Monday, December 31, 2007

This is why The Patriots Pub exists

This cartoon is so appropriate and accurate. This is the very reason why I do The Patriots Pub with two other patriots each week.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Infidel alert

For those who do not know what the Koran teaches about us infidels, take note. Never forget that the reason we have terrorism is that the perpetrators are radical Muslims, not because we have troops in the Middle East. That is one area where I differ from Ron Paul (there are a few). I still would rather have Paul as president than the rest of the lame field of candidates, though.

A toboggan is NOT a hat!

PLEASE, all Southerners, STOP calling knit hats toboggans. They are hats, tooks, or some other name, but NOT a toboggan. A toboggan is a wooden sled. I have no idea what bonehead decided to give a hat a sled's name, but one of my pet peeves here in the South is the calling of hats toboggans.

When I first moved to North Carolina, I worked for NCSU Public Safety, a full police department. I remember listening to the police frequency (I did fire and rescue for the same department) and hearing about a suspect in a larceny that was wearing a toboggan on his head. I thought that it should be easy to find someone carrying around a big wooden sled on his head in an area that has no snow.

Just yesterday at Christmas, the little boy that I am spending time with was given a hat and scarf set with his name on them. He was told that he was given a toboggan. I quipped that it was a funny looking sled and to not even try to convince me that it was the name of a hat.

Canadians and northern Yankees know that the term "took" (long oo rather than the past tense of take) is acceptable, eh? A knit hat. Anything but a sled.

So what about private property rights?

You know that you have no private property rights when a court rules that someone can be on your property in order to exercise their free speech rights. One mall in California (no surprise there) found out that very thing.
The California Supreme Court has ruled that shopping malls can't stop protesters from urging the boycott of stores while on mall property.

In a 4-3 decision Monday, the justices ruled that the Fashion Valley mall in San Diego violated California's free speech laws when it kicked out demonstrators in 1998.

Members of a workers' union at the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper were forced out of the mall for distributing leaflets urging the boycott of the Robinsons-May store.

The union was involved in a dispute with company management and wanted to hurt Robinsons-May's business because it advertised in the newspaper.

The high court ruled that California's free speech laws protect such demonstrations.
This is just plain wrong. A company should be able to determine who gets to be on their property and who does not. It is not a matter of free speech. It is a matter of private property rights and this court is just wrong in their decision. Free speech does not mean total access to any private property upon which people wish to trod and exercise said speech. There is no guarantee of freedom of speech on private property, only that the government shall not infringe upon that right. The 1st Amendment certainly does not guarantee a right to be heard or that your speech rights trump the rights of private land owners. I do not know California laws, as stated in the article. However, if their laws can be interpreted so as to squash the rights of property owners, the laws are wrong and need to be either repealed or declared unconstitutional.

Wonder why our tax rate is the way it is?

If we did not have to send to much money to Washington DC or Raleigh, we would have more local dollars available to spend on local issues. I am all for paving roads and such, but there are some things on which I do not think we should spend taxpayer dollars. It is not a hard concept, folks. Small spending amounts, when added together, make many billions of dollars. In Florida, just as in Alaska, there are representatives who are adept at bringing federal dollars to their area for funding pet projects.

Want to see where your tax dollars are being spent in Florida? Remember, it is YOUR money taken from YOU. You might as well find out why you are heavily taxed under threat of loss of freedom or property and income if you don't pay the burden.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A great day to be around children

As I blogged earlier, I have been hanging out with a four year old boy lately named John. I met with his mom and him this afternoon. I took the boy to see "Alvin and the Chipmunks" at the theater. He is ALL boy, plays rough, and loves to be physical. He can also be very sweet. On the way to the theater, "Mr. Troy, I love you." He and I have gotten to be good buddies already and we are able to play just as rough as he wants, laugh at farts, make all the funny noises together that boys make for fun, give wedgies, have tickle fights, and laugh a lot.

Earlier in the day, I got to spend some time with my friend, Dave and his wife, who are foster parenting three lovely young girls, ages 2, 4, and 6. I am friends with their mother. We had lunch together at Ryan's Steakhouse. I was loving every minute of it. They seemed to honestly enjoy me, and I did them. I have always wanted a girl and I kept thinking that "I have got to get me one of these!" Each of the girls gave me hugs before we left the restaurant, and I was in kiddie Heaven. My heart has yearned for this all my adult life.

Today was a great day for me, full of joy, laughter, love, and desire to have my own. I am thankful for the opportunities today. Some things have gone so well for me lately, I find myself crying tears of joy, like right now.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I know it has been a while since I did topics of politics and the like

Quite honestly, I have been preoccupied with other things in life the past few months. I know that sounds lame, maybe even trite, but it is true none the less. I have been spending more time upon relationships and people than I have upon writing. Even my columns in the newspaper have been a bit more removed from my regular topics concerning local happenings, but I have an idea that this is going to change with my next column. I have also not been doing so much of my internet talk show lately because I have dedicated my time to other things and people recently. I recently blogged about one reason why.

