Inner Banks Eagle
"Liberalism is totalitarianism with a human face." - Thomas Sowell
Freedom and liberty are the foundation of America. This love of freedom requires that freedom for others be just as important as freedom for you. Today this commitment to freedom is being superceded by a constant government expansion that will leave all of us subservient to the power of bureaucrats.
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
My Dad's Barbershop - -
- - and personal responsibility
by Larry Elder - December 29th, 2005 - TownHall.com
While off for the holidays, I took my 90-year-old, former Marine, Republican dad to his inner-city barbershop. Dad goes to the same barbershop that my brothers and I went to when we were growing up. Different people now own the shop, and I hadn't set foot in there in probably 35 years. Is it still, I asked Dad, the same "afro-centric," white-man-done-me-wrong, trash-talking joint? "Yes," sighed my father, who taught my brothers and me to overcome racism through hard work and personal responsibility.Read this article and you can understand why Larry Elder is one of my favorite writers. This is an important issue that he deals with in a truly human way. I can't see anyone here in the Inner Banks saying some of the things he said, can you?
There are times when it seems that the Inner Banks is in a time capsule. Read this article and you hear the voice of a black man who has made it big, but who did not do it with government assistance. He did it by working hard. That is the American dream. It is a dream that is available to everyone. It is time it became the dream for the Inner Banks as well.
Can anyone honestly imaginge what would happen if someone said something like Larry said in this article, here in the Inner Banks? I mean not in an article where people can think about what it means in the abstract, but sitting in a real Barber's Shop? As Larry Elder said in the article, "When can we blacks get to the point where you and I can have a disagreement -- about racism, affirmative action, the War in Iraq, whatever -- without someone who thinks like me being a sell-out or an Uncle Tom? Is that at all possible? Am I asking too much?"
This is at least being talked about outside our area. We still have a 1960s desgregation case going on in Bertie County and most of the people are afraid to say, "This must end." The portion of our county that is not afraid is nevertheless still too nervous to talk about the issues in anything but the most evasive terms. Even outside the Inner Banks, no one could imagine this article being written by anyone but an African-American who would not immediately be denounced as "racist" but at least it is starting to be discussed. I will probably be called racist just for mentioning the article. It is time for this to change too.
In the world of Colin Powell, Condolezza Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Barack Obama and Snoop Dogg, it is time for the Inner Banks to end its 1960s attitude towards race. We are part of America and it is the 21st Century. It is time to start talking . . . . honestly.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Literacy Of College Graduates Is On Decline
Survey's Finding of a Drop in Reading Proficiