Friday, June 23, 2006

Sarandon Wants Schools Not A Wall


Susan Sarandon, outspoken actress and liberal political activist, thinks the United States should help build schools in Mexico -- not walls along the border.

Why? Why should my government take my tax money and build a school in Mexico, when it was a struggle to get my kid's school rebuilt after it burned (a school my great-grandfather helped to build)? If I want to help build a school in Mexico then it is for me to send the money or put it where it can help.

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posted by David at 11:42 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (6) ::

NCSU Provost Wants State Money To Pay Illegals Tuition


A top academic at North Carolina State University on Thursday told a conference on higher education that educators should do everything possible to change state law and give in-state college tuition to children of illegal immigrants.

"We should, I think, be helping achieve their goals and be educated citizens who can contribute to the economy of North Carolina," said Provost Larry Neilsen.

Last year, a plan that would give in-state tuition did not get anywhere in the General Assembly, but Nielsen said the effort needs to be revived.

An opponent of the bill suggests demonstrators should have lined up outside Nielsen's office door after his comments.

Since the bill failed last year, it can't be introduced again in the General Assembly until 2007.

This bill had a lot of people up in arms last year. It was a very heated topic around the water cooler at work and on the morning talk radio. I say let Mr. Neilsen know how you feel about this subject. You can contact him here:

The Office of the Provost is located in Room 109, Holladay Hall, on the North Campus near the Memorial Belltower.

Office of the Provost
Campus Box 7101
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695

Phone: 919-515-2195
Fax: 919-515-5921

You may send any comments and questions to:

BTW, that is information available at NCSU's website.

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posted by David at 11:36 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

'Homegrown Terrorists' Busted Yesterday


The seven men arrested in connection with an alleged plot to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower and a federal building in Miami have been charged with conspiring to work with al-Qaida under the terrorist group's control.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Friday that the men were part of a group of "homegrown terrorists" who sought to work with al-Qaida but ended up consorting instead with a law enforcement informant.

"They were persons who for whatever reason came to view their home country as the enemy," Gonzales said at a news conference Friday at the Justice Department.

The seven men seized in a Miami warehouse were described by law enforcement officials as "radical muslims" and are charged in a federal indictment with conspiring with al-Qaida to commit acts of violence in the United States.

The seven individuals indicted by a federal grand jury were taken into custody Thursday when authorities swarmed the warehouse in the Liberty City area. The indictment also alleges plans to blow up a federal building in Miami in conjunction with the al-Qaida terrorist network.

The men were arrested when agents swarmed into a warehouse in Miami's Liberty City on Thursday, using a torch to take off a metal door.

People who live in the area said the group was running an operation similar to a military boot camp. One woman added that a member told her that "they had given their lives to Allah." Tashawn Rose said the men "seemed brainwashed" and she said they seemed to be running a "military camp boot camp."

Residents living near the warehouse said the men taken into custody described themselves as Muslims and had tried to recruit young people to join their group.

A federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday that the alleged plotters were mainly Americans with no apparent ties to al-Qaida or other foreign terrorist organizations.

FBI agents investigating terrorism-related activities conducted a number of raids Thursday, federal officials said.

Though the FBI said the suspects were part of a terror plot, a man who said he's with the group told CNN that they are "peaceful" and study the Bible.

The man who called himself Brother Corey said the "Seas of David" do have "soldiers" in Chicago but it's not a terrorist organization.

FBI Director Robert Mueller, in an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" refused to give many details about the investigation because "it's an ongoing operation." Mueller did say that he expects the "arrests and searches" to be wrapped up by Friday. More details about the probe are expected to be released then.

An FBI spokesman in Washington said there is no threat to the public in connection with the arrests.

Meanwhile, a reporter from affiliate station WMAQ in Chicago said that sources told him privately that city authorities knew about the Sears Tower plot on Wednesday. He also reported that sources said they have been informed that at least one of the suspects is from Chicago's southeast side.

The group had been infiltrated by the FBI, and thus it's not considered likely at all that an attack could have been carried out. However, the takedown of the group had to be moved up because of internal dissension, even possible violence, between members, WMAQ reported.

The Sears Tower may seem like a vulnerable target, but WMAQ reported that the building consists of nine column-free tubes, bound together to form a veritable fortress. Any attack would almost certainly have to be carried out from very close by, and following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the building was equipped with sophisticated detectors, capable of sniffing out chemicals such as the ammonium nitrate that was supposedly going to be used in the attack.

The main question is not whether this attack was likely to have succeeded, but exactly why it was planned and who the suspects are.

Nearby Residents Say Alleged Terrorists Seemed 'Brainwashed'

Some residents who live near a Miami warehouse raided by the FBI said the people arrested in an alleged terror plot acted odd.

The warehouse is the impoverished Liberty City area. Those who live nearby said FBI agents spent several hours in the neighborhood showing photos of the suspects and seeking information.

The men are said to be in their teens or 20s and had lived in the area for about a year.

Another man said the men sometimes had children with them. And a member of a nearby church said the men were very private and would come to the church often to ask for water.

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posted by David at 11:30 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Hugo Neu Still Moving On With Project


Hugo Neu is planning to build a recycling center and landfill in Brunswick County. Even with the bill to block the project stalled in the State House, opponents are vowing to fight on. Neither side is ready to claim complete victory yet.

Opponents say they may, still, be able to force a vote on the bill.

At first I was for the the Hugo Neu center, most anything that brings jobs to the area is something I support, but after hearing what locals thought about it and then seeing that Hugo Neu recycling center in Califoriania burn it's not so attractive anymore.

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posted by David at 11:25 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Cup

So far the US hasn't done to well with a current record of 0-1-1. The US club members are scoreless in first round play with the an Italian player scoring the lone US goal off his leg (Thanks dude). Today at 7am on ESPN you can watch the US's final game in the first round as they take on Ghana, which has promised to make the US team suffer. If the US wins they will move on to the second round.

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posted by David at 4:43 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Committee Votes To Let DHS Check On New State Employees

The Department of Homeland Security would verify the legal residency status of all new North Carolina state employees under a bill unanimously approved Tuesday by a House panel.

New state employees already submit self-identification forms to the state. But Rep. George Cleveland called that process an inadequate "farce."

"We have a humongous illegal alien problem in this country and state, and nobody's doing anything about it," said Cleveland, the bill's primary sponsor.

DHS has expanded its free, Web-based service across the country, although only a few states have capitalized on the project. Most have simply encouraged businesses to use the program to verify the legal status of workers.

A number of states have considered mandating verification processes. In April, Georgia passed a law that requires all public employers to use the identification program, which compares the information provided by the prospective employee with a database of information from the Social Security Administration and DHS.

North Carolina's measure, which covers all employees including those in the state's public university and community college systems, spends $50,000 to help agencies use the electronic program. Rep. Linda Coleman, D-Wake, questioned whether that was enough money.

"You're putting the burden on state agencies. It's not their responsibility," Coleman said. "It's the federal government's responsibility."

The program, still in testing stages, is scheduled to expire in November 2008.

Sounds ok to me. And I disagree with Rep. Coleman, I believe that it is the responsibility of the employer to verify rather or not an applicant is qualified for the job and that includes legal residence in the US.

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posted by David at 7:52 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Carolina Hurricanes Win Their First Stanley Cup

I'm not a hockey fan but this is cool non the less.

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posted by David at 3:48 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

I'm Back

Actually I've been back home a few days now, I've just not had a chance to get back into the swing here at 1492. The family and I had a great vacation. Now I'm back at work for 4 days and then I get 7 days off. Not bad.

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posted by David at 3:40 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I've been on vacation since Monday and will be untill a week from next Monday. This means that my blogging will be few and far between.

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posted by David at 10:43 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Zarqawi Killed In Airstrike!!!

Yes! Good shooting boys.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader who led a brutal insurgency that included homicide bombings, kidnappings and beheadings, was killed in an airstrike on a building north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials announced Thursday.

