Notice

I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Macon County Commissioners

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County Board of County Commissioners.

Franklin Town Board of Aldermen

Coverage of the meetings of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen.

Macon County School Board

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County School Board.

Photoblog

Photos from my photoblog.

Nothing is here yet

I haven't decided what to put here yet, so look at this pretty photo.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Is this a Dream Job, or what?



You know, if I weren't so attached to my place of birth, this job would be ideal...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More on the port terminal bru-ha-ha


Dubai Ports World Homepage


Here is an article claiming Frank Gaffney of The Center for Security Policy was the first nationally syndicated columnist to break the port terminal story and push it as a bad idea.

Here is his Feb 21, 2006 commentary for the Washington Times. I don't know how long the piece will stay up.

And here is an earlier piece.

Commentary


Perhaps I am stupid, or at best naive, but I really don't understand what the hubub is about on this story. The Chinese operate terminals on the west coast, and on both ends of the canal zone in Panama. No one has complained about these deals, or the fact that most of our port terminal facilities are run by foreign companies and have been for quite some time.

It is hurtful to me that the "right" has mostly led the dogpile on the issue. This has been an ugly snowball of a story that can have no good ending for all of us.
Our reactions will confirm suspicions, grounded or not, that we are a xenophobic culture and cannot be trusted to practice what we preach. This deal is a part of our free market economy. If we are so afraid of "things" that might come in through our port terminals, then we should nationalize those facilities. And that would be a boondoggle that would make Social Security look like a good idea.

It is my belief that the President will loose this debate for the following reasons:

1) His inaction on our border problems with Mexico have left him extremely vulnerable on the issue of trust and may result in a Democrat victory in 2008 unless Congress steps up and forces him to act to secure our borders and do someting about illegal immigrants. If he lets these people go, then we should at least stop prosecuting minor crimes committed by citizens if we are going to let non-citizens go free. We are close to achieving Critical Mass on this issue.

2) People have gotten it that Islam is our enemy in this war called World War IV. Only thing is, we have committed a sweeping generalization and lumped all those who practice Islam into one group. All these moderate or liberal Muslims are as apostate from their religion as moderate or liberal Christians are. That is a harsh statement, but one I believe is truth, and this truth hurts. They may as well be practising different religions.

3) The media is constantly shaping the debate by using misleading words to describe the deal. We are selling no ports. Only a minority of terminal facilities within those ports...Something like 24 out of 800 plus terminals in 6 Ports. Normal people I have talked to about this cannot get past this argument. I even went a round with Matt Mittan of The Take A Stand radio show on WWNC AM570 on Friday afternoon. It was this point I tried to convey, and I don't think he believed me, but I hope he takes it into consideration.

Wow! I didn't expect to go on this long, I got kinda wound up. On to other things...

Battlestar Galactica

The episode "Downloaded" was, I thought, very well done and once more, these creative storytellers have chosen a direction I would have not even considered.
I also think I know how these guys come up with their storylines...Brain Storming. There is no other explaination I can come up with. I'd like to see some of the stuff that didn't make it.
There are only two episodes left this season. Time has certainly flown.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Downloaded



Too much any irons in the fire to do much useful posting except:

New Battlestar Galactica episode

Episode title: Downloaded

From the promos, this promises to be a Cylon-centric episode featuring Sharon-One !!!


Go here for info on the UAE bruhaha, scroll down to a post titled: Port of Call. Sorry I didn't properly paste a link...At 28.8K and 10 minutes before leaving for work...not much choice!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What the heck is going on?



I haven't commented on the United Arab Emirate purchase of a British company that has major operations in some of our largest east and gulf coast ports because, frankly, I thought it was a non-story. Boy, have I been proven wrong.
What does it really matter who owns the company? Most the workers are Americans. And we only check about 5% of the containers anyway !!! Did people just suddenly become stupid overnight?

