase "nicer than Jesus". Hopefully, the concept will sink in to others, as well.

Glad that Jim Black isn't getting off TOO light

It was ridiculous that Jim Black's attorneys wanted to have him serve his sentence by giving eye exams and glasses to the poor. First of all, it was not just the poor that he defrauded. He committed offenses against the rich, the poor, and those in between. I am tired of everything being filtered through the emotional trap of being for the poor of for the children. People like myself are tax payers. The poor pay little or no taxes.

Black's sentencing was delayed at least an hour today. He had plead guilty to corruption charges. His lawyers tried to keep the former State House Speaker out of prison. I thought that he should go to PMITA prison for his crimes. Others thought that the public would be better served by him doing service to the state. He is no better than any other man or woman. Others who have been sentenced to prison have skills, as well. They don't get special treatment, so neither should Black.

Black still faces sentencing on state bribery and obstruction of justice charges.

Here is the online news article from WRAL.com.

I hope all is well with Jeff White

The following news story was forwarded to me last night. I have been trying to keep in contact with former town manager, Jeff White, since he was forced out of his job in Selma. I hope all is well.

Jeff, if you are reading this, I tried to leave you a voice mail at the only number I was able to dig up for you. I only had your work email. Feel free to contact me any time.
City manager for Bessemer City resigns

By Stephanie Toone
July 10, 2007 - 7:35PM
BESSEMER CITY — Bessemer City will temporarily be without a city manager.

Following Monday night's council meeting, Jeff White announced his resignation from the position as city manager.

The city hired White as city manager in June 2006. When reached by phone Tuesday, he declined to say why he resigned.

White, a native of Mocksville, managed the cities of Newport and Selma before being hired as Bessemer City's manager last year.

He had high hopes of seeing growth in industry and commerce in the city.

"We just need to make sure we're not forgotten in Gaston County," White said in an interview last year. "We need to make enough noise to let people know Bessemer City is here on the west end."

Mayor Alan Farris said he and the council plan on meeting within the next week to determine who will hold the interim city manager position.

"We certainly wish him well in doing anything he will do in the future," Farris said.

Farris would not comment on why White was leaving the city.

Libs try to have it both ways on Bush's "executive privilege"

It bothers me no end that the liberals in this country seem to have a short memory. When Bill Clinton was President and exercised commutations, pardons, or "executive privilege", it was fine and dandy. When G.W. Bush does the same, to a less extent even, he is "hiding behind executive privilege and violating the public trust". They can not have it both ways.

One knucklehead blogger who is only 13 years old, from the claims on his blog, was asking in a sarcastic fashion what Bush has to hide. I posted a (non-anonymous) comment that the Legislative branch of government does not have power over the Executive branch, that there are constitutional separations. One branch is not beholden to or answerable to the whims of another.

There are some things that should not have to be explained. The nuance of every little decision taken should not have to be explained. When an executive takes a decision to exercise his proper authority, he should not be required to explain every detail just because a few politicians on the opposite side to not like the decision. That is abuse of power. If the decisions taken were illegal or immoral, that is another story. Some details are not for public consumption because of personnel matters or national security and therefore can not be a matter of "violating the public trust". That stance can be just as easily abused.

Congress has given itself subpoena power and made crime legislation for things such as "contempt of Congress". I don't see that sort of authority in the constitution. It is often a matter of one group attempting to usurp power over another.

In this case, there is a political witch hunt going on over the firing of some judicial appointees. Liberals are looking for anything they can to get back at Bush for the 2000 election and his re-election of 2004. Look, he will be out of office soon and you don't have to constantly attempt to defeat Bush. There is no more campaigning for him, except on issues while in office.

Of no surprise to me, the liberally slanted News and Observer has published an opinion column accusing Bush of hiding behind his executive privilege. In case you want to read the whining, here it is.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pope: Other Christians Not True Churches

Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.

Click here for the whole story.

That's OK, I don't consider Catholicism true Christianity, so we're even. This has always been one problem that I've had with Catholicism (which follows the teachings of Cathol, whoever he was...OK, maybe not, but it was funny, anyway). There are so many Biblical principles violated by the very structure and teachings inherent to Catholicism, that I have always had a hard time with its relevance. That is not to say that there are not some genuine followers of Christ that attend Catholic churches. I have met many who are.

Anyone who follows a Pope rather than the teachings of the gospel and of Biblical precepts has their faith built upon sand and not a firm foundation. If a man can make a decree, another man can change it later. There is no standard or eternal truth in that. There is, however, that sought after truth in the Bible itself and in the teaching that comes directly from the Spirit of God himself to His sheep.

Here is one of the fallacies behind the doctrine of having a Pope, directly from the article.
"Christ 'established here on earth' only one church," the document said. The other communities "cannot be called 'churches' in the proper sense" because they do not have apostolic succession - the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ's original apostles.

There are a couple of problems with that concept. First is the interpretation of the words of Jesus when he said, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" as meaning that He will build the church upon Peter. Read the entire context and read about the historical setting where they will and you will see that it is a play on words.

The second problem is the assumption that apostleship is 1. handed down from one to another in a line of succession; and 2. that an apostle must have actually been with the group from the time of John the Baptist and was with Jesus until the resurrection, having witnessed it himself (see these verses for that reference). Often, you will hear cessationalists quote that verse to defend the idea that apostles no longer exist and died off with the original 12 (then a replacement for Judas, so really 13). If that is the case, then Paul did not qualify since he was not with the group from the time of John the Baptist and he did not witness the resurrected Christ when they did. He did see Christ later, however. Then again, Paul was not the last to do so, either. So have I, nearly 2000 years later.

The apostolic replacement was decided by chance, not by Cardinals' votes. The succession was not handed down. It was a "roll of the dice", so to speak. Either way, the non-Biblical claim of apostolic succession is a farce. Paul did not treat Peter as the leader of the entire Church. Actually, James, the brother of Jesus, was the leader in Jerusalem, not Peter.

The one part of the quote I gave from the article that says, "Christ 'established here on earth' only one church" is very true. There is indeed only ONE Church, meaning the Lord's Body. On the flip side, there are many congregations that are actually referred to as "churches". We find references to "the church that meets at the house of..." or "write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea." Click here for that last reference. Thus, that point could also be argued, depending upon the intent of the quote's author.

There is one good thing Benedict has done, though...

Is it just me, or does Pope Benedict XVI remind you of Chancellor Palpatine?

Sorry, but that is not stalking

This may be childish and libel, but it is not stalking. I have had hate sites erected about me, too. Still, it is not cyberstalking as the story and current law may regard it.

From WMPM's news site:
Superintendent Says He Is The Victim Of Cyber Stalking - The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office has opened up a computer cyber stalking investigation, and the victim in the case is School Superintendent Dr. Anthony Parker. School attorney Jimmy Lawrence reported to authorities on Monday that someone had set up a MySpace.com account using the name of the school chief without his knowledge or consent. Officials said the person also placed a picture of Dr. Parker on the website. If located, the person could face cyber stalking charges. Within the past two years, two school principals in Johnston County have reported someone has placed their names and photos on the MySpace.com website. No charges were ever filed in those incidents.

The Selma election should get interesting

From 1270WMPM.com:
Overby Files For Selma Mayor - William Overby has no problem with current Selma Mayor Charles Hester but he wants his job. Late Monday, Overby filed for the mayors seat at the Johnston County Board of Elections. Overby, who is a staff programmer for IBM, and does much of his work from his Dixie Drive home, says Mayor Hester has done a great job, but he wants to see changes. Overby, who is 54, and has never run for elected office, said he had been considering running for the position for the past several years. He says he would like to see citizens in Selma get more recognition. He points to a senior citizens day that is held only once a year. As far as the recent dispute between the current mayor and the Selma Fire Department, Overby said the town needs a full-time fire chief. He also wants to see firefighters become first responders for Selma EMS. Also Monday, Princeton Mayor Don Rains filed for re-election. Rains is seeking his fourth term as Princeton mayor. The filing period for municipal elections remains open until July 20.

I don't personally know William Overby, but would like to get to know him soon. I like the info I see in the news report so far.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Some memories

I was just looking at some posted photos of a recent fireman's muster. Years ago, I was in a few musters myself. Some of the muster events were with an old hand tub, which is basically a bathtub on wheels and a hand powered pump that an entire crew of firefighters would operate.

Out of curiosity, I looked to see if the old hand tub that I had used to help operate and show is on the internet. I found the firefighter's museum that I actually helped build. I was with the crew that got the hand tub when it was finished being restored.

Here are a few pictures of the hand tub and the museum building.

Latest filings for upcoming election

From the WMPM news page:
Benson Mayor Facing Opposition This November - The filing period for local municipal races opened on Friday. Benson Mayor Jerry B. McLamb was among the first to file for re-election, but quickly had opposition for his seat. Councilman William W. Massengill Jr. is challenging the first-term incumbent mayor. McLamb said his platform is town growth and he feels like he has done a good job. Massengill, the chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said he wants to set yearly goals for the town, and to be more intentional about thinking for the long-term. Benson Commissioner Cassandra Stack, also filed for another term on the board, representing District 1. In Smithfield , former Mayor Bill Jordan has filed for town council. Jordan, an assistant principal at Smithfield-Selma High, has filed for a four year council seat, along with Incumbent Sidney Broadwell, a retired educator. In Selma , Troy LaPlante has filed for town council. In Clayton, incumbents Alexander Atchison and Alex Harding have filed for the town board. Jay Jeffrey Holt has filed for Pine Level mayor, and Jimmy Garner and Phil Pittman have filed for 4-year terms on the town council. In Princeton , incumbent board members Walter Martin and Eddie Haddock have filed for re-election. Martin, a Smithfield police officer, said he wants to continue to build infrastructure of the Town of Princeton . The filing period will remain open until July 20. Candidates are now required to file for office at the Johnston County Board of Elections in Smithfield and can no longer do so at their local town hall. Filing fees for most council and mayors seats vary from $5 to $10.
By the way, Selma filing fees are $18 for council and more for mayor.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

OSHA trying to regulate ammunition sales, storage, handling

An alert from GRNC.org
OSHA's Backdoor Gun Control Scheme

When gun grabbers can't attain their goals through legislation they
do the next best thing. They use bureaucrats. This time the action
comes down through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA), the government agency charged with assuring the safety and
health of America's workers. This unelected bureaucracy is attempting
to seriously curtail if not shut down the manufacture and sale of
ammunition through a proposed regulatory rule.


Through this rule OSHA would do what only a regulatory agency can do,
make the cost of producing ammunition economically impossible.
Industry wide compliance costs could easily exceed $100 million.
These rules include such ridiculous mandates as ammunition and
smokeless propellant manufacturers having to shut down and evacuate a
factory when a thunderstorm approaches and customers not being allowed
within 50 feet of any ammunition (displayed or otherwise stored)
without first being searched for matches or lighters.

This is subject to a public comment period, which our friends at the
National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) are pushing to have
extended by 60 days. The current period will expire on July 12.

The NRA version:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed new rules that would have a dramatic effect on the storage and transportation of ammunition and handloading components such as primers or black and smokeless powder. The proposed rule indiscriminately treats ammunition, powder and primers as "explosives." Among many other provisions, the proposed rule would:

* Prohibit possession of firearms in commercial "facilities containing explosives"—an obvious problem for your local gun store.
* Require evacuation of all "facilities containing explosives"—even your local Wal-Mart—during any electrical storm.
* Prohibit smoking within 50 feet of "facilities containing explosives."

It’s important to remember this is only a proposed rule right now, so there's still time for concerned citizens to speak out before OSHA issues its final rule. The National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute will all be commenting on these proposed regulations, based on the severe effect these regulations (if finalized) would have on the availability of ammunition and reloading supplies to safe and responsible shooters.

The public comment period ends July 12. To file your own comment, or to learn more about the OSHA proposal, click here or go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket Number OSHA-2007-0032; you can read OSHA’s proposal and learn how to submit comments electronically, or by fax or mail.
What bites about this sort of thing is that OSHA is a group of non-elected individuals and therefore not accountable directly to the voters. I have great disdain for executive fiat implemented by a regulatory agency. There are not a huge amount of explosives related job injuries out there.

