Thursday, March 30, 2006

Did You Buy..

A lottery ticket or maybe a dozen today? I didn't. Easley and I don't see eye to eye on where the money needs to go for education so I'll but mine where I want it to go. But a lot of people did play today according to this WRAL

By midday, Lee had given his five $1 tickets to North Carolina Teacher of the Year Wendy Miller, who won $10 that she then gave back to the state. It was part of the estimated $1.3 million in prizes paid out by mid-afternoon, lottery officials said.

Ticket sales by then had reached about $6.5 million, well beyond the early $2 million estimate of lottery officials. Executive director Tom Shaheen estimated that sales would reach more than $10 million for the day.

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posted by David at 11:29 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

"Thank God."

That was Bush's comment when asked about what he thought of Jill Carroll being released from her captives in

Carroll, who was a freelancer for the Christian Science Monitor at the time of her kidnapping, apparently was left in the street near the Iraqi Islamic Party offices in Al Ameriya just west of Baghdad. She walked inside, and people there called American officials.

Jill, the daughter of a Chapel Hill, was captured 3 months ago. Her captures threaten to kill her unless all female terrorist where released. The US didn't budge and Jill lived. Her captures threaten to kill her several more times but never carried out their threats.

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posted by David at 11:02 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Walter E. Williams On Activist Judges

Walter E. Williams has a very good article at discussing what and how a judge is suppose to rulings on.

Are federal, state and local justices appointed to office to impose their personal views on society or to interpret law? Is it a judge's duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and state constitutions in the cases of state and local judges, or is it their duty to uphold foreign law and United Nations treaties? Should what a judge sees as "evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society" and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights govern court decisions, or the U.S. Constitution?

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posted by David at 3:20 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

We've Been At War 1374 Years!!!

That's what Gene at says.

"I was ordered to fight all men until they say 'There is no god but Allah.'"
Prophet Muhammed's farewell address, March 632

"I shall cross this sea to their islands to pursue them until there remains no one on the face of the earth who does not acknowledge Allah."
—Saladin, January 1189

"We will export our revolution throughout the world . . . until the calls 'there is no god but Allah and Muhammed is the messenger of Allah' are echoed all over the world."
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 1979

"I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammed."
Osama bin Laden, November 2001

In case you are confused, the western world and Christianity has been at war with Islam and it's imperialist notions for 1374 years. We just didn't, or don't, always know it.

The war was engaged on U.S. soil September 11, 2001 when men and women bravely took on and took out hijackers of United Flight 93 and crashed the jet in the fields of Pennsylvania. Thousands of lives and gallons of blood have been spilled since. The idea that we can retreat to our borders and leave the battle unfought in other lands like Iraq, which many well-meaning Americans believe would be prudent, is only delaying the inevitable. We must win this war for all we hold valuable and dear or surrender our lives on the altar of political expediency forever. This is a battle we must win. Retreat or defeat is not an option.

I have wondered about the silence from the so-called Muslim moderates when Rhaman was sentenced to death in Afghanistan. It's easy to understand now. They know what side they are on. The problem is that we don't. This isn't about hate, it's about recognizing those who hate me, you and the life we choose.

Those quotes at the top are on the lips of many in the Islamic world. They are the emerging world religion which will take a historic run at crushing anything resembling Christianity on this planet. Christianity to them means anything non-Muslim. That means you, regardless of whether you are Christian or not.

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posted by David at 3:17 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Rob At Talks About Us As A Nation of Immigrants

As the immigration debate rages in this country a lot of our leaders, from the President on down, have taken to using this statement: "We are a nation of immigrants."

That is absolutely right. Outside of the fraction of America's population who are descendants of native Americans, we are all the progeny of people who came here from other countries. When we talk about immigration issues we should remember that. America has always been a place where people from the rest of the world could come to find freedom and opportunity. I, for one, think that is something America should remain.

That being said, I think it is important for us to remember what an immigrant is and what an immigrant is not. Here is the definition of "immigrant" according to the American Heritage Dictionary:

im·mi·grant (ĭm'ĭ-grənt) n.
1. A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another.

Got that? An immigrant is a person who leaves another country to settle permanently in another. An immigrant is not someone who moves to one country to work and then sends all of his/her wealth back home to the old country. Nor is an immigrant one who moves to a new country and then tries to make that new country like his/her old country.

I think it is wonderful that so many people from Mexico and other places in the world want to come and live/work in America. What a testament to our freedom and our way of life. That being said, I think the people who come here to live/work should become Americans, and the only way they can do that is by working through our legal immigration system. I'm even in favor of making that legal immigration system easier to get through through. Heck, I'm in favor of expanding it so that more legal immigrants can get through. But what I will never, ever be in favor of is granting amnesty to people who don't have enough respect for our rule of law to move to his country legally. These people are not immigrants, they are criminals who are looking to take advantage of this country's good nature.

They should be sent back. They aren't interested in being Americans, they're interested in bending this country's prosperity to their will.

Very well put Rob.

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posted by David at 3:15 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Chatham County Voters Are Mad

And according to this article from WRAL they have a very good reason to be mad.

Trouble started before the board’s meeting on Tuesday evening, when the room's limited capacity meant some people were forced to leave, or hang out through the window. The citizen's outrage stems from the board's decision to eliminate polling places in the county's most populated area and merge them.

The move creates mega-precincts of 4,500 voters even though the state recommends 1,500 people per precinct. Opponents fear crowding could turn voters off and that the move favors incumbents. But even worse, they say it was done in secret.

“I would've thought as a good management practice, or a simple courtesy that you would talk to somebody in the precincts involved before you did this,” said concerned citizen George Meyer.

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

Immigrant Governor Arnold Is Against Illegal Immigration


The "first order of business” for the federal government in dealing with illegal immigration is to secure the nation’s borders, Arnold Schwarzenegger declares in an Op-Ed piece.

And the California governor says that granting amnesty to illegals is "anarchy.”

I can't argue with that.

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posted by David at 1:32 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Did You Hear?

About the test by the GAO on our borders (north and south). They brought enough nuclear material into the US to make 2, not 1 but 2 dirty bombs. They even crossed at checkpoints with radiation testers. Did the testers work? Yes. The GAO agents had forged documents they found on the internet to fool border guards into letting them cross. You feel safe don't you?

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posted by David at 1:27 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Lou Dobbs

He's the best part of CNN. Check out this piece from NY Times

The nation's most prominent opponent of current immigration policy began his day yesterday on the "Today" show on NBC, debating a Hispanic defender of illegal immigrants. He moved on to "American Morning" on CNN to denounce a bill passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday as "an amnesty program."

By nightfall he was on a plane headed to Mexico, where he intended to assess critically the planned discussions on the issue between President Bush and President Vicente Fox of Mexico.

This central figure in the increasingly fractious debate over future immigration policy was not a senator or congressman, nor even a lobbyist on either side of the issue. It was instead, a television news anchor, Lou Dobbs of CNN.

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posted by David at 1:25 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Immigrant Protests Where Staged

That's what this story on says.

Many of the 500,000 people who crammed downtown Los Angeles on Saturday to protest legislation that would make criminals out of illegal immigrants learned where, when and even how to demonstrate from the Spanish-language media.

For English-speaking America, the mass protests in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities over the past few days have been surprising for their size and seeming spontaneity.

But they were organized, promoted or publicized for weeks by Spanish-language radio hosts and TV anchors as a demonstration of Hispanic pride and power.

In Milwaukee, where at least 10,000 people rallied last week, one radio station manager called some employers to ask that they not fire protesters for skipping work. In Chicago, a demonstration that drew 100,000 people received coverage on local television more than a week in advance.

"This was a much bigger story for the Latino media," said Felix Gutierrez, a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. "If the mainstream media had been paying better attention, there would not have been the surprise about the turnout."

I wonder how many actually knew what they where protesting.

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posted by David at 1:18 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Black Can't Get Extra Tax Money To Buy Legal Bills

Winston Salem Journal

A state attorney said yesterday that House Speaker Jim Black's office cannot get additional tax money to pay for legal bills related to responding to federal grand jury subpoenas. Black's office asked state attorneys last month if it could spend up to $200,000 to comply with a grand jury's requests for paperwork. The decision means that the spending cap on legal fees will remain at $30,000 for now.

Good. Why should he get our money to help pay his legal bills? The $30k is about $30k too much in my opinion.

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posted by David at 3:18 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Quote of the Week - 2006-03-28

Once again Thomas Sowell has earned the Quote of the Week. This time he is talking about the hot topic of the last 2 weeks, immigration law.

The old inevitability ploy is often trotted out in immigration debates: It is not possible to either keep out illegal immigrants or to expel the ones already here.

If you mean stopping every single illegal immigrant from getting in or expelling every single illegal immigrant who is already here, that may well be true. But does the fact that we cannot prevent every single murder cause us to stop enforcing the laws against murder?

Since existing immigration laws are not being enforced, how can anyone say that it would not do any good to try? People who get caught illegally crossing the border into the United States pay no penalty whatever. They are sent back home and can try again.

What if bank robbers who were caught were simply told to give the money back and not do it again? What if murderers who were caught were turned loose and warned not to kill again? Would that be proof that it is futile to take action, when no action was taken?

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posted by David at 2:22 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

How About Those French?