Over the past week or so, the story has been covered on the various radio talk shows, and here is where they break down:

Rush Limbaugh sees nothing wrong with it, but thinks it was a bad political decision. He did joke that since Jimmy Carter supported the deal, it was doomed to failure.

Matt Mittan says the Emirates were a safe haven during Desert Shield/Desert Storm for U.S. troops.

Sean Hannity came down with both feet against The President on this one.

I didn't get to listen to my other shows, although I believe I know where they stand.

LOCAL POLL RESULTS

UpdateNumbers inside {parenthesis} indicate final numbers. {03-01-006}

My Internet service Provider, DNET,
has a section on their front page where they run polls on various issues of the day, and today's poll was very timely. (It may have been up for a couple of days, I've been logging on in a hurry and by-passing the intro screens.)
Here is the poll and the choices. I have placed the results beside the choice:


The Bush administration will allow a UAE company to run the operations of some large US ports.

Do you believe this was a good decision?

01.23% Yes, we have an open market and they had the best bid.
{01.13}

04.93% Yes, they (the US gov't) reviewed the purchase and said it was fine. {This {04.54} was my choice}

12.34% Not a security threat, but not a good decision.
{12.50}

77.77% No, this is a threat to national security.
{77.27}

03.70% I don't care either way.
{04.54}



Commentary

The results of the poll shocks me to no end. Although the vast majority of people on this ISP are in a couple of counties in Western North Carolina, past results have been generally translatable to the national population.

One ray of sunshine out of all this is that people are viewing people who practice Islam (even moderately) with a jaundiced eye. That is progress. In this case, I believe we are throwing out the baby with the bath water. If the UAE, or anyone else wanted to ship nasty stuff into the USA, the door has been wide open. No need to buy a company that runs ports. After all, this IS where most of our drugs have come through, and our illicit arms trade goes out. Trust me on this. The stuff that comes and goes by human mule across our borders is where the amateurs play before going pro.

I have sympathy for Bush 43 on this, but can't help laughing at him at the same time. In my opinion, this is a case of the chickens coming home to roost in regards to his criminal neglect of the borders...In particular the southern one. The people know this, and don't trust him with border security in general. If he had been tough on our border with Mexico, this deal would have barely made a ripple.

But, but, but Jimmy Carter agrees with Bush 43 ?!?

I'm torn.


Warning...Conspiracy Alert!

I wonder Who broke the story, and Who has been pushing so hard for it to get traction? Just wondering.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Full Auto in Oklahoma !!!



Warning: this video requires major bandwidth and is very funny!
I only wish I had that kind of firepower! Viva la 2nd amendment!

Star Trek Character Quiz



I was cruising NC Blogs and found a Star Trek Character Quiz at this blog. Since I love Star Trek, I took the quiz and pasted the results below. As a former First Responder, I'll accept the results...but Paula's results were funnier, given her lifestyle. ;-P

Your results:
You are Leonard McCoy (Bones)

































Leonard McCoy (Bones)
95%
Chekov
95%
Geordi LaForge
90%
Mr. Scott
80%
Worf
70%
Spock
69%
Jean-Luc Picard
65%
Data
63%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
55%
Beverly Crusher
55%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
55%
Mr. Sulu
40%
Deanna Troi
40%
Uhura
35%
Will Riker
35%
You are a pessimistic and bitter doctor,
but you are skilled in the ways of medicine and science.


Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...

John Armor announces run for 11th District Seat




I've been playing catchup on the Armor story...here is an excerpt of his article in The North Carolina Conservative:


The first question about running for Congress should be, what are the needs of the District? For the 11th District, those can be boiled down to two words: jobs and education.

The economy here divides roughly into thirds: manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. All are under pressure. In manufacturing, whole factories – especially in textiles – have been packed up and shipped outside the US, leaving behind vacant buildings, asphalt parking lots dotted with grass, and thousands of able workers without jobs. Federal, state and local cooperation is needed to stem the bleeding of existing jobs, and attract new companies into this area of relatively low costs, excellent climate, and most of all, reliable employees.



I believe this guy can win both the primary and general election this year. I, however, disagree with the support of tourism. My reason is most jobs in tourism are seasonal and pay low wages. A Tourist business is good if you own it, not if you work for the owner. My bias is showing, No?

Monday Briefing



Winds of War Briefing by Security Watchtower and Peace Like A River.


John Armor enters race against Charles Taylor in the Republican primary. I haven't had a chance to read any stories...since I was away from the internet for the weekend. This is going to be very interesting, indeed. Personally, I think Armor stands a very good chance of blowing away Taylor because of one primary reason, CAFTA.

Hat Tip to Screwie Hoolie for letting me know.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Untitled Post



I couldn't thnk of a title off the top of my head, and the topics to diverse to pull together in a few words.

More winter weather may be headed my way. I live in Northern Jackson County, at the north pole of the area...we still have snow on the ground out here, although yesterday put a lot of it away.

I'll be starting a series of posts on the 11th District US House Race next week with the official entry of Heath Shuler as an official candidate. The incumbent, Charles Taylor, may have a callenger in he primary...more later.

Now to the important stuff...

Battlestar Galactica

New episode "The Captain's Hand" is on tonight at 10pm and 1am eastern Time on theSciFi Channel.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thursday Links



Here is what I found on my patrol this morning:


The Coming Storm of Censorship is a piece every blogger and lover of Free Speech should read and shudder over.

Life in the Bubble by Armed Liberal over at Winds of Change

And another couple of articles on the same site here concerning the two remaining members of the Axis of Evil, and there is a rebuttal article here.

Commentary

What does it all mean? I believe that things will continue to get more interesting and more frightening. We must remain vigilant, maintain situational awareness, and get involved. Call and/or Email your Elected Critters with your opinions on all these matters.

On the matter of making Blogs subject to The Abomination of The McCain-Feingold Act: Blogs are the modern-day version of the soap box of yesteryear. Everyone has the God given right to put forth in this public space. If you are offended by the speaker, you should move along, but don't you dare try to shut him/her up. I will fight to preserve liberal, conservative, libertarian, and other viewpoints to be spoken from this modern day soap box. And I believe you should, too.
Personally, I am against the censorship described above, and I believe that Iran wasn't paying attention when we invaded Iraq in 2003, which I think was partially aimed at them. I hope we stop them in time, for the longer we wait, the more it will cost us.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

New web Cams via BlogAsheville

A Really Cool Quiz



I found this quiz on Glenn Reynold's blog, and the results I got back were pleasing to me:


You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)

100%

Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

88%

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)

81%

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)

81%

Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)

75%

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)

75%

Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)

69%

Moya (Farscape)

69%

SG-1 (Stargate)

63%

Enterprise D (Star Trek)

63%

Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)

56%

FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)

44%

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com


I am a little disappointed I didn't rate higher than 75 percent on fitting in with the Galactica crew, but the Serenity crew makes me happy.

Middle East/SW Asia Strategic Analsis



This post will be updated throughout the day. (Yes, Another Snow Day!)

Sean Osborne of Northeast Intelligence Network

If I were you, I'd keep storing extra petro and food. What? You're not!
Too bad for you then. I jumped on that train before Christmas.

The Anti-American War Protest crowd is gearing up to stop the coming war with Iran. I'd like to see conservative groups infiltrate these (well, you know)
-people and mount counter-demonstrations. Too bad all the conservatives have jobs, families, and other important stuff.

Michelle Malkin has asked Al "The Traitor" Gore a very important question. Well, Al?

An excerpt...


In January 2002, ex-President Clinton addressed the JEF, which paid him $267,000 for his speech...It's not known whether - or how much - Mr. Gore was paid for his speech.