There is a 55 page pdf file with the proposed rule http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspubli...ontentType=pdf

I added my comments to the official record. Here is what I wrote:
I do not see anywhere in the Constitution of the United States that a regulatory agency under the executive branch of government has the authority to make rules regarding the use of arms of their necessary components such as propellants and primers.

There are some ludicrous requirements such as evacuation during an electrical storm that, quite frankly, are not feasible nor common sense filled. As a fire protection specialist, I do believe that some of the requirements I have read are overkill.

Have there been demonstrable increases in work place deaths or injuries as related to the storage, transportation, sales, and use of explosives, much less that of ammunition? If there were, it probably would have been newsworthy.

The proposed regulations would effectively cripple ammunition sales by a regulatory agency. OSHA is not a legislative body, duly elected by the populace. Ergo, its authority must be held in check, especially when it infringes upon Constitutionally guaranteed rights and tramples free trade under the guise of safety regulation.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

New parakeets

Does the name parakeet have the same sort of implication of paramilitary? If so, what is a keet and why are the birds not full keets? Anyway, I think about these things and they keep me up at night wondering.

Teresa picked up a couple of baby parakeets today. We had two parakeets, but one died a few weeks ago. Trixie was a green parakeet with a large tumor that grew on her chest and abdomen. That is not all that unheard of with parakeets, I understand.

Teresa had expressed an interest in getting another bird for our Snowflake. Mr. Flake, as I often call him, is a white "lace wing" breed of parakeet who sings, chatters, mimics, and screeches a lot. He has been dealing well with the death or absence of his long time companion, Trixie.

Someone was giving away a pair of baby parakeets that were hatched on May 4th. Teresa drove out today and picked them up. They seem to be adjusting fine to their new surroundings and to Snowflake. He seems to be doing OK, himself. The babies are eating and drinking fine. Mr. Flake is not chattering as much as he usually does, but I am sure that this will pass.

TONIGHT on Straight Shooting

The Christian Civic League of Maine. In the frozen North, there is a beacon of warmth. Mike Hein with cclmaine.org will join me at 6PM eastern to discuss issues that they have been battling in Maine, just as others across the country have been doing. A once great pious and conservative region, New England has become a liberal bastion and a spiritually cold region. CCLMaine is dedicated to standing for those values that made this nation great.

Click here to listen to the show.

Listen Live

Post script: I had a blast with this show. Listen via web streaming and enjoy.

The official press release

Here is the official press release for my bid for town council.

I use several web based release services. Here is another.

Here is the text:
Selma, North Carolina author files for public office


The filing period for Johnston County, North Carolina municipal elections began on Friday, July 06, 2007. One Selma, North Carolina man, Troy LaPlante has filed to fill one of two Town Council seats up for re-election.

LaPlante ran unsuccessfully for council two years ago in the non-partisan election. "Two years ago, almost nobody knew who I was," Troy said. "This time, it is different. With my local involvement, weekly opinion column in the newspaper, increased internet presence, and just plain being a resident longer, most people in town have heard my name. I am hoping to have an impact on my town, not necessarily make a splash."

Known for his conservative views that are easily found in the newspaper or on the internet, Troy LaPlante has been a North Carolina resident for about two decades, almost half of his life. In 1988, as a young adult and recent college graduate, Troy moved from his family home in New Hampshire to North Carolina to take a job at North Carolina State University's Public Safety Department. After a few years, he moved on to private industry where he worked in the radio broadcasting business at several radio stations in the Raleigh/Durham area, as well as right in his home town of Selma. He also worked in the private protective security business. For the past twelve years, Troy has been working for Time Warner Cable Media Sales as a Technical Services Coordinator.

Troy has co-founded several ministry groups and congregations, some of which still are in existence today. Troy and his wife currently are involved with small home and online fellowship groups.

