Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Amusing quote of the day

It is hardly surprising that women concentrate on the way they look instead of what is in their minds since not much has been put in their minds to begin with.
Mary Shelley

The Deporter

This Saturday night at 6 PM I will be interviewing author Ames Holbrook on my show Straight Shooting. Mr. Holbrook is the author of the new book, The Deporter. Ames Holbrook was a federal deportation officer from 1998 to 2002, based in New Orleans. Previously, he served in the U.S. Army with a special weapons team in Italy and then with the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany. He now writes full time. Here is a quote from Holbrook:
"We have an immigration crisis in our country, all right, and it is a good deal more demonstrably wrong than the millions of illegal immigrants in the shadows. It is costlier to the fabric of American life than the September 11 attacks were. Illogical, deadly, ruinous. Yet none of our leaders is raising a finger to stop it. On the contrary, it is our leaders who drive the destruction."
Presidential Candidate Tom Tancredo had this to say about "The Deporter":
"As a congressman who is constantly exposed to tales of government incompetence regarding border control, I am rarely shocked. However, after reading The Deporter, I am once again reminded of the state of disarray our borders are in. This is a fascinating read."
–Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.)
And from Publisher's Weekly:
From Publishers Weekly
Former U.S. deportation agent Holbrook describes his job (a combination of policeman, lawyer and diplomat) in this unsettling memoir. Among its revelations is that America routinely releases illegal aliens who have committed crimes in the U.S. when the criminal fails to confirm his nationality with an official document and foreign consuls won't cooperate. (Cuba, Vietnam and Laos refuse to accept criminal deportees, while China, India, Egypt, all former U.S.S.R. nations and many others simply stall or insist there's no evidence for that person's citizenship.) Holbrook also reveals tricks he invented to deport the worst offenders that would have gotten him fired if discovered. For example, countries show less reluctance with lesser criminals, so in the case of a convicted murderer who also trespassed, he might only mention the trespass. Holbrook stresses that Bush administration officials could force nations to take back their murderers, rapists, thieves or child abusers, but choose not to; nor does the government prevent them from being released back into American communities after they have served their prison time or a portion of it, but deportation has been thwarted. This engrossing but disturbing book may impel some readers to action.

Straight Shooting

I can save the $400K right now...ain't gonna help

I have known about this study and idea for a while now. This is just a waste of time, in my opinion. A commuter rail system is not going to be used or be profitable in North Carolina. We are not New York City and don't need rail lines in the suburbs for people to get into the big city. I can save the cost of the study and say that common sense dictates that we should stop wasting the time and money. Here is the story from
Railroad Studying Commuter Line From Goldsboro to Greensboro

RALEIGH, N.C. — A study will be conducted to determine the cost and demand for rush hour commuter rail service between Goldsboro and Greensboro, the president of the North Carolina Railroad said.

"Morning and afternoon, commuter trains have potential for significant energy, safety and environmental benefits," railroad President Scott M. Saylor said. "But there are major questions that should be answered."

The railroad awarded a $400,000 contract to engineering firm HNTB to determine costs for the additional infrastructure needed to expand rail service, such as track and bridges. Officials said the study will look at adding four morning and evening trains and one in the afternoon; specific stops haven't been determined.

The railroad is a private company owned by the state of North Carolina that manages a 317-mile rail corridor between Charlotte and Morehead City.

A break from the serious

I actually do like the Gretchen Wilson song. It seems appropriate.

Happy 5th anniversary, house

Today is the 5th anniversary of the day I closed on my house in Selma. She has seen a lot of changes since I have been here. Some were improvements, some were problems. Some have been inhabitants. Either way, it is my humble abode. This is a picture I took a few days before closing, if I recall, and after I put in an offer on the property.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Election story in which the Herald gets it wrong

The Smithfield Herald FINALLY published the Selma candidate's forum in an article today. I was VERY disappointed in what I read. We sat there for a solid hour and this was the scant article that was published. There was no individual coverage, no separate profiles, no attention to equal time, and a lack of detail. As a matter of fact, I was misquoted. I have an almost photographic memory when it comes to conversations. Fortunately, the quote did not totally detract from what I said and conveys the thought, but the quotation marks should be omitted from the article. Next time I go to a forum like this, I am bringing my audio recording device.

Another thing that GREATLY disappoints me is the fact that The Herald gave equal time to Tommy Holmes yet again. Tommy did not have the decency to show up at the forum two years ago and again this year, and yet he is afforded the same opportunity as every one of us who took the time and courtesy to attend. His answers are included along with everyone else's as if he was in the room along with us.

