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.


Photos from my photoblog.

nullspace for future use

nullspace for future use


Sunday, November 30, 2008

The John Batchelor Show for Nov 30th

It's Sunday night, and that means it's time for John Batchelor!

Here is his website.

The show starts at 7pm Eastern, and continues for six hours of the best radio you will find anywhere, as only John Batchelor can deliver it with his stable of experts...

And here is where you can listen to the show live online:

New York, WABC-AM 770 7-10PM ET;

Washington DC, WMAL-AM 630 7-9PM ET;

San Francisco, KSFO-AM 560;

Los Angeles,KFI-AM 640;

Schedule for Tonight: (all six hours are on the same link now)

The first two hours are below to whet your appetite:

War on Mumbai Special.

705P ET: Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution, re the guerilla attack on Mumbai beginning Wednesday 26 at approximately 2100 hours Mumbai time; the evidence so far pointing to multiple sources for the attackers, who may have been trained at ISI run camps near Peshawar and Lahore: attackers may include Britons, Pakistanis, Kashmiris, Heyderabad Indians, possibly East Africans from Mauritius: evidence also points to long planing for the operation that was launched from sea to land-based safe houses. Multiple dry runs beforehand. The attack resembles the spectacular planned by Chechen guerillas against the G8 meeting at Petersburg in July 2008. Re the evidence of fastitdious planning and accurate intelligence by attackers. Re the US posture toward Al Qaeda's capabilities and aims. Re TV coverage from global financial center on CNN network is the WMD, the force multiplier. Re the pogrom at Nariman House.

720P: Joe Barrett, Wall Street Journal, re the cotton crop and the financial crisis, re the worldwide commodities sell-off and the blow to farmers, re the strategy to survive the credit drought for farm supplies.

735P: Professional Roundtable with Mona Charen, NRO, Vaughn Verver and John Fund, Wall Street Journal; re the attack on Mumbai, reported to the panel by Bill Roggio, Long War Journal, re what does Mumbai mean for the Obama transition, re the Wsj editorial board cheering the decision to continue Robert Gates, DoD, and to name Jim Jones, retired Marine general, to NSA.

750P: Continued re the Franken/ Coleman recount.

805P: Larry Kudlow, CNBC "Kudlow & Company," re the strong dollar/low tax strategy recommended by Nobelist Robert Mundell, re the need for a corporate tax holiday for one year to geerate business, re the need to link the dollar to the yuan at 6.8, to put a floor under the Euro at $1.25, the the unknown President-Elect Obama tax plans, re the conservative Keynesian Paul Volcker.

820P: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents Major Jewish Organizations, re the attack on the Lubavitcher settlement at Nariman House, Coloba in South Mumbai, re the murder of the rabbi, his wife, Gabriel and Rivka Hertzberg, and others after the hostage stand-off, re the pogrom.

835P: Financial Professionals, with John Tamny,, Simon Constable, Dow Jones, Aaron Task, Yahoo Finance, re the Citi bailout and market confidence, re the auto bailout and the Obama administration, re this is Obama's stock market, re the dollar-a-year men return.

850P: Continued, re the attack on Mumbai as a financial center, re the global downturn in India and China.

Cleveland Rocks!!!

This was a great show. 

An Ode To The Intellectual Giant Rush Limbaugh

Rush has a well-thought-out political philosophy, with deep roots in European and American history. He constantly collects real evidence, and is better at explaining it to millions of listeners than anybody else today. Limbaugh has a twenty year track record of sifting truths from lies; that is not an accident, any more than Tiger Woods is an accident. It comes from great talent and lifelong practice.

In the upshot, Rush is a voice for rationality and sanity in a world awash in madness and propaganda. If that's not the proper role of an intellectual, what is?

The words "intellect" and "intellectual" deserve to be rescued from the myth-makers of the Left, which has decided in its amazing arrogance that it really owns those words.  But that is just another sign of its narrow-minded cultism. The Left shuts out competing voices, like any other cult, and then becomes outraged when independent thinkers don't agree with its "smelly little orthodoxies" --- as George Orwell famously called them. (Orwell started as a Leftist and then figured out the scam.)

An intellectual is just a thinker, somebody who uses the intellect and does it well. An athlete is somebody who uses physical talent and does it well. Those words stand for excellence.

Rush Limbaugh listens to hundreds of competing voices and finds ways to make sense of them. That is what good intellectuals do -- a lot of listening, a lot of dialogue, a lot of clarification. Talk show hosts have the perfect job for it.

By far the majority of the great intellectuals in history have been conservatives, going back to the two main wellsprings of Western thought, the Greeks and the Bible. It is also true in ancient India and China. Confucius was one of the world's great conservative thinkers, emphasizing personal and governmental morality, correct social relationships, justice and sincerity. 

(Which is why that Leftist hero Mao Zedong murdered tens of millions of people trying to uproot Confucian traditions in China. In the end, Confucius won.) 

Plato was a great conservative.  Cicero was a great conservative. The American Founders were conservatives, with rare exceptions. The wisdom books of the Bible are full of conservative sayings. That's what the Ten Commandments are about. "Honor your father and mother" is a profoundly conservative idea.

All high civilizations have been built by conservatives. You can't accumulate the cultural capital needed to build any high civilization if you try to destroy the past, as the Left constantly tries to do. You can't build a chariot if you have to reinvent the wheel every generation. The batty idea that kids have the real answers in life is just a modern delusion. It is just ignorant.

Conservatism builds. Leftism overthrows. That is the meaning of that pop word "revolution." The all-destroying revolution is an adolescent fantasy, and the Left hangs on to those fantasies a lot longer than conservatives do.

Source: The American Thinker (read the whole thing, print it out and hand it out to people) 


I credit Rush Limbaugh for keeping me from throwing away my vote in 1992, and for pointing me to other conservative thinkers...and for grounding me in conservative thought.

Do you want any easy way to tell if someone is NOT a conservative? Just tell them that you love Rush Limbaugh. [Their reaction will tell you everything there is to know about them. -TP]

You should steer well clear of those who hate Rush Limbaugh, for they can be no friend to a conservative. 

It really is that easy.

Muslim Terrorists Should Not Be Suffered To Live...

Here is a little stream of consciousness blogburst focusing on Islamic Terrorism:

Gavriel Holtzberg managed to cover his wife Rivka with a prayer shawl just moments before he was killed by the despicable terrorists in Mumbai.

If that does not impress upon you the evil nature of the Islamic terrorists we face, then you are under suspicion yourself. 

I didn't even know this type of terrorism had a name. I should have realized that my devious mind wasn't the first to come up with such a strategy. Now, some of the training our local SWAT team has undergone makes little more sense, especially as to why they need all those shiny new killing tools.

Even when former Muslims flee, they are still held prisoner by dhimmi governments

I thank God that some of us still get it that we are fighting a war against an evil purer than that of Nazi Germany.

How long will the people of the West be so willingly blind?

What will it take for us to gird up our loins and erase this evil from our planet? 

How many people must they murder before we act?

How long must we tolerate the existence of leaders who don't get it? 

**11.27am** One more piece of evidence:

"Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing," a doctor said.

Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: "It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim's body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words," he said.

Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: "It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood," one doctor said.

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.

Source: The Jawa Report.

I still think that this planet would be a better place if we killed every terrorist we could find, as well as those who give them support or political cover. The Jewish people are the canaries of world conditions...when they are extinguished...evil approaches.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkeys Away

This has got to be one of the funniest moments I ever saw on TV while growing up.

Hat Tip: crystalcheats

Sparks Fly Regarding Application For Asheville City Council,
Conservative Activist Disemvoweled

The Carolina Stompers have been reviewing the applications for consideration to be selected for the seat being vacated by City Councilman Holly Jones. 

Chad Nesbitt, founder of the Stompers, has been trying to contact Gordon Smith about the application he submitted, and (in typical liberal fashion) he has been "disemvoweled" [1] [2] by the blog admins at the progressive group blog Scrutiny Hooligans. 

That is what I get for stepping away from the local scene for a couple of days...but at least I can count on the Carolina Stompers to keep an eye on things while I am away.

Twoofers Lose To Science, AGAIN

This is the final report on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) investigation of the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7), conducted under the National Construction Safety Team Act.  This report describes how the fires that followed the impact of debris from the collapse of WTC 1 (the north tower) led to the collapse of WTC 7; an evaluation of the building evacuation and emergency response procedures; what procedures and practices were used in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the building; and areas in current building and fire codes, standards, and practices that warrant revision.  Extensive details are found in the companion reports, NIST NCSTAR 1-9 and NIST NCSTAR 1-9A.

Also in this report is a summary of how NIST reached its conclusions.  NIST complemented in-house expertise with private sector technical experts; accumulated copious documents, photographs, and videos of the disaster; conducted first-person interviews of building occupants and emergency responders; analyzed the evacuation and emergency response operations in and around WTC 7; performed computer simulations of the behavior of WTC 7 on September 11, 2001; and combined the knowledge gained into a probable collapse sequence.

The report concludes with a list of 13 recommendations for action in the areas of increased structural integrity, enhanced fire endurance of structures, new methods for fire resistant design of structures, enhanced active fire protection, improved emergency response, improved procedures and practices, and education and training.  One of these is new; the other 12 are reiterated from the investigation into the collapse of the WTC towers.  Each of the 13 is relevant to WTC 7.
October 2008

NIST NCSTAR 1A:  Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 

NIST Video: The Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Building Fell

Source: Science Daily

Hat Tip: Pirate's Cove


I have been in more arguments with the loons known as 9/11 Twoofer (or Truthers) than I care to recall. One thing they all share in common is a blatant disregard for science (even when I walk calculations through with them step by step), photographic evidence, and a severe lack of connection with reality (I mean look at it, these guys listen to ANYONE who says it was a conspiracy of some sort, and ignore ANYONE who says it wasn't, and lays out the evidence).

I predict this will mean nothing to the lunatic fringe who need to believe that there is a conspiracy involved for purely selfish, insular, and psychological reasons (mostly to compensate for cases of severe inadequacy, paranoid delusions, and so forth). I also have a hunch that there may be a spiritual component to this mental virus these people suffer from, it is so destructive to those that suffer from it.

Attempting to show these people the truth is more akin to spreading pearls before swine. 

Walter E Williams - Redistribution of Income

Hat Tip: Bodhi1 via Twitter

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Celebrations in Franklin, NC

2007 Franklin Christmas Tree

The Franklin Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place tonight at 7pm in front of the Clock Tower. There will be free cider, cookies and music. If you cannot attend, but would like to watch from the top of the Jones Building live, visit WPFJ's webcam page, which has one pointed in that general direction.

I plan on attending, and will probably put something up about it.

I am proud to say that my town is not ashamed of Christmas.

Also, there will be a "Cookies with Santa" event downtown tomorrow from 10 am to noon and the annual Christmas Parade will be Sunday at 3 pm in downtown Franklin. I will be at the parade, and you can view a portion of the parade on the above webcam. I am excited about the Christmas Parade because when I was young, we lived too far outside of town to justify attending the parade...and after I was old enough to go on my own, I always had jobs that prevented me from attending, or I was somewhere else.

Here is the official information from the Franklin Chamber of Commerce regarding this year's Christmas Parade:

"My Favorite Christmas Carol" has been chosen as the theme of the event. "This year's theme provides for a broad range of ideas to be incorporated in float design and other entries. We encourage those participating to decorate their float using a favorite Christmas carol." said Linda Harbuck, Chamber Executive Director. Prize money will be awarded. The judging of the floats will take place prior to the parade. Prizes for Best Use of Theme, Most Creative and Grand Champion will be given.

"Folks need to keep in mind when designing their entries that the "Santa" rule applies again this year." Harbuck continued. "No Santas are allowed on any float OTHER THAN the traditional Santa which signifies the end of the parade. the little ones get especially confused because we all know there is only one Santa Claus."

We are proud to announce this year's Grand Marshall, Bob Litten. Mr. Litten is the President of the Veteran's Memorial of Macon County, Inc., a founding member of the West Macon Fire Department and on the Executive Board and District Commissioner of the Boy Scouts. Bob has been instrumental in the building of the Veteran's Memorial here at our recreation park. "We are excited to be able to honor, Mr. Litten in this fashion". said Cindy Cavender, Special Events Coordinator. "His giving spirit and willingness to donate so much to our community is certainly a blessing', Cavender concluded.

The parade will again line up in the East Franklin Shopping Center and areas of Highlands Road. The route will turn left from Highlands Road onto Main Street taking the parade up Town Hill, then left on Porter Street and disbanding at Franklin High School.

Did I Go Overboard?

The only thing worse than putting them up will be taking the blasted things down.

Weedeating and Wasps

These critters are just one more reason I hate weed eating!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Mumbai Terror Strikes Could Happen Here

I have been concerned since September 11, 2001 that terrorists would engage in a distributive-type attack where a dozen or so could bring a city to a stand still or a couple hundred could bring the nation to a brief stop.

All it would take for a small-scale attack is 5 or 6 gunmen to attack a Friday night football game, Saturday afternoon soccer match or other public gathering in small town America. They could kill dozens, if not hundreds, in such an attack.

Hotels, Motels, Theaters, Restaurants, Schools, Public Transit Hubs and Concert Halls could be attacked the same way...some of this did occur in the Mumbai Strikes.

Now, imagine this on a larger scale in several cities, perhaps even in larger ones with over 30,000 population. In these larger cities, there is so much foot traffic that a coordinated attack could herd people into ever smaller areas, making for a killing zone that would yield thousands dead.  

I am thankful that such an attack has not been made on American soil. My hope is that  we never see such carnage on our streets. My feeling is that the genie is now out of the bottle on such attacks. 

By the way, you do have a concealed carry permit, don't you?

I have been in the habit of carrying at least one .45 ACP with three magazines on my person in the past couple of years...if more of us did that sort of thing, and happened to be in a place chosen by terrorists to would provide for an inoculation against a similar attempt, wouldn't it?

Perhaps the perception that we are an armed society has kept us far.

Happy Thanksgiving, and keep the people of Mumbai in your prayers, and the faces of terrorists on your targets when you visit your local gun range.

And remember that places that try to prevent the exercise of the Second Amendment on their premises will be the most likely places hit by terrorists...I know if I were one...they would be very high on my list.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Gets Rickrolled

I really don't get the Rickrolling thing, but there it is...

Thanks Giving Day Movie:
Planet of the Apes

Okay, it's not the real ones from the 60's and 70's but the "re-imagined" movie from a few years ago.

Click here if you want to watch it on Hulu.

I noticed that the movie was expiring in a few days, so watch it now or be left out...

The View From Rattlesnake Gap

Looking in the Valley

This is the view looking into the main valley toward Franklin from the west.

The Media In India Still Loves Their Soldiers

I just witnessed the arrival of Commandos at the Trident House where terrorists are still holding hostages...and the crowd of onlookers cheered the soldiers, along with the Indian Reporters.

I wish our media were capable of the same thing.

My prayers are with the people of India during this time.

I have a live-stream at West Carolina Report of the ongoing operations against the terrorists as commandos are clearing the buildings of terrorists...which the India Times carried live. You can also read my Google Reader Shared Items Page for links to articles I am reading and sharing, many of them regarding the Mumbai Terror Strikes.

It has also been reported that officials in India are requesting people in the area to be not too specific in their twitter coverage because the terrorists may be monitoring twitter. You can search twitter your self manually, or view hot tags clouds on TwitScoop. You can see the latest twits by rolling your mouse pointer over the tag, and see a trend chart by double clicking on the tag. 

And for those of you not on twitter, here is a list of twitter tools to entice you by showing the utility of the service.

Thanksgiving Day, 2008
A Presidential Proclaimation

Thanksgiving Day, 2008

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather together and express gratitude for all that we have been given, the freedoms we enjoy, and the loved ones who enrich our lives. We recognize that all of these blessings, and life itself, come not from the hand of man but from Almighty God.

Every Thanksgiving, we remember the story of the Pilgrims who came to America in search of religious freedom and a better life. Having arrived in the New World, these early settlers gave thanks to the Author of Life for granting them safe passage to this abundant land and protecting them through a bitter winter. Our Nation's first President, George Washington, stated in the first Thanksgiving proclamation that "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor." While in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition of proclaiming a day of thanksgiving, asking God to heal our wounds and restore our country.

Today, as we look back on the beginnings of our democracy, Americans recall that we live in a land of many blessings where every person has the right to live, work, and worship in freedom. Our Nation is especially thankful for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who protect these rights while setting aside their own comfort and safety. Their courage keeps us free, their sacrifice makes us grateful, and their character makes us proud. Especially during the holidays, our whole country keeps them and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

Americans are also mindful of the need to share our gifts with others, and our Nation is moved to compassionate action. We pay tribute to all caring citizens who reach out a helping hand and serve a cause larger than themselves.

On this day, let us all give thanks to God who blessed our Nation's first days and who blesses us today. May He continue to guide and watch over our families and our country always.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 27, 2008, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to strengthen the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.


# # #

Source: The White House

Terror Strikes in Mumbai, Again

I have been watching live video streaming coverage of the coordinated attacks by Muslim terrorists "seeking to cause mayhem", according to police officials who have been briskly interrogating captured terrorists.

There is an ongoing hostage situations in the Trident Hotel and the Taj Motel. Just now, at 3.16 am Eastern Time, it is being reporting that a Greek millionaire has been shot dead by the terrorists at the Taj Motel.

Here is a synopsis from the BBC:

At least seven high-profile locations were hit in India's financial
capital, including two luxury hotels where dozens of hostages are being held.
The buildings are now ringed by troops. Gunmen are also said to be holding people captive in an office block.
Police say four suspected terrorists have been killed and nine arrested.

As day broke in Mumbai, the situation on the ground was still confused
with reports of gunfire and explosions at between seven and 16 locations.
The city's main commuter train station, a hospital, a restaurant and two hotels - locations used by foreigners as well as local businessmen and leaders - were among those places caught up in the violence.

Source: BBC

As I write this, the Maha DGP is reporting the hostage crisis at the Taj Hotel is over, and all hostages held there have been rescued by commandos. Reporters are still seeing people in the windows of the hotel. Shivraj Patil, Home Minister, is giving a Press Conference as I write [3.26 am Eastern]. He is expressing his sorrow and condolencses for the victims and the policemen who laid down their lives in service of the nation.

200 Cmmandos have been provided to the state police, and they have been working together to kill the terrorists and free the hostages.

According to UTVi, these places have been attacked:

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station - shootings, grenades
South Mumbai Police Headquarters - shootings
Leopold Cafe, Colaba - shootings
Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel - shootings, six explosions, fire on top floor, hostages
Oberoi Trident Hotel - shooting, explosions, hostages, fire
Mazagaon Docks - explosion, boat with armaments seized
Cama Hospital - shootings, hostagesNariman House - siege, hostages
Vile Parle Suburb, North Mumbai - explosions

On the live coverage I am watching, the terrorists came by sea and had at least two boatloads of weapons and explosives, and that they were directed by Sat Phone from Pakistan. I could not understand what the name of the group was.

[4.30 am Eastern The terrorists are being called Mujahideen. I had trouble understanding the accent. --TP]

There are intermittent explosions taking place in the Mariman House as Commandos work to clear the building of terrorists.

I have moved my live streaming coverage to the Live Page on West Carolina Report.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Live Coverage From India of Terror Attack Aftermath

The volume is started at you will have to slide the volume bar to the right to get sound:
I have moved the live streaming player
to my live page on
West Carolina Report for the duration
of the coverage from the Times of India.

At least 80 people are killed and 250 wounded in India terror attacks as gunmen 'hunt for Brits and Americans'

The Indian city of Mumbai was torn apart by a string of terror attacks tonight leaving at least 80 people dead and 250 wounded.

Gunmen wielding assault rifles and hurling grenades targeted two luxury five star hotels, the city's railway station and a hospital.

Witnesses claimed the terrorists were demanding 'anyone with a British or American passport' and gunmen were tonight reported to be holding Western hostages at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

'These are terrorist strikes in at least seven places. unknown terrorists have gone with automatic weapons and opened fire indiscriminately,' a state police chief told local television.

Source: Daily Mail

And here is live video of a portion of the attack from you tube:

A chronology of terrorist attacks upon India by practitioners of The Religion of Peace.

Who Are You Looking At?

Cardinals sure are skittish creatures. About half a second after I snapped this shot, he was gone.

Happy Hoar Frost!!!

Happy Hoar Frost!!!

Pre-Thanksgiving Local Conservative Blog Roundup

It has been a while since I've done a blog roundup, and I do not recall doing a conservative one here goes!

Hillbilly White Trash is celebrating his third blogiversary today! Go show him some love in the comments.

The Hendersonville Post has compiled the Google Rankings of various media websites in West Carolina...and crows about Matt Mittan's website having 0 out of 10 while the Hendersonville Post has 4 out of 10 and the Asheville Citizen-Times shares the top spot with 6 out of 10 with the Hendersonville News website.

My Google Ranking here is 5 out of 10, tied with WLOS and Mtn X.

Google Rank is not is logarithmic, with each increase in rank being by a factor of ten at how important Google Rates each page.

I would caution the author of the Hendersonville Post not to equate Google Ranking with traffic if he had open comments. He does not, so I do it here [link to source for below excerpt]:

Google describes PageRank:[1]

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important".

In other words, a PageRank results from a "ballot" among all the other pages on the World Wide Web about how important a page is. A hyperlink to a page counts as a vote of support. The PageRank of a page is defined recursively and depends on the number and PageRank metric of all pages that link to it ("incoming links"). A page that is linked to by many pages with high PageRank receives a high rank itself. If there are no links to a web page there is no support for that page.

Google assigns a numeric weighting from 0-10 for each webpage on the Internet; this PageRank denotes a site’s importance in the eyes of Google. The PageRank is derived from a theoretical probability value on a logarithmic scale like the Richter Scale. The PageRank of a particular page is roughly based upon the quantity of inbound links as well as the PageRank of the pages providing the links. It is known that other factors, e.g. relevance of search words on the page and actual visits to the page reported by the Google toolbar also influence the PageRank. In order to prevent manipulation, spoofing and spamdexing, Google provides no specific details about how other factors influence PageRank.

Numerous academic papers concerning PageRank have been published since Page and Brin's original paper.[2] In practice, the PageRank concept has proven to be vulnerable to manipulation, and extensive research has been devoted to identifying falsely inflated PageRank and ways to ignore links from documents with falsely inflated PageRank.
Other link-based ranking algorithms for Web pages include the
HITS algorithm invented by Jon Kleinberg (used by Teoma and now, the IBM CLEVER project, and the TrustRank algorithm.

The Wild West has a report on the Luddite Asheville City Council's useless discussions on whether or not to pass a resolution banning the transport of nuclear waste through Asheville. From her apt appears that there were many anti-nuke activists at the meeting. I will see if I can swipe some video from the City Council Website to show the kooks in action since seeing is believing for most people.

The Carolina Stompers are looking to hire two reporters for their website. I wish them luck in finding intelligent go-getter's.

As for me, I've been marveling at the Blue Dunes on Mars, posting pics on WNC Citizens Blog, and putting the final touches on my GIANT tracking project for the NC General Assembly due to launch in January 2009.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cool Blue Dunes on Mars

view high-resolution photo here

The Abalos Undae dune field stretches westward, away from a portion (Abalos Colles) of the ice-rich north polar layered deposits that is separated from the main Planum Boreum dome by two large chasms. These dunes are special because their sands may have been derived from erosion of the Rupes Tenuis unit (the lowest stratigraphic unit in Planum Boreum, beneath the icier layers) during formation of the chasms. Some researches have argued that these chasms were formed partially by melting of the polar ice.

The enhanced color data illuminate differences in composition. The dunes appear blueish because of their basaltic composition, while the reddish-white areas are probably covered in dust. Upon close inspection, tiny ripples and grooves are visible on the surface of the dunes; these features are formed by wind action, as are the dunes themselves.

It is possible that the dunes are no longer migrating (the process of dune formation forces dunes to move in the direction of the main winds) and that the tiny ripples are the only active parts of the dunes today.

Find more cool photos of Mars at the HiRISE website. The above area in the above image is about three quarters of a mile wide!

HiRISE is the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The spacecraft is currently orbiting Mars approximately 13 times an (Earth) day. The Primary Science Phase (the main “mapping” phase of the mission) officially started on November 8, 2006, and was scheduled to last for two (Earth) years. It has recently been extended for two more (Earth) years!

For continuing updates, please visit the HiRISE Blog.

ICE fugitive operations teams nab 104 illegal aliens in NC, SC & GA

CHARLOTTE, NC - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that a five-day targeted fugitive operation that culminated Friday in the Carolinas and Georgia netted 104 fugitive aliens and immigration violators.

Among those arrested were 94 fugitives who ignored lawful orders of removal and went into hiding and 10 other immigration violators. Of the 104 arrested, 23 had prior criminal convictions for crimes including drug possession, stolen goods possession and indecent liberties with a child.

"We will continue conducting these targeted fugitive operations to arrest and deport those in violation of U.S. immigration law," said Felicia Skinner, acting field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal in Atlanta. "Our message is clear: avoid arrest by complying with the law."

Source: ALIPAC (more info on website)
Hat Tip: NC Voice (via email alert)

Confederate Moon

Confederate Moon

This is a photo of the Confederate Memorial I took in early November in downtown Franklin.

QUIZ: What Kind of Conservative Are You?

How to Win a Fight With a Liberal is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Conservative Identity:

You are a Flag-Waving Everyman, also known as a patriot. You believe in freedom, apple pie, rooting for America at all times, and that God gave us a two-day weekend so we could enjoy football and NASCAR.

Take the quiz at

Hat Tip: Right Wing Whiz Kid

Of course, my liberal and libertarian friends call me a neocon!!!

Holy Land Foundation Guilty On All Counts!

DALLAS – A jury convicted five former officials at the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) on all counts in the Hamas-support case after 8 days of deliberations.

The men, Shukri Abu-Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohamed El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdelrahman Odeh, could face up to 20 years in prison for their convictions on conspiracy counts, including conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The verdicts, read Monday afternoon, ended a two-year saga in what is considered the largest terror financing case since the 9/11 attacks.
In the original trial last year, jurors acquitted El-Mezain on 31 of the 32 counts against him, but could not reach unanimous verdicts on any other counts, prompting a mistrial.

Prosecutors made a series of
significant adjustments, from dropping 29 counts each against defendants Mufid Abdulqader and Abdelrahman Odeh, to adding new witnesses who could put the charity support in context. In addition, jurors in this trial saw three exhibits Israeli military officials seized from the Palestinian Authority which showed the PA also considered HLF to be a Hamas financer and that an HLF-supported charity committee was controlled by Hamas.

The result was a much more streamlined case that followed a logical narrative, said Peter Margulies, a law professor at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Seeing the Palestinian Authority reach the same conclusion as the U.S. government had to have helped, he said.

In addition, prosecutors provided summary exhibits that served as "a road map" to the case and had to help jurors deliberate, Margulies said. "The jury was able to look at the evidence and get past the perceived biases of any of the witnesses and see the evidence as a whole."

That evidence made clear that the defendants knew where the money raised in the U.S. was going despite legal prohibitions against support for Hamas.

Source: the Investigative Project on Terrorism


Monday, November 24, 2008

Carolina Stompers Are Hiring

Lefties, Watch Out!!!

The Carolina Stompers are looking for two reporters. If you think you might fit the bill, check it out. 

Now we will be getting somewhere!!!


The Third Clinton Administration

The Third Clinton Administration


While the liberal intelligentsia was swooning over Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, I counseled “prepare to be disappointed.” His record as a Illinois state and U.S. Senator, together with the many progressive and long overdue courses of action he opposed during his campaign, rendered such a prediction unfortunate but obvious.

Now this same intelligentsia is beginning to howl over Obama’s transition team and early choices to run his Administration. Having defeated Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primaries, he now is busily installing Bill Clinton’s old guard. Thirty one out of forty seven people that he has named so far for transition or appointments have ties to the Clinton Administration, according to Politico. One Clintonite is quoted in the Washington Post as saying – “This isn’t lightly flavored with Clintons. This is all Clintons, all the time.”
Obama’s “foreign policy team is now dominated by the Hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990,” writes Jeremy Scahill. Obama’s transition team reviewing intelligence agencies and recommending appointments is headed by John Brennan and Jami Miscik, who worked under George Tenet when the CIA was involved in politicizing intelligence for, among other officials, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s erroneous address before the United Nations calling for war against Iraq.

Mr. Brennan, as a government official, supported warrantless wiretapping and extraordinary rendition to torturing countries. National Public Radio reported that Obama’s reversal when he voted for the revised FISA this year relied on John Brennan’s advise.

For more detail on these two advisers and others recruited by Obama from the dark old days, see Democracy Now, November 17, 2008 and Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet, Nov. 20, 2008 “This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House.”

The top choice as White House chief of staff is Rahm Emanuel—the ultimate hard-nosed corporate Democrat, military-foreign policy hawk and Clinton White House promoter of corporate globalization, as in NAFTA and the World Trade Organization.

Now, recall Obama’s words during the bucolic “hope and change” campaign months: “The American people…understand the real gamble is having the same old folks doing things over and over and over again and somehow expecting a different result.” Thunderous applause followed these remarks.

“This is more ‘Groundhog Day’ then a fresh start,” asserted Peter Wehner, a former Bush adviser who is now at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.The signs are amassing that Barack Obama put a political con job over on the American people. He is now daily buying into the entrenched military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned Americans about in his farewell address.

Source: Progressive Democrats of North Carolina


Here is mud in your eye lefties!!! While you were trying to avoid a Bush 3, you got a Clinton 3!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Yep...President-elect Obama did give Hillary the most important cabinet post.


Crap. I should have known as soon as I started to gloat...this would happen.

Perhaps Obama has set a trap for the HildaBeast after all.

Is Blogging Lobbying?

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Blogger beware? State regulators are wondering whether online political activism amounts to lobbying, which could force Web-based activists to file public reports detailing their finances.

In a collision of 21st century media and 1970s political reforms, the inquiry hints at a showdown over press freedoms for bloggers, whose self-published journals can shift between news reporting, opinion writing, political organizing and campaign fundraising.
State officials are downplaying any possible media rights conflict, pointing out that regulators have already exempted journalistic blogging from previous guidelines for online campaign activity.

But the blogosphere is taking the notion seriously. One prominent liberal blogger in Seattle is already issuing a dare - if the government wants David Goldstein to file papers as a lobbyist, it will have to take him to court.

Goldstein, publisher of the widely read, wants to know how his political crusades could be subject to financial disclosures while newspaper writers, radio hosts and others in traditional media get a pass.

For most bloggers, Goldstein said, the work "is a hobby, a sideline. And yet they contribute greatly to the public debate and to the new journalism."

"When you start talking about regulating Internet activity, you open up a Pandora's Box," he said.

Source: Seattle Times
Hat Tip: Freedom Folks (via Ace)


I would expect that as blogs become more trusted than the Legacy Media outlets (at least most of us aren't afraid to tell you our bias), that this sort of thing will become more and more prevalent.

Astronaut Invents Zero-G Coffee Cup!!!

Source: Collect Space

I guess that means there is now officially nothing holding me back from going into space now.

Carjacker Clubbed With Frozen Turkey

In Fuquay-Varina, NC (near Raleigh), a 30 year old man robbed a gas station, ran across the street to a Harris-Teeter Supermarket and began beating Irene Bailey in an attempt to steal her car and make a getaway.

The carjacker was in turn attacked by other shoppers (including one who used a frozen turkey as a club). The man, Fred Irvin of Raleigh, managed to take the car but was arrested and taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated and released into police custody.

Irvin faces several charges relating to the attack on Bailey, the theft of the car, and a hit and run while driving the car.

Source: Raleigh News & Observer

I am glad to see people unwilling to be just observers of a crime...that people are willing to "wade in" and lend a club to the effort..even if it is a frozen turkey.

Blogs 4 Borders Goes On Hiatus,
Needs Your Help

I just received a note from Jake Jacobson telling me that the weekly video podcast "Blogs4Borders" will be going on an indefinite hiatus:

Due to financial circumstances beyond our control we are forced to take an indefinite hiatus from Blogs 4 Borders. The computer we use to produce the show is broken and we do not have the funds to get it repaired. We've had a few donations in the past couple of days though (thanks guys!), and they are being set aside specifically for the computer so we can get it fixed ASAP. We hope to be up and running in the very near future, but that is out of our hands at this point. Here are some videos detailing what's going on...

MJ announces we are taking a hiatus...

Jake explains what's going on in a little more detail...

If you want to help them out, click here.
Their blog is called Freedom Folks.


I completely understand where Jake and MJ are coming from. Being a conservative vlogger or blogger like they are is a thankless task. If everybody chipped in $5 or so (more if you can afford it) so these guys can get a real camera and a computer that works.

As the recipient of thoughtful donations of equipment, money and software, I can atest that every little bit helps...and urge you to give a little to help them stay on the air.

Obama, can you spare blacks a proclamation?

The National Black Republican Association has issued a petition to Barack Hussein Obama, the leader of the Democratic Party, requesting that Obama issue a formal proclamation of apology for the Democratic Party's 150-year history of racism.
We recognize that this is likely too much to ask of the oh so "racially sensitive" Democrats who want us to ignore their racist past and failed socialism that have caused so much harm to black Americans. So we will not hold our breath waiting for their response.

Petition to Barack Hussein Obama for a Proclamation of Apology for the Democratic Party's 150-year History of Racism

We, black American citizens of the United States and the National Black Republican Association, declare and assert:

WHEREAS, the healing of wounds begins with an apology, and the Democratic Party has never apologized for their horrific atrocities and racist practices against black Americans during the past 150 years, nor held accountable for the residual impact that those atrocities and practices are having on us today,

WHEREAS, as a result of the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission Report of May 31, 2006, the North Carolina Democratic Party issued a unanimous apology on January 20, 2007 for the Democratic Party's 1898 murderous rampage against blacks,

WHEREAS, inner-city minister Rev. Wayne Perryman wrote a book, "Unfounded Loyalty: An In-depth Look Into The Love Affair Between Blacks and Democrats", and filed a lawsuit against the Democratic Party on December 10, 2004, but, after admitting their history of racism under oath in court, the Democrats refused to apologize,

WHEREAS, history shows that the Democratic Party through its racist agenda and "States' Rights" claim to own slaves, sought to protect and preserve the institution of slavery from 1792 to 1865, thus enslaving millions of African Americans, while the Republican Party was started in 1854 as the anti-slavery party, fought to free blacks from slavery and championed civil rights for blacks...[Read the rest]

Hat Tip: Bill L. (via email)

Read more from the National Black Republicans