In 1994, Troy met and married his sweetheart, Teresa. After living together in Raleigh for several years, Troy and Teresa moved to Smithfield, where they lived for about five years. When looking for a home to purchase of their own, Troy remembered the small town life he experienced growing up, and the lifestyle he found while working in Selma. In 2002, while looking for their first house, Troy and Teresa chose to purchase their home and settle in the Town of Selma.

With a background of almost a decade in the fire and rescue field, as well as in ministry, Troy has always had a heart for public service. It was not hard to get involved in public affairs. After an unsuccessful run for town council in 2005, Troy continued his long habit of internet blogging, which led to an offer to write a weekly opinion column in "The Selma News".

Troy's other civic involvement include serving on the Johnston County Local Emergency Planning Committee, the Selma Planning Board and Board of Adjustment, the Selma Citizen's Advisory Board, and with the Selma Development Partnership.

Troy LaPlante's official campaign web site is http://www.vote4troy.com. Most of his web presence can be found at http://www.troylaplante.com LaPlante was the first candidate from Selma to file for elected office in the upcoming November 6th election.

For more details:

Friday, July 06, 2007

The N&O commentary on upcoming Selma election

From today's online edition:

Voters will elect a mayor and two council members.

Political footnote: Mayor Charles Hester, a developer and former Marine, has ruffled some feathers in town for changes he has pursued since taking office two years ago. Hester said Thursday he was still weighing whether to run again.

Campaign web site updated

My vote4troy web site has been updated with the latest news and statement of beliefs, to which I will add as time goes by. Check it out at vote4troy.com. Pass the word to anyone who lives in Selma or would like to help the campaign.

Word travels fast. I am officially a candidate.

In less than two hours after I filed the paperwork, I was asked by The Selma News for a bio for the newspaper and web site. In less than three hours after I filed, there was a story on the paper's web site.
One local candidate files for office
By Kelly Lake, News Editor 06.JUL.07

The filing period for municpal elections began today at 12 noon. One candidate had filed for office in Selma by 3 p.m. today.

Troy LaPlante has filed to fill one of two Town Council seats up for reelection.

Gary Jackson, whose seat on the Council is up for relection, said today that he has not decided whether he will run.

Eric Sellers, who was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Weaver, said today that he is considering filing for Council, but will not make a final decision for at least a week.

Mayor Charles Hester, whose term ends in November, could not be reached by telephone at the time of this posting.

No one has filed for the Wilson's Mills mayor's race or to fill two seats on the Council currently held by Kenneth R. Jones and Clifford Uzzell.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Socialism and government health care is nothing new. Just ask Ronald Reagan.

An old audio of Ronald Reagan discussing socialized medicine before he was Governor of California. Nothing has really changed since then, apparently, except that socialists are getting more bold and vociferous.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hypocrisy over the Scooter Libby commutation

Just as expected, leftists have skewered George W. Bush for the commutation of the sentence of Scooter Libby. It is his Presidential prerogative to be able to do so and those on the left are whining and finger pointing. I find it extremely hypocritical of the critics considering the pardons doled out by Bill Clinton while he was in office.

For the record, I believe that Libby should have been pardoned, not the beneficiary of a commutation, but at least something was done. Libby was railroaded and falsely convicted to begin with, so at least part of the wrong was righted.

I would have expected nothing less than the whining hypocrisy of the political opposition. It is what makes them, well, them.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Last Sunday morning, Teresa and I went to New York City to catch a Broadway musical. I had been looking forward to someday spending time in the city, which I had never done before. I had always driven through NYC but never got the time to be a tourist. We took Amtrak from Selma's Union Station, right down the street. The train trip up wasn't so bad. I got to read and listen to the iPod.

We got into Penn Station that evening and eventually found our hotel. We knew nothing about the geography of Manhattan. On the internet, it said that the hotel was about a half mile from Penn Station. What a load of crap. We hiked quite a ways to get to the hotel. What sucked was that I hurt my back Sunday morning and had to hobble around with a cane and carry a 50 pound bag slung over my shoulder.