If this is going to be how things are done, why not just call me at home, instead and save us both the time and effort. Sorry, but this irritates the heck out of me. It is patently unfair to every other candidate who made the effort to be there and participate. Five other people were just insulted in that column. Furthermore, it is dishonest to not make that distinction within the article. I am not slamming Tommy. It was his own personal CHOICE to not come, and I am told that he does not like such events. SORRY, but that being the case, he should not reap the benefit of it.

There were five topics of discussion and only three made it into the article. I just retrieved my notepad from my vehicle...yup, five. We also discussed the current perception of Selma and ways to improve it as well as the topic of forced annexation. By the way, what did we supposedly "breathe a sigh of relief" over? Was this the same forum meeting I attended?

Candidates breathe sigh of relief
By Jordan Cooke, Staff Reporter

After bleeding red ink for a couple of years, the town has its financial house in order, say the six candidates seeking office in his year.

Last week, the Herald sat down with mayor candidates Charles Hester and William Overby and council candidates Eric Sellers, Cheryl Oliver, Troy LaPlante, and Tommy Holmes. Here's what they had to say.

The state of spending
Unchecked spending had forced Selma to use $1.8 million in savings to balance its book, leaving the town with just $300,000 in reserves, said Hester, the incumbent mayor. But some tough spending decisions and the implementation of checks and balances put the town's finances back in the black, he said.

"When I came on board, we didn't really know how much money we had," Hester said. "We didn't reconcile bank statements. There was no management of money. But as time went on, we put the most qualified people in place to correct that. And we're getting much better performance out of everyone."

To rein in spending, the town trimmed its staff. That was unpopular but necessary, the candidates said.

"It's just a fact that like any major business, you've got to cut overhead," Overby said. "Sometimes to balance the books, you've got to cut waste."

"Sound fiscal management is not rocket science," added Sellers, a retired businessman. "If your expenses are running more than revenue, that's not good. At that point you have to think it doesn't matter what you like or want. Our fiduciary responsibility is to make sure taxpayer money is spent in such a way that gets the most bang for the buck."

Oliver said she was pleased to see that the town manager and finance officer had developed "granular budget reports" that help track exactly where each dollar is spent. "It enables us to look and see if things are out of control," she said. "It's a relentless battle, but we have to keep track."

For his part, Holmes said he didn't think the town had done enough to correct its financial affairs. But he said he also doubted the town was ever in as serious a financial crisis as town leaders indicated.

"If the town was in the state it said it was in, I think the Local Government Commission would have stepped in and taken over," he said. "They went and gave money to Sysco for coming. And the town leaders turned [former town manager] Jeff White loose and weren't keeping up with what he had going on. When Charles came in, he tightened the belt. But I still can't see where town has recovered that much in two years."

Oliver said she'd like to see the town explore the possibility of giving back to its employees some of the perks taken from them during the town's financial crisis. LaPlante said he would also like to see the town eventually rescind a five-cent tax increase passed last year.

"When we do have the money to do some of these things, I think we need to start giving back," Oliver said.

Attracting industry
Hester, a veteran of the real estate business, said increasing the town's tax base would be key to "doing something good for our area." Attracting new industry will play a huge role in increasing the tax base, he added.

But before the town can lure another Sysco, it must achieve a few goals, the candidates said.

First, the town must improve its infrastructure, LaPlante said. "It's great that we have beautifully painted water towers, but not when we have 100-year-old water lines," he said. "If we're going to offer more services to businesses like Sysco, were going to have to improve upon the infrastructure we have now."

Holmes said Selma also needed to lower its utility rates. "As high as light and water bills are for a business right now, I think the town needs to look at cutting the rates by about 10 percent," he said.

Second, the town needs to work to shed a negative image and encourage residents to take pride in their community, Oliver said. "We have so many things going for us, but we have to overcome stereotypes and perception," she said. "We also need the people of Selma to believe in Selma. Internally, people are not very optimistic. We need to make Selma a place that is positive about itself from the inside out."

To help shed that negative image, Selma needs to focus on rundown rental homes, Overby said. "The more we have, the less people will want to move here," he said. "And who knows, a big business might be looking, but might get concerned because of the condition of the town."

Sellers said the town also needed to continue promoting itself as a tourist destination and to engage industries to assess their interests and needs. "One thing you do when you sit down with them [companies] is you put yourself in their place," he said. "You assess their need, but you do it in an intelligent way."