I was eating lunch at Ivy's Cafe when I saw this on CNN.

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posted by David at 10:35 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

Monday, June 05, 2006

My Two Cents: The Upcoming Gay Marriage Ban

First off I'm against the gay lifestyle. I don't like and I think is wrong and un-natural.

Now having said that I'm against a constitutional ban on this subject. I do not think it is the place of the legistlature branch to tell people how to live. They are many more important items that they and Bush should be working on. Such as, taxes, education, the war, ethics in the L branch. This is a smoke screen tactic that is a useless waste my tax money that pays my Senators salary. If we allow this ban to go through what will be banned next? Fast food, smoking, suvs, hunting, sky diving,... When this subject is past there will be another hot topic for politicians to use to daze the masses. This week the gays are targeted next week it may be you. I don't like gay marriage but at the same time who am I and who is Bush to tell someone else how to live thier life? Freedom is why I'm against this amendment.

Note: My Church sent letters and made phone calls to our Senator's staff on behalf of supporting this ban. My wife supports it. I don't.

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posted by David at 10:09 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (3) ::

Saturday, June 03, 2006

HUD Wants To Use Historic Fort To House Homeless


For nearly 260 years Fort Johnston has been in Southport. But a recent decision by the US government could change the fort into housing for the homeless. A group of concerned citizens is fighting to keep that from happening.

"The garrison house is the last structure remaining from the original Fort Johnston, built in 1748, the oldest military installation in North Carolina, one of the oldest in the country."

Sitting at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, Fort Johnston has withstood every major war, served in every war.

In a letter written in late March, the Department of Housing and Urban Development declared the six acres suitable for homeless housing. Jack Fryar and the newly formed Friends of Fort Johnston don't want that to happen.

Mr. Fryar said, "We want to ensure that it's preserved for posterity. Not just for people now, but for future North Carolinians who come down the pike who are interested in their heritage."

Fryar says HUD must not know the history that exists there; a history that predates the revolutionary war, that begins before the nation was a nation, before North Carolina became North Carolina.

"It would be akin to putting homeless dormitories at Guilford Courthouse or a tent city at Bentonville Battleground. All of these properties, I guess, could be used to house the homeless, but it's certainly not an appropriate use of a place that has such history behind it," Mr. Fryar said.

The group is calling Congress members and state legislators in an effort to get the state's historic sites division or the federal government's Depart of Interior to take over the land and turn it into an official historic site and museum.

"We think they would be the best stewards of this property and that's where we'd like to see it go," Mr. Fryar said.

As of now HUD has no official plans to actually turn Fort Johnston into housing for the homeless. The Friends of Fort Johnston group wants to prevent it from getting that far. They have a petition and would like more involvement from citizens across our area.

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posted by David at 10:30 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (4) ::

Easley Has Ethics Complaint Filed Agaist Him


A community group has accused Gov. Mike Easley in an ethics complaint of giving favorable treatment in a marina lease deal to a pair of developers with business ties to one of his campaign donors.

Perry Newson, executive director of the State Board of Ethics, said Friday that the board will consider the complaint at its meeting Wednesday. He declined additional comment.

Through a spokeswoman, Easley denied the allegations.

Members of a community group in Southport, Easley's hometown, asked the State Board of Ethics in a March 30 letter to review Easley's role in allowing the private investors to take control of the deteriorating state-owned Southport Marina. Members of the Committee to Save Southport Marina had wanted the state to sell the marina to the town.

"We felt like the governor was showing some favoritism toward these people," said Bill Duke, one of the community members who mailed the complaint. "We feel like he's been playing political football with it and he's doing some payback with our marina."

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posted by David at 10:25 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (2) ::

ACLU Sues Indianapolis In Behalf of 6 Sex Offenders

Six sexual offenders, including convicted child molesters and rapists, sued the city Wednesday to block a new ordinance that bans them from coming within 1,000 feet of parks, pools, playgrounds and other sites when children are present.

