I have plenty of friends who live down east and they all just loooove to make fun of Chapel Hill. They fondly remember ol' Jesse Helms, who once said the state should put a fence around the town instead of building a new zoo in Asheboro. As I long-time resident of Blue Heaven, I sometimes share Jesse's sentiments, especially when it comes to local politics.

But I've never seen anything in Chapel Hill to compare with the political shenanigans brewing in Kinston these days. It's a soap opera comparable to Daze of our Lives, with enough high drama to take your breath away.

The big story of course, is the showdown between Puppet Willie Ray Starling and Democrat Van Braxton to see who will have the honor of serving in the state legislature next year. The race is not only interesting because of all the local color, it's also a canary in the mineshaft of North Carolina democracy. If the Bird Man wins, Art Pope gets one more tool in Raleigh to forward his government-hating agenda. As a commenter on the Kinston message board said earlier today:

A vote for Willie Ray is a vote for Art Pope.

There are other North Carolina races in which Mr. Pope is running for the state house, but none have the vitriol charm of the Kinston confab. The LaRoque-Starling Double-Header took its toll on the good people of Lenior County, leaving them more than deeply divided. It's the kind of thing you'd expect to see orchestrated by reactionary extremists like Karl Rove. Which is exactly who the Puppetmaster wants to be when he grows up.


Shucks, me matey, He be stealing the treasure

and raping and pilaging once he got control of the ship!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Distorted views and singin' the blues.

Yes , the view of Kinston one gets by reading ENC Today is indeed distorted. Things are much worse here than the rosy picture presented on ENC Today. We are excited over the attention that the 10th district has received. Most folks just pass through Kinston on the way to the coast. Our fear is that once the new bypass is built around Kinston, no one will ever stop again. Us Kinstonians placed all of our faith in the Global Transpark and the 50,000 jobs it was to have created some 10 years ago. Therein lies our problem. We have been looking up to the heavens for the past 13 years or so trying to pick out the cargo jets from the vultures. Our necks have become so stiff from staring up all day that we cannot see the problems that face us each day on the ground. The Transpark was to solve all our problems. I sat through many Rotary Club meetings while the Transpark officials told us that we would be flying hogs to China and strawberries to France. We never could figure out why hogs would want to fly to China. The Chamber of Commerce surveyed 10,000 hogs and determined that the number one destination for hog travel was Hooterville, the home of the Green Acres’ TV star, Arnold Ziffel. Although hope does spring eternal, we have adapted by accepting our “lot in life.” We had thought LaRoque would lead us out of the valley of darkness, but he aligned us with Morgan. When LaRoque looked back to his district he turned into a pillar of salt. And we all love Willie Ray because he has style. Of course his style may be out of fashion right now, but styles change and he may be coming into vogue sometime within the next two or three centuries. Van is a fine candidate but he is somewhat plain and “vanilla.” If only Van could implicate himself in some scandal. And please do not put much stock in the “views” presented on ENC Today. If you were reading prior to the LaRoque-Starling runoff, LaRoque was to win by a 99% margin. The ENC posters gave Starling the same amount of support Coach Amato is getting from the Wolfpack faithful. As a matter of fact, Starling and Amato do have a lot in common. Maybe they could run for Governor and Lt. Governor next time around. Now if Starling were to put on Amato’s red suit and Amato would dress in Willie Ray’s camouflage duds, both would probably boost their ratings. We do appreciate you mentioning us every once in a while. We sometimes wonder if the world is passing us by. Keep us posted on the news from the war. The last we heard General Lee was moving up through Northern Virginia.

Beautifully written, Flatpanel

"We never could figure out why hogs would want to fly to China." Priceless.

I love your analysis of the Bird Man's style. I agree that he could soon be coming back into vogue, at which point it will be time to bid this sad old state goodbye.


PS I think General Lee may have a secret plan on tap for fighting them over here so they won't have to fight us over there. Or something like that.

the first laugh I have had today

We never could figure out why hogs would want to fly to China.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


My Jolly Roger is showing!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

In truth,

we should have the pirate filter available every day!

jobs are needed

Kinston has a lot of potential, but good paying middle class jobs are needed. The Bird Man's not worried about that because Wayne Co. and western Lenoir are doing fine economically. That's where he's concentrating on winning. He can just spout off campaign rhetoric and never mind "how" things will get done in Raleigh. Never mind the "how" part of the equation, just go on about "what" he'll do when he gets there. But, his 'bacca chewing' style just will not go over at the GA.