Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Funny Yet Sad - Jikes! - Fahrenheit 1861

What would happen if Michael Moore and Ken Burns worked together to make a documentary? Jikes! has the answer.


See it here

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posted by David at 7:46 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (5) ::

Riegelwood BB&T Robbed Today

As I turned onto the mill road today, I was greeted by numerous police cars in the BB&T parking lot. All I know right now is that the bank was robbed and aparrently they got away.

Rumors:
Someone was rushed to the hospital
Someone may have been shot
The robbers burned their get-a-way on Money Hole Rd

I've to see the news and the on-line news read aren't covering it yet.

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posted by David at 7:39 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

On Boortz Today

Neal discusses how teacher in Nevada has his job threaten because he teaches US history. Why would government not want kids to learn about our Founding Fathers, Neal has an idea.

Neal also covers the hostages in Iraq, the booming US economy and Hillary Clinton's crusade against violent video games.

Read it all at Nealz Nuze

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posted by David at 7:34 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

The Truth About St. Rita

Check this story out. This about that nursing home that the media said allowed patients to die in the wake of Katrina.

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posted by David at 7:13 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Just What I Want The Senate Worried About

At Yahoo

- Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record) accused the National Football League and the Philadelphia Eagles of treating Terrell Owens unfairly and said he might refer the matter to the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.


You go Senator. You're not afraid to stick your nose where it doesn't belong. Screw taxes, screw Iraq, screw the rise of socialism in the US, because you have football to worry about. I really hope the people of Pennsylvania are happy with your job preformance.

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posted by David at 7:03 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Free WiFi In The Big Easy

From MSNBC

Hurricane-ravaged New Orleans will deploy the nation's first municipally owned wireless Internet system that will be free for all users, part of an effort to jump-start recovery by making living and doing business in the city as attractive as possible.


Nice, the city that couldn't get bus drivers to follow it's evacuation plan has WiFi for all. WiFi isn't free, the tax payers of New Orleans are footing the bill. Wouldn't this money be better spent on such as... I don't know levy upgrades. As much as I love pcs, internet and my wardriving setup, I just think this is an expense not needed in the Big Easy.

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posted by David at 6:55 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Trooper Chris Horniak Shot On I-95

My friend Chris is a state trooper. Monday morning he pulled over a car and was shot by a wanted Virgia man.

I stated to post this Monday night, but didn't as I whated for more details. Then last night as I was working on it a co-worker deleted my work. So today I'll post the story from the Fayetteville Observer-Times.

Fayetteville Online
The Fayetteville (NC) Observer

State trooper shot
http://www.fayettevillenc.com/article?id=221252

By Greg Barnes and Paul Woolverton

Law enforcement officers close a section of Interstate 95 after a state trooper was shot Monday near the N.C. 24 interchange. This view is looking south from the N.C. 24 bridge.

Trooper J.C. Horniak didn’t know Marvin Bell Johnson Jr. was a convicted murderer wanted by police in Richmond, Va., when he pulled him over Monday on Interstate 95.

Investigators say it was supposed to have been a routine traffic stop on the southbound side of I-95 near N.C. 24; a license plate falling off a beat-up green Oldsmobile had caught Horniak’s attention.

Seconds later, at 10:14 a.m., Horniak clung to his radio and spoke an urgent message: “Signal 25!”

Translation: “I need help!”

Investigators say Horniak, a N.C. Highway Patrol trooper since January 2000, had been shot three or four times.

Horniak, 30, remained in critical but stable condition Monday night at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Investigators said he had been shot in the stomach, shoulder and left leg. They said it wasn’t clear whether a bullet penetrated the armored vest Horniak wore, or whether it slipped between two armored plates.

Investigators said Johnson, 40, is a Richmond resident with a long criminal record that includes homicide in 1987. He has been charged with the attempted murder of Horniak. Bail was set at $1 million.

Investigators said a woman who was with him, Nichelle Steele, 21, of South Carolina, was charged with being an accessory after the fact.
Trooper’s account

Trooper R.S. Kidd, among the first to reach Horniak after the shooting, gave this account of what happened:

Horniak walked to the passenger side of the car Johnson was driving and asked for his license and registration. Johnson told him his license was in the trunk.

Horniak told him to get out and retrieve it. Both walked toward the back of the car, Johnson on the driver said, Horniak on the passenger side.

When they neared the trunk, Johnson opened fire.

“He just surprised Chris,’’ Kidd said. “He got the drop on him is what he did.”

While Johnson continued shooting, Kidd said, Horniak worked his way behind the Oldsmobile and back to his patrol car, where he radioed for help. Kidd got there within minutes.

“He was lying on the ground right by his door,” Kidd said. “He was conscious. He was talking to us. He was answering our questions.”

Horniak had never gotten Johnson’s name, Kidd said, but he was able to give a description of him and the car. Horniak asked for the ambulance.

“It seemed like hours” before it arrived, Kidd said.

Lynne Barnard said she was driving from Virginia to Florida when she passed Horniak just as medical workers arrived and traffic slowed abruptly. Horniak was lying beside the car.

“You could see the blood on his chest and on his face,” she said. She saw a lawman kneeling by Horniak.

“It was pretty scary,” she said. “There were just police from everywhere — every roadway, every police function. They just converged very quickly.”
Response

When the “Signal 25” went out, a trooper on the fourth floor of the Cumberland County Courthouse raced for the door. Police cars downtown turned on their lights and sirens and sped toward the interstate. The sheriff’s Special Response Team suited up, said Debbie Tanna, spokeswoman for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

A police officer from Belmont, a small town west of Charlotte, was among the first to arrive. He was close by because he is training at the N.C. Justice Academy in Sampson County, Kidd said.

Several troopers arrived within a few minutes and started giving Horniak first aid, applying pressure and gauze to his bullet wounds, Kidd said.

About the same time, investigators said, people in at least two cars who saw the shooting called 911 and tailed Johnson about three miles to a Super 8 Motel at the Cedar Creek exit.

Johnson had parked the Oldsmobile toward the back of the motel, and Steele got them a room in her name, investigators said.

The sheriff’s Special Response Team arrived close behind them, found the car and checked the motel’s registry, Tanna said. Motel employees told them which room Johnson was in, and Steele was arrested in the parking lot, Tanna said.

The Special Response Team went to the second floor, and a deputy knocked on a door. When Johnson answered, Tanna said, the deputies grabbed his wrist, pulled him out of the room, pushed him to the ground and handcuffed him.

“This suspect opened the door like there was nothing wrong,” Tanna said. “They never even entered the room. They just pulled him out of the door and took him down.”

It was 34 minutes after the shooting, said Lt. Everett Clendenin, a Highway Patrol spokesman.
At hospital

Kidd said he didn’t see Horniak again until about 3:30 p.m. at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Horniak had been through surgery. His family was gathered. His parents visited him first.

Then Kidd went into the room with Horniak’s sister.

“I held his hand while I was there and spoke to him,’’ he said. “I told him the suspect had been arrested within about 25 to 30 minutes of the shooting. And I told him why the suspect said he shot him, which was basically he was wanted for probation violations. He didn’t want to go back to jail.”

There was a tube down Horniak’s throat. “He couldn’t talk. He didn’t have his eyes open,” Kidd said. But Horniak looked strong, Kidd said, and he could listen.

“At one point, he smiled. He smiled at me,” Kidd said.
Suspects

State trooper shot

Monday evening, Johnson and Steele appeared before a magistrate and talked sparingly. Johnson nodded at each statement, and neither had questions.

Johnson, whose face was scraped and bruised, said he is unemployed, lives alone in Virginia and was trying to move to South Carolina.

Steele’s mother, Dorothy Steele, and her sister, Erica Steele, said they don’t know Johnson. They described Nichelle Steele as a typical 21-year-old who works every day but doesn’t hold a job long. She worked at the Piggly Wiggly in Darlington, S.C., for the past three months, they said.

They said they believe Steele was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Erica Steele said her sister called her from jail and was hysterical.

A Web site for the Richmond Police Department lists a Marvin Bell Johnson Jr. as one of its most-wanted fugitives. It says he is wanted on charges of felony assault, two counts of assault and battery and breaking and entering.

A spokesman for Richmond police would not release information, saying the department had not yet established whether the Johnson it seeks is the same man arrested in Cumberland County. Pictures from both law agencies appear to match.

Sheriff Moose Butler said Johnson had been convicted of murder and was wanted in Richmond on a parole violation.

Reports from the Richmond Times-Dispatch say Johnson was convicted in 1987 of murdering a man in a dispute over a broken rear window of a Cadillac. Johnson was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Information on when he was paroled was not available.

In 1995, Johnson was again charged with murder, but the charges were dropped when police couldn’t locate a witness. Johnson, who had alleged self-defense, pleaded guilty to failing to appear for a preliminary hearing and was sentenced to a year in prison.

Trooper Joel Siles said the gun used to shoot Horniak was a .45-caliber pistol. Investigators said the gun had not been found.

Lt. Clendenin said the bullet-resistant vest that Horniak wore was made by Second Chance Body Armor Inc., a company that is being sued by several states, police departments and the U.S. government. The company has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Video from Monday afternoon's press conference
High bandwidth | Modem

The company is accused of knowingly distributing vests that contain Zylon, a material that weakens when exposed to heat, light or humidity.

In September, the makers of Zylon — Toyobo Co. Ltd. and Toyobo of America Inc. — settled a class-action lawsuit for $29 million.

The Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies across North Carolina are in the process of replacing those vests, said Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the state Attorney General’s Office.

Clendenin said he didn’t know whether Horniak’s vest had been replaced, or whether it was the type involved in the lawsuit.
I-95 slowed

As police collected evidence along I-95, northbound traffic slowed and the southbound lanes nearly halted.

Some drivers stuck cameras out their windows to take pictures.

At one point the police stopped southbound traffic. It reopened to slow progress about 12:30 p.m.

Troopers and deputies combed the ground for spent shell casings and the pistol.

“We had information that it may have been thrown out of the car,” Sheriff Butler said. “We haven’t been able to locate it.”

A Highway Patrol helicopter circled and took photos. It landed for a short while on the southbound lanes, prompting northbound drivers to stop and stare.

Staff writers Julia Oliver and Melissa Willett contributed to this story.
Staff writer Greg Barnes can be reached at barnesg@fayettevillenc.com or 486-3525.


Our thoughts and prayers go to Chris and and his family.

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posted by David at 6:40 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Record Companies Sueing Local Man

From WWAY TV 3

Wilmington man sued by record company
Nov 29, 2005, 04:47 PM

A Wilmington man tells us someone using his daughter's screen name downloaded more than 600 songs off the internet. Now he's getting sued by the record companies.
Mark Woessner shares an AOL account with his children, who are off at college. He had no idea his account was being used for illegal downloads.

Pirating music has been going on for years, but the record companies are now fighting back against the people stealing their songs. They've sued more than 15,000 people to date and it's now reaching people in our area.

Mark Woessner says he doesn't even know how to download songs, and he can't believe he's being sued.

"It's been a nightmare trying to get it resolved," Woessner said. "It's been going on for several months, and they don't really care about me; it seems like they just care about getting the money."

They said they damages for the downloading was $460,000, but they said they would settle out of court for $3750.

Representatives for the recording industry say thousands of people have lost their jobs in the music business because of illegal downloading.

They say these lawsuits against individuals have already gone a long way to deter people from pirating music.

But can the record companies really make mark pay? Especially when he says he's not the one who downloaded the music?

Local attorneys say these are uncharted waters.

Many defendants have settled out of court, but none of the cases has yet gone to court.

Attorney Chad Hogston said, "I don't think that there has been a landmark case yet to say that average Joe who is sued by Capitol Records is hereby held liable and has a judgment against him for four or $500,000."

As much as Mark may want to argue his case in court Mr. Hogston recommends Mark settle with the record companies for $3,700 rather than spending thousands more on an attorney, and still run the risk of losing.

You are allowed to download from sites that are authorized by the owners of the copyrighted music like amazon.com, AOL Music, and Apple's iTunes. There's often a small fee associated with using these sites. But downloading from pirate sites like Kazaa, Grokster, Winmx, and Limewire always puts you on the wrong side of the law.