The six, including a college student who has joint custody of his 7-year-old son and has completed probation for child exploitation, are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which filed the complaint seeking class-action status in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.

The six allege the new ordinance is unconstitutionally vague, violates their rights to vote and attend church, and prevents them from freely traveling on streets and highways that may pass within 1,000 feet of the affected sites. They are seeking temporary and permanent injunctions barring the city from enforcing the new law.

"It is virtually impossible to travel through the streets and interstate highways in Marion County without passing within 1,000 feet of a playground open to the public, recreation center, bathing beach, swimming pool or wading pool, sports field or facility," the complaint said. "Moreover, there is no way for a person to know if he or she is passing within 1,000 feet."

The ordinance cleared the City-County Council by a 25-2 vote on May 15 and took effect immediately. It carries fines of up to $2,500 for violations.

It sounds like a good plan to me. If you are a predator to children then you should stay away from them and the places they frequent. The suit is worthless in my opinion. If the offender is riding in a car to the local Wal Mart and passes a school so what, but if he is parked across the street from a school then the law should come into effect.

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posted by David at 10:20 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (42) ::

That Sucks

MSN Money

Taxpayers who gripe about long returns have nothing on G-E, which filed a 24-thousand-page tax return this month.

The Internal Revenue Service says the company "stepped up and embraced" the new requirement for companies with over 50 (m) million dollars in assets to file electronicllay.

If G-E had sent paper forms, the return would have stacked up eight feet high. Instead, it took up 237 megabytes.

Think about how much money could be saved by going to the Fair Tax plan.

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posted by David at 8:54 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (7) ::

Border Patrol Using Racial Profiling

Well duh. How many pale skinned, blonde headed, blue eyed people have you heard crossing the border from Mexico into the US?MercuryNews

A civil rights lawyer on Wednesday demanded authorities investigate a roundup of hundreds of undocumented immigrants in what he called a desert dragnet based on racial profiling.

In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, attorney Luis Carrillo claimed U.S. Border Patrol agents only pulled over people with brown skin in the five-day operation known as "Operation Desert Denial."

More than 600 undocumented immigrants were detained from May 19 to May 24 along Interstate 40 near Barstow.

No light-skinned people were detained, Carrillo said.

"They gave people with blue eyes and light skin a free pass," he said.

600 illegals rounded up, sounds like a good job to me.

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posted by David at 8:52 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (8) ::

Petition To Get Rid of Short Sentence Judge


A petition drive is calling for the resignation of the judge who sentenced a sex offender to probation instead of prison in part because of his short stature.

This needs to be done. We are seeing to many judges of late be too lenient on viotlent crimes.

"So, I'm sitting here thinking this guy has earned his way to prison but then I look at you and I look at your physical size. I look at your basic ability to cope with people and, quite frankly, I shake to think what might happen to you in prison, because I don't think you'll do well in prison."

So what if he is short? He wasn't too short to commit these crimes against a child. Once again justice is not served.

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posted by David at 8:14 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (8) ::

DOJ vs. 4th Amendment


Top law enforcement officials have asked leading Internet companies to keep histories of the activities of Web users for up to two years to assist in criminal investigations of child pornography and terrorism, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller outlined their request to executives from Google, Microsoft, AOL, Comcast, Verizon and others Friday in a private meeting at the Justice Department. The department has scheduled more discussions as early as Friday. Last week's meeting was first reported by CNET, an online news service.

The meetings reflect a new approach by law enforcement in anti-terrorism efforts. Previously, the Justice Department had invoked the need for data retention only to battle child pornography. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Internet traffic has become increasingly critical to terrorism investigations, too.

I don't agree with this one. Forcing these companies to keep these records will create a huge expense. Also and most importantly this may violate the fourth amendment. This is an intrusion into my private affairs. Also the longer these records are kept the more likely that they will be comprisized by un-ethical individuals and or organizations. I understand that we are at war with terriorist but at the same time that doesn't mean I want to live in a police state. I didn't have a problem with the phone records but this is stretching the line a bit to thin and is putting our private lives at risk.

