Open thread

I found this little tidbit on the Charlotte Observer website, where one of the minor Puppet bloggers weighs in on the transit debate in the Queen City.

Jeff Taylor, chief blogger at The Meck Deck, criticized the Charlotte Area Transit System's plan as too expensive and doing little to solve congestion. He said it was a "land-use plan masquerading as a transportation plan."

Only an anti-planning zealot from the Puppetshow would even begin to think that a transportation plan could be effective without concomitant land-use planning. But then again, we're talking about the kind of people who say building more roads is a way to improve the environment.


PS Stagemanager Hood has to be proud. Some of that $300,000 a month he's spending to manufacture opinions has just bought one his Puppets a few minutes of fame in the good old Charlotte Observer!


AARP Forum

Edwards is going after Clinton pretty fiercely tonight. It's much easier to attack her when Obama's on the stage, I guess.

Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it. - 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

I found myself bored with the forum.

That's not a good sign - because I'm more of a political junkie than I care to admit. I switched over to C-Span and watched Mel Watt question the Treasury Secretary about some seemingly hostile statements he (the secretary) had made. I like Mel. Then I went to sleep.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Excellent coverage

It really shows what a wonderful man Marshall is. Thanks for sharing this, Thomas.

(Takes awhile to load the page.)

So far

74% said it would be acceptable.
26% said it would not be.

10:02 am.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Sound of freedom

I don't know what the decibel levels are, but here in Southern Pines, we hear the "sound of freedom" all the time thanks to artillery ranges, air drops, and helicopter operations.

Not unusual are:
-155 howitzers
-Cannons on A-10's
-Grenade Launchers
-M-2 .50 cal
-Little Birds

Things are actually quieter since the war started. I think most of the helicopters (and pilots) must be overseas. The new ones are quieter anyway. Those Hueys and Cobras made quite a racket. The only time any of it gets somewhat annoying is when they're doing artillery and the cloud ceiling is just right so the sound bounces at the right angle. THAT will rattle all your windows and china and send the cat scurrying.

Fighter jets (usually louder than airliners), however, would be very loud and annoying, especially since they'd probably be on some fairly fixed flight path.

When I lived in Aberdeen, my walls shook all the time.

I had a set of decorative bells that hung on the wall - I had to take them down because they got so noisy because of the artillery practice at Bragg.

Sometimes it's eerie when you don't hear them practicing. You wonder what's going on.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Sound of Freedom?

How about the sound of HELL?

More Pope sightings . . . this time at ENC

You have to hand it to the Kinston Krazies. Someone tipped me off to this amazing discussion involving Willie Ray Starling, who ran against Stephen LaRoque in the Republican primary for the NC House last year.

Here's a quote from the Bird Man himself.

This is a fact, LaRoque called me and asked me not to run against him, said he would spend $50,000 to defeat me and he would defeat me. He further stated to me, If I would not run he would donate the money to the Republican party. He said he had the backing of Art Pope, the Republican National Committeeman Ed McMahan and Ferrel Blount.

I told him he better keep his money as I was going to run. Later Ferrel Blount called and said he did not want me running against Steven as he was going to donate the money he would have used in the primary to the party and the party needed the money. I told Blount I was going to run and he told me Pope would not give me any money and I would not get any help from the State party. I said I was not expecting any but I felt I had to run as Steven made backroom deals with the democrats and we needed someone who would stand up for the working man and was not out for his own personal gain. Later McMahan called and more or less said the same thing except he said LaRoque promised to give the party $50,000 and help raise more money. I told him they could sell out for $50,000 if they wanted to but I was going to run.

Later Pope called me and said he was not going to be able to provide me any financial assistance as he was going to do as Blount asked and back LaRoque, I told him the same, that I was convinced that LaRoque was not to be trusted and I was going to run. Blount set up a meeting with himself, LaRoque, myself, Leo Daughtry, Bob Jackson and Ed Wharton. They were going to see if I would back off and not run. After about as hour of talking the end result was Blount said Starling , I guess you are going to run and Daughtry said LaRoque you have not changed Starling go ahead and run. I did and the rest is history.

Pretty creepy stuff . . . this inside view of the Puppetmaster and his fellow power-brokers pulling their strings. Makes me want to take a shower.

I'm working on a diary on my trip to Jena, LA

But I don't know where to start.

Here are some of the photos:

What questions would you like answered?

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks


How many people were actually there? The news only said thousands, as if it was 2 or 3 thousand people, but the pictures from the media made it look like it could have been 10 thousand.

Can I get one of those black t-shirts with the map of LA?

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Sam, I've read blog reports

that there was an attack by white youths against a black youth the day (night, maybe) before the incident the Jena 6 were arrested for, but only one of the (white) attackers was arrested, and that for simple assault.

Did you hear anything about that?

from an opinion

article at Yahoo news comes the short and not so sweet summary

Black student tries to enter largely white party. When white students attack and beat him, the student who breaks bottle over his head is charged with a misdemeanor and given probation.

White student threatens black students with a gun in a grocery store. Black students wrestle gun away from him and are charged with second-degree robbery. White student taunts black student about his beating with racial epithets. Black students beat him and he suffers bruising and concussion. Black students are charged as adults for attempted second-degree murder.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Oh, good God.

This is a perfect example of why a broken, biased legal system should not be allowed to decide who lives and who dies.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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

Hunger Strike Against No Child Left Behind

Those of us in the education field know the name Jonathan Kozol. He's one of the most famous educators of our time. He feels so strongly about the horrors of No Child Left Behind that he's been on a partial fast since July to call attention to what he believes is the racist agenda signed into law by President Bush in 2001.

I’m determined to convince the Democratic leadership not to genuflect in front of a racist and overly punitive education law that Republicans have foisted on our public schools.

Where once Kozol was a friend and advisor to NCLB sponsor Ted Kennedy, now Kennedy won't return Kozol's calls.

I think he made a very bad mistake when he agreed to cosponsor this bill. I think he will be resistant to the sweeping changes I’m proposing. But as a lifelong Democrat, I don’t believe I should let the people I trust off the hook. It’s very hard to challenge a man I admire so very much. (emphasis mine: LC)

Black and Hispanic children are being handed a stripped-down, debased curriculum. They are being trained to provide predictable answers and that provides a terrible danger for a democratic society. Principals, so terrified of No Child Left Behind and determined to pump up the scores, are restricting students’ learning to mechanistic skills in a narrow range of subjects. This does not equate to learning. And we see that. For all the obsessive drilling, any gains that supporters of No Child Left Behind claim are there are not being sustained. These children can’t write a single cogent sentence. No Child Left Behind means that black and Hispanic children are driven by a terrible anxiety, a fear of failure instead of the natural curiosity of humans to learn.

The article claims that some civil rights groups and left leaning groups have praised NCLB, but I've never come across that. Kozol's response when asked about that is:

There have always been divisions within civil-rights groups. I didn’t put my finger in the wind to see what is popular. I’m talking as a man who has spent my entire life visiting classrooms, watching what is going on.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

More on Jena

This excellent front page post from dailykos (mcjoan I think) is a great recap for those who missed the details.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"