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posted by David at 5:31 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Epsilon

CNN

Worst hurricane season on record -- and now Epsilon
http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/11/29/hurricane.season.ender/index.html

A brutal and record-setting season of Atlantic hurricanes that pounded the United States and devastated thousands of lives ends November 30, at least on paper. But as the season was supposed to be winding down, Tropical Storm Epsilon formed today and there may be more storms. "If the water is still warm enough, we could still get a tropical storm in December," said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.

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posted by David at 5:29 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Boortz Rings In On Prez's New Immigration Policy

Boortz.com

We should build more jail cells to hold illegal aliens. Good idea. The speeding up of deportations, a crackdown on fraudulent identity papers, and a hardening of the border with more surveillance. So far, so good. Then the nonsense started to flow. The president urged Congress to pass his guest-worker amnesty program and repeated the nonsense that the illegal aliens are here "to fill jobs that Americans will not do."


This is the same stuff I posted on yesterday. Bush just doesn't seem to get it when it comes to illegal aliens.

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posted by David at 5:23 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Monday, November 28, 2005

Just What Wilmingtion Needs

From WWAY TV 3

Wilmington considers plan to shelter homeless
Nov 28, 2005, 04:18 PM

It's a new way of thinking about an age old problem. Researchers say governments could save money by giving homeless people a permanent place to live. They say that's a better option than paying to manage them as they live on the streets.

It's a 10-year plan to eliminate homelessness and hundreds of cities and counties from across the country are buying into it. The Wilmington area alone has a homeless population that's in the hundreds.

Most of the homeless qualify for subsidized housing, but with a two-year waiting list for programs like Section 8, many of them find themselves in emergency shelters or out on the streets.

Bill Sherman is homeless. He said, "A lot of people just think everybody's a wino or they're there because they want to be. Well it's not true. The majority of people out here are truly trying to help themselves, but it just seems like you jump one hurdle you got two more to go over."

A recent study in Ashville found that each chronically homeless person there cost tax payers $1,200 dollars a month in hospital and police resources alone.

The homeless are more likely to get sick living out in the elements and they sometimes tie up beds in the jail for nuisance violations.

Advocates for the homeless say by expanding the availability of permanent, subsidized housing their lives would stabilize and we'd end up saving money in the long run.

The City of Wilmington hasn't bought into this yet.

Tomorrow, a delegate from our area is going to Raleigh to learn more about this 10-year plan to eliminate homelessness.


Giving someone a place to live isn't going to solve anything. That just re-enforces their belief that federal, state and local governments should provide for them. Wilmington is a magnet for homeless in this region. Other cities actually buy bus tickets for their homeless to come to Wilmington. If you want to do something for the homeless make them earn it. I heard an idea on the radio the other day that I thought was great. Convert closed military bases into camps for the homeless. There the people would have shelter over their head and food in their belly. But instead of being given shelter and food they will have to work for it. Gardens, fields and animal raising would provide most of the food. While the upkeep of the people would be done by those living there. Also as a condition of living there, they must activily seek imployment, doesn't matter if it's at Micky Ds, Food Lion or Wal Mart. Once they have a job within 6 months they should have enough money saved to get out on their own and provide for their needs. If someone doesn't want to help with the farming or maintenance of the camp or find and maintain a job, then you're out. Period. No coming back. Military bases where used in the example because they have barricks, kitchens and are fenced in. The gate would be open and the residents can come and go as they wish. I know we don't have a closed military base in the area, but with all the old warehouses, schools and shell buildings not being used in the area a suitible site can be found.

BTW the other night one of the Wilmington Council members proposed bussing the homeless out of Wilmington. From what little I heard it didn't go over so well.

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posted by David at 5:29 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Local Hurricane Evacuees Not What They Seem

Found at WWAY TV 3

Local charities call evacuated family scam artists
Nov 28, 2005, 03:45 PM

They arrived here in September saying they lost everything to Hurricane Katrina.

Charity groups here opened their hearts and families opened their homes to help these new visitors rebuild their lives. Now it looks like the Laffertys are not what they claimed to be. Local charities are even calling them scam artists.

Home owner Jaime Towne opened up his rental home to the Lafferty family for free -- a family who claimed to be victims of Hurricane Katrina's destruction along the Gulf Coast.

Towne said, "We couldn't believe there were people that actually did this. And they ended up to be what we consider professional grifters. They're doing it somewhere else right now, I am convinced."

After trashing the house destruction is what the Laffertys left behind again. But this time the very kind-hearted people who tried to help the Laffertys are left picking up the pieces.

We met the Lafferty family back in September when they told everyone they lost everything to the killer storm.

"We may not have a home, we may not have nothing to our names, but we have each other," the Lafferty family said.

That sob story is the reason a local church and several other volunteer groups and businesses tried to help the Laffertys rebuild their lives.

When the charity groups opened their hearts, the Laffertys accepted. But, when groups couldn't give any more the Laffertys skipped town leaving writing on walls, cigarette burns in the carpet and broken windows.

"Just as if it were a wild party that didn't stop," Towne said. "We found empty bottles of prescription drugs, oxycontin."

The Laffertys are gone without a trace. None of the charities got their social security numbers so there is little chance of getting back everything they took.

Mr. Towne says he won't let the Laffertys win. As soon as the house is suitable he's letting another family of Katrina evacuees stay for free. But this time he's doubling up on the background checks.


Like my wife likes to say - "There is a special place in hell for them".

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posted by David at 5:23 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

The Kiss of Death

From CNN
SAGUENAY, Quebec (AP) -- A 15-year-old girl with a peanut allergy died after kissing her boyfriend, who had just eaten a peanut butter snack, hospital officials said Monday.


More here

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posted by David at 5:11 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

Don't You Just Feel Bad For Him? I don't :)



Found at CNN

Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and tax charges. He admitted taking $2.4 million in bribes in a case that grew from an investigation into the sale of his home to a wide-ranging conspiracy involving payments in cash, vacations and antiques. Appearing close to tears, Cunningham said today: "I cannot undo what I have done but I can atone." U.S. Attorney Carol Lam said: "He did the worst thing an elected official can do -- he enriched himself through his position."


Read it all here.