The doctor is out
Selma has struggled in recent years to keep a doctor in town. The latest to leave were the doctors of Carolina Express Care, who in July vacated a building Hester built years ago to attract another healthcare practice.

The six candidates all agreed that having a local doctor was a convenience, but not a necessity. While they said they wouldn't turn a doctor away, the candidates said they wouldn't necessarily go looking for a new one.

"I suppose we could use a doctor just for identity's sake," Hester said. "But we're not that far from Smithfield. Last time I checked, we touched borders. But if we were to try to attract a doctor, I think we would be better served to work with the hospital on that rather than spending tax dollars."

Holmes agreed. "Not that many people are going to doctors here in Selma anyway," he said. "We can't afford to put the burden of luring a new one on the taxpayers."

Oliver said she would also favor a partnership with Johnston Memorial Hospital over spending tax money. But she said it could be important to the town's image to have a local physician. "I don't think we have to force it, but I do think a doctor's presence says something about the town and how it cares for its people," she said.

The Smithfield Herald misses it on two stories

The first is an opinion column by the editor. Basically, he railed against the counter protesters at the protest rally this past Saturday. He obviously missed the same sentiments that have come from the side of those protesting for a long time. Granted, and I have documented some of this in my talk show, some of the counter protesters were a bit obnoxious. However, he has a few details wrong. The airboat was not one of the counter protesters I was told by the organizer of said counter protest. Secondly, there is no guarantee that anyone has the right to be heard, just the right of freedom of speech. That cuts TWO ways. Why should the Gathering of Eagles folks bother to sit and listen to what they already know is the rhetoric and agenda of the Stop Torture Now folks? Or vice versa? They already know each other's positions. In the example of not shouting down the leader of Iran, remember that in the SAME FORUM, the president of Columbia University had 20 minutes or so to lay the smack down on Iran as it was (and it was a beautiful thing to hear). There was no such opportunity afforded the GOE.

Here is the opinion column:
Politically, we are more in step with those flag-waving folks who turned out Saturday to protest the protesters. Terrorists flew planes into our buildings, not the other way around. And while Iraq seems a poor target in hindsight, pulling out now would create a void that enemies of freedom would no doubt fill.

Still, the "support our troops" crowd didn't make us proud on Saturday. They seemed to care less about being heard than shouting down the opposition. A man standing at Front and Market streets held a sign encouraging motorists to honk their horns if they supported the troops. A nice sentiment, but all of those horns struck us as a ploy to drown out the speeches of the anti-torture, anti-war crowd. Even louder, closer and more effective was the Everglades-type point boat speeding up and down the Neuse River.

When we were growing up, our parents and teachers taught us not to talk when someone else was talking. Unfortunately, civility has since disappeared from civil discourse in this country.

But we wonder if incivility is meant to mask insecurity. Our suspicion is that people who shout down the opposition are really afraid to hear what the opposition has to say.

Personally, we think people opposed to how America fights the War on Terror are well intentioned but wrong. But if America can listen to the president of Iran without shouting him down, can't we extend the same courtesy to our own citizens?

A gross overestimation by

I was there. I did a rough count and it was about one third the number, maybe 125 or so, people that attended the protest in Smithfield on Saturday. According to the web site:
Nearly 350 peace, justice and human rights supporters gathered in the seat of Johnston County for a march and rally and at the headquarters of Aero Contractors in a memorial for victims and survivors of war and torture.
Nope...certainly NOT 350. There may have been 350 if you added all the counter protesters, bloggers, and police in attendance in the count.

Here is a video of the event as posted on their Google video account. You will not see 350 people in the march.

Enough whining about waterboarding

Hey Stop Torture Now folks, waterboarding actually ain't all that bad.


I redid the talk show from Sunday on Straight Shooting. I had technical difficulties after a while with the podcasting service. I was NOT happy about that. It got to where I could not take any more callers or play any more sound bites. I downloaded the show, edited out the ending from where I started having technical issues and one small bit in one interview after finding that my initial error in the clip during the show. I uploaded the show, played it, and picked up where I left off. So, I got in the rest of the audio I originally wanted to play.


Monday, October 29, 2007

A study in Raleigh echoes what I have been saying about Selma for a while now

WRAL is carrying a story that says the same principle that I have said about Selma and got blasted for saying so.
Downtown Raleigh needs a more diverse shopping district to attract more shoppers, according to a new city study

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A new testimony about campaign dishonesty in Selma

This video was just forwarded to me this evening.

Some of my exact sentiments

These may be scripted and acted bits, but the guy in the rocking chair echoes my sentiments about Ron Paul.