All this trouble just because the government wants to relax some of it's regulations on business owners. This is a quick and dirty overview on what's going on. The French have very "progressive" labor laws. Basically once hired the employee owns the job and the employer has to walk a tight line or else be breaking some very strick labor laws. It's almost impossible to fire an employee in France. So what happened was that employers stopped hiring young people without good references and a good work history. Employers didn't want to take the chance of hiring a worthless, lazy, good-for-nothing employee that they couldn't get rid of later. So unemployment for people under 30 in France is high, very high. So the government decided to pass a law that would allow employers to fire anyone under the age of 26 without having to jump through hoops. The hope is that employers would start to hire young people again, thus dropping the unemployment rate. Now if an employer has a hard working 22 year old employee, I don't he's going to fire him for no reason but if he has a 22 year old bum then the employer can toss him out and hire someone else. Sounds like the right thing to do to me. But the French youth don't like it. Not one bit. And so they protest and march and riot.

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posted by David at 1:49 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Senate Committee Passes Immigration Bill


"All Americans wanted fairness and they got it this evening," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who was a key coordinator of the bill.

The bill passed on a 12-6 vote. On several amendments, GOP Sens. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, Sam Brownback of Kansas and Mike DeWine of Ohio, who is seeking re-election this fall, sided with Democrats. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., also voted for the bill though he signaled that some of the provisions could well be changed by the full Senate.

This bill does nothing to stop or even slow the flow of illegals into the US. What good is passing a bill like this if nothing is done on the border. Also this bill would grant amnesty (call it what you like it's amnesty) to the illegals already here. This bill is in my opinion useless. Why is it fair to give 11+ million criminals a get out of jail free card? The first thing our legislators need to work on is tougher border security. Once you have that under control then you can start working on the problem of the illegals already in the country. If you give those already here amnesty (call it what is is) what's to keep more from following in their fooststeps hoping for the same?

Two points to make to the marchers:
1) If you came into this country illegally then you are guilty of a misdemenor and are a criminal.
2) If you came into this country legally the house bill will not effect you unless you aid a criminal which is a crime already.

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posted by David at 1:05 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Stop the Gas Tax Hike Rally

I recieved this email earlier today and thought I'ld pass it on.

Dear Friend,

Be a part of history on May 9th!

May 9th is the first day of the 2006 legislative session at the North Carolina General Assembly. All of your Legislators will be in Raleigh and so will we! That's the day North Carolina Conservatives United will be having a STOP THE GAS TAX RALLY.

* 4:30 Craig Woolard Band starts playing
* 5:00 Barbeque dinners will be available
* 6:00 Program will begin with special guest speakers

The rally will take place downtown at the Bicentennial Plaza, which is the pedestrian mall linking Jones and Edenton Streets in downtown Raleigh.

I want YOU and other North Carolinians who care about government to join us. This is the day the politicians come back to session, and we want to show them just how strong we are.

To RSVP for this free event, go to and as always; you can go to and sign the petition.

We are going into the summer driving season, and the politicians are taking away your vacation money through unnecessarily high gas taxes. Over 52,000 of us have signed the petition asking for relief at the pump. But the tax and spend politicians still aren't listening!

The politicians think we'll just give up and go away. But they're wrong…we're coming to Raleigh.

Let's stand together for taxpayers and prove to the politicians that WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY.

I look forward to meeting you at the rally in Raleigh on May 9th.

Best regards,

Bill Graham
Chairman, North Carolina Conservatives United

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posted by David at 2:22 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (5) ::

More Marching For Lawlessness

More people protesting and marching to challenge a law to backup current laws.Reuters

As many as 15,000 immigrants and supporters marched through Phoenix on Friday in the latest of a series of protests in major U.S. cities that seek to stop legislation seen as punitive to undocumented workers.

Los Angeles students also walked out of at least 20 county schools on Friday, protesting proposed extension of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, said a Los Angeles Unified School District spokesperson.

Some "hundreds of thousands" will march through downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, one organizer predicted, while Chicago police on March 10 estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 rallied to protest tough changes in immigration law.

In Phoenix, marchers were peaceful but boisterous, said city police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill. About 400 rallied in Tucson.

"Immigrant communities and groups across the country are coming together to send a loud and clear message to decision makers in Washington D.C. that we are not the enemy but part of the solution," said Jennifer Allen, executive director of Border Action Network in Phoenix.

Many of the protesters have focused on a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December. That bill, sponsored by Republican Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner, calls for tough border security and enforcement measures and would make it a federal crime, instead of a civil offense, for undocumented workers to live in the country.

It would also penalize people for helping illegal immigrants, drawing criticism in particular from church groups.

The U.S. Senate is set to take up immigration legislation next week. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, plans to bring to the floor similar border security and enforcement legislation.

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posted by David at 11:46 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (5) ::

Black's Campaign Finace Issues Go To DA

Winston-Salem Journal

The State Board of Elections referred House Speaker Jim Black for possible criminal prosecution yesterday, saying that Black's campaign should have reported blank checks that he received from his fellow optometrists before he filled in Rep. Michael Decker's name on them.

"You've got to disclose the money that you control and disburse to others," said Larry Leake, the chairman of the elections board. "And you cannot use blank checks to circumvent the maximum-contribution limits."

The board referred Black and his campaign, as well officers of the N.C. Optometric Society Political Action Committee and at least 18 people connected to the video-poker industry to the Wake County district attorney, Colon Willoughby, to consider criminal charges.

Although Black has not been charged with a crime, "we believe he has violated the law," said Leake, who, like Black, is a Democrat. "It's to be determined by folks other than us whether that is a criminal violation."

In testimony last month, optometrists said that they regularly supplied $100 checks, with blank payee lines, to M. Scott Edwards of Murfreesboro, the treasurer of the Optometric Society PAC.

Black acknowledged under oath that he received three blank checks worth $4,200 from Edwards and filled in the name of Decker, the former Republican representative from Walkertown who switched parties in 2003 to create a 60-60 partisan split in the House that helped Black remain as speaker.

The elections board ruled yesterday that Black should have reported those checks both as contributions to his campaign and to Decker's.

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posted by David at 10:01 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Lawyer Of Condemned Man Wants A DNA Re-Test


Once primitive, DNA testing is now seen as more conclusive and fast. Today, many attorneys want convictions confirmed with a second DNA test. A North Carolina lawyer has asked for one for the first time in state history.

Jerry Conner, 40, is scheduled to be executed in May for a 1990 double murder and rape in Gates County. Unlike most older cases, DNA samples were taken from the crime scene and tested by the FBI. The tests were inconclusive.

"The FBI conducted a test and they basically shrugged their shoulders and said we don't know whose this is," said defense attorney Mark Kleinschmidt.

Conner's attorneys said DNA testing has come a long way. They have filed a court motion asking for a retest using modern methods. Conner's plight has been a source of debate.

Supporters say why not use every scientific means possible to clear a person's name or support a conviction, especially when someone is about to be executed.

"I don't think the people of North Carolina are going to be satisfied sending a man to death with an open question about whether or not this is the right person," Kleinschmidt said.

The Gates County District Attorney's Office is opposing the test, saying there was plenty of other evidence to support Conner's conviction.

"I would think, in the majority of cases, it would support a conviction if your evidence was that convincing in the beginning," said Assistant Wake County District Attorney Frank Jackson, who is not involved in this particular case.

Jackson said, in most situations, he supports post-conviction DNA testing.

"Any method that we have to determine the truth of the matter, and no matter what time it is, either pre- or post-conviction, it should be used if it will reveal the ultimate truth in a case," he said.

A Gates County judge will ultimately decide whether or not a new DNA test will be done. Conner is scheduled to be executed at Central Prison on May 12.

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posted by David at 9:52 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Lottery Update

TV ads will start airing Monday. The law through does not allow the ads to cause anyone to play the lottery. So what good is advitising the lottery then if the ads aren't suppose to make you want to play?

The first scratch-off games go on sale Thursday.

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posted by David at 9:48 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Medicaid Draining Columbus County

News Reporter


It’s a number Columbus County officials bring up over and over, although they’re not fond of what it means.

The county spends one-third of the peoples’ property taxes – 24 cents out of a rate of 73 cents per $100 value – just to pay its state-mandated share of Medicaid.

Medicaid, the federal and state health safety net for the poor, has become a money-eater in a poor, rural county where more than one-third of the residents qualify for assistance.

Worse yet, county leaders say, Columbus’ low tax base and high unemployment limit the ability to spend local tax money on other pressing needs at schools, for example.

For the third year in a row, commissioners endorsed a resolution asking lawmakers to lift the Medicaid burden, which totaled more than $5 million last year and may hit $5.9 million this fiscal year. That expense is more than the county’s total local budget for public schools and the community college.

North Carolina is now the only state that requires local government to pay a fixed share of state Medicaid costs – currently 15 percent. In wealthier counties, Medicaid is a less significant part of the budget. While it takes 24 cents to pay the tab in Columbus, Cumberland taxpayers spend 10 cents of their tax rate to pay their local share. Brunswick and Orange County taxpayers spend four cents to foot their bills.

Per-capita Medicaid expenditures in Columbus County now total nearly $109 a year, the third-highest in the state, according to the N.C. Association of County Commissioners (NCACC). Local Medicaid costs have increased by 59 percent in the past six years, commissioners complain.

NCACC’s request to the Legislature is for the state to assume Medicaid costs. In exchange, counties would give up one cent of the sales tax revenue to the state. The Legislature would then give counties the option of imposing a one-cent local sales tax to replenish the lost revenue.

At their regular session Monday, commissioners also decided in principle to establish a committee to study Medicaid and suggest ways to control costs. The 11-member group would be composed of one resident from each of the seven commission districts, the Social Services director, the Health Department director, a doctor or retired physician and an accountant or retired accountant.

A newspaper story provided by Chairman Kip Godwin described how one New York state county discovered fraud and waste in Medicaid expenses, in part by using a computerized database that tracked every expense.

Godwin asked commissioners to consider appointments to the board and name them at a later meeting.

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posted by David at 9:41 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Westside Park Closed Due To Gang Activity

News Reporter
The link takes you to several stories printed in the Whiteville paper outlining the violence and vandalism in the Western portion of Whiteville.

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

Blogging Protected


The rules (click here for PDF) say that paid Web advertising, including banner ads and sponsored links on search engines, will be regulated like political advertising in other types of media. They also say bloggers can enjoy the freedoms of traditional news organizations when endorsing a candidate or engaging in political speech.

If the regulations are approved by the FEC at its meeting on Monday, they will represent a substantial change from a far more aggressive version of the regulations seen by CNET last year. An outcry from bloggers and even members of Congress appears to have caused FEC lawyers--who are under court order to regulate the Internet--to rethink the rules and adopt a more laissez-faire approach.

This is a good thing. The commission could have really hurt bloggers with the McCain-Feingold law.

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

Friday, March 24, 2006

Botched Raid Sends Couple In Thier 80s To Hospital


HORN LAKE, Miss. — An unidentified elderly Horn Lake couple were hospitalized Thursday after police burst into their home thinking it housed a methamphetamine laboratory.

The incident occurred Wednesday about 4 a.m., said police Capt. Shannon Beshears. Beshears said it was the right address but the wrong house.

Beshears said a heavily armed Tactical Apprehension Containment Team stormed the house.

"We had good information from a reliable source that had been backed up by a purchase of narcotics linked to the address. However, when we arrived at the designated address, there were two houses on the lot. We hit the larger of the two houses.

"It was the wrong house," Beshears said. "The house was totally dark and the TACT members went through to the bedroom looking for the suspects."

A man and a woman — both in their 80s — were injured as TACT team members secured the house although no drugs were found. There were children in the house also, but they were not awakened, Beshears said.

Beshears said the woman received a dislocated shoulder and the man received bruised ribs. Both were taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, but both asked police not to identify them.

"When we went to the second house on the lot, we found a methamphetamine cook under way and we made an arrest of a woman in connection with that illegal operation," Beshears said.

Police charged Sonseeaharay Lyn Fells, 36, with manufacturing a controlled substance. She was being held in the DeSoto County Jail in Hernando under a $100,000 bond.

Police Chief Darryl Whaley said a full investigation would be made into the operation to determine what happened when officers confronted the elderly couple. He said he believes his officers acted correctly and followed procedures when they entered the first home.

"Obviously, a mistake was made and it was regrettable," he said. "But, I stand by my officers. I think they acted properly."

Beshears said William Clinton Pruitt, 41, also was arrested on a charge of manufacture of a controlled substance and sale of a controlled substance. He was being held under a $200,000 bond.

Sounds like a pretty big screw up to me. "Obviously, a mistake was made and it was regrettable," he said. "But, I stand by my officers. I think they acted properly." How about apoligizing to this couple that your officiers terrorized.

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posted by David at 2:22 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Another Illegal March


MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) -- Thousands of people filled the streets Thursday for what was billed as "A Day Without Latinos" to protest efforts in Congress to target undocumented workers.

Police estimated that more than 10,000 people joined the demonstrations and march to downtown Milwaukee. Organizers put the number at 30,000.

"We came to work, not to be discriminated against," said Juan Hernandez, who said his boss gave him and more than a dozen other restaurant workers permission to join the protest. "We want to be equal."

You will be equal if you come into this country legally and follow the law.

The protesters oppose a bill that passed the U.S. House in December that would make it a felony to be in the United States illegally. The bill also would impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants and would fund fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border.

I fully support this bill.

Wearing shirts that proclaimed "We are not criminals" and waving American, Mexican and other flags, thousands of people young and old listened to speakers from the business and religious communities, and political activists.

I guess they don't understand what a law is. If you came into this country illegally or if your stay is suppose to be over and you don't leave then you are a criminal. Period. There is no other word, term or pharse to describe you. If you are an illegal alien or what some call an undocumented immigrant then you are a criminal, ok?

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posted by David at 2:13 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (5) ::

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My Two Cents About Afghan Christian Abdul Rahman

First of all I believe it's wrong for a person to be put to death for a victemless crime. I don't think Mr. Rahman deserves death.

Now for the other cents worth. Most people will not like this but, he is Afghan and after returning to Afghanistan from Germany he falls under their law. Afghanistan law is based on Sharia law which forbids anyone from converting from Islam to any other faith. Is this right? By our law, no. By Afghan law, yes. So even thourgh I don't support it, I have to honor it. Yes, we took out the Taliban and helped them form their government, but that doesn't mean that they have to do what we say or base their government on US law. We helped them form a republic and the republic they choose is an Islamic republic. That is a republic based on Islamic law. We most honor their law within their country just like we here in the US expect other country to respect our laws. Case in point is our death penality, anytime we have a high profile execution European countries and the UN raise sand about our barbaric practices, and we ignore them.

So there's my 2 cents.

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posted by David at 8:15 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

Testimony In Black's Campaign Finance Investigation

Winston-Salem Journal

Lisa Locklear told state elections officials yesterday what it's like to work in a convenience store - especially one that makes cash payouts of $1,400 on video-poker machines, and where clerks can afford to give $1,500 to House Speaker Jim Black's campaign.

Locklear, who worked as a clerk in three stores - in Maxton, Rowland and Laurinburg - said that in 2002, store owner Jamie Barfield asked her to donate to Black's campaign. Robert Dunlap, a representative from video-poker supplier Southland Amusements, looked on.

"Jamie Barfield asked me to write a check to Jim Black, but I didn't know who he was at the time," Locklear said. "She just gave me the money and told me to go deposit it and give her a check."

So the store clerk who made $300 a week wrote Black's campaign a check for $1,500 on April 30, 2002, and another for $1,000 on July 15, 2002. But she withdrew the money from her account before the second check to the campaign could be credited, so it bounced.

The rest can be found in the extended section.

Locklear also testified that although state law limits video-poker payouts to $10 worth of merchandise, at times she paid out $1,000 in cash to video-poker winners. She said she once paid a winner $1,400 with cash that she kept in a fanny pack worn around her waist.

Locklear's testimony, and that of a used-car dealer in Rockingham who said he did not donate the $1,000 that he was reported to have given to Black's campaign, came as the State Board of Elections wades into a complaint about more than $120,000 that went to Black's 2002 campaign from the video-poker industry.

Thomas Crowley, the car-lot owner, told the board that Leon Johnson, the owner of a Rockingham convenience store with video-poker machines, asked in July 2002 if he could use Crowley's name for a $1,000 donation.

"I didn't give no money," Crowley said. "I did not give no $1,000. He just asked me would I sign the paper to keep the poker machine. I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'It won't cost you nothing.'"

But Barbara Gaithings of Hamlet said she decided to give Black $1,000 after discussing it with Johnson, and that Johnson did not give her the money. She told the board that she makes $1,105 a month in disability payments and spends $20 to $25 a week playing video poker.

"He was going to ... try to keep video poker and make it legal," she said of Black.

"I went home and checked in my drawer, and I didn't have but $800. And I went and borrowed $200 from my son," Gaithings said. "It was my money."

Gaithings said she left a check, with the payee line blank, at Johnson's store.

Investigators from the elections board have not been able to track down Johnson.

Barfield, the owner of the stores where Locklear worked, said that even though she made as much money on her video-poker machines as she did on the merchandise in the stores, she never asked Locklear to donate to Black and she never gave her $2,500 to give to Black's campaign.

As for the $1,000 payouts that Locklear testified that she paid, "She was instructed to pay $10 in merchandise - no cash, no tobacco products and no alcohol," Barfield said.

Despite the denials from store owners and video-game suppliers yesterday, board members clearly suspect that the money for donations to Black's campaign came from someone other than those named in Black's report.

"It appears to me that there is some possibility that someone is supplying money to be given to the Black campaign," said Larry Leake, the elections board's chairman. "If my theory is right, we're going to have to have somebody willing to tell us the truth."

Leake was careful to say that there is no indication that Black or his campaign orchestrated the scheme of donations to his campaign.

"We have no evidence that Speaker Black was involved with this fundraising effort in any way. The moneys went to his campaign," he said.

But Leake was clearly skeptical of Gaithings' testimony as well as that of some others:

? Faye Maness Honeycutt of Rockingham makes $10.75 an hour at Sara Lee Hosiery, yet she made a $1,000 contribution to Black's campaign at the request of Lori Bullard, Johnson's stepdaughter, a colleague at work. Honeycutt said she used money she kept for emergencies.

"You never know what will come up. I keep money at home," she said.

"I've been a lawyer for 31 years, examined a lot of witnesses," Leake told her. "And I have seldom found one less believable."

? Lori Bullard Brigman, Johnson's stepdaughter, said that Johnson told her that he was giving $1,000 to Black's campaign. "I heard Jim Black supported the lottery and video-poker machines," she said. "I had a thousand to give at home, so I gave it."

Leake noted how many donations went from Rockingham video-poker players and store owners to Black's campaign on July 16, 2002. "The bank deposits sure swelled that day in your town," he told Brigman.