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posted by David at 5:08 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Hot Dog Joke

From HotDogSpot.com

Two Irish nuns have just arrived in USA by boat and one says to the other, "I hear that the people in this country actually eat dogs." "Odd," her companion replies, "but if we shall live in America, we might as well do as the Americans do." Nodding emphatically, the mother superior points to a hot dog vendor and they both walk towards the cart. "Two dogs, please," says one. The vendor is only too pleased to oblige and he wraps both hot dogs in foil and hands them over the counter. Excited, the nuns hurry over to a bench and begin to unwrap their "dogs."


The mother superior is first to open hers. She begins to blush and then, staring at it for a moment, leans over to the other nun and whispers cautiously: "What part did you get?

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posted by David at 5:05 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

BitTorrent Agrees To Regulate Itself

From MSFN.org

BitTorrent shakes hands with MPAA
Posted by Martin L on 24 Nov 2005 - 17:04 CET

BitTorrent has shaken hands with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and has agreed to help stem illegal downloads of movies and other digital content. As a result of the agreement, BitTorrent will work to remove any copyright material that appears in its search engine.

The announcement was made by Bram Cohen, the founder and chief executive of BitTorrent, alongside Dan Glickman, chairman of the MPAA at a news conference in Los Angeles. However, the genie remains out of the bottle. while Cohen and BitTorrent can work to remove links through its own web site, the protocols, which underlie the file transfer technology, are out in the public domain and will doubtless continue to be used by other p2p sites.

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posted by David at 5:02 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Windows Server Out Saleing Linux Server...

From MSFN.org

Linux is Doomed, Thanks to Microsoft
Posted by Martin L on 28 Nov 2005 - 13:56 CET

The Linux community was left stunned when Windows Server software outsold Linux in the server market. Gartner, Inc. recently reported that sales of Windows systems accounted for nearly 37 percent of all server revenue in the last quarter while Linux accounted for 31.7 percent. Windows has a 5+ percent lead over Linux, which should be the cause for celebration at Microsoft. Is this the downfall or, as they say, the beginning of the end of Linux? Most definitely not. Before the folks at Redmond rejoice too much, there are some things they need to consider.

First, the study says that Windows based Servers accounted for 37 percent in revenue. Now traditionally, Windows based systems are more expensive than Linux based systems, so even if vendors sold lesser number of Windows systems, the price difference could ensure that Windows sales revenue was higher. This implies that, in terms of pure numbers, Linux could very well have outsold Windows.

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posted by David at 4:56 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Boortz "THE END OF AMERICA?"

Empires have life expectancies. The history of civilization would tell us that a country based on freedom and economic liberty generally last just a bit over 200 years. If you know of such a society that has lasted well beyond the 200-year mark, let me know. I haven't been able to find one. Our Constitution was ratified on December 15th, 1791. In just a few weeks the United States of America will be 214 years old. That, for those of you who went to government schools, is just a bit over 200 years.

You can trace the decline of American to several different and varied beginning point. Among them:

1. The adoption of a graduated and progressive income tax, as envisioned by Karl Marx.
2. The adoption of a system of government education of our children, again as envisioned by Karl Marx.
3. The movement away from a rule of law to a rule of the majority (Democracy) which really took hold during the days of Franklin Roosevelt.


Read it all here.

Edited at 4:50 pm: This story also talks about personal responsibility. Something I wrote about eary this morning.

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posted by David at 4:22 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

It’s about time…

…Bush took a stance against illegal immigration into the US – story here.

A senior administration official said that the president, in a speech on immigration, will focus on three areas: border security, enforcement and a temporary worker program.
The official said the president will talk about "additional resources and the use of technology to secure the border," and will discuss it in terms of national security and the economy.
Bush also is expected to raise the issue of interior enforcement. The administration official said that includes "interior repatriation," or returning illegal immigrants from Mexico to the interior of the country instead of on the other side of the border.
In addition, the president will talk about adding beds to detention facilities "so we aren't catching and releasing illegal immigrants."
A third component, according to the official, will be Bush's proposal for a temporary worker program that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain legal status. The president first introduced the idea in January 2004.


Basically Bush is calling for tougher border control measures, including new high tech detection units, sending illegals further back into Mexico instead of right over the fence and having detention areas to hold large numbers of illegals. Sounds nice, but if an illegal alien does get through then they can sign up for a temporary worker permit and work in the US for 6 years with the government’s blessing. Can you say, political double speak? Good. That’s like saying it’s illegal to break into the local bank after hours, but if you do and get away, just stop by your local fed’s office sign this slip and keep the cash. Sounds dumb don’t it?

The issue of illegal immigration has been one of Bush’s weakest areas. This is one of the few issues that have caused a disturbance in the Republican Party. As a libertarian, I believe immigration is needed to keep the country infused with new ideas, plus without some form of immigration in the past, I wouldn’t be here right now. But I do not believe in open free flowing borders between the US and it’s neighbors, especially following 9/11. I would like to see anyone that wishes to visit the US or move here to do so, as long as they do it legally and follow our laws once they do. I also support English as our national language and think that those wishing to live here or are living here now should learn it.

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posted by David at 11:25 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Be Responsible For Yourself

This is one of my biggest beliefs. I believe to be truely free an individual must be his own boss in how he lives his life. Take responsiblity for your actions, don't expect the government to protect you from yourself.

Here is a story from John Stossel

Some lawyers say fast food is dangerous. It can make you fat. I say some lawyers are dangerous. They can make you poor and take away your choices. But special privileges for favored industries, such as the bill the House recently passed to protect the fast-food industry, are the wrong cure.

I like fast food. It tastes good, it's cheap, and it's, well, fast. That's why McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, KFC and Taco Bell are so popular. People aren't endlessly stupid, so companies serving nearly 100 million people every day must be serving their customers well.

Of course, eating too much fast food can make you fat. Some lawyers say people don't know that, so they're suing restaurants like McDonald's. Activist lawyer John Banzhaf told me, "What we're trying to do is the same thing against the problem of obesity that we did so successfully against the problem of smoking."

Banzhaf speaks with the voice of experience. The professor at George Washington University was in the forefront of lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers. "People used to say that those suits were frivolous," he noted. "Well, today we call those lawyers 'multi-millionaires.'"


You can finish it if you want by clicking on his name at the top.

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posted by David at 12:06 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Fred Funk Wins $925K At the Skins Game

Funk took 15 skins this weekend for $925,000. Not a bad haul in my book. Funk isn't anywhere near be a distance hitter -after being out-driven by Annika Sorenstam on Saturday, he wore her extra pink skirt on hole 3-, but what he has is consistant accuracy.

Read more here

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posted by David at 11:40 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Golf

I'm going golfing in the morning with my dad, brother-in-law, his brother and someone else. I have to be at my brother-in-law's brother's house by 6:20am. That's after getting home at about 11:15 from work tonight. We're going to Eastport in Little River, SC. It's about a 45 minute drive from his house. So I thought I'ld post some gold info.



Golf Apparel — The Start Of Good Golf Etiquette

Many of us recall old movie images of golfers in plaid pants, sweater vests, billed caps, and other stereotypical apparel of golfing lore. While clothing on golf courses has changed over the years, proper golf apparel is still expected. And the greater the prestige of the golf club, the greater the expectation you will abide by their dress code.

Most clubs and courses, even the public ones, require that golfers follow a dress code. The most common rule is the collared shirt. Many courses require long pants, not jeans, and golf shoes.

5 Minutes Early Is Late

When it comes to actually starting your game, the primary rule of etiquette is to show up on schedule for your tee time. That means you will have already done everything else in preparation for the start of the golf game. You’ll need time to park your car, warm up, practice, buy balls, change, and pick up a cart. Being early is a matter of consideration for others.

Leave Cell Phones In The Real World

The exclusion of cell phones from golf apparel is another common courtesy on the links. Cell phones should be left in your car or locker. If you do need to bring 1 onto the course for emergencies, keep it turned off.

When you’re on the course, you’ll need to understand how the other golfers in your group want to play. Some let the best score tee off on the next hole, while others let whoever is ready tee off first. You can offend players by not following their rules, even if their rules are, from your perspective, wrong.

Time-Honored Conventions Make Golfing Unique

An obsession with quiet is another characteristic for which golfers are known. Like most traditions, this one is based on necessity. When your object is to hit a small object with a long pole, you need all of your concentration. Even when golfing with friends, respect the fundamental rule of keeping quiet during shots, and standing out of the direct line of vision.

Today’s golfing rules of etiquette can seem archaic — a throwback to days of old. They harken back to a slower paced time when consideration for others was perhaps easier. In the 21st century, golfing provides us a time away from the bustle of everyday living. Though golf is highly competitive, it is, nonetheless, a gentleman’s — and gentlewoman’s — game.

Visit Golf Gear to learn more. Ron King is a full-time researcher, writer, and web developer. Copyright 2005 Ron King. This article may be reprinted if the resource box is left intact.

Source: 365articles.com

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posted by David at 9:29 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Company Tries To Break NC Voting Law

From Homeland Stupidity

Diebold, a company which manufactures voting systems among other things, is trying to argue in court that it shouldn’t be required to comply with a new North Carolina law designed to facilitate election transparency.


Read more here here

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posted by David at 9:19 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Late Thanksgiving Facts

From rexBlog.com

Thanksgiving day facts: (from the U.S. Census Bureau) What many regard as the nation’s first Thanksgiving took place in December 1621 as the religious separatist Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. The day did not become a national holiday until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.


256 million
The preliminary estimate of the number of turkeys raised in the United States in 2005. That’s down 3 percent from 2004. The turkeys produced in 2004 weighed 7.3 billion pounds altogether and were valued at $3.1 billion. (Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service)

44.5 million
The preliminary estimate of the number of turkeys Minnesota expects to raise in 2005. The Gopher State is tops in turkey production. It is followed by North Carolina (36.0 million), Arkansas (29.0 million), Virginia (21.0 million), Missouri (20.5 million) and California (15.1 million). These six states together will probably account for about 65 percent of U. S. turkeys produced in 2005. (Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service)

649 million pounds
The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2005, up 5 percent from 2004. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 367 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (170 million). Oregon, New Jersey and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 18 million to 52 million pounds. (Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service)

1.6 billion pounds
The total weight of sweet potatoes — another popular Thanksgiving side dish — produced in the United States in 2004. North Carolina (688 million pounds) produced more sweet potatoes than any other state. It was followed by California (339 million pounds). Mississippi and Louisiana also produced large amounts: at least 200 million pounds each. (Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service)

998 million pounds
Total pumpkin production of major pumpkin-producing states in 2004. Illinois, with a production of 457 million pounds, led the country. Pumpkin patches in California, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York also produced a lot of pumpkins: each state produced at least 70 million pounds worth. The value of all the pumpkins produced by these states was about $100 million. (Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service)

2.1 billion bushels
The total volume of wheat — the essential ingredient of bread, rolls and pies — produced in the United States in 2005. Kansas and North Dakota — combined — accounted for about 33 percent of the nation’s wheat production. (Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service)

$5.2 million
The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys during the first half of 2005 — all from Canada. Our northern neighbors also accounted for all of the cranberries the United States imported ($2.2 million). When it comes to sweet potatoes, however, the Dominican Republic was the source of most ($2.3 million) of total imports ($2.6 million). The United States ran a $1.7 million trade deficit in live turkeys over the period, but surpluses of $3.5 million in cranberries and $10.6 million in sweet potatoes. (Source: US Census)

13.7 pounds
The quantity of turkey consumed by the typical American in 2003 and, if tradition be true, a hearty helping of it was devoured at Thanksgiving time. On the other hand, per capita sweet potato consumption was 4.7 pounds. (From the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006)

$3.6 billion
The value of turkeys shipped by the nation’s poultry processors in 2002. Those located in Arkansas led the way with $581.5 million in shipments, followed by processors in Virginia ($544.2 million) and North Carolina ($453.0 million). Businesses that primarily processed turkeys operated out of 35 establishments, employing about 17,000 people. (Source: US Census [PDF])

$1.00
Cost per pound of a frozen whole turkey in December 2004. (From the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006)

3
Number of places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course. Turkey, Texas, was the most populous in 2004, with 496 residents; followed by Turkey Creek, La. (357); and Turkey, N.C. (267). There also are 16 townships around the country named “Turkey,” three in Kansas. (Sources: US Census and here)

8
Number of places and townships in the United States that are named “Cranberry” or some spelling variation of the name we call the red, acidic berry (e.g., Cranbury, N.J.), a popular side dish at Thanksgiving. (Source: US Census)

20
Number of places in the United States named Plymouth, as in “Plymouth Rock,” legendary location of the first Thanksgiving. Plymouth, Minn., is the most populous, with 69,797 residents in 2004; Plymouth, Mass., had 54,604. Speaking of Plymouth Rock, there is just one township in the United States named “Pilgrim.” Located in Dade County, Mo., its population was 135. (Source: US Census)

107 million
Number of occupied housing units across the nation — all potential gathering places for people to celebrate the holiday. (Source: US Census)

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posted by David at 9:16 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

Drunk Illegal Alien Kills UNC Student

I saw this the other day but didn't know how to write about it. Today while surfing the blogshere I found this.