With the exception of pulling out of Iraq immediately, I am in large part in agreement with Dr. Paul.

Part of an interview I gave yesterday

There was actually a lot more to the interview, but this is what was chosen by the editor for her web site. The interview was about the protest march and rally held in Smithfield yesterday.

Recap of protest march & rally

Tonight, I will be doing my talk show "Straight Shooting" on the protest march and rally that was held yesterday in Smithfield, NC. The group had their protest in downtown Smithfield which was attended by counter protesters from The Gathering of Eagles. I was there, I got audio clips and interviews, and will be sharing it all on tonight's Straight Shooting. Here is a link for pics and a report of the event from Gathering of Eagles here in NC.

BlogTalkRadio Gotta Get Something Off Your Chest?

Friday, October 26, 2007

GRNC support of ME

GRNC Political Victory Fund, P.O. Box 10684, Raleigh, NC 27605

919-664-8565,, GRNC Alert Hotline: (919) 562-4137

GRNC-PVF Alert 10-24-07:



As GRNC's registered political action committee, the GRNC Political
Victory Fund becomes involved in municipal elections when a candidate
distinguishes himself or herself in supporting the right to keep and
bear arms.

In the Selma (Johnston County) race for town council, TROY LaPLANTE
is exactly such a candidate. LaPlante is a GRNC 4 star candidate with
a survey score of 98% and is holds memberships in both GRNC and Gun
Owners of America.

On or before Election Day on NOVEMBER 6TH, the GRNC Political Victory
Fund recommends that you vote TROY LaPLANTE for town council of Selma.
Below are critical dates and directions for "One Stop Absentee"
registration and voting prior to Election Day.


Please help the GRNC Political Victory Fund support pro-gun
candidates by making a secure donation at:


Because organizations like GRNC are prohibited from direct election
action, the GRNC-Political Victory Fund-a federally-registered
political action committee-is our primary tool for electing pro-gun
candidates. The GRNC-PVF uses radio advertising, direct mail and
contributions to pro-gun candidates to create the sort of legislature
that will preserve the right to keep and bear arms.

How to Register and Vote During One-Stop Absentee

A North Carolina resident who is qualified to vote but who misses the
25 - day deadline for voter registration may register and vote at a
One-Stop Site during the One-Stop Absentee Voting period. The
One-Stop Voting period extends from 19 to 3 days before Election Day.

The process is sometimes referred to as "Same-Day Registration," but
it is important to recognize that it not permitted on Election Day

To use this process, a citizen must (1) go to a One-Stop Voting Site
in the county of residence during the One Stop Absentee Voting
period, (2) fill out a voter registration application, and (3)
provide proof of residency by showing the elections official an
appropriate form of identification with the citizen's current name
and current address. The new registrant may vote ONLY at a One-Stop
Absentee Voting Site in the county of registration during One-Stop
Absentee Voting period and not on Election Day.

Acceptable forms of identification include:

A North Carolina driver's license with current address

A utility bill with name and current address

A telephone or mobile phone bill

An electric or gas bill

A cable television bill

A water or sewage bill

A document with name and current address from a local, state, or U.S.
government agency, such as:

A passport

A government-issued photo ID

U.S. military ID

A license to hunt, fish, own a gun, etc.

A property or other tax bill

Automotive or vehicle registration

Certified documentation of naturalization

A public housing or Social Service Agency document

A check, invoice, or letter from a government agency

A birth certificate

A student photo ID along with a document from the school showing the
student's name and current address

A paycheck or paycheck stub from an employer or a W-2 statement

A bank statement or bank-issued credit card statement

If you cannot supply an acceptable form of identification for
Proof-of-Residence, your registration application cannot be fully
processed until the required information is provided.

Registered voters may also update their address and change vital
information in an existing registration record at the One Stop Site,
but they are not allowed to change their party affiliation during the
One Stop Voting period that precedes a partisan primary.

Critical Dates for 2007 Elections

October 18 One-stop voting begins

October 30 (5:00 PM) Last day to request mail-out absentee ballots

November 3 (1:00 PM) One-stop voting ends

November 5 (5:00 PM) Last day to apply for absentee ballots for
voters who expect to be unable to vote on Election Day because of
sickness or physical disability

November 5 (5:00 PM) Last day for receipt of mail-out absentee

November 6 (6:30 AM to 7:30 PM) Election Day

The election alert supporting Troy LaPlante for Selma town council
was authorized and paid for solely by the Grass Roots North Carolina
Political Victory Fund.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And this will accomplish WHAT, exactly, Mr. Etheridge?

Why does Congress think that they have to convene hearings on every last little thing? Major League baseball, professional wrestling and steroid use, Iran-Contra to name just a few. But drought effects? Why bother? We already KNOW the effects, since we frickin' live here! All this proposed hearing will do is make press coverage for Etheridge, waste tax dollars on the hearings, and attempt to siphon off federal tax money for relief for the agricultural industry. I am so damn tired of the taxpayers being asked to bail out every last industry when times are tough. Droughts happen. Crops suffer. It has happened for thousands of years. Floods happen. Crops suffer. Aphids happen. Crops suffer. We pay farmers to NOT grow crops. We pay them when the crops they do attempt to grow don't meet expectations. Sorry, but that is the nature of the business in which they are employed.

From the WMPM news site:
Etheridge Calls For Hearing On Effects Of Drought In NC - US Representative Bob Etheridge has announced the U.S. House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to examine the effects of the drought in North Carolina . Etheridge requested the hearing as part of his efforts to secure federal disaster assistance payments for farmers across the state. Governor Mike Easley is scheduled to testify at Etheridge’s invitation. ‘Without assistance, the drought threatens to affect not only farmers but all of North Carolina ’s rural economy. Congress must step in to ensure that farmers receive assistance so that they may continue to provide our nation’s families with a safe and abundant food supply,” said Etheridge.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Seen anyone else with this endorsement?

Even people in Iraq want me for Selma Town Council

Worth watching. Ronaldus Magnus from 1964

Not throwing the baby out with the bath water

I am a big time Ron Paul supporter, though I disagree with some of his stances on a couple of issues. Namely, those issues are whether to pull out of Iraq and on equal rights regardless of "sexual orientation". I agreed with Ron Paul in that we should not have gone into Iraq to begin with. However, now that we are there, whether we should have or not is immaterial.

Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate that is taking a stand for FREEDOM. He is the ONLY candidate for President that hammers that we need to return to Constitutional principles. He is the ONLY candidate who can help save this nation from self destruction, in my humble yet most accurate opinion.

The video gives it straight about our Constitution and Ron Paul

Do I no longer work for the world's largest media company?

Since this news story was online this morning, I figure you might like a little recreational diversion.
About the same time that Rupert Murdoch was telling shareholders that his beloved News Corp. had become the world's most valuable media conglomerate, the company's worth was in the midst of sinking by $1.53 billion.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The whack jobs are coming to Johnston County this weekend

This Saturday the 27th, Johnston County will be invaded by bats. Not the type that are mice with wings, but the sort that are affectionately referred to by some conservatives as "moonbats". I don't take direction from any conservative group or individual to form my opinions, but I am all for agreeing with an apt descriptor if it fits. And in this case, it does.

Every so often, you will see people protesting along Highway 70 in Smithfield near the Johnston County Airport. There is a big rally planned for this Saturday in downtown Smithfield as well as a protest at the gates of the airport. The wing nuts at "NC Stop Torture Now" sometimes stand outside the gates of the airport to protest against Aero Contractors, Inc. Aero Contractors is a business that provides essentially a taxi service for the U.S. government. They provide transportation for prisoners of war (or if you prefer, enemy combatants) to and from Guantanamo, Cuba for alleged CIA directed missions. I have written about this before in this blog.

The moonbat infection will start at 12:30 on Fourth St. (at the location of
the Smithfield Herald). From there they will march the 3 blocks west to the Town
Commons (yellow rectangle below). At 2:00 they begin their hissy fit at the commons stage area. From 3:30 to 5:00 they plan to protest at the gates of Aero Contractors at the Johnston Co airport which is about 10 minute drive west on US 70. (I can't take credit for this paragraph, I lifted it from a news bulletin.)

These moonbats claim that the flights that the CIA charters are for the purpose of transporting prisoners for the purpose of torturing them. Keep in mind that these torturous acts are alleged, not proven. People think that somehow protesting a taxi service is going to stop CIA activities. As a matter of fact, looking at the event sponsors, I see groups that are activists that protest and boycott companies like R.J. Reynolds because some illegal alien laborers have died in fields while planting or picking tobacco. R.J. Reynolds has nothing to do with the planting and harvesting of tobacco; they purchase the harvested crop and process it. The same concept baffled my mind when organizations started boycotts against Mount Olive because farmers from whom they bought cucumbers hired illegal aliens under working conditions not conducive to their personal favorable opinions.

Some event sponsors have put out allegedly theologically authoritative treatises on the idea of these CIA flights, but their position paper claiming to be a religious perspective relies on quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. instead of Biblical quotations. When I see more quotes from a man or an agenda than from the standard for the religion itself, I lend little credence to the document or its author.

Many of the rally sponsors are groups that are known to be theologically liberal groups that preach a social gospel rather than a Biblical standard, groups that are known communists and socialists such as Code Pink, impeachment advocates, Amnesty International, and the like. That alone would turn me off to their message.

I am not going to get into a debate over whether or not torture is a viable means of intelligence gathering or even ethical. I will say that I do not for one minute consider what many liberal whining protesters call torture to be actual torture. Our CIA does not exactly get medieval on prisoners and the detainees don't exactly look like they were just staying in a hostel in Slovakia (a la the movie "Hostel"). If it were the case, we would be hearing about it both loud and often. As it is, waterboarding, humiliation, and sleep deprivation are far from barbarous acts that maim and kill and not considered torture in any rational individual's consideration. Besides that, radical Islamists think nothing of beheading and actually torturing our soldiers, civilians, and contractors in the Middle East. Ergo, I have little sympathy that Abdul had to put ladies' underwear on his head or went without sleep for the last 48 hours.

To me, protesting a taxi service is like protesting against Ford Motor Company that people use their cars to drive drunk, or protesting Yellow Cab and Greyhound because rapists and murderers use their transportation services to flee a crime scene or jurisdiction.

I have had my Christian faith questioned by these same whack jobs, since I am not willing to come out and condemn these flights out of little old Johnston County Airport. I am all for Aero Contractors making a living off from providing transportation services, regardless of for whom. Hey, I wish I could get in on that lucrative business deal myself. I have no problem flying old Abdul around in a private jet. The pilots don't engage in alleged torture, they fly the plane, which is what they are being paid to do. If you want to stop torture and the CIA run operation, try protesting in Washington DC or CIA headquarters.

I am not going to stop eating cucumbers or buy Mount Olive pickles because some immigrants are working in harsh conditions in harvest fields. I am certainly not going to stop supporting private businesses prospering at our local airport for providing a shuttle service. Actually, I may very well bring my bullhorn and work as a counter protester in favor of common sense.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

When a republican form of government fails its people

According to the Selma town charter, "The Mayor shall be the official head of the Town government and preside at meetings of the Council". According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of preside means "1: to exercise guidance, direction, or control2 a: to occupy the place of authority : act as president, chairman, or moderator b: to occupy a position similar to that of a president or chairman" It does not say DICTATE and abridge the rights and responsibilities of other members of the council. We do not live under a dictatorship.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Herald gets it

An editorial in The Smithfield Herald actually gets it in dramatic fashion. I have said much the same thing regarding growth here in Selma. Here is a blurb from the editorial, which talks about growth proposals for Benson.
Jerry McLamb, the incumbent, would grow Benson through annexation. That's the town's prerogative, but growing through annexation is akin to getting rich by taking someone else's money. Mr. McLamb thinks shops and restaurants will come to a bigger Benson. He's might be right. But it's safe to assume that retailers already include folks near town in their decision-making. Forcing those folks to live in Benson — and pay Benson taxes — won't change the numbers.
Click on the column link for the rest of the nifty rant.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I really don't like baths

But every so often, Daddy makes me take one anyway. This one turned out better than the last one and I am much cleaner now. I am still a soggy doggy, but doing better.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Big surprise...finally some progress and the ACLU has a hard time understanding what the word "illegal" means

For the whole article, including an interview with Johnston County's own Sheriff Steve Bizzel, click here.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole on Tuesday announced a partnership that would give local authorities the power to enforce federal immigration laws.

The partnership between North Carolina sheriffs and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, made public at the N.C. Sheriffs' Association fall meeting at Carolina Beach, will give sheriff's offices around the state access to ICE resources. Exactly which resources has yet to be determined.
The ACLU claims that enforcing the law could actually hinder enforcing laws. Also that this could lead to "racial profiling". The last I saw, there were not a whole lot of Norwegian looking people sneaking across the border with Mexico, and most illegal immigrants do not speak the language fluently. That would be a fair place to start. If radical Muslims are the primary perps in blowing up or purposely crashing airplanes, then we should start with those who tend to be radical Muslims. If Hispanics are the primary offenders of illegal immigration, then Hispanics are the appropriate direction from which to start enforcing immigration laws. DUH!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sometimes I read something so profoundly stupid, I have to share it

I ran across this column today on The Religion News Blog, which I check from time to time. The writer, Leonard Doyle, the foreign editor of Britain's "Independent" newspaper, has a profound misunderstanding of economics and even Christian doctrine. He has an obvious bent towards Socialism. He thinks that giving health care to every American citizen is in the best economic interest of every American. He seems to think that every time someone gets burned in a bad money deal that the rest of the citizenry should come to their rescue. NONE of that is in my best economic interest. Mr. Doyle also has no clue what Republican stand for. If he did, he would not attribute so much of what he says are conservative values to the GOP.

