After dark



It still might be a while before they get him back to North Carolina, but I'm certainly glad to hear this:

A Marine wanted in the brutal slaying of a pregnant colleague who had accused him of rape was arrested in Mexico, the FBI said late Thursday. The FBI's office in Charlotte said special agents and Mexican authorities arrested Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, who is charged with murder in the death of Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach. The FBI did not say when or where in Mexico Laurean was arrested, but said he is awaiting extradition to the U.S.

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

This is just a late night rambling rant...

and it doesn't seem like politics is involved, but read on: Two years ago we decided to buy a living Carolina Sapphire Cypress for our Christmas tree. We did, and planted it afterwards. Last Christmas I sent an email to our neighborhood inviting them to see the now much larger tree, and asked if they too would be interested...thinking if people purchased such a tree we'd have lots of beautiful trees to add to our community landscape. Those who bought the trees simply neglected them after the holiday and let them wither. Yesterday one of my neighbors put his dying tree out for the trash. I retrieved it and planted it...and hope to save it.

I admit to being a little strange. My wife says plants talk to me. Well. they do....just like the beautiful kittens we've rescued (we have 10 cats). All living things communicate. We just have to want to listen.

That dying tree symbolizes, to me, our nation...dying from neglect. The kind of neglect that allows credit card companies to charge 32% interest...the kind of neglect that provides more bankruptcy protections for corporations than citizens. It's the neglect of not enforcing some reasonable rules to ensure integrity in the investment and securities business...or mortgage lending. It's the kind of neglect that allows 47 million people in this country to live without any health care insurance...and the kind of neglect that has too long perpetuated the curse of poverty caused by the lack of a decent education and meaningful work.

Who is to blame? We are. Yes, Congress is the culprit...and all but a few (like Brad Miller, etc.) regardless of party have been complicit in this neglect. And, in my opinion, all of them, with few exclusions, need to be voted out of office. That's where we come in. Our neglect has allowed these miserable McHenry and McIntyre and Foxx and Schumer and Dole and Burr and...(a very long list) to ignore the needs of our nation with impunity. Bush and Cheney should be impeached and imprisoned.

Thanks to many of the folks here...and elsewhere in the grass roots movement...maybe we can get rid of a few of these despicable people in November. Maybe folks like Kissell and Neal will pay attention to the citizenry, restore our Constitution, eliminate Blackwater, return to trade and labor policies that favor the working class and correct the screwing we've allowed ourselves to be given.

I hope so. We're about at a point of no return. Food prices are up 25-30%, gasoline went up $0.13/gal in the last two days. The CEO of Bear-Stearns just became probably the largest single welfare recipient in recorded history...and Congress diddles around investigating steroids in pro baseball. The M3 is up about 14 $Trillion in the past 2-3 years(estimate since the guv'mint stopped reporting on it...) meaning we're just printing money to pay our debts...and the dollar is becoming worthless.

I think we're in deep shit...and I can't figure out how to prepare for the collapse that's going to come if we don't change things quickly. Your thoughts?

Stan Bozarth

Bubba the Love Sponge

Okay, I'll admit, I am a huge Howard Stern fan. I also occasionaly enjoy the DJ he has on his other channel, Bubba the Love Sponge. If you can get past the fart jokes and boobs, you will find some real gems.

For example, on Bubba's show today, a guy who works for American Airline called in to discuss the whole airline mess that is going on now.

He alleged that that the current maintenance problems was merely a ploy to get another government bailout. But I digress.

Two points that stuck out were this:

He stated, and I agree, that it will likely take a generation before we erase the damage done in the last seven years, and that while it is easy for a president to f things up, it is much more difficult to un-f them.

My point is, Stan, that I think the collapse has already begun and will continue even through the next president's first term at least. The actual results of any rebuilding may not even be evident until after 2012, assuming the next guy (or gal) doesn't f things up any further.

We are not on the brink, we have already jumped off the cliff. Our only hope now is quick resuscitation followed by intense therapy.

I agree, Crowbar...we're already into it up to our knees.

I just wonder what strategy we little people can implement to weather this perfect storm. Thinking our currency is/will be worthless, some of my neighbors are buying gold and bags of loose silver coins minted when the coins contained 90% silver.

Me...I don't see that as a solution. But I do think we will turn to a barter system...and locally produced foods and goods will be more important. Yesterday I passed a man standing on Market Street with a crudely lettered cardboard sign saying " I'm not begging for money...I'm begging for a job. Flooring Contractor."

I've researched the DEPRESSION....and the saving grace then for many was that they were able to return to their family farm...where they could at least eat regardless of having little money and no work. Things are much different now.

This is going to be nasty.

Stan Bozarth

Stan -

You have no idea how much I needed to hear your rant. Everything is connected.

My mother and I had the unique experience to be present when a pine tree decided to let go. I swear - he just gave up. You could hear a sigh, and then he fell. It was a sacred moment to mom and me - it happened nearly 15 years ago, and she talks about it.

Your experience with your neighbors reminds me that it's not enough to have ideas. You have to nurture them. It's not even enough to elect good people to office; you have to support them once they're in office. When was the last time any of us have thanked someone like Brad Miller or David Price for what they've done, even if you haven't included a campaign donation. Everyone likes to be acknowledged.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

You're correct Linda..every good thing needs to be nurtured.

Our nation hasn't been nurtured for the past 20+ years...and we are withering. I can only imagine the frustration experienced by the good people we have in our government. I think the best way to thank them is to not only personally thank them and re-elect them, but to show we mean it by getting rid of the rest...regardless of party.