From Blog.VDare.com


23 November 2005
Illegal Alien Deported 17 Times Before He A Killed North Carolina Student

Posted By Bryanna Bevens On 23rd November 2005 @ 15:26 In General | No Comments

Last Friday, a man in North Carolina was killed by a drunk driver.

(The MSM has ignored this story for reasons which will be obvious in a moment but the local story can be found here.)

We read about these horrible accidents all too often however, this case is uniquely bad for a variety of reasons:

1. The victim was Minn Soon Chang—an 18 year-old freshman at the University of North Carolina

2. The drunk driver had at least 2 previous arrests for drunk driving

3. The drunk driver is an illegal alien from Mexico

Hold on—it gets worse…far worse: He has also been deported 17 times…yes, 17.

Jorge Humberto Hernandez-Soto has been charged with 2nd Degree Murder and if convicted, he faces 20 years in prison.

Gee…that’s great—expensive but great…entirely avoidable but great.

In North Carolina , the average cost of incarceration for a prison inmate is $22,787 per year so this is what I’m thinking:

Should he serve 20 years, the cost to taxpayers will be roughly half a million dollars.

Yeah…you know that whole cost of illegal immigration debate? The one about the exorbitant cost of illegal immigration being off-set by the contributions they make?

In spite of evidence to the contrary, let us suppose that basic math was used to draw that conclusion. Next, let’s exclude from the equation all the incarceration expenses incurred by illegal aliens.

Yeah…we’re still in the red but even so, that is nothing—nothing—compared to the price the Chang family has paid.

The real crime is that this tragedy could have been avoided by simply enforcing our immigration laws and guarding our borders.

If only we could impose twenty years in prison for that infraction!

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posted by David at 9:09 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Friday, November 25, 2005

N.C. Jobless Rate Drops To 5.3 Percent



AP Nov 21, 2005, 02:37 PM EST
RALEIGH (AP) -- Unemployment in North Carolina is down for the fourth month in a row, falling to 5.3 percent in October.

In September, the jobless rate was 5.5 percent. The state Employment Security Commission says statewide employment reached 4.1 million people, an increase of almost 23,000 from September.

Manufacturing gained 1,200 jobs during the month, followed by 600 jobs in professional and business services, and 500 jobs in leisure and hospitality services.

The educational and health services sector lost 1,700 jobs.

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posted by David at 9:40 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Holiday Gas Prices

On the way to work today, I had to stop and fill up. The cost of regular was the lowest I've seen in months at $2.139. That was down 2 cents from just two days ago. Yet some of my co-workers have been complaining about how the oil companies are running the price back up for the Thanksgiving holiday and that government should do something about it.

Here is what WECT had to say about gas prices:
NOVEMBER 24, 2005 -- If you're filling up the car for a road trip for the holidays, it could be worse.

AAA says the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in North Carolina is $2.27. Although you can find gas as low as $2.13 a gallon in this area. That is still more than we were paying at this time last year, but it's much less than the $3.39 a gallon we saw after Hurricane Katrina.

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posted by David at 9:32 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Media Bias?

Took this from Rob at SayAnythingBlog

By Rob on November 25, 2005 at 11:38 am

From the New York Times:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 24 - A suicide car bomb exploded Thursday near an American convoy at the entrance to the main hospital in the volatile town of Mahmudiya, killing at least 30 Iraqis and wounding dozens of others in a burst of fire and shrapnel.


Here’s an excerpt from some reporting in the same story from the Associated Press:

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A homicide bomber blew up his car outside a hospital south of Baghdad on Thursday while U.S. troops handed out candy and food to children, killing 30 people and wounding about 40, including four Americans.


Describing the incident as an attack on an “American convoy” paints a much different picture than an attack on U.S. soldiers handing out candy and food to kids. Especially when we consider that the “convoy” that was passing out the candy was there because they were evaluating the hospital in question for refurbishment and repairs.

It is subtle, but the lengths to which the Times will go to infuse their coverage with an anti-war agenda is nothing short of shocking.

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posted by David at 9:28 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Highway Trust Fund Running on Empty?

Took this from Rob at SayAnythingBlog

By Rob on November 25, 2005 at 12:40 pm

WASHINGTON - Taxing hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars and billing drivers for miles driven are among the approaches being suggested to avert a shortfall in money to maintain the nation’s highways.

Less than four months after President Bush signed a six-year, $286.4 billion highway and public transit act, a report commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money and Congress needs to think about new revenue sources.

“Decisions are going to have to be made in the very near future,” said Ed Mortimer, the business lobby’s director of transportation infrastructure, acknowledging it could be a tall order. The next highway bill is years away and lawmakers may be loathe to return to a measure that was widely criticized for being padded with thousands of special-interest projects.


They’re talking about a new tax to avoid a shortfall? Legislators are “loathe” to to address highway funding again? Here’s an idea: Rather than levying a new tax, how about they cut out some of the pork funding they were “widely criticized” for? In the last highway bill that passed there was funding for the now-infamous $232 million bridge to nowhere and a $1.5 million bus stop in Anchorage, among hundres of other equally ridiculous and/or over-funded projects.

Politicians will undoubtedly push for these new taxes to offset this alleged “shortfall,” and claim that if we don’t increase taxes “roads will crumble and bridges will fall.” That’s nonsense. There is plenty of money already available. The solution to this problem is not increased revenue, it is smarter expenditure of existing revenue.

Another tax would only increase the amount of money available for more pork barrel spending.

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posted by David at 9:25 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you and your family had a good holiday.

Now I'm back to drawing up battle plans with my wife for our Black Friday attack.

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posted by David at 10:57 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Local Teacher Arrested for Packing

From WECT.com

NOVEMBER 23, 2005 -- A Pender County teacher has been arrested on a felony charge after deputies found an unloaded revolver in her car on school property.

"It's resulted in her termination and an investigation will determine what action we take," says Superintendent Ted Kanuika.

Barbara Rhoades' car was searched Tuesday afternoon. That's where authorities found an unloaded 38-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun under her driver's seat. Bullets were in the console. Her car was parked just a few yards away from the student parking lot.

"It wasn't an act of her waving the gun, brandishing the gun or anything of that nature but it's still zero tolerance for weapons on school property. So it's just a situation where there was in violation of the law and we had no choice but to enforce," says Major Keith Hinkle.

Rhoades was charged with felony possesion of a weapon on educational property. She was released on a $2,000 unsecured bond.

This incident falls under the 15 grounds of dismissal used by North Carolina school systems for all of its employees. Once the investigation is complete the superintendent has the option to turn this incident over to the school board. They will decide whether Rhoades will keep her job.


I don't agree with the law that makes it illegal to have any gun on school property including toy guns. The gun was unloaded and out of sight in her car. I don't blame a woman for wanting to have protection with her. The question that isn't answered here is how did they find out she had the gun in the first place.

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posted by David at 11:46 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

John Kerry Goes to Court

From Sayanythingblog.com

Kerry Wins Over Jury. Remaining 295 Million Americans Still Unimpressed.

I'll let you read there.

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posted by David at 11:40 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

I Love John Bolton As Our UN Ambassador

From SwissInfo.org

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States threatened on Tuesday to delay the two-year United Nations budget unless reforms are approved by the end of the year, a move that could cause havoc for U.N. operations.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his staff have acknowledged they might not have all management and other reform proposals until February, after the December 31 budget deadline.

Although a U.N summit document calls on Annan to provide "recommendations to the General Assembly for decision" during the first quarter of 2006, Bolton said this was too late.

"I don't think we should be in a position of losing the momentum for reform because of the budget process," he told reporters. "The reform should drive the budget process and not the other way around."

Bolton said, the U.N. General Assembly, in charge of the budget, could consider a three or four-month interim budget by December 31, instead of approving the full two-year budget.

"I've proposed this three- to four-month interim budget as one possible mechanism to accommodate our desire to get the reforms fully implemented in the longer-term budget," he said.

Annan has estimated some $3.6 billion for the 2006-2007 regular administrative budget, a slight increase over 2004-2005. This excludes peacekeeping, which in 2005 alone amounted to $3.6 billion.

Annan told reporters on Monday that member states need to approve a two-year budget by the end of this year so they knew what they had to pay and his staff could plan properly.

"And if you do not do that ... you may create a serious financial crisis for the organisation," he cautioned.

Annan said the General Assembly could pass a supplementary budget to cover some of the reform proposals, many of which grew out of the scandal-tainted $46 billion oil-for-food humanitarian program for Iraq.

But Bolton said this would not put enough pressure on the assembly to adopt the reforms being pushed by the United States, which pays 22 percent of the budget.

"Business as usual has gotten us to the state where we need a revolution in reform and business as usual isn't going to accomplish that revolution," Bolton said.

The European Union, whose 25 members collectively pay about 40 percent of the budget, does not want a showdown next month and prefers to get as many measures passed as possible and then build flexibility into the budget for next year.

The United States has only one vote in the General Assembly

but budgets are usually adopted by a consensus procedure, which means Washington could block the budget as well as withhold its own dues.

Bolton, his blunt remarks, also questioned the usefulness of the United Nations to the American public as the main global problem solver.

"Americans are a very practical people and they don't view the U.N. through theological lenses," he said. "They look at it as a competitor in the marketplace for global problem-solving and if it's successful at solving problems they'll be inclined to use it."

Many of the reforms approved at the September U.N. summit are still bogged down among the General Assembly's 191 members. They include a peacebuilding commission and a new body to replace the discredited U.N. Human Rights Commission.

Among Annan's management proposals, key to the United States, are the creation of an ethics office, an oversight body, enhanced auditing and investigation and independent external evaluations.

Reuters


I'm not a fan of the UN. If it was left up to me the US would withdraw from the UN and then kick the UN out of the good ol US of A. The UN is for the most part anti-American. No matter how much the American government or American people give to other countries it is never enough for them. The UN wants to tax all American airline flights to build an account to help Afica. The UN really f'ed up the oil for food program. And I've read a lot of stories about UN employees raping and forcing women and children to have sexual relations for relief. This is a corrupt organization that we do not need to be involve in. But if we are involved in the UN, I'm glad it is John Bolton. He really mixes things up in the UN.

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posted by David at 11:27 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Commissions Say No to At-Large Voting

Monday night - 2005-11-21 - at the county commission chambers the hot topic was changing the way we have voted since 1992 for our commissioners. We currently have a district based voting system that is set up to put at least two minority commissioners on the board. This was put in place in 1992 to ensure minority representation on the board.

Columbus County Citizens for Better Government (CCCBG) have been pushing for a resolution to go to a modified at-large system. This system would have the 5 non-minority district seats changed to an at-large vote, meaning that you no longer have to be from a certain district to run or vote for each seat. The CCCBG proposed steps to ensure minorities would stay on the board. If the commissioners had passed this resolution, then in November the vote would go to the people of Columbus County. If the voted passed then a federal court would have to lift the order for district voting.

An estimated 4500 residents signed a petition in support of at-large voting. This topic has risin in recent years due to the people of our county not being happy with the way the commissioners are running things. Corruption in county government and mishandled water districts are two of the biggest reasons for this resolution. Many people feel that they aren't represented by all the members of the board because you can only vote for the commisioner in your home district. CCCBG feels that at-large voting will give us a board that is more in tune with all the people of Columbus County.

Commissioner James Prevatte made the motion to accept the resolution but failed to gain a second. He said that it should be up to the people to decide how to vote. It's fair to note that Commissioner Prevatte was supported by the CCCBG in his election to the board.

Sammy Hinson, president of CCCBG has stated in the past that if this resolution failed that the main goal of CCCBG in the next election was to replace all the commissioners that did not support at-large voting. Mr. Hinson is expected to run against Commissioner David Dutton for the district 7 seat (my district).

Of note, the CCCBG is opposed by the Columbus Coalition. The Columbus Coalition is a political group of some of the countie's black leaders. Andy Anderson spoke for the Columbus Coalition at the meeting. He stated that the Columbus Coalition would not talk with CCCBG about at-large voting and would fight it in court if need be. He states that racism is still too common in Columbus County for a minority to gain office in an at-large vote.

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posted by David at 4:34 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

*Thanksgiving: A Short History*

From Holidaycook.com

In the United States, Thanksgiving began with the Pilgrims who settled around Plymouth in 1621. During the winters of 1621 and 1622 they suffered many privations. Food and supplies were scarce and disease ran rampant in the region.

Nearly half the population died. The settlers at the time and historians both agree that there were two reasons for the problems of the Pilgrims. First, they were generally not experienced farmers. They were fortunate that some of the local Native-Americans helped them learn to farm the local crops. Second, and perhaps more tellingly, they had originally been organized into a commune where the produce of all was brought into a common store and then distributed among the inhabitants based on need.

The Governor at the time, William Bradford, was quick to recognize the problem. This excerpt from his diary, written in the 1620s, explains all:

The failure of this experiment of communal service, which was tried...by good and honest men proves the emptiness of the theory of Plato and other ancients, applauded by some of later times, - that the taking away of private property, and possession of it in community, by a commonwealth would make a state happy and flourishing...For in this instance, community of property (so far as it went) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment which would have been to the general benefit and comfort.

So every family was assigned a parcel of land according to the proportion of their number...It made all hands very industrious, so that much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been...and gave far better satisfaction.

Thankful for the re-institution of private property and the plenty which it provided, the Pilgrims invited their benefactors in 1623 to a three-day celebration. More than 80 "Indians" came to enjoy the festivities. They brought venison, wild turkey and other victuals. There was much singing, rejoicing and even sermons.

Thanksgiving itself is reminiscent of other harvest-time celebrations in Europe. It's character there as well as in America is deeply religious. The idea is that we thank God for the plenty of the harvest. Of course, over the years the holiday has been secularized somewhat. It is even commonly called "Turkey Day".

The first Thanksgiving in Plymouth was not meant to be an annual event. Even so, it became a custom in many New England Colonies. During the Revolutionary war Thanksgiving Days were proclaimed to celebrate victory in battle or survival in the face of adversity. After the war and the founding of the government under the U.S. Constitution, George Washington, as President, proclaimed a day of thanks.

Proclaiming a day of thanks became popular. There was no official national day, but individual states, cities and towns began to pick out a particular day every year, usually in the autumn. The state of New York was the first to do this in 1830. By the time of the Civil War thanksgiving had become a popular public event. In 1863 and 1864 President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a "day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father."

It was at this point that the last Thursday in November became fixed in the minds of Americans as a day for giving thanks, at least until 1939 when President Roosevelt moved it up a week to make a longer Christmas season for the retail industry. Some people did not like the break with tradition and various localities refused to comply. Finally, Congress intervened and changed the holiday permanently to the "4th Thursday in November". It has been celebrated on this day ever since.

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posted by David at 5:40 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (21) ::

Cash is #1

I found this picture the other day.


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posted by David at 4:46 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Economics 101

From Foxnews.com

Oil Companies Hope to Ward Off Windfall Tax
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

WASHINGTON — While the hurricanes of 2005 brought loss and suffering to hundreds of thousands of people, they also brought record profits for oil companies that benefited from higher prices while offshore rigs and pipelines were shut down.
The result has spawned some curious politics. Last week, Senate Republicans tucked a $4 billion dollar tax increase on giant oil companies into a bill providing $60 billion in tax cuts to victims of Hurricane Katrina, various U.S. industries and upper-middle class families.

The White House immediately vowed to veto the Senate bill, placing it in the awkward position of sacrificing tax cuts for millions of Americans in order to shield oil companies from higher taxes even after they racked up more than $32 billion in third-quarter profits.
"They are threatening to undermine an entire bill, something that is the priority of many Americans across the country and of other industries, and of many sectors of the economy would be threatened, just to protect the oil and gas industry," said Navin Nayak, an environmental advocate at U.S. Public Interest Research Group.



What Mr. Nayak and the Senators that added the tax increase into that bill fail realize is that Oil Companies shouldn't have to pay more for an example of simple economics.

Supply and Demand - the market price of a good or service is based on it's demand and supply.

Oil refineries and oil rigs where closed down = drop in supply
People heading out of the region to get away from the storm = rise in demand
People heading into the region to repair damage and provide aid = rise in demand

A negative shift in supply and a neatral to postive shift in demand, means that the price should go up. Therefore price gouging -yes, that is how it is spelled-, did not take place. Without the rise in gas prices in the wake of the Katrina, gas shortages would have been much worse.

In a free market system, there is no price gouging. The producer/seller can and should sell their products for whatever price they wish. It's the buyer that decides on whether or not to pay for the good or service at that price.

So in the aftermath of Katrina should gas prices have spiked like they did? Yes.
In the weeks since then should prices be dropping? Yes.

Supply is back up and demand is normal -till Thanksgiving- so prices are droping from the years high -almost $1 here.

Another economic mechanicism to look at is the difference between profit and profit margin.

From Investopedia.com
profit = total earnings less expenses.
profit margin = A ratio of profitability calculated as gross earnings divided by revenues (or, said another way, gross profits divided by sales). It measures how much out of every dollar of sales a company actually keeps in earnings.

Just because the oil companies have the highest profits ever in the aftermath of Katrina, that doesn't mean that the they made any more money then usual. If their profit margin stayed the same, then they made the same amount of money per gallon as usual. As their costs went up the move the price of gas up. Now if their costs went up fasting then the they raised the price of gas, the profit margin shranked and they made less money per gallon.

Regardless of how much money oil companies made, I don't not feel it is any politician's right to deny them their profits. And if the sentors want to sneak it into a bill hoping to get it passed, then regardless of who that bill may help, I hope it is vetoed.

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posted by David at 2:55 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

First Post

This is my first steps into publishing a blog. I read 2 blogs daily and fequent others weekly to monthly. I decided it was time to start one of my own about NC.

So here it goes...

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posted by David at 1:16 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::