One question that I also wonder is one that he asked in his column. "Perhaps the greatest political riddle of the US is why so many Americans vote against their economic and social interests?" The very things he seems to think that we should do are the very things that are against our economic and social interests. To think otherwise is either so profoundly ignorant or just plain stupid that I am quite frankly perplexed at how someone like that could be a columnist...and that coming from a columnist.

Here is how this tripe starts in the column:
Why is it that millions of ordinary Americans vote for conservative policies that seem inimical to their lives? Why are the politicians who support healthcare reforms to give access to a doctor for the 47 million Americans without insurance branded as closet socialists or worse?

Why, in this upside-down world do so many blue-collar Americans vote Republican, and family farmers support a President whose Wall Street friends would gladly push them off the land?

Why do people shrug and say "tough", when they read that hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their homes, after falling victims to crooked mortgage salesmen? The most common response is that millions of people who otherwise could never have afforded a home are now enjoying the American Dream.

Perhaps the greatest political riddle of the US is why so many Americans vote against their economic and social interests?

If it were otherwise, then surely John Edwards, the telegenic Democratic candidate for President would lead the polls since he has dedicated his campaign to lifting tens of millions out of poverty. Instead it is Hillary Clinton, whose economic policies might as well have been drafted by the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, who looks a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination.

So what's the matter with America?

The answer may be contained in the writings of the Russian emigree and radical libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand.

The very principles so impugned by Doyle are what have made America into the greatest economic, social, and health care power in the world today. And by the way, yes, I do have a copy of "Atlas Shrugged" on my book shelf.

One of the most accurate political cartoons I have ever seen

A friend emailed this to me this morning. Very true.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

And is the rail yard now coming to Selma, instead?

At least that is the rumor I have heard. If so, I don't have a problem with a rail yard in Selma. What I WOULD have a problem with is the possibility of taking land by eminent domain for a rail yard. A government has to be engaged in eminent domain; a railroad can not do that on their own. I have a hard time with the concept of a rail yard being a case for eminent domain. Let the railroad companies buy the land, but do not forcibly take it from land owners for the purpose. Anyway, the article on WMPM's news site mentioned eminent domain, and I have no idea how far that idea would have gotten in Clayton. I know that idea would not have gotten far without me being vocal about it, either in Clayton or here in Selma.

One of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever made was the Kelo vs. New London decision that allows governments to take land away from property owners and give it to developers.
Residents Think They Have Defeated Clayton Rail Yard - A group of Clayton residents think they have won a battle against the railroad over a rail yard they thought was about to be built in their own back yards. The NC Railroad Company had reportedly been looking at purchasing 30 acres of land between Guy Road and the Wake County line for the rail yard. Llewellyn Beaman alerted her neighbors and the community about the situation this summer when she found the rail company had contracted for land near her home. A grassroots committee called CARRE, Citizens Against Rail Road Expansion, was formed. In a letter to Beaman, the NC Railroad Company said they were no longer going to exercise purchase contracts or to acquire the property by eminent domain. Residents had been fearful the rail yard could have encompassed as much as 100 acres and included an intermodal facility and trucking operation.

Proposal for a Selma election forum

Here is an email I sent to most every candidate in the upcoming election here in Selma, as well as the local newspaper.
It appears that no community organization, media outlet, or group will be offering to host a candidates' forum. I will make an offer and make one available to us for both the Council and Mayoral candidates. You may or may not know, but I have been a talk show host on the internet for a while. I produce weekly internet radio shows, one hour each for live streaming and up to two hours each for recorded shows.

I am offering the use of my show as a forum for candidates to discuss issues. I can schedule a show that can either be pre-recorded or live call in. I personally prefer the live call in, since we can do that from any telephone you have access to. I already have shows scheduled on Saturday nights at 6 PM, for example. I can have up to five callers at any one time, so it is conceivable that we could have the four council candidates and a moderator (if we choose to have one). If we find a time that works, I can schedule up to one show per day, at any time, provided that the time slot is not already filled by other shows. So if we find a time and date that works well, I can set something up.

Here is how it would work. I would schedule a show to air with a 60 minute target time frame. If we go over, no problem, the show will continue to be recorded for up to two hours but only the first 60 minutes would go live on the internet the first airing. People can later listen to or download the entire show 24/7 on the internet.

Each person could call in on my listener line, 718-664-9756 about the time the show starts. A few minutes early is preferable. I play my show introduction and describe what it going to happen on that episode. If there is a moderator, I can turn things over to the moderator. A moderator could have prepared questions ahead of time.

This would allow for us to each get our message across, give 24/7 access to citizens, even burn CD copies of the show, and all of us could have fair, equal access. I do not have an email address for Tommy Holmes, or I would have included him in the email list.

To get an idea what a show comes out like, I have many archived shows on I have interviewed Presidential candidates, political action committee founders, religious leaders, and the like.

Anyway, it is a thought and a public service I am willing to provide. As far as I know, there are no other municipalities doing online debate forums. Let me know if this is of interest to y'all.

Welcome aboard

I do not personally know Selma's newly announced fire chief. I hope he will do well. Of the four finalists, I only knew one of them. The one that I do know I had full confidence in, as did many other emergency management and municipal leaders in the area. I am still not keen on the method of selection or the use of a contract consultant to help select a fire chief. Personally I prefer the idea of using people you know, trust, and will be having interaction with on a local basis. Men who do the job already and have the qualifications necessary to take the decision are better suited, in my opinion, to do the job. This does not even take into account that a consultant that you pay will be more easily manipulated towards your desired result than others who already know the town, the department, the needs, and the interaction necessary.

None the less, the new fire chief has my full support and I hope that things will progress to the level necessary here in Selma. I look forward to meeting Chief McDaniel and working with him.

Here is the article from The Selma News online.
The town of Selma has a new fire chief. Phillip McDaniel of Selma, fire chief of Pine Level Volunteer Fire Department, was hired as Selma’s full-time fire chief Tuesday morning. He will officially start his new post on Oct. 22, according to Town Manager Stan Farmer.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Inactivity and a forum

I know it has been a week already since my last post. Sorry, but I have been a bit busy with some things, not to mention not really in the mood to write. There were a few topics I thought about writing on, but didn't really feel like it.

Anyway, here is one topic I feel like including in a post. WHY do we not have things like this here in Selma? Why are the local TV and radio stations, newspaper(s), civic groups, and the like not putting on a forum or debate for candidates for mayor and council? At least there was something in Benson for mayor.

From the WMPM news site:
Benson Mayoral Candidates Debate At Forum - Benson Mayor Jerry McLamb and his opponent, Commissioner William Massengill, debated at the town's election forum Monday night about topics ranging from growth to crime prevention.
There is plenty more of the story on the page today. It will likely go away within a day, so click fast.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I can always count on Ann Coulter to be bombastic, but accurate

was linked on The Drudge Report this morning:
If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.

It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it’s the party of women and 'We’ll pay for health care and tuition and day care -- and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?'

I have often pondered the need for the repeal of the 19th Amendment.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sometimes stupid can be amusing

I have been having some work done at the house for a while now. Some things have needed to be done for a few years and now I am finally getting them taken care of. Today I saw something coming that I stood back and watched. My backyard shed was in need of serious attention. The siding was falling apart, the roof leaked, the door was rotting out, and some of the floor was rotting. All of that has been taken care of, so hopefully I will not need to touch that shed for maintenance for years to come.

A friend of mine has been doing the labor. He has done a lot of other work for me in the past. His hireling is a decent laborer, as well. Today, however, he did something incredibly stupid. I saw it coming but stood back and watched.

The worker was cutting vinyl siding into small sections. He was using a power saw to do it. He was putting the vinyl on the ground and cutting a few lengths at a time. What I saw was that he put the vinyl down on top of his orange extension cord. I debated whether to say anything and warn him or just stand back and watch. I haven't used my CPR training in a long time, so I figured I would let it happen. Sure enough, the saw stopped as the GFCI breaker tripped. This happens when a cord is cut. Ask me how I know this. OK, I will tell you. I have hedge trimmers that love to eat orange cords. Yes, cords, plural.

He figured he just overdrew the breaker. I picked up the cord, held it for his inspection, and pointed out the nice deep cut. He said that someone else must have cut it a long time ago, even though the nice bright copper wire was showing through. Instead of taping up the cord, he just bent it back together and kept on working.

I am still amazed at that one.