Last night I went with a close friend to see The Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert in Raleigh at The RBC Center. The show was great. The light show and effects alone were worth the price of admission. I am not a huge fan of much of their original music, since they often are concept albums and "rock opera" like. I do, however, thoroughly enjoy their Christmas songs, modern interpretations of classical music, and the like. I really enjoy Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Bach arrangements done with electric guitars and modern drums. I always have.

One development is the anticipated release of their latest CD project, Night Castle. I was doing research online and found that they have been promoting this CD project for a while, but it is way behind schedule because of the group's perfectionism. Follow that link for more. I am looking forward to that CD. Just today, I ordered the CDs I do not have in my collection that they do already have out.

The Christmas story that they narrate is a bit lame in the show and on their CD. Also, as long as you do not get your theology from a concert or a CD, it is tolerable, sort of like the "Left Behind" series or anything from Frank Peretti.

Anyway, I loved the performance. Great music, great pyrotechnics, great laser and light show. The group did preview one song from their upcoming "Night Castle" project. They featured the band's rendition of "O Fortuna" from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. They had an awesome version of the song. I loved it. I have heard an "O Fortuna" snippet in Sean Hannity's opening theme music on his talk show for years, but TSO's version was great. I downloaded a copy of the song and have been playing it over and over again all day, but obviously not the TSO version, to which I look forward with eager anticipation.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I don't think he stands a chance against David Price, but I sure wish he would beat Price

I am no fan of the liberal David Price. Fortunately, I am no longer in his district, but then again, I have to tolerate Bob Etheridge.
From my friend Katy's blog:

Someone new in my life as of today

For years I have wanted children. It has been at least two decades since I was around children for any appreciable amount of time because of distance from family and having been married to a social retard for 13 years. Whenever I have been around children, especially younger ones, I have a blast. Provided that they are not total sissies, I tend to get along splendid with little boys. Little girls often cling to me like Velcro, such as my cousin's daughter, McKensie.

This evening (I am still counting this as the previous day since I have not been to bed yet), I was introduced to a youngster with whom I am going to be developing a relationship in a "big brother" or "father figure" type roll. For years, I have considered joining the Big Brother/Big Sister program or something like it. I had even contacted a similar type agency that was looking for volunteers.

Through a dear friend of mine, I know a single mother who has a four year old named John. We met this evening and got along great. He is smart, loving, affectionate, and just a wonderful child. He is missing a few things in life, such as a bit more stability that can be offered through a strong relationship with a man. Our first meeting had the two of us playing with toy guns, watching The Flintstones and Scooby Doo, having dinner, and spending time under the supervision of his mother. By the time I was going to leave, he was climbing in my lap and giving me big hugs. His mother said that he has never done that with anyone else before.

Quite honestly, I was almost scared to death about this meeting, but figured it would go well. I had no idea it would go this well. I am looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with little John.

Monday, December 17, 2007

To all anonymous comment posters

If you do not have the common courtesy and courage to own your comments, I will delete them. I really do not care if you disagree with me or are critical. I welcome dissent, but do not welcome cowardice. I take credit for my comments without fear. And, go get yourself a sense of humor, loser.

Here is why I have a Ron Paul sign on my house

Friday, December 07, 2007

The dumbest rationalization for illegal immigrants attending our college system I have heard thus far

I am amazed how people can explain things away or make excuses for an agenda. How can anyone say that they believe that we have a problem, need to do something about it, but then turn around and say that we might as well reward problematic behavior since we may have some esoteric benefit therein?

From The Smithfield Herald, regarding allowing illegal aliens to attend our publicly funded colleges here in North Carolina:
Common sense would go a long way

We have seen no evidence that immigration issues matter to people who actually vote. If they did, presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo would be polling at better than 2 percent among GOP voters.

Still, this country has some immigration problems, and it seems to us that a little common sense would go a long way toward solving them.

Common sense, for example, says that America needs to seal its borders against people who would enter here illegally. We don’t know that this country has the inclination or the ability to round up all illegal aliens and send them home. But if it did so tomorrow, the exercise would be futile because an equal number of illegals would cross our now-porous borders to replace those sent home.

Common sense says also that America needs to increase the number of work visas it grants every year. Whether the jobs are high skill or low skill, America isn’t producing enough workers to fill them, businesspeople say. Put another way, does it make common sense for people to have to enter this country illegally to get legal jobs that industries need to fill?

As for whether North Carolina community colleges should admit illegal immigrants, common sense says they should — that an educated workforce is better than an ignorant one. In any event, it will take time to adequately secure this country’s borders and then to deport illegals or put them on some path to citizenship. In the meantime, does it make sense to deny an education to people who want one and are willing to pay for it?

Finally, this country’s immigration debate could use some compassion too. Which is to say that we couldn’t put an illegal mom on a bus and watch her wave goodbye to her legal children and husband. And we’re not sure we want to meet anyone who could.

Sorry, Scott, this is NOT common sense.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Will it be better than "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"?

If someone told me 20 years ago I was going to do this, I would have said they were nuts.

Today I bought concert tickets for two different concerts at the RBC Center. As I grow older, I become more eclectic in my music taste. In my CD collection and on my iPod, I have praise and worship music, Johnny Cash, classical, show tunes, heavy metal, 80's pop, Sinatra, Manilow, new stuff like Daughtry, Maroon 5, and others. Today I forked out for tickets to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Dec. 20th and Barry Manilow on Jan. 20th.

I have a friend I am going to take to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra and probably the same friend will accompany me to see Manilow, even though my friend is not that familiar with either.

Quite honestly, I have a hard time relating to not being familiar with Barry Manilow, considering that the was probably the most prolific song writer of the 70's and 80's. He was the one who made us "stuck on Band-Aids 'cause Band-Aids stuck on me" and "would like to teach the world to sing". Within the last year, I bought The Essential Manilow CD collection and have been listening to a lot of stuff I heard 30 years ago.

Manilow bothered me recently in his dissing of Elisabeth Hasselbeck, but not enough to pass up the opportunity to see a music legend in concert. Tickets ranged from $10 to $200. I could not get my choice seats, but still got decent ones for $100 each. Trans-Siberian Orchestra tickets, by comparison, were half that. Manilow, being who he is, can command that much for tickets, though.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

True cartoon

My laugh for the day

Just replace the freaking bridges

Johnston County has the oldest stretch of I-95, since the interstate was begun here. We also have the lowest bridges as a result. Overpasses are often being hit by trucks and closed. The bridges get repaired and then get hit again. Instead of replacing the bridges, the Department of Transportation, in their infinite wisdom, is going to pay to raise the bridges so that they do not get hit any more. We are going to pay almost $4 million to raise a few bridges one foot. Why not just replace the doggone bridges now? It will cost more, but we are also talking about the oldest bridges on the interstate! After the bridge collapse in Minnesota a while back, bridge maintenance and repair has been getting a lot of attention. We have old, banged up bridges, and instead of replacing them with wider, newer, better engineered bridges at the same time, we are going to just raise the old ones. This is abject stupidity to me and a waste of tax payer money. This is one instance where I firmly believe that we should spend more money now to save some later. Either way, it is our tax dollars, whether they are coming from the feds or the state.

From The Smithfield Herald:
The state plans to raise four bridges over Interstate 95 in Johnston County and install an over-height-protection system at another to prevent trucks from hitting them.

The $3.8 million in projects will likely begin next summer and wrap up by next fall, said Ricky Greene, a division engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation.

The bridges scheduled to be jacked up are on U.S. 701 at Four Oaks, Hockaday Road near Four Oaks, Pittman Road at Micro and Bagley Road near Kenly, Greene said. Each bridge will be raised two feet, he said.

The U.S. 701 bridge is the lowest at 14 feet 2 inches, Greene said. The others are up to 14 feet 11 inches. "There are low-clearance issues over 95 on these bridges," Greene said.

The DOT will remove the over-height protection system at the bridge on U.S. 701. When oncoming trucks are too tall, a beam triggers flashers to alert drivers, Greene said. "Even with the over-height protection, we have had some hits on that bridge," he said.

Greene said the system will be moved to the Truck Stop Road bridge near Kenly. It's cheaper than raising the bridge, he said.

Johnston bridges have been struck about three times so far this year, said Bobby Lewis of the DOT. Compared to surrounding counties, the numbers are usually high, Greene said. "Yes, Johnston County definitely has more of a problem because we have more bridges that are lower," he said.

The most recent hit was at Brogden Road, where a piece of equipment on a flatbed trailer struck the bridge, forcing the DOT to close it for about four days.

The state raised that bridge to 15 feet 6 inches a few years ago, Greene said. Now the bridge needs repairs, he said.

The number of bridge hits in Johnston might be related to age, Greene said. Usually, the lowest bridges are the oldest ones, because construction standards 40 or 50 years ago were different than they are today, he said.

The bridge projects won't occur at the same time, and interstate traffic will have to be re-routed, Greene said. Each project may take a few days, he said.

In 2006, it took a couple months for the DOT to jack up the U.S. 70 Business bridge in Smithfield, Lewis said. Drivers struck that bridge five times in 2005, Greene said.

Money for the projects is coming from $24 million in federal funds, Greene said.