Monday morning, we had a list of places to visit. We did the breakfast thing at the hotel and then took a cab to The Empire State Building. Hey, every tourist has to see The Empire State Building. I studied that building in college in regards to its construction, fire resistance, and the B-25 bomber that crashed into it in 1945. We went to the 86th floor observatory. The cool thing was that the tourist areas for the observatory were under renovation, so I got to see the interior walls laid bare, which is something most don't get to see. The observatory was full and there were a ton of people there. Obviously, this is one of the cliche places to go, and I am fine with that. While on top of The Empire State Building, I heard German, French, Italian, Hindi, Swedish, some African dialects, Arabic, and some other languages that I could not distinguish. There were tourists from around the world.

Here are a few shots from the 86th floor observatory of The Empire State Building.

New York City pigeons are fearless. There were two of them on the observatory wall. They just sat there, inviting people to feed them or take their pictures.

And some interior shots

After that, we went to take The Staten Island Ferry and see The Statue of Liberty.

We also went to eat an early dinner in Little Italy on Monday. Great Italian food. We ate at the Lunella cafe on Mulberry Street. Awesome.

From there, we went up to Times Square and looked around the Theater District.

Eventually, we hiked back to our hotel and rested that night. The next day, we got up and went to Rockefeller Plaza. We intended to look around in that area, since there were several art museums as well as the Museum of Radio and Television. Unfortunately, the museums were either closed on Tuesdays, didn't open until noon, or an hour or so after we got there, so we didn't get to see any museums. Instead, we decided to take a Grey Line Tour bus around the downtown loop of Manhattan. It was well worth the money.

The tour took us through Times Square, around Greenwich Village, Soho, China Town, Town Hall, The World Trade Center, Madison Avenue, the United Nations, Turtle Bay, Central Park, Broadway, and most of the major sights.

We have a ton more pictures. We ended up going all over Times Square, then finally back to our hotel room to change clothes and go to a Broadway musical. We saw The Fantasticks, which holds the world's record for being the longest running musical in history.

Teresa got to meet (again) Anthony Federov, who was starring in the play. Anthony is best remembered from season 4 of American Idol, where he made it to 4th place that year.

After the play, we hung out some in Times Square. We checked out the Hershey's store and M&M World. Cool. Fun.

Wednesday, we rode the subway for quite a while then went and caught the Gray Line tour bus at the south end of their tour. We bought a 48 hour pass, figuring that if time allowed, we could take another loop through another borough. That didn't happen, but it did allow us to hop their bus anywhere we wanted. We got off at The United Nations complex. We bought tour tickets at Grey Line (you will save a couple of dollars by doing so compared to purchasing at the U.N.)

From there, we hopped Grey Line back to Times Square, where all tours begin and end. We had dinner in Times Square. Then, since we couldn't get any available cabs, we hiked it all the way back to our hotel on West 38th Street in Hell's Kitchen near the convention center.

We were at the train station at 5:45 AM on Thursday for the trek back to Selma. I scared the crap out of one old Black lady who took an interest in me when I sat across from her and prayed a blessing on our breakfast while awaiting our train. She started talking about God and religious stuff. She eventually literally ran away as if in terror because she was very religious, was ingrained into the institutional church, and had a lot of false teachings I addressed during the course of our discussion.

The trip back would not have been so bad except that the bathrooms stunk up the whole car and the staff did nothing about it, though they had complaints. They had the typical government employee attitude of laziness and did not care about the great discomfort that all passengers were experiencing.

The train trip up wasn't so bad. I got to read and listen to the iPod. What totally amazes me is that for a ticket price of over $100 each person for each leg of the trip, Amtrak loses money each and every year. You and I are paying the U.S. government for Amtrak to operate at a loss. One would think that if nothing else, the rip off prices of second rate food served in the cafe car would make up for any losses of operation. If you like paying $15 for a couple of sodas and two prepackaged sandwiches that you can find in convenience stores, then Amtrak is for you. If airlines and bus companies can operate at a profit, why can't Amtrak make a profit? Perhaps it is time to sell off that asset and let private industry take over.

This Thursday, I will have a LaPlante's Rants column in The Selma News about some of my observations.

Anyway, it is getting late. Time to think about sleep.