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posted by David at 7:32 PM :: Permalink :: Comments (6) ::



A man who stuffed a dead mouse into his Taco Bell burrito in a botched extortion attempt was sentenced Friday to 16 to 30 months in prison.

It was the Speedy Gonzales Special.

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posted by David at 4:06 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (10) ::

Friday, June 02, 2006

No Gambling In NC

That is unless it is ran by the state and is for the children (sad face).

After debating for the last couple of weeks our House has decided to ban all video poker machines in the state. The bill is now off to the Senate, which has voted to ban the machines several times in the past just to have it die in the House. Even Speaker Black now supports the ban, even after recieving illegal/questionable/unethical campaign contributions from the video poker industry. The ban will slowly reduce the number of machines in the state for 1 year ending July '07.

This will leave the state to only compete with the Cherokee indian casino and the internet (under attack) for your gambling money.

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posted by David at 4:58 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (6) ::

86% Of America Agrees With the Feds

In the rift between Congress and the Justice Department, Americans side overwhelmingly with law enforcement: Regardless of precedent and the separation of powers, 86 percent say the FBI should be allowed to search a Congress member's office if it has a warrant.

That view is broadly bipartisan, this ABC News poll finds, ranging from 78 percent among Democrats to 94 percent of Republicans.

The issue erupted last week, after the FBI searched the offices of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., in a corruption investigation. Congress leaders objected, and George W. Bush put a 45-day hold on the seized documents to allow for negotiations.

The issue arises at a time of various investigations of alleged wrongdoing in Congress, including those focused on the activities of lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Indeed this poll finds broad public skepticism about congressional ethics: Sixty-five percent of Americans give a negative rating to the ethics and honesty of members of Congress. More, 54 percent, rate their own member's ethics positively, but that's down from 69 percent in a 1989 poll.

Nonetheless, support for FBI searches is about equally high whether people see Congress as honest or not. That suggests that the interests of law enforcement to investigate wrongdoing simply prevails in the public's mind over concerns about separation of powers, precedent, and the possibility prosecutors could use such searches to try to intimidate lawmakers. The question in this poll described both sides of the argument.

Politically, the Democrats have a small edge in perceived honesty, but there's not much advantage for either party on this issue. Sixteen percent of Americans think Democrats are generally more ethical and honest than Republicans; nine percent think the opposite. But most by far — 72 percent — say there isn't much difference between them.

However slight, that seven-point Democratic edge is their best in occasional polls over the last 17 years.

Views of the honesty of Congress overall have fluctuated over the years, but haven't been positive in polls since 1989. At its best, in 1990, 46 percent rated Congress as ethical and honest. Today just 27 percent do so, quite similar to the levels in 1995 and 1993 (24 and 29 percent, respectively.).


This ABC News poll was conducted by telephone May 26-30, 2006, among a random national sample of 1,044 adults. The results have a three-point error margin. Field work by ICR-International Communications Research of Media, Pa.

86% of America agreeing on one thing. That is impressive. Very impressive. I guess we can get along after all. It would be nice if this was a wake-up call to Congress, but I doupt it.

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posted by David at 2:35 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (5) ::

Boxer Wants To Investigate the Investigators

This brings us to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) head Deborah Platt Majoras, ordered by Congress to investigate allegations of price fixing and manipulation by "Big Oil." Pre-Katrina, the FTC found no evidence of wrongdoing. After Katrina, Congress again ordered the FTC to investigate allegations of price fixing, market manipulation and gouging.

But the FTC again struck out, finding no evidence of collusion. An angry Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., refused to accept the outcome, incredibly suggesting perhaps the FTC, itself, should be investigated for failing to come up with the right conclusion!

A good read worth checking out.

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posted by David at 2:31 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (6) ::

Stossel Exposing the Truth


No matter how rich, maybe, but the truly powerful get to make their own rules.

Consider the Congressional Record. You probably think it's a record of what our representatives said or did. But that's a myth.

Every night that Congress is in session, stenographers take down every historic word and ship them off to the Government Printing Office. The printing office stays open all night to be sure the official record will be on every member's desk by the following morning. That sounds important.

But the Record isn't a record of what was said in Congress -- the politicians wouldn't subject themselves to that. The Record is a record of what the members want you to think they said.

That's fraud, twice over. It's a fraud on the public, which believes the millions Congress spends on the Record are spent to document what actually happens in Congress. And it's a fraud on those of you who think your congressman talked about you.

The Record reports that Derek Vaught's congressman, Mike Espy, rose on the floor to give a tribute to the lad's karate skills. "I thought it was pretty awesome," Vaught said.

The Record says a congressman rose to pay tribute to rock singer Ted Nugent for being "as good with a bow and arrow as he is with a guitar."

The Record claims that a congressman said, "Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in saluting Dot Hill, who's a legend not only in her own hometown, but throughout the world." (Hill is a drum majorette.)

None of those tributes was ever made, but they're all in print, enshrined in history along with what really was said.

I love Stossel's work. He tells it like he sees and isn't afraid of the flack.

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posted by David at 2:26 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (7) ::

Coalition To Work Fight For NC Eminent Domain Change

News & Observer

Former Raleigh Councilman Kieran Shanahan is creating a statewide organization to protect private property rights and fight abuse of eminent domain laws.

Shanahan, a Raleigh attorney, has created the N.C. Property Rights Coalition, which will push for a state constitutional amendment to restrict government use of eminent domain powers.

"The initial goal of this organization is to work toward a constitutional amendment to limit the use of eminent domain," Shanahan said.

"My hope in doing a grass-roots organization is that it will serve as an umbrella organization for other groups and specific individuals who find themselves on the short end of eminent domain."

The issue of government takings has been hot in conservative circles since the U.S. Supreme Court's Kelo decision a year ago, which allowed a Connecticut town to seize houses to make way for private development.

The coalition has my support.

Their site is at
and their blog is

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posted by David at 2:20 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (7) ::

House Interferring Again


The closing of payday lending shops this year in North Carolina doesn't change working people's need for short-term loans, some House members say.

Several members have filed a bill that would create a new type of loans of up to $3,000 designed to help consumers improve their credit ratings when they repay them on time, helping them qualify for more traditional loans in the future.

"It will allow people to get credit and to rebuild their credit score," Rep. Beverly Earle, D-Mecklenburg, one of the bill's sponsors, said Thursday. "Traditionally, they don't have anywhere to go."

But opponents of payday loans contend the plan proposed by the House is too similar to payday lending with high interest rates compared to credit cards and monthly fees that make it hard to get out of a cycle of debt.

"We're still examining the proposal, but it appears that the interest rates and fees on these new loans drive the cost too high for consumers," Attorney General Roy Cooper said. "We should not rush in to replace payday lending with another loan product that hurts people who are having a hard time making ends meet."

This isn't the first time legislators have filed a bill seeking a new kind of fee structure for small loans that consumer finance companies argue aren't profitable.

Why is the house discussing this? They should have left the payday lenders alone as long as they followed the old law. If a lender failed then shut him down. People should be free to make their own decisions, if it's a dumb one so be it. That is part of America. You learn by messing up, we don't need a momma state to protect us from ourselves. How the hell are we going to learn to be good responsible citizens if our government babies us? Or is that what they want?

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posted by David at 2:12 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (6) ::

Haditha: My Two Cents

I sure you've heard about Haditha, if not read this at Power Line. The story is bad. And if it is true then those marines should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But in no way should this story true or false be used to profile the entire US military presence in Iraq. And any attempt to do so is morally wrong and unjust to the the men and women representing the interests of the US. So...
1. if guilty make them pay
2. if innocent say so just as loud
3. do not let one incident paint all the US soldiers as criminals

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posted by David at 2:03 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (7) ::

Deport [term you use for non-Americans living in the US] Who Commit Any Crime

The News Reporter

The photo of Natalie Housand on the front of Monday’s edition, which accompanied a story on the conviction of a migrant worker who killed her while he was driving drunk, is a solemn reminder of the toll DWI takes on people’s lives.

Housand — pretty, smart, kind and in the prime of life -— was unable to get out of the way of a car driven by a drunk Jose Lopez. Lopez hit Housand’s car head-on and fled the scene on foot. As is so often the case, the drunks are the ones who escape deadly crashes relatively unscathed.

Lopez got a lighter sentence for a manslaughter conviction instead of the second degree murder conviction sought by the DA’s office. The jury should not be blamed. They reached the decision they saw fit according to the evidence and testimony,

Instead, North Carolina needs to focus attention on fatal wrecks caused by drinking and driving — and particularly those caused by internationals who drink and drive. Maybe some of these crashes could be prevented.

We don’t have formal statistics for Columbus County, but ask any state trooper or EMS worker, and they’ll confirm that an inordinate number of internationals — in the case here, Hispanic drivers — cause many serious or fatal crashes where innocent people are involved.

Housand’s death and another crash on N.C. 211 near Clarkton last year in which a young woman lost her life to a drunk Hispanic driver are similar. In both cases, the wrecks occurred on straight stretches of highway.

Also last year, an 85-year-old woman was killed by a drunk Hispanic driver near Nakina. He has since jumped bail and cannot be found.

North Carolina is notorious for the ease by which internationals can obtain drivers licenses. That must change.

State troopers relate that many internationals drive without a license. This also must be dealt with harshly. Deportation for non-citizens should be an immediate option.

Killing someone while driving drunk is almost viewed as unavoidable and expected nowadays, but victims like Natalie Housand are just as dead as if they’d had been murdered with a gun.

White, black or Hispanic, tougher DWI laws are needed; yet, it’s hard to escape the fact that — given the number of tragedies caused by drunk internationals driving on North Carolina’s highways — fewer innocent people would come in harm’s way if some of the bullets — drunk drivers — were removed from behind the wheel.

An editorial I can agree with. As soon as Jose's jail time is over he should be put on a bus and driven back to Mexico. Then told in plain english that he is never to cross the over into the US again. Any illegal/immigrant/guest worker/undeclared immigrant/miggrant or whatever you call them commits a crime on American soil the final step for justice should be deportation without the option to ever return. Period. I don't care how many years he has lived here with his family, kick him out.

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posted by David at 1:28 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (6) ::

County Has A Pet Monkey

Once again it is budget time and our commissioners have to decide what to cut or not fund in the education bracket so that they can pay the countie's protion of medicaid. Let's see how that goes, we are a poor undeveloped county and to support our welfare recipicants we most sacifice our children's education. Thus creating more poor under educated people in need of welfare thus denying future children their education and so on. The state says that they might take the medicaid burden off the county and raise our tax rate to cover the cost. They also are saying that we have to pay our teacher 8% more and a lot of that will come from the county (can you say increase in class size and less teachers). The problem is the welfare system. Medicaid, medicare, welfare and other social systems add problems to all levels of government. We the people of the US and our elected leaders for the last 30+ years have created this monkey and nothing will get better until we get it off our back.

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posted by David at 12:42 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (19) ::

Col Co Draft Budget

The News Reoporter

Although it would hold the property tax rate steady at 73 cents per $100 value, the draft plan does not include $1.3 million needed to pay off a loan for the new jail. All three school systems – county, city and community college – would receive the same funding as this year. Even with the special property tax, Water District 3 would be $242,000 in the red. Also, the county would take $2.8 million from its savings to make ends meet.

The draft budget is not all gloomy. It calls for adding five new deputies to guard the expanded jail, as well as eight additional workers at the Department of Social Services. Also, County Parks and Recreation would receive one new position.

Under the proposal, all county employees – roughly 430 people – would receive a 3 percent pay increase, plus an additional 2 percent contribution by the county to 401(k) retirement funds.

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posted by David at 12:24 AM :: Permalink :: Comments (9) ::