? Wayne Moss, who has video-poker machines at his cigarette outlet in Rockingham, testified that he gave his son $2,700 to help cover a $1,000 contribution that he asked him to write to the Black campaign.

"I figured out my whole mistake. This is the first time I've ever given money to a Democrat, and I've had trouble ever since," Moss told Leake.

Ken Bell, an attorney for Black who monitored the hearing, told Leake that Black's campaign wants to release any money that the board determines was raised illegally.

"If we've got money that was raised inappropriately, tell us so we can get rid of it," Bell said. "That's been our position since the complaint was filed two years ago."

While the N.C. Senate has voted repeatedly to ban video poker in North Carolina, Black has defended the industry, saying that it supports 2,000 to 3,000 jobs. Black has backed a state law that allows as many as three machines at a store.

Bell said that although many people believe that politicians are bought with campaign donations, some people donate because they agree with a politician's stance.

"Anybody who thinks Jim Black's vote can be bought with a political donation is making a grave mistake," Bell said. "Any suggestion that Jim Black's vote can be bought with a contribution is a damn lie."

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posted by David at 1:01 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

Gideons To Pass Out Bibles In Brunswick Schools


It's a decision that could bring a lot of attention to Brunswick County schools. The Gideons will soon be allowed to make copies of the New Testament available to students on school grounds.

The Christian group requested the privilege in a letter to the school board, and Vice Chairman Shirley Babson voted in their favor.

"I just believe that we do live in a free country, and that means Christians are free too," Babson said. "I'm very concerned about the moral decline of our country, and I believe it comes on not basing our ethics and morals on what the Bible says."

Separation of church and state laws made other school board members leery.

Board Chairman Scott Milligan voted "no."

"Once you open that door for distribution of materials, it's all or none," Milligan said.

Milligan thinks allowing the Christian literature in the schools is short-sighted. He warns the board will not be allowed to discriminate among other groups like Muslims, Mormons and atheists.

Despite the potential ramifications, the Gideons have a lot of support with parents.

I see no problem with this. If a kid wants it fine if not fine. If other regilious groups want to pass out material that's ok too.

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posted by David at 12:34 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Don't Feed the Homeless


Wilmington City leaders call it a short-term solution to a long-term problem. They approved a proposal Tuesday that bans feeding homeless people in the downtown area.

City leaders say it's not about not helping the homeless. With this resolution passing they're hoping to work more closely with agencies that help feed the homeless. Part of this resolution is to bring those agencies and city departments closer together. In developing this idea staff members talked to six community groups that currently do help the homeless.

Leaders are developing what they call a 10-year plan to end homelessness. Council members said they aren't trying to punish homeless people, but instead, making sure they are getting the best help they can get.

"If we do ours here and it's not done in another community, it's just going to shift the homeless population. As we move forward with our plan, we think there's a way to do it, but it's going to take a total cooperative effort," Mayor Spence Broadhurst said.

The area that's affected is from Water to Third Street and Ann to Grace Street. No feeding can be done on streets or sidewalks.

The City wants to work with the groups that feed homeless to have specific areas where they can give out food; that's part of the city's 10-year plan to end homelessness.

Right now estimates put the number of homeless in New Hanover County at about 600. That's more than either Pender or Brunswick Counties.

The City of Wilmington would like to start broadcasting public service announcements to educate residents about the homeless situation.

This comes just weeks after the city council pass a rule that there is to be no panhandling in the same area. All this is an effort to make downtown Wilmington a more attractive destination for tourist and local shoppers. Wilmington has had a growing homeless problem for a while now. I've even heard that other cities where buying their homeless population bus tickets to re-locate to Wilmington. I can understand the council's feelings on this issue, just the other day my wife was at a drive-through window when a man walked up to her open window to beg for money. It scared her pretty bad when she looked up from her wallet and a man was standing there looking at her.

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posted by David at 12:19 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Waiting on the FEC Blog Ruling

The Washington Times

Conservative and liberal bloggers both worry their freedom of speech is threatened by proposed campaign-finance rules that seek to regulate online political speech.
The Federal Election Commission is expected tomorrow to outline rules that could limit political Web logs and e-mail solicitations and would be similar to campaign-finance laws that apply to more traditional advocacy groups, such as the AFL-CIO and the National Rifle Association.
The rules could limit the amount of campaign money bloggers would be allowed to raise and the amount federal campaigns would be allowed to spend on Internet advertising.
Last week, the House was close to voting on the Online Freedom of Speech Act, a bill sponsored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican. The bill is designed to allow political blogs, e-mails and other types of individual online communication to continue operating free from FEC regulations.

I believe blogs should remain as is, unregulated. Once government intervention begins it has a tough time stopping. This blog is an expression of my free speech and any form of government regulation is is a voilation of my constitutional rights. Hopefully the FEC will do the right thing today and stay away from blogs.

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posted by David at 12:07 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Quote of the Week

My first ever "Quote of the Week" comes from Thomas Sowell at In an article about sexual preditors Mr. Sowell had this to say:

Their thinking -- if it can be called that -- is that sexual predators who have been released from prison have "paid their debt to society" and so the slate should be wiped clean and these sadists allowed to hide their past.

It is amazing how many innocent young lives have been sacrificed for a half-baked phrase.

Going to jail doesn't repay anything. People are put behind bars as punishment and to keep them out of circulation. Child victims of rape and murder cannot be made whole. The debt can never be repaid.

Very well said. I highly recommend that you read the entire article.

I believe I'll make this "Quote of the Week" a 1492 regular addition.

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posted by David at 12:39 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (5) ::

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

IRS To Allow Your Returns To Be Sold

I find this shocking. Another good reason for HR-25, in case you don't know that's the FairTax

The IRS is quietly moving to loosen the once-inviolable privacy of federal income-tax returns. If it succeeds, accountants and other tax-return preparers will be able to sell information from individual returns - or even entire returns - to marketers and data brokers.

The change is raising alarm among consumer and privacy-rights advocates. It was included in a set of proposed rules that the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Dec. 8 Federal Register, where the official notice labeled them "not a significant regulatory action."

IRS officials portray the changes as housecleaning to update outmoded regulations adopted before it began accepting returns electronically. The proposed rules, which would become effective 30 days after a final version is published, would require a tax preparer to obtain written consent before selling tax information.

The rest of the article is in the extended section.

Critics call the changes a dangerous breach in personal and financial privacy. They say the requirement for signed consent would prove meaningless for many taxpayers, especially those hurriedly reviewing stacks of documents before a filing deadline.

"The normal interaction is that the taxpayer just signs what the tax preparer puts in front of them," said Jean Ann Fox of the Consumer Federation of America, one of several groups fighting the changes. "They think, 'This person is a tax professional, and I'm going to rely on them.' "

Criticism also came from U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.). In a letter last Tuesday to IRS Commissioner Mark Everson, Obama warned that once in the hands of third parties, tax information could be resold and handled under even looser rules than the IRS sets, increasing consumers' vulnerability to identity theft and other risks.

"There is no more sensitive information than a taxpayer's return, and the IRS's proposal to allow these returns to be sold to third-party marketers and database brokers is deeply troubling," Obama wrote.

The IRS first announced the proposal in a news release the day before the official notice was published, headlined: "IRS Issues Proposed Regulations to Safeguard Taxpayer Information."

The announcement did not mention potential sales of tax information. It said the proposed rules were guided by the principle "that tax return preparers may not disclose or use tax return information for purposes other than tax return preparation without the knowing, informed and voluntary consent of the taxpayer."

IRS spokesman William M. Cressman defended the proposal in similar terms.

"The heart of this proposed regulation is about the right of taxpayers to control their tax return information. The idea is to emphasize taxpayer consent and set clear boundaries on how tax return preparers can use or disclose tax return information," Cressman said in an e-mail response to questions.

Cressman said he was unable to explain "why this issue has come up at this time other than our effort to update regulations that date back to the 1970s and predate the electronic era."

Not all the changes have drawn opposition.

Beth A. McConnell, director of the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group (PennPIRG), said she welcomed a requirement that a taxpayer would need to consent to overseas processing of any portion of a tax return.

"That's a positive development, but I don't think it's worth giving up our tax returns' privacy for," said McConnell, who plans to testify on behalf of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group at an April 4 IRS hearing in Washington on the rule changes.

McConnell accused the IRS of using the new limit on overseas processing to dress up changes that would chiefly benefit tax preparers, marketers and data brokers.

"That's a disturbing trend among Washington officials lately," McConnell said. "They'll offer a modest consumer protection in one area in exchange for dramatic weakening of consumer protections in another area, and then try to convince the public that it's all in our interests."

Critics of the proposal said it could do more than open up sales of tax information to data brokers and marketers, because it could undermine taxpayer confidence in the entire tax system.

"Privacy protections for tax information are especially critical given the largely voluntary nature of the U.S. tax system," said Chi Chi Wu, a tax-law specialist at Boston's National Consumer Law Center.

Wu and other critics said they were uncertain who or what was behind the proposed changes in IRS privacy rules, which currently prohibit tax preparers from selling returns to third parties for marketing purposes, and require written consent if they want to use it for marketing by companies under their own corporate umbrella.

Officials at H&R Block and Jackson-Hewitt, two of the nation's largest tax-preparation firms, did not respond to requests for comment. Cressman said the IRS had so far received only about a dozen comments on the proposal.

"I think this just flew under the radar screen for so many people," McConnell said.

Although the formal comment period ended March 8, Cressman said late comments "may receive consideration if they are sent to the IRS promptly." Consumer advocates are urging taxpayers who oppose the changes to contact the agency and Washington lawmakers.

Where to Write

It's too late to comment electronically, but the IRS may still consider written comments. Mail them to:

CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-137243-02)

Room 5203

Internal Revenue Service, Box 7604

Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D.C. 20044.


Read the IRS's proposed new rule via:

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posted by David at 9:36 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Memorial for Seeing Eye Dog?


A blind woman is expected to ask the Carrboro Town Council on Tuesday for a memorial to her beloved guide dog.

In October 2005, police say Stephen Coffee hit Aoife Iredale and her dog, Inca, at a bus stop.

Iredale suffered serious leg and head injuries. Inca died in the accident.

Investigators say Coffee was drunk at the time.

Why? Why should Carrboro use taxpayers money for a memorial for a dog? I can understand that Miss Iredale is upset that her dog was killed. I understand that this dog was very special to her and that this type of trained animal is expensive. But I don't see the need for a memerial for this dog. Now if some private individuals and or businesses want to put a memerial that would be great but not for the city.

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posted by David at 9:24 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

NC Lottery Is Legal, Says Judge


A judge ruled Tuesday that the passage of the state lottery law was legal, meaning the games can proceed as planned.

Lottery opponents had argued in court that the state should not be allowed to start selling tickets because the General Assembly illegally pushed through the law creating the game.

Plaintiffs contended that the lottery is a tax because at least 35 cents of every dollar generated by the games are earmarked for education. They said the House and Senate each failed to hold two roll-call votes on separate days for the bill creating the North Carolina Lottery.

The House approved the lottery bill last April in a 61-59 vote. In August, the Senate needed a tie-breaking vote from Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue for the measure to pass 25-24.

But State Superior Court Judge Henry Hight dismissed the lawsuit, saying the lottery is not a tax and was legally approved by the state Legislature.

"A tax is a forced contribution to government which has no necessary immediate relationship to a benefit conferred," Hight wrote in his ruling. No one is forced to play the lottery and the players get an immediate chance to win a prize in return for their purchase, Hight wrote.

Hight also ordered the plaintiffs to pay the state's legal expenses.

The North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law, led by former state Supreme Court judge Robert Orr, represented many of the plaintiffs in the case. Orr said it will be a couple of days before the institute's board of directors can decide whether to appeal the case, but that he was inclined to fight on.

"This is not a single-elimination tournament. There are other games to be played," he said.

The lawsuit was filed in December, 3½ months after the lottery became law and after much of the work to establish the game had started.

More than 4,000 lottery ticket terminals have been installed statewide, 150 lottery workers have been hired and an advertising blitz is scheduled to start within days to herald the first sales of scratch-off tickets on March 30. The multistate Powerball game is slated to begin in North Carolina in late May, with other games debuting this fall.

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posted by David at 9:21 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Patent Madness

I read the other day about RiM settling with NTP to the tune of $612.5 million dollars! What was really shocking was that the patent that NTP was claiming is on it's way of being made invalid. And more shocking was that if the patent is made invalid RIM is still out the cash! That's a bunch of junk. If you are watching you know that eBay is now in a patent fight over it's Buy it now feature (a feature that I use in about 90% of the auctions I bid on). eBay has lost in a lesser court and at the end of the month will go before the Supreme Court.

In this editorial from the MercuryNews.Com it is stated that patent law needs to be changed to protect companies from greedy groups that only want to make money by abusing the current system.

Millions of e-mail addicts cheered the news earlier this month that a long-running patent lawsuit would not, after all, shut down the popular BlackBerry wireless e-mail service. But amid their jubilation, something noteworthy may have been lost: Research in Motion, which makes the BlackBerry, paid an astonishing $612.5 million to settle claims that it infringed on patents which were on their way to being declared invalid.

That's just one symptom of a patent system gone insane. Unless fixed, it'll continue costing technology companies hundreds of millions of dollars to settle questionable claims. It's money that could be better spent delivering innovation, economic value and consumer benefits.

Patent laws were created to give innovators a chance to turn their ideas into money-making enterprises. But in the past two decades, an understaffed and overworked U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted far too many patents. Many are for ideas that are overly broad, vague and often far too obvious to deserve protection. And once granted, patents are extremely hard to invalidate.

That has sparked a cottage industry of firms whose only business is filing patent petitions and enforcing those patents. Armed with newly acquired and frequently questionable patents, they go after firms -- often technology companies -- whose real innovations, they claim, ``infringe'' on their patents.

The patent ``trolls,'' as tech firms like to call them, have gotten a huge assist from the courts, which in most cases automatically grant injunctions to stop patent infringers. That gives patent holders a sort of ``nuclear option'': They can threaten to shut down an entire product line or business service if even a tiny part of it is found to infringe their patent.

What's more, patents that are challenged and are found to be invalid by the patent office remain enforceable until the patent holder exhausts all appeals -- a process that can take years.

The patents at issue in the Research in Motion case, for example, had already been declared invalid by the patent office. Yet the company still faced the threat of a shutdown and chose to pay an exorbitant sum to avoid it. Most firms settle much earlier, and often quietly, rather than face costly litigation and uncertainty.

The U.S. Supreme Court will have a crack at restoring some sanity into this system as early as this summer in a case involving eBay. The online auctioneer is making the case that judges should not automatically grant patent holders injunctions -- and rightly so. Nothing in the law says they must, and a ruling in eBay's favor will go a long way toward leveling the playing field between innovators and patent extortionists.

Completing the job is Congress' task. Lawmakers should consider reforms to improve the quality of patents, make questionable patents easier to challenge and ensure that penalties fit the damage caused by the patent infringement.

The cost of not fixing the system is clear: a hefty and hidden tax on the innovation economy.

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posted by David at 8:12 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Charges Against Lafave Are Dropped

I just can't sit here and think that that is what's best for the victem. She admitted to it so I don't see any need for him to testify. This woman committed a crime and she should have to pay for it. Period! WorldNetDaily

In a case followed nationwide, Florida prosecutors dropped charges against former Tampa teacher Debra Lafave, who admitted having sex with a 14-year-old middle school student.

The boy's mother, along with prosecutors and defense attorneys wanted to avoid public trial for the sake of her son, the Associated Press reported.

The victim has suffered extreme anxiety from the media attention, a psychiatrist previously told Marion County Circuit Judge Hale Stancil.

The decision to drop charges came after the judge rejected a plea deal that would have meant no prison time for Lafave. The judge said the agreement, with no prison time, "shocks the conscience of this court."

I do like the judge in this case and have no fault with him.

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posted by David at 7:53 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Saturday, March 18, 2006

NC Contested Execution Carrried Out

I posted the other day about the conflict between NC law and medical ethics. In the story was mention of Patrick Moody, who was convicted for killing his lover's husband at her request. He was trying to use the agrument that NC's lethal injection might violate his constitutional rights and cause him some pain. This is the track that lawyers are now using with some succes to get thier clients off death roll. But that crap didn't work here in NC like it did in CA. Moody was the 41st inmate executed in NC since the death penality was restored in the late '70s.

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posted by David at 11:51 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Friday, March 17, 2006

Spring Is In the Air

Can't you tell? If not stop by my house. The grill is hot and the sandboxes are open for business. You'll find me getting ready for spring with honeydo and daddydo lists in hand.

First up is my 5 year old's request for a club house. I got started on it late Wednesday afternoon. My first plan was to tear down one of our old tobacco stick barns and use lumber from that to build the club house. But with it being grown up and me unable to get the chainsaw running I had to resort to buying lumber. We decided on a raised fort type club house. So Wednesday I had the 4 posts set in the ground with bracings ready to pour concrete once I got them level. So Thursday, I went out to level everything and it collapsed. My wife laughed at me from inside the house. After I got it framed back up and standing it was level, so I poured some concrete mix and water in each hole and mixed it up. I then left it to set. Later that day after returning home from soccer practice with my 11 year old I drill holes for carriage bolts and attached the plateform frame and then inserted the middle floor joist (I have 2 more to put in). My 5 year old son approves so far telling me that, "it's coming along good when you work on it." That project is on hold till Monday since I have to work 12 hour shifts today through Sunday.

A little project for all 3 kids was to move the swingset from the backyard to the side where I'm building the club house. The wife, 11 year old and me did that one pretty quick and I even got it anchored down for the wife's well being.

Once the club house is finished I have to tear the barn down to get lumber for a chicken coop. For some reason the wife and kids now want us to raise a few laying hens. What they want they shall get.

I serviced the lawn mower Wednesday afternoon while waiting on the wife to pick the kids up from school and make a lumber run. My 5 year informed that the backyard needed to be mowed. In case you haven't noticed he keeps me in line. The backyard is now mowed.

Another request from the wife and 11 year old is to stop the go-cart chain from jumping off. I've adjusted, beat and spaced everything, put that doesn't help the fact that my daughter can find and run through wide open every hole, dip, depression and bump in the yard along our 1/4 mile dirt drive, along the field roads and in the fields while running said go-cart full thottle. She drives a lot like her mother.

My 3 year has only requested to help me work and to play soccer game.

The family has also requested I get us a bigger better RC plane. I'm looking for one on the net.

A big project that I'm dreading is to get the pool in shape. That's one job I can't stand. But I'll do it.

The wife has me hanging sheetrock and molding throughout the house and installing a garden tub in a soon to be re-modeled bathroom.

