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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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why Was Devin Norris Arrested By the FBI?

**update** April 3, 2010


 I have, courtesy of David Turner, a pdf copy of the indictment against Devin Norris. If these charges are true, then I can understand why Norris has been held in solitary confinement. It would be for his own protection from the other inmates.


A Grand Jury has returned a true bill against Devin Ray Norris for the charges of:


Count One--Transportation of Child Pornography (several hundred images) dating from November 2008 in violation of 18 USC 2252 (a)(2).


Count Two--Possession of Child Pornography dating from July 2009 in violation of 18 USC 2252 (a)(4)(B).


I hope that these charges are in error and are not so. Either way, I will be praying for Devin and his family. And for the alleged victims.


This is a sad thing, and shows that we can never really know anyone, whether they are leading a double life or are hiding a dark secret. I wrestled over whether or not I should blog about this, and decided that since Devin is running for President in 2012, and he has a Blog Talk Radio Show, that he fits the definition of a public figure.


I did not know who Devin was until I saw a posting on Facebook alleging that the FBI had arrested him for having a guy on his Blog Talk Radio Show who is peddling a book that claims there is a government-run ring of pedophiles. My previous post (which is below) has more on that.


If Devin is guilty, I hope that he finds the help he needs. If he is not, then I hope that he will win his case in court and be able to seek compensation for the damage done to him due to the nature of the charges.

Devin Norris has been arrested after his radio show with Nick Bryant.


The FRANKLIN SCANDAL is the story of a nationwide pedophile ring that pandered children to a cabal of the rich and powerful. The ring’s pimps were a pair of political powerbrokers who had access to the highest levels of our government. Nebraska legislators nearly exposed the ring in 1990, but its unveiling had the potential to produce seismic political aftershocks.The legislators’ efforts resulted in rash of mysterious deaths and the overpowering corruption of federal and local law enforcement, including the FBI, Secret Service, and Justice Department, effecting an immaculate cover-up of the trafficking network.


Within 24 hours after the show Devin Norris was detained.
Source: The World's Prophecy




Commentary


I can't believe that no one has picked up the phone and called the FBI to ask about this case, and to request the records of such. There is a legal requirement for charges to be filed within a few hours of arrest, and that information is a matter of public record, and should be easy to find instead of this endless speculation I read as I tried to research this story at 4am.


After 9am (when offices start getting populated), I'll make some phone calls to see what I can find...


I hope this isn't a publicity stunt or hoax. I really despise people who do crap just to get attention. If the guy was arrested for a legitimate reason, the news should be disseminated so some of this speculative chatter can be stopped. (Of course, a lot of the chatter is from Alex Jones types...so no amount of evidence will stop them).


And if I should disappear after I start my investigation...AVENGE ME!  

Validation








Here is a cool little video that @brent_tucker shared with me on Twitter. It is a video that tells an awesome little story of a parking attendant who gives his customers REAL validation by dispensing both free parking and free compliments.  It’s a great reminder of how we can all create a better world, instantly, by sharing a smile and a few kind words.


If you like it, and want to see more like it, check out Spiritual Cinema Circle, a DVD Club that is best described on it's website as:



Spiritual Cinema Circle is the home of uplifting stories that inspire love and compassion, films that connect us with the world around us. Now in our sixth year, Spiritual Cinema Circle is home for a community of conscious filmmakers and film-lovers in more than 80 countries. We're proud to have brought the work of more than 100 exciting, new independent filmmakers to the homes of tens of thousands of people around the world.
The inspirational DVDs you get are full-length features, both dramas and comedies, family movies, short films, and documentaries on mind-opening subjects. The movies are about many different subjects, but they all share common elements: All our movies are carefully-chosen to provide genuine nourishment for the heart and soul, a much-needed nutrient at a time when more and more Hollywood movies are violent, profane and devoid of meaning. Our movies inspire wonder, insight, deep feeling and transcendence. Above all, they make you feel better about being a human being.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Duke Energy Using Helicopter to Clear Trees From Power Lines




While I was out running errands this morning, I saw a small black helicopter alternately hovering and flying slowly back and forth. It was a real helicopter, not the kind seen by the paranoid who imagine the Federal government is spying on them.


This helicopter, it turns out, had a number of saw blades hanging from it and is being used to cut trees away from Duke Energy's power lines in areas that are difficult to access by vehicle. They are using an innovative method to trim trees along power line rights of way, especially in areas that are harder to reach. I've heard that they've been using this method in some parts of Nantahala for a few years. This was the first time that I was lucky enough to see it in action for myself, and I thought it would be cool to share it with you, so I snapped a few photos and shot some video, which I've embedded below. I hope you enjoy it!




**5.50pm**

I couldn't resist. I made a time-lapse out of the helicopter footage...LOL



Macon County Commissioners
03-22-2010 Meeting Video







I apologize for taking so long in getting to this video and getting it processed. I hope that I'm starting to learn how to get these things out quicker than I have been, mostly by doing everything wrong on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd attempts. LOL.


I've also invested in a scanner and will be posting my information packet online so you can be better informed on what is going on in our local government.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 28th Tornadoes - Preliminary Reports





Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Photo of tornado in the Charlotte area posted by Twitter User @wxbrad and taken by Don Gemmell. For more information, see the Charlotte Observer.


Several tornadoes hit North Carolina on last night in what will probably be referred to as the Palm Sunday 2010 Outbreak. I can't find any reports of deaths or serious injuries as a direct result of the tornadoes, so there's a bit of good news. At this time, it seems to be limited to 7 or 8 tornadoes. Here are a few preliminary reports that I have gathered from around the Internet:







This is a 2 video play list of scanner audio from High Point, NC of the initial response from Fire Departments in the area, including communications as more tornadoes come through the area. Hat Tip to @RidgeKeeper for the link on her Twitter account. 


Here is a damage report from the Storm Prediction Center regarding last night's tornadoes in North Carolina, including one in Florida...





TimeLocationCountyStateLatLonComments
21408 W CHARLOTTEMECKLENBURGNC35208098SPOTTER REPORTED TORNADO WITH DEBRIS IN THE AIR NEAR CATAWBA RIVER AND WILKENSON BLVD. (GSP)
2206MELBOURNEBREVARDFL28088061POSSIBLE TORNADO ON CYPRESS BEND CIRCLE OFF JOHN RODES BLVD. TREE BRANCHES BROKE SEVERAL WINDOWS OF A RESIDENCE. (MLB)
23008 SW LEXINGTONDAVIDSONNC35738036SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE REPORTED AT MOBILE HOME PARK NEAR CLARK ROAD AND I-85 NEAR LINWOOD. MULTIPLE MOBILE HOMES OVERTURNED. INJURIES REPORTED. (RAH)
23273 SW HIGH POINTGUILFORDNC35958003LARGE TORNADO ON THE GROUND NEAR GREEN STREET BAPTIST CHURCH MOVING NE AT 35 MPH. (RAH)
23332 WNW HIGH POINTGUILFORDNC35998002GUILFORD COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGER CONFIRMED 20 STURDY HOMES DAMAGED NORTH OF HIGH POINT. (RAH)
23384 NW HIGH POINTFORSYTHNC36028004SKYWARN SPOTTER REPORTED 3 INJURIES AND EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE AS WELL AS ROOFS RIPPED OFF OF SEVERAL BUILDINGS NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF OLD MILL ROAD AND SKEET CLUB ROA (RAH)
23392 N THOMASVILLEDAVIDSONNC35928008DAMAGE TO MULTIPLE MOBILE HOMES AT VALLEY MOBILE ESTATES, NORTH OF THOMASVILLE ROAD NEAR HASTY. AT LEAST 1 INJURY. (RAH)
0030CROWDERSGASTONNC35198121POSSIBLE TORNADO REPORTED NEAR CROWDERS MOUNTAIN. (GSP)
035512 SE ROXBOROPERSONNC36287883TREES DOWN AND POWER OUT IN THE MORIAH AREA...ALONG HELENA-MORIAH ROAD. PUBLIC REPORTED A ROARING SOUND. (RAH)






Here are a few of the first videos to be uploaded regarding the storms:









Video taken with a cell phone of a tornado outside of Spencer, NC and High Point on 85 South bound.







Audio of a Tornado Warning issued in the Greensboro, NC area.







A video report from a storm chaser browsing reports on the Internet.


I guess this means that the spring tornado season is now underway...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday




The 1st Saying of Jesus on the Cross

Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”  (Luke 23:34)   

Jesus said these words right at the beginning of the crucifixion.  Many commentators have suggested it might well have been said whilst they were driving the nails in His hands and feet!   

In the original Greek language, the tense of the verb “Jesus said” conveys continual action. In other words, it literally reads “Jesus was saying” – it might suggest that Jesus repeated this prayer several times.   

Picture Jesus being placed on the cross as it lay on the ground. Two Roman soldiers hold his arm outstretched as another hammers a huge spike through the skin and muscle tissue. Jesus says, Father, forgive them.”  Then as they place his other arm on the crossbeam and pound that spike into the other hand, again, Father, forgive them.” Next, they move to his feet, and cross one foot over the other and the soldier drives the final spike through 

Read the rest of this message at PhilMorgan.com


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chad Nesbitt Elected New Buncombe County GOP Chair


There is hope in Buncombe County for all God-fearing conservatives. For Lefties there is a false hope. For Idiot Ron Paul Supporters, there is only loathing.




A tribute video I made for Chad and the Carolina Stompers last summer.



Congratulations to the Buncombe County Republican Party for an upbeat and productive County Convention! Today, Republicans elected a new Chairman, Chad Nesbitt, who has plans for major fundraising and organizational goals.
We also elected a 1st Vice Chairman, Chris Eck, and Secretary, Miah Siemion, both of whom have been serving as interim officers up until the Convention.

Hat Tip: Bugg Blog




Lefties are cheering the selection of Chad Nesbitt as the new chairman of the Buncombe County Republican Party because they think it will be a disaster.


I think they are wrong and look forward to the rebirth of the Republican Party as a force to be reckoned with over the next year in Buncombe County. 


Chad is an accomplished businessman and has a knack for getting things going and I believe he will do an excellent job of moving the BCGOP forward and being a cheerleader for the conservative activists in the formerly beleaguered Buncombe County Republican Party.


It makes me specially happy to think of the reaction of Asheville blogger Tim Peck to this news. In the past, he has been at the forefront of people hating on Chad and his happy band of crime fighters. I think I can hear his teeth grinding all the way to Macon County.  


Yes, Tim. There is a God!!! 


MAMA 2 Landing at Angel Medical Center



Screen grab from the video 







I was on the road Saturday in Franklin on my way to the Greenway and heard MAMA 2 on the scanner report her location and ETA to Angel Medical Center, so I swung by the hospital to catch a view of the Medevac chopper making a landing.


The downdraft nearly knocked over my tripod as she came in and rotated for the landing! 


If you live West of the Balsams in North Carolina, you can hear MAMA 2 Operations being conducted on 155.355 Mhz.


The camera I used was a Kodak Zi6 which only records mono audio. I altered the audio to simulate stereo.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Jackson County Public Library Construction Update



This is how the building that will be housing the new Jackson County Public Library looked on the outside this afternoon. The Sylva Herald was recently part of a group that was given a tour of the inside. Go check out the photo gallery on their blog.


**6.26am 3/27/2010** Welcome Mountain Xpress readers!

A Short History of Government Stimulus Spending and Economic Prosperity in the 20th Century


To be able to critically analyze economic probabilities, one needs to know the history of previous similar situations. For the first 125 years of our county we had no Federal Reserve Bank and no income tax. We also had virtually no inflation and the average economic downturn lasted only 10 months.
In late 1913 the Federal Reserve Bank (FED) was created. It made it possible for the government to create money out of thin air. Also a permanent income tax was passed.
From 1915 to 1920 inflation was over 75%. Since 1915 there has been over 340% inflation according to government statistics.
By 1920-21 the USA experienced the greatest economic downturn and depression in US history. Our economy contracted by 21% in one year putting millions out of work.
What caused this? Among other things, the Federal Reserve Bank became the vehicle to borrow and create money to fund WW I along with a Federal income tax and many new regulations on businesses.
What did President Harding’s administration do to get out of this depression left by President Wilson? Government spending in 1922 alone was slashed by 34%. They reduced taxes on businesses and individuals from 73% to 24%. They also repealed a lot of the costly government bureaucratic regulations on businesses. The result was a huge increase in tax revenues and prosperity, as has always happened when government intervention in the economy is reduced.
We had the roaring twenties, the time of the greatest economic and technical improvement in the standard of living of the American people in our history. Also there were government budget surpluses every year and much of the WWI debt was paid off...



Source: James Davis, in the WNC Sentinel (go read the rest of the column)
Related: WNC Sentinel on Facebook
Related: Survial Blog
Related: The Survival Podcast




Commentary


I am beginning to think that there is nothing we can do to prevent an economic disaster of biblical proportions from striking this nation, something that will be greater than the Great Depression. The Greater Depression, perhaps? 


I'm not advocating that you do something stupid like buy overpriced Gold or Silver. I suggest that you do something practical, like start a garden. You'd be surprised at how much food you can grow in a relatively small amount of space. It also wouldn't hurt to start a stockpile of items that might come in handy if cash got a little short.

Earth Hour 2010: Lights on in the Free World





I can't help but notice that lights at night tend to mean liberty and prosperity are present. Enviros are providing us with an example of how they would like to see the world...dark and void of liberty and prosperity. 




It should be no secret that I hold the environmental movement in disdain. Most especially when they themselves hold the scientific method in disdain so that they can achieve a political end...

“On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but - which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

Stephen H. Schneider, author of the book Global Warming (Sierra Club), in an interview in Discover Magazine, October 1989.

So, with this Earth Hour nonsense that began in Australia in 2007, I urge everyone to just keep what you are doing and ignore the Enviro Jackals. I am usually in bed with all my lights off at the time of night that is designated Earth Hour, but this is one night that I intend to stay up later than normal, and have all the lights on in my house. I might even crank up my diesel truck and let it idle for the hour just to put some extra life-saving carbon dioxide in the air.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

11th Congressional District Poll

**7.02pm** Erika Franzi of the Asheville Tea Party and Jane Q Public blog has a screenshot of the poll results at around noon. I'm hoping that she will make that available for public inspection. While we wait on that, Here is a tool that will allow you to explore the geographic voting pattern for this poll. 




Polls Powered By MicroPoll

Note that Dan Eichenbaum won every state. In North Carolina, he won with 39% of the vote among the 6 candidates, and he had 100% of the vote in every other state in the Union. Before I left home this morning, I posted the following tweet:



#NC11 Poll Results so far: [K West 36%][J Miller 27%][None 14%][G Newman 14%][D Eichenbaum 9%] #ConsNC http://bit.ly/d54JX7
Link to tweet. When Erika produces the screenshot she thoughtfully took around noon [see the first comment in the comment thread for this post if it disappears, I have a screenshot of that for archival purposes], we'll be able to see how things looked a few hours later. It will help me show that the supporters of (at least) two of the campaigns voted multiple times in the poll. The 1st time between 9am and noon, then secondly a push back in favor of one of the other candidates, and another push for the candidate who garnered many votes between 9am and noon. 

I have the IP addresses of the voters who voted more than once, and will be working to tie them to people, if that is possible.


**3.58** 534 of the 927 votes (so far) have been cast among 10 IP addresses. I'm taking screenshots to show how the vote is progressing so you can see how the multiple votes are being cast.

173.16.116.44 4
71.90.237.42 11
99.196.32.58 28
75.104.128.54 30
75.104.128.36 33
99.197.64.56 51
75.105.0.52 54
75.105.0.38 79
68.119.42.197 130
70.158.134.104 141















**2.54pm** Nearly 100 votes have been cast since I took a screen shot at 2.27pm...


Here is the updated list of IP addresses:


70.158.134.104 Hayesville (BREMC) 141 votes
68.119.42.197 Asheville 125 votes
99.197.64.56 Scottsville, Va 20 votes (Wild Blue Communications)
75.04.128.36 Scottsville, Va 15 votes 
99.196.32.58 14 Englewood, Co (again Wild Blue Comms)








**2.34pm** I've returned from Sylva and have taken a screenshot and Erika Franzi has taken one at noon and I've recorded the IP addresses of the poll participants. Three of them amassing more than 200 votes between them, and several more with more than one vote each.


70.158.134.104 New York City 141 votes (Another IP locator puts this one in Hayesville)
68.119.42.197 Asheville 99 votes
71.90.237.42 Asheville 9 votes
173.16.116.14 Sylva 4 votes


I'm still going through the list, but it seems that most of the multiple votes came from IP addresses in Buncombe County. Strange, huh?













Here is a poll to see where readers of this blog stand on the 11th Congressional District Primary. The poll will close at noon tomorrow, Friday the 26th of March 2010.



















For those of you who haven't done their homework, here is a list of the candidates (in alphabetical order) and a link to their webpage so that you can do a little research before you cast your vote: 


REPUBLICANS
Dan Eichenbaum
James Howard
Ed Krause
Jeff Miller 
Greg Newman 
Kenny West 




DEMOCRATS
Heath Shuler 
Aixa Wilson 



Somebody's Watching Me

Photobucket



I tried to get a photo of this cat looking at the crows that were in the parking lot, but when ever I raised the camera to take a photo, it would look at me instead. I tried out waiting the cat, but it had more patience than I did...so I left, defeated by a mere cat.

Even squirrels take breaks

Photobucket


This little squirrel had been very busy ferrying walnuts up this tree to it's nest all morning and I grabbed this shot of it taking a short break on a lower limb of the tree. Ten minutes later, the little fella was back at it again, ferrying nuts up the tree.

Congressional Candidates Introduced at the
2010 Macon County GOP Convention

Photobucket



Republicans in Macon County [Macon GOP] gathered this past weekend to fellowship with one another, elect delegates to the district and state conventions of the Republican Party, and to meet and greet with candidates who are running for office.


A forum was held to introduce the candidates in the North Carolina 11th Congressional District Republican primary to the Republican voters in Macon County, and this is the first part in a series of posts dedicated to showing you how the candidates responded to questions posed by Republicans in Macon County.


The field of Republicans seeking to challenge Congressman Heath Shuler has six good men in it, and the videos below contain the introduction of each of these men to the convention...






Kenny West gives me an update on his campaign and his philosophy.




Next, are the candidate introductions that took place before the congressional candidate forum. Here they are in the order in which they took place:





Dan Eichenbaum








James Howard








Jim Clayton speaks for Jeff Miller








Kenny West








Greg Newman








Bob Carpenter speaks for Ed Krause


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

US Census Road Tour Vehicle "The Founders" Visit to Franklin, NC




Yesterday, the US Census Road Tour vehicle "The Founders" visited Franklin, NC to raise awareness of the importance of being counted by the US Census Bureau. I spoke with several of the employees, but not not able to get any of them on camera to speak to concerns that people have about the intrusiveness of some questions on the US Census forms. I had to leave the vent early to cover a meeting of the Macon County Commissioners. I was given a promise of an interview at a later time.


Anyway, I took several photos and a couple of hours of video. I was merciless with my editing and cut everything away except for a little over six minutes. Here is the video:






And here are some of the photos I took:










.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Macon County Board of Commissioners
Meeting Agenda and Live Coverage
Begins at 2pm Today







Let's keep our fingers crossed that the Internet connection is good enough to support a video feed. If it is not, you may monitor the meeting via the Twitter hashtag #maconnc.


Click here to see the TweetGrid I have set up for this purpose.


Below is a video player that will become active shortly before 2pm as I set up the equipment in the Commissioner's Board Room prior to the meeting.  Below it is a social stream that will allow you to interact with me and (if anyone else is watching) with other people watching the meeting. Please no profanity or personal attacks. You can attack political positions, but not people. I'll give one warning before booting people.


This is all experimental, so everything may not work as advertised. If you like it, tell your friends about it, and they can join us at the next meeting of the Macon County Commissioners or at the next Town Board of Aldermen as well. I webcast those meetings, too.






The meeting is scheduled to start at 2pm today and a copy of the meeting agenda is below so that you may follow along during the meeting.


MACON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MARCH 22, 2010 - 2 P.M.

AGENDA

  1. Call to order and welcome by Chairman Beale
  2. Announcements
  3. Invocation 
  4. Pledge of Allegiance
  5. Public Comment Period
  6. Adjustments to and approval of the agenda
  7. Public Hearings:

    1. Transit
      1. Community Transportation Program Grant
      2. Federal Transportation Administration section 5310 Grant
      3. Adjourn hearings - Adopt resolutions
    2. School Property - Iotla and Nantahala

  8. Reports/Presentations:

    1. USFS - Mike Wilkins - Update on USFS Roads, etc.
    2. NCDOT - Wesley Grindstraff - Secondary Roads
  9. Old Business:
    1. School architects contracts and interlocal agreement

  10. New Business:

    1. Private Drinking Water Well resolution
    2. Highlands School Change Orders
    3. Veterans Memorial - Rock Work

  11. Consent Agenda
    All items below are considered routine and will be enacted by one motion. No separate discussion will be held except on request of a member of the Board of Commissioners. 

    1. Minutes
    2. Budget Revisions
    3. Tax releases
    4. Tax refund
    5. Tax Reappraisal Resolution (Correction)
    6. Economic Development Guidelines (Correction)
    7. Health Department - Billing Guide
    8. Highlands July 4th Fireworks

  12. Appointments (Pending) 
  13. Closed session (If necessary)
  14. Adjournment/Recess 

US Census Road Tour Vehicle "The Founders" Visits Franklin, NC Today

The Charlotte Regional US Census Road Tour Vehicle "The Founders will be at the Macon County Courthouse from noon to 3.30pm on Monday, March 22, 2010.

There will be speeches by local elected officials, demonstrations by US Census employees and entertainment provided by local talent at the Town Gazebo.

This will be an opportunity to get your questions and concerns regarding the 2010 Census answered.



Visit Conservative Thunder for more information and directions to the event.


Previously:



Important Information Regarding the 2010 US Census




.

Jackson County GOP Convention
Congressional Candidates Speak


At the Jackson County Republican Convention on Friday, a record turnout of Republicans gathered to have their annual party convention on party matters, to elect delegates to the district and state conventions. There were also  candidates seeking to be elected to various offices who were given the opportunity to speak before the assembled Republicans. 


Here are the candidates for Congress:





I caught up with James Howard before things got underway and he gave me an update on his campaign and went over his qualifications for this office.









Dan Eichenbaum was not able to make it to the convention, and his campaign manager Matthew Hoagland spoke for him.


James Howard

Ed Krause

Jeff Miller

Greg Newman

Kenny West