Here is the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review in Adobe Acrobat pdf form.
Ity is over 2 Megs in size.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Another Show Day !!!


A view from the windshield as I drove white knukled to WCU on the morning of February 13th, 2006. For those inclined, click to view larger image.


This is the view I saw as I walked up Pumpkintown Road to my great-aunt Paulines' place. This image is also clickable for a larger image for those in Rio Linda.



More later as I get a chance. Scroll Down, please.


Check Out this list of banned books!
City Crabs' Pix of Blizzard of 006


Prediction: At his next press conference, Dick Cheney will invite some reporters to go quail hunting.

Yahoo! Photo Album Test Link

Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday Picture



Tiny Mom



New Battlestar Galactica episode tonight !!!

Schedule for Feb 2006 Times are 10pm and 1 am Eastern
Date Episode Title
2/10 Sacrifice
2/17 The Captain's Hand
2/24 Downloaded

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Reid connected with Abramof?



Story here.
I thought it significant enough for a separate posting. I've currently got 7 windows going on this machine at the Library...mine chokes on two windows!!!

Snow Day !!!



View from WCU Cam




New posts will be added below during the day

Israel to withdraw from West Bank ???

Stop Shuler, Hmmm?

And finally, Ann Coulter zings.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Are things coming to a head?



Global Guerrillas continues with systems disruption series as practiced by terrorists. The whole series is worth a read. Who needs Stephen King anymore?
Politics of CP has uncovered a nugget about the NSA eavesdropping.
Over at The Gates of Vienna, Dymphna has a thoughtful post on the Iranian thing.


In my last post, I was wondering what would happen if rioting Muslims had a reason, well, someone thinks this may be the case with the current round.
How does this Trackback thing work?

Security Watchtower has more coverage of the rioting, as well as an excellent links page.

No time to think now, must go to work. ;-)

Sunday, February 5, 2006

The "Religion of Peace" shows its' True Colors



D.C. Watson: Islam unhinged
The Gates of Vienna has several good posts on the affair.
The Winds of Change have a few as well, you'll have to scroll down to find them.


Commentary
I have been guilty of secretly hoping that there was a slight chance of being able to balance the bad Muslims with the judicious (is that a word?) use of the good Muslims. I now realize I was mistaken. It appears that the ignorant, hating masses FAR outweigh the good few. It is now time to comptemplate religicide.

Imagine what the Muslims of the world would do if they were given a real reason to practice their nihilistic desires. I mean this. Think about it.

Now come to the realization that this tendency, if you will, can be tripped into action by any government (ours, theirs, sadistic bystander) or even individuals willing to detonate these people into action...

I have no pictures in my collection suitably dark enough to accompany the train of thought I am currently riding. I would suggest a visit to Ready.gov, or even to United States Action to get the drift.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Note to NASA in regards to man in space



Q from Star Tek: The Next Generation noted about space exploration, "If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."

Friday, February 3, 2006

T.G.I.F. !!!


It's been a rough week.
Flight #93 movie review

Battlestar Galactica episode "Scar" is due tonight on the SciFi channel.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Thunder Pig goes to Asheville




This is one of my favorite landmarks in Asheville. I believe it is called St. Lawerence. I'd love to go inside and take some pictures of the place when I have more time, but yesterday I was on a tight schedule and didn't stray too far from the library on Haywood Street.



I took this picture on the main drag in downtown Maggie Valley as a Pave Low Chinnok flew right over me...really cool thing for a military entusiast like me. I took more, and later on, snapped a couple long-distance shots from the jobsite as a couple repeated their flyover of Maggie Valley. The Mexicans on the workcrew asked me why so many helicopters, and I told 'em we were practicing for the invasion of Iran, which has some mountainous terrain like WNC. Hey, a guy can hope can't he?



And here is one of the pix I took Monday morning (the 30th) ahead of the rain that came in about four hours later,terminating our workday.

I'll post more pix later, as time allows.