I have a lot of work to do now but that's okay. I enjoy making my kids happy, and I have to make the wife happy. Once the do lists are finished and before they can think of something to add I hope to get a round or 2 of golf in because daddy has to do for daddy also.

Oh yes, spring is in the air.

This is my submission to The Tarheel Tavern which is being hosted by TechnoDad.

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posted by David at 4:12 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Federal Spending Is Out Of Control

Spend, spend, spend! That seems to be all we get out of washington these days. The Republicans want to borrow and spend and the Democrats want to raise taxes and spend. One side is just as bad as the other the only difference is in when we pay for it.

Washington Times

Congress went on a multibillion-dollar spending spree yesterday as the Senate approved a measure boosting the nation's debt limit by $781 billion and the House approved a $92 billion emergency bill funding war efforts and hurricane recovery.
Senators also voted to add $7 billion for education, health care and job training, and $3.3 billion more for a low-income heating program, to their 2007 budget blueprint. The budget proposal passed the Senate last night on a 51-49 vote, with all but five Republicans voting for it and all but one Democrat voting against.
"I'm proud of tonight's progress and will continue to work with my colleagues to implement sound, pro-growth policies that drive down the deficit and promote an environment that will enable our economy to thrive," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican.

If you want to promote a pro-growth government then you need to look at a smaller more efficent government that doesn't try to regulate everything everyone says or does. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would cringe if they could see what has happened to the USA. The federal government we have today is much more intrusive and tax-happy then the British that they kicked off the continent.

But we can't blame it all on the politicians, people are want free stuff. The problem is that nothing is free and someone at sometime will have to pay for it.
Need healthcare, here's medicaid
Are a senor citizen and need healthcare, here's medicare
Do you also need meds, here's medicare prescription drugs
Lost your job, here's a check
Don't have the education to get a good job, here's a EBT
Want an education, here's a grant
Can't get you house insured from a private company, here's a federal insurance plan
Built your home on an island or delta or some other weak foundation and it got destroyed, here's some money re-build it
Here take it, it's free. Then either the Reps borrow more money or the Dems raise taxes. But don't worry about, it's only fair.

Then we have corporate welfare, bad bad bad. If a business cannot make a profit and stay afloat, so long. Bye bye airlines.

Then we have global welfare, bad bad bad. People in _______ (put a name) are starving so let's send lots of food and money to the dictator or warlord that is ruling that country, he'll look out for the people.

At the rate we're going everyone that works is becoming a slave. We are working for someone else's benefit. If I work for someone else then I uderstand that he makes the lions share off my work. That's fine with me as long as I get my share. But then for the government to take from my share to give to someone else is wrong. At that point the government is makeing me a slave to that person or those people. I work to support my family not yours and not yours and not yours.

[End Rant]

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posted by David at 12:38 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Judge Blocks "Black Eye Law"

The Carolina Journal

A Superior Court judge signed an order yesterday to block a state law that would require 119,000 children across North Carolina to have extensive eye exams before they could start kindergarten next fall.

House Speaker Jim Black, an optometrist, had inserted into the state budget last year the requirement for all kindergartners to have an exam from an optometrist or ophthalmologist before they start school.

But 87 school boards across the state and one parent from Wake County sued over the new law, saying that requiring the exams - which cost $65 to $120 each - violates the state constitution's guarantee of a free public education.

And even the N.C. Attorney General's Office, which is defending the state in the lawsuit, joined in asking Judge Leon Stanback of Wake Superior Court to sign a consent order for a preliminary injunction.

The injunction blocks the state from enforcing the eye-exam requirement until July 2007, and it forbids the lawsuits to proceed until Oct.1.

Both sides seemed to agree that the injunction will give the General Assembly time to reconsider the requirement in the "short" session that begins May 9.

This law has gotten nothing but bad press since it was sneaked into a bill. I've posted about it in the past and have quotes from eye doctors that say that the things Black says these exams will look for is bogas. That these problems don't develop till a few years later. Also the bill makes it illegal for a student to go to school if they haven't had the exam, so much for a free public education. This is a poor piece of legistration that needs to be killed.

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posted by David at 12:11 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ray Gilbert

Ray Gilbert is the Brunswick county board of education member who will be running as a Republican against Dewey Hill in the general election for the NC House District 20 seat. I heard Mr. Gilbert on the Morning Line Tuesday and was very impressed with what I heard. He supports open government, term limits on House seats, fiscal conservatism, changing the NC tax code (he mentioned a flat tax but after Marty asked him he said a FairTax plan would do also), making sure that the law is followed and he is very concerned with the education in NC. I'm going to try and get an interview with Mr. Gilbert for 1492.

It looks like I have found my canidate for the 20th District.

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posted by David at 11:52 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

Monday, March 13, 2006

'N.C. law at odds with medical ethics rules'

Is the headline from The News & Observer

Doctors take an oath to save lives. North Carolina's prison doctors help end them by participating in executions.

Prison officials say doctors attend executions and monitor the vital signs of the condemned while other employees inject a series of lethal drugs. Such participation violates medical ethics guidelines, but no execution doctor has ever gotten in trouble in North Carolina. A state law shields the doctors' identities.

On Friday, North Carolina plans to execute its 41st inmate since a state law in 1977 restored the death penalty. That inmate is Patrick L. Moody of Davidson County.

The ethical codes set out by the American Medical Association and the N.C. Medical Society prohibit doctors from "attending or observing an execution as a physician" and "monitoring vital signs on site or remotely [including monitoring electrocardiograms.]" The state and national medical ethics rules allow doctors only to certify an inmate's death or prescribe drugs to alleviate acute pain or anxiety suffered by the condemned before execution.

As you know from reading this blog I'm a supporter of the death penality. The only things I see wrong with the system is that it's not used enough and that all to often it takes too long for the sentence to be carried out. So what if someone convicted of a heinous crime feels a little pain before he checks out, he didn't worry about the pain he inflicted on his victim.

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posted by David at 11:52 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Mandatory Shutters

Star News

Every new home built in New Hanover and Brunswick counties would come complete with storm shutters – even those not near the beach – under a new state law proposed by state insurance regulators and expected to be sponsored by state Sen. Julia Boseman.


The disagreement over the issue also highlights the politics of building codes in North Carolina. In the latest episode, the state’s elected insurance commissioner has brought the proposal to the legislature after being rebuffed by the N.C. Building Codes Commission and the state’s homebuilders.


Homebuilding interests agree that storm shutters ought to be required for waterfront homes but oppose the idea that the requirement should be extended to the mainland.

“We don’t know of any data showing that a requirement far distant from the ocean is necessary,” said Paul Wilms of the N.C. Homebuilders Association. And, he said, the “economic impact would not be inconsequential.”


According to an N.C. Department of Insurance estimate, plywood sheets needed to cover all the windows of an average home would cost about $360. Metal storm shutters on the same house could cost between $630 and $3,700, depending on the kind used.

A window with impact-resistant glazing costs nearly twice as much as a conventional window. One brand sells for $630, meaning the buyer of a house with 20 windows would pay nearly $12,600 for the tougher windows.

The Building Code Commission, after studying the issue, declined to require shutters on new houses away from the water’s edge.

I wonder if including all of Brunswick county has anything to do with it's rapid growth and huge home building market. The story says that 16 counties will be affected, but I've been unable to obtain a list of counties. Searching the NCDOI website all I found was a press release with less info then the article from the paper.

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posted by David at 10:57 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

Ex-Bush Advisor Arrested For Scamming

Claude Allen's old friends from Raleigh say the man they know is deeply religious, devoted to his family and dedicated to his career.

They say they simply cannot imagine Allen, until last month a top adviser to President Bush, scamming department stores for paltry sums of cash.

Maryland authorities charged Allen, 45, last week with swindling Target and Hecht's stores out of more than $5,000. They say that on at least 25 occasions in the past five months, he tried to fraudulently return items to the stores. His returns included a home theater system, clothes, a printer and items worth as little as $2.50, police said.

"Everybody that's ever known him has never known him to do anything wrong, period," said Bill Cobey, a former North Carolina congressman who gave Allen his start in politics. "If this happened, it's got to be something a lot deeper."


Police say now that on Jan. 2, Allen was issued a citation for theft after Target employees found him returning items that he hadn't purchased.

Since then, Montgomery County police say they found that Allen routinely purchased items, took them to his car, then returned to the store with the receipt. He would take the same item off the shelf and return it for a refund, police say.

Dude has some problems.

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posted by David at 10:38 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Update: Manuel Bartsch

This is an update on Manuel Bartsch whom I posted about on Friday, January 06, 2006. He is the german teenager that thought he was an American citizen. After failing to find his paperwork at home he made an appointment with the immigration department only to be arrested for being in the US illegally. A family member had failed to file all his paperwork years earlier causing the trouble.

Here is a kid that thought he was legal was going to school and according to his neighbors was a productive member of the town where he was living, thrown into jail for weeks and threatened with deportation while we have illegals everyday coming into the US illegally with no intention of doing what's right. This story puts a huge glaring spotlight on the double standards of US immigration.

Here is an update from Conservative Culture

After he was released so he could attend the last months of his Senior year, help for this young man seems to coming his way.
A resolution was sent to Congress on behalf of Manuel Bartsch. Immigration authorities want to deport the Ohio high school student because of a paperwork mix-up.

He was arrested when his American grandfather and custodian left for Germany and left Bartsch to finish high school. Bartsch has been here 9 years (came as a 4th grader) and sought help because he needed paperwork. Instead of help they arrested him. Local mayors and city mangers are behind this young man. In fact law officials were a little upset that they can’t get help with jailed illegals they want deported and here they nail a young kid looking for help.

Needless to say someone interceded on his behalf and if all goes well he will be able to stay if he chooses. Currently, if he leaves now he will be unable to return for 3 years. We will be watching for more updates.

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posted by David at 10:21 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Update: William Dathan Holbert

This is an update on William Dathan Holbert. He has been one of my biggest draws the past couple of weeks with a lot of Google traffic coming my way. I first reported on him Wednesday, February 22, 2006. Since then he has done some moving around the country and has appeared on America's Most Wanted.

Friday the Star News posted this:

In some circles, he’s known as an avid weight lifter and a gym owner. In others, he’s known as someone who wants to end the oppression of white Southerners.

To police, he’s known as the man who sold an Oak Island house he didn’t own.

Tonight, the nation will learn he is one of the country’s most-wanted fugitives.

The TV show America’s Most Wanted will air a 15-second segment on William Dathan Holbert, 364 Moriah Church Road, Casar. The 26-year-old man is wanted in connection with selling an Oak Island house that did not belong to him for $200,000 .

Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for forging a deed and obtaining property under a false pretense with a value of more than $100,000, Wilmington police detective Paul Verzaal has said. Both are felonies.

Holbert, who uses different aliases, is believed to be traveling around the country with his girlfriend, authorities said.

That’s why the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force in Wilmington decided to turn to the media for help.

“We have a lot of different tools at our disposal to try to catch somebody,” said Dan Wertheimer, deputy U.S. marshal in charge of the Wilmington task force. “In this particular instance, we just need the media.”

It all started with a house – now gutted – that belonged to 75-year-old Joan Herron, who lives in Denver, N.C.

Unbeknownst to her, her house at 1004 W. Dolphin Drive was sold to an investor for more than $200,000 in October.

In the process, Herron, who is widowed, lost all the belongings she and her husband used to store in their summer home, police said.

Meanwhile, police believe Holbert deposited the money from the sale into a bank account.

When he began withdrawing large sums of cash – just less than the $10,000 that would have to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service – the bank contacted police.

Wilmington police became involved in the case because the home sale closing occurred here.

When police began to retrace Holbert’s steps, they discovered he obtained a false North Carolina driver’s license with the name Luke Gregory Kuhn, which he used to open a bank account, police have said. They also believe he forged the deed on the house.

Holbert indicated to the investor that he was a doctor who needed to sell the home that belonged to his godparents because he needed to leave town and go to Alaska, according to the task force.

In addition to buying the home, the investor spent $40,000 to remodel it. The $200,000 he spent to buy the house was covered by title insurance, police have said.

Holbert used the money from the sale of the house to buy a home in Kentucky, vacation in Ireland and travel the southwestern part of the country before returning to Kentucky, according to the task force.

One of the most recent sightings of the couple was in Wyoming, where they fled from authorities in a high-speed pursuit, according to the task force.

Wertheimer, who said he has a good relationship with the producers of America’s Most Wanted, is hopeful the spot will yield tips that will lead to Holbert’s and his girlfriend’s arrests.

“What he did in our area might not seem that big,” Wertheimer said. “But if you put all these things together … .”

The show airs at 9 tonight on Fox.

In the extended section is a list of accusations against William, that can be found at the same link.

April 2005: William Holbert and his girlfriend, both avid weight lifters, opened a business called Southern National Patriots in Forest City that promoted white separatist views. Holbert held meetings in his store, sharing his views on the destruction of Southern white culture. He said he wanted to end the oppression of white Southerners.

Summer 2005: Holbert came to the Wilmington area during the summer and began a scam to sell a house on Oak Island. He used a fake name – Luke Gregory Kuhn – to get a North Carolina driver’s license.

Aug. 12, 2005: Holbert used the name Kuhn to steal a Ford truck. He changed the vehicle
identification number and sold it in Pondera County, Mont. Warrants for his arrest were issued Sept. 9 for felony deceptive practices.

Oct. 4, 2005: Holbert sold the Oak Island home for more than $200,000.

Oct. 31, 2005: Holbert started using a new alias of Donald Lee Bruckart and obtained a false Kentucky driver’s license. His girlfriend, Laura Michelle Reese, began using the alias Laura Bruckart. Holbert and his girlfriend bought a house in Louisa, Ky., with the $200,000.

December 2005: Holbert and Reese traveled to Ireland, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and back to Kentucky.

January 2006: The couple planned to open a gym called Big Sandy Fitness.

Jan. 20, 2006: The Wilmington Police Department issued a warrant for Holbert’s arrest for obtaining property by false pretense over $100,000. The U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force in Wilmington got the case.

Feb. 3 or 4, 2006: Holbert and Reese leave Louisa, Ky., telling neighbors a family member died and they will be gone for an unknown amount of time.

Feb. 5, 2006: Holbert and Reese are stopped for speeding by a highway patrol officer in Sheridan County, Wyo. They tell the officer they’re heading to Seattle, Wash., and Holbert shows his Kentucky license. When the officer runs his alias in the system, it shows that he’s wanted in North Carolina and Montana. While the officer is trying to arrest Holbert, he escapes and a high-speed chase begins. Holbert loses the officer and dumps the wrecked vehicle in a field.

Feb. 7, 2006: Authorities suspect that Holbert and Reese stole a 14-foot U-Haul truck from Bismarck, N.D.

March 6, 2006: Police find the U-Haul truck abandoned in North Palm Beach, Fla.

Source: The U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force in Wilmington

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posted by David at 10:13 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (120) ::

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Milosevic Died of Heart Attack

According to Bangkok Post, an autopsy shows that ex-Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic died in his jail cell of a massive heart attack. Milosevic was in UN custody while he was on trail for war crimes.

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posted by David at 11:35 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (1) ::

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Because I Can!

That's the topic of this weeks Tar Heel Tavern. And as I sit here and ponder this pharse a few thoughts come to mind.
I work because I can.
I play because I can.
I read because I can.
I hack because I can.
I love because I can.
I blog because I can.
It seems to me that everything I do I do because I can. I may not do it very well but do it I do. I'm not one to sit on my butt and do nothing, although I could, I instead choose to do something because I can. I now wonder why I can do these things. Is it because I'm special? No, everyone is special in some odd way but that doesn't mean they can do what I do. I do the things I do because they make me happy, they complete my life and fill it with joy. Although my skin is white and I'm male, I'm a minority. I'm an individual, one of a kind. I'm me and I do everything because I can. Take this blog for instance, it may not be very good but it brings me joy and I do it because I can. What can you do?

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posted by David at 11:50 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Tax Foundation Ranks NC 37th...

in a list of states with a business-friendly tax code. Check it out here.

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posted by David at 8:31 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

The Tax Foundation: Wal-Mart Tax

The Tax Foundation has released a report on the possible outcome of Maryland's Wal-Mart Tax.

Maryland’s Wal-Mart tax violates the principle of tax neutrality. According to that principle, tax laws should apply broadly throughout the economy, with no intention of manipulating the behavior of firms but merely of raising revenue for necessary government functions. The Wal-Mart tax is the antithesis of such a principled tax. By manipulating the language of the statute in arbitrary ways, the legislature cynically targeted the law so narrowly that only one firm will be hit by the tax.

By setting an arbitrary standard for health care expenses, the tax will lead to lower wages for Wal-Mart employees in Maryland and/or higher prices for consumers or lower dividends for shareholders. By applying only to corporations with more than 10,000 employees, the tax will distort Wal-Mart’s investment in capital versus labor and depress hiring and wages in the short and long term. Finally, by mandating that Wal-Mart provide a certain level of benefits for its employees, the tax might run afoul of federal law on state regulation of benefits.


Maryland ’s Fair Share Health Care Fund Act will not have much impact on Maryland ’s business tax climate in the short term. However, if it is expanded to other companies, it will be an additional impediment to Maryland ’s ability to attract jobs and investment in the long term. Maryland already has the 17 th highest state and local tax burden in the nation. The additional burden of the Wal-Mart tax will only worsen the state’s current situation, and will do nothing to help the workers it is intended to help.

If lawmakers in other states want to support their working families, they will steer clear of the Wal-Mart tax.

It's a rather long and in depth article that is worth checking out. They did a good job researching their material for the piece. A lot of what is stated is what I agrued a week ago on another blog on the subject, so it's nice to have a bit of backing.

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posted by David at 8:18 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

Friday, March 10, 2006

More Campaign Finance Abuse

Rep. Howard Hunter may also be in trouble for failing to disclose funds. News Observer

The board said it will seek a civil penalty against Rep. Howard Hunter, a Hertford County Democrat, for failing to report campaign donations in the past two election cycles. Hunter had told the board in letters that he would not raise more than $3,000 in either cycle, which would have allowed him to not file a campaign report. But an audit of his bank records showed that he received and spent more than $3,000 in both cycles.

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posted by David at 10:33 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

NC Jobless Rate Falls To 4.3%

That's a 5 year low according to News Observer

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posted by David at 10:30 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

Brunswick County Will Not Honor DNR Orders

Listening to the Morning Line yesterday (if I'm not mistaken) they where talking about how the Brunswick County school board here in NC has put forth policy that they will not honor a DNR from a family, doctor or lawyer in regard to a terminally ill child.

As I was posting this I found an article on the subject at News 14 Carolina.

Citing its duty to protect the health and safety of all students, school officials in Brunswick County are poised to adopt a policy that rejects parents' resuscitation orders for their terminally ill children.

The policy given initial approval this week by the local school board states that the district will neither accept nor honor do-not-resuscitate orders nor withhold emergency care.

In cases of life-threatening emergency, it says school officials will use emergency medical services as warranted.

The policy follows a directive from the state Department of Public Instruction that stems from a state law adopted in 2001. That legislation, sponsored by Sen. William Purcell, D-Scotland, provides immunity to doctors, nurses and other caregivers who honor do-not-resuscitate orders.

The state education department last year asked school districts to develop policies that address the treatment of terminally ill students in school, though the request did not specify what that policy must be.

All school systems have until July 1 to develop a policy.

This is pretty much what was said by Dick Lee on the show. That this is a response by that 2001 law and that all school systems in NC will have to come up with a policy by July. What I don't get is why. The law protects doctors, nurses and caregivers that honer the DNR order. It seems to me that while at school the school is the caregiver and is protected by this law. I don't see how not honoring a DNR is the right outcome. As a parent of 3, I can't imagine how hard it would be to sign a DNR for one of my kids. Just signing that paper seems to be a tramatic event. I just don't see what right a school board has in not honoring that.

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posted by David at 9:56 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

Port Deal Is Off

Dubai Ports World will not be handling the day to day operations of some US ports. I haven't read all the details yet so I can't report to much. But I'ld like to say that I believe the issue got blown up a bit much. I was against the deal from the first I heard of it, because I didn't feel that enough info had been released and that it was kept a sort of secret deal by the Administration. I left myself open to the possibility that I may end up liking the deal but due to my sickness I've not followed it for the last week. I still don't know if enough info was released to have changed my mind or not.

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posted by David at 9:50 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (0) ::

'people marched for lawlessness in Chicago', says Rosanna Pulido of the Minuteman Project


Tens of thousands of immigrants from all over the Chicago area, many carrying U.S. flags, marched into downtown Chicago on Friday in a show of support for immigrant rights.

Shouts of "Si se puede" (Yes, it can be done) could be heard throughout city streets as the mostly Latino marchers descended upon the plaza across from the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, where they listened to speeches voicing support for pro-immigrant legislation and opposition to a measure that would toughen penalties for illegal immigrants.

"Raise those American flags!" shouted U.S. Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. "This is our country, and this is where we will stay."

The rally came as the U.S. Senate struggles with a bill to stiffen border enforcement and a new report estimates the illegal immigrant population has grown from about 8.4 million in 2000 to nearly 12 million.

The peaceful marchers stood shoulder-to-shoulder at the plaza and its surrounding streets. Some carried signs that read "Keep our Families Together," "No human being is illegal" and "Do not criminalize the American dream."

One group of demonstrators stood on a stack of Spanish-language newspapers to try and get a better view of politicians and others who came to speak, while others perched themselves atop the railings that mark the street's two subway entrances. Office workers watched the rally from the windows of nearby skyscrapers.

Abigail Marquez, 35, said she came to the rally with her husband and teenage son to express her support for Latino issues.

Marquez, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, said she did not expect so many people to participate in the march, organized by dozens of activist groups.

"I had no idea. There are just so many people here," she said in Spanish. "I feel very happy because it shows that we are all united."

From a platform, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich addressed the massive crowd in Spanish, telling them that he is the son of immigrant parents and understands the issues that are important to them.

His proclamation that "Ustedes no son criminales. Ustedes son trabajadores" (You are not criminals. You are workers) elicited loud cheers.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush fired up the crowd with his chants of "Power to the People," while U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin offered a history lesson.

"We should not forget that when the Irish came to Chicago they were hated," Durbin said.

Mayor Richard Daley told the crowd that "everyone in America is an immigrant."

Hours later, marchers still thronged streets in the city's downtown business district, clogging streets and preventing vehicle traffic from moving. Police said traffic had returned to near-normal levels by early evening.

Abel Nunez, associate director of a social service agency that was one of the many organizations spearheading the event, said the goal was "to demonstrate to people that immigrants are here and we contribute to this country."

"We're not here to make this country less safe, we're here to strengthen it," he added.

The Illinois Minuteman Project, which is affiliated with a national volunteer civilian border patrol group that aims to stem illegal immigration, held a news conference before the march began to speak out against it.

Rosanna Pulido, the group's state director, said she doesn't want to see Chicago become "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants.

"There are 14 million underemployed Americans. Don't they have the right to have a better life and support their families? Let's give them an opportunity because this is their country," she said.

The march began at noon at a park several miles west of the downtown Loop business district. Police estimated that more than 100,000 people marched into downtown, shutting down traffic in the Loop and many surrounding streets.

Students and housewives pushing strollers marched side-by-side with construction workers, mechanics and senior citizens. Some marchers called out the names of their neighborhoods or suburbs; communities across northern Illinois were represented.

One worker said he hadn't seen that many people in the Loop since a ticker-tape parade was held for the Chicago White Sox after they won the 2005 World Series.

"In terms of a protest, I've never seen anything this big. I'm impressed by the magnitude," of the crowd, said Tom Bonk.

But one person who wasn't impressed was Pulido, who said the demonstrators essentially were promoting illegal immigration.

"What it means is that 75,000 people marched for lawlessness in Chicago," she said.

According to AlertNet

The target of the protest was legislation sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year and is being considered in the U.S. Senate along with competing proposals.

His bill would make it illegal to assist an undocumented immigrant, something that priests, ministers and other social workers have said would turn those who routinely help immigrants into criminals.

Critics have said the legislation would stiffen punishments for millions of illegal immigrants currently in the country without creating a way to set them on a path to citizenship.
So what. They are breaking the law now. If you aid someone in breaking the law then you are an accomplice. Right? Right. I have no problem with legal immigration but illegal immigration is a different animal. Illegal immigration is putting a strain on communities and states. I've read of several hospitals that have closed because they went bankrupt treating illegals without being repaid and here in NC we have trouble with medical bills for illegals and with illegals breaking more laws once here. The law is the law period.

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posted by David at 9:17 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (5) ::

Register Your Knife

I saw this post by Rob at

From the text of some legislation currently making its way through the Massachusetts legislature:
For purposes of this section, “machete” means “a heavy knife at least 18 inches in length and having a blade at least 1.5 inches wide at its broadest measurement. This subsection shall not apply to carrying a machete on one’s person or in a vehicle if the machete is carried for the purpose of cutting vegetation or if the machete is being transported for the purpose of cutting vegetation. In a prosecution of a violation of this subsection, there shall be a permissible inference that such carrying of a machete is not for the purposes of cutting vegetation. Such presumption may be rebutted.

Any individual who requires a machete for the purposes of cutting vegetation shall register the machete with the local police department on an annual basis and, upon payment of an appropriate annual registration fee as determined by the local granting authority, shall be issued a permit authorizing him to possess the machete solely for the purposes of cutting vegetation.

Next up: Permits for things like forks, razor blades and highly-sharpened pencils.

That scares me to no end. I have a machete along with several other rather long knives including a 48" claymore sword. I wonder what the registration would be for that thing. Let's hope this doesn't pass for the people of Massachusetts and that no local legislator is watching it with thoughts of imitating this thing on his mind.

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posted by David at 8:45 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Elon University Poll Results


North Carolinians are unsure whether House Speaker Jim Black, whose campaign is under investigation for potentially accepting illegal contributions, should stay in office or resign, according to a survey released Tuesday.

The Elon University Poll also showed that North Carolina residents support changing state laws on the gasoline tax and the minimum wage.

The poll found that while many people little or no confidence in Black, respondents were divided over whether he should resign or stay in office. About one-third said they didn't know what he should do.

The State Board of Elections is investigation the campaign of Black, D-Mecklenburg, for potentially accepting illegal contributions from his fellow optometrists and from corporations. His office also has provided thousands of pages in documents to a federal grand jury investigating, among other things, the video poker and lottery industries.

"Clearly, Mr. Black is walking a fine-line with citizens at this point," poll director Hunter Bacot said in a news release. "Most appear equally divided, or at least equally confused about the ordeal, such that no one seems real sure about what they want him to do."

The poll of 321 North Carolina residents conducted Feb. 20-23 and Feb. 26-March 2 has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5.58 percentage points.

When asked how much confidence they have in Black, more than 28 percent said they had "some confidence," nearly 20 percent said "not much confidence" and 18 percent said "no confidence at all."

Thirty percent of those surveyed said Black should resign from office, 25 percent said he should remain in office while 35 percent said they didn't know.

The poll found that 60 percent of those surveyed wanted the General Assembly to change the law that permits the gasoline tax to rise and fall automatically every six months. Seventeen percent said they wanted to keep the law as is. The gasoline rose from 27.1 cents per gallon to 29.9 cents on Jan. 1. The tax is recalculated twice annually based on the average wholesale cost of fuel.

Nearly 79 percent of those polled agreed or strongly agreed that the minimum wage in North Carolina should be raised. Of this group, 45 percent wanted raised from $5.15 per hour to more than $6.50, while another 25 percent picked $6.50. Legislation pending in the General Assembly would raise the minimum to $6.

"The most eye opening view is the unequivocal support for an increase in the minimum wage," Bacot said.

I wasn't polled but if I was here are some of my answers.
Confidence in Black - No! That's a no-brainer
Should Black Resign - Yes! and if he doesn't he should be voted out
Change the gas tax - Yes! Another no-brainer
Raise minimum wage - No! We should do away with minimum wage

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posted by David at 8:35 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::