We don't just need more Democrats...we need better Democrats. We need people who will nurture the nation and it's people...not nurture their own interests and the interests of the monied few who pull their strings.

Schumer and Dole are poster children for government neglect by elected officials... Bush and Cheney are criminals.

Stan Bozarth

We watched the Lt. Governor's Debate on WUNC-TV tonight.

Well, again, it wasn't a "debate". They really are going to have to stop calling these joint interviews debates. I must admit, I only watched the Democratic half, since I will not be voting in the Republican Primary.

I didn't take notes, but overall, you could tell who was accustomed to speaking on camera, and who was not. Walter Dalton seemed the most comfortable speaking to the people behind the camera, and made a good case for himself. Dan Besse made several good points about his broad experience making him a good choice for the office. Pat Smathers was a little disappointing: his natural charm and force of personality did not come through well on the camera. Hampton Dellinger tried too hard I think. He had lots of points and he wanted to make sure he got them in.

Dan Besse, probably surprised every one who didn't know him by subtle attacks on his opponents, with counters pushing his own record. Dalton handled those easily, as I know he would.

So - I'm not going to go into who said what because we've all done that to death for weeks.

But - Besse won. He is amazing. This is the guy we want on our side. This is the one we want in our corner.

Every single other guy was good. No doubt - and I will be glad to vote for any of them in the General. But Dan nailed it this time.

Great job to every one - Fantastic job to Dan.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Debate topped off great week for Dellinger

Of course, you'll say I am hardly objective, but I don't see how an objective person could watch that debate and not come away with two thoughts:

(1) Our field is light years better than the Republican one (can someone buy Jim Snyder a comb?)

(2) Hampton had the best debate of the four.

I say that because it was very clear last night which of the four Democrats is the more effective TV presence - Hampton, by far. While each had their moment where they forgot their place or stumbled a bit - moments which, to be fair, we'd never notice if they were in the room talking to us, but TV amplifies and brings out - Hampton was the most effective communicator on the stage.

On top of that, what he said was extremely good as well. His response on public campaign finance, in particular, was dead on and discussed his innovative suggestion to prevent donations or fundraising by government contractors or appointees. Also, I thought his answer on the budget questions showed his depth of understanding of NC Budgetary issues is at least the equal of Senator Dalton's, despite the Senator's service on the committee that came up with the Senate budget last year.

As I have said before, Hampton's is the best combination of substance and campaign skill we've seen around here in a long time. (Though Hamp, your tie was a bit offcenter...)

I hope to be able to get some clips loaded soon. But I wanted to provide another perspective.

In my opinion, the indirect attacks, almost all of which were by Besse and Dalton against Dellinger, were ineffective (1) because most people watching would not know they were talking about Hampton, and an attack is ineffective if a voter has no idea who you are attacking and (2) show which campaign has the others worried. After all, the Dalton campaign is not issuing daily press releases attacking Mayor Smathers...

Hampton has put together a remarkable string of endorsements over the last several weeks - Durham Peoples Alliance, RWCA, Mecklenburg Caucus, High Point Roundtable, AFL-CIO, NC Phyical Therapists Association, NC AFT. When he gets in front of a group, he wins them over - and last night, he got in front of a larger share of North Carolina's voters.

Also this week brought independent verification by Adam Searing of the NC Justice Center of Hampton's critique of Sen. Dalton's voting record. Mr. Searing said in the Asheville Citizen Times: "If Dalton's running around saying, 'I made things more affordable,' I think the main part of his tenure in the Senate was . . . marked by him trying to cut care for the most vulnerable, including prescription drugs." That's not Hampton's campaign saying that. That's an independent expert quoted in a newspaper commenting on the give and take among the Lt. Gubernatorial campaigns.

Combine that with the endorsements and last night's performance, and this has been a pretty darn good week for the Dellinger campaign.

Should be a great race over these last few weeks.

"Hampton Dellinger would make a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

I didn't get to watch it

I think the television station called it a forum and the LWV web site refers to it as a debate.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

no they weren't

I mean, I don't disagree with you that these forums aren't really debates, but they are as close as we'll get. And those ghuys were not reading off a teleprompter. You could see them looking down at their notes (Sen. Dalton in his closing did this several times.) They have given large parts of those answers hundreds of times in the last several months. They didn't need teleprompters, and I am pretty sure they didn't have them.

Would YOU like to moderate a four way debate between four guys who all want to talk more than the other guy? Who gets to ask questions? Who gets to rebut?

It's easy to criticize, but at least they are on TV talking to the voters.

"Hampton Dellinger would make a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

At least Pat Smathers was.

reading off a teleprompter that is.
During his whole initial statement he stared in the camera, not looking down once and moved his eyes left to right. I bet you $50 he was using a teleprompter.

He also almost made me fall asleep, which is why I turned the whole thing off. I only saw the initial statements, I didn't see any exchanges between candidates after that, if there were any.

i doubt it

The opening statements for all of these people are things they have said 20 times over.

At this point I could probably deliver the opening speeches for some of them without notes or a teleprompter.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

A Real Debate?

With real rules? You know - Forensic teams still actually debate; I've got a Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum wizard living in my house. (well, not a wizard. I'm just bragging.)

But yes, if there were real rules, and not the stupid 2 minute specials, I would love to moderate that. Abso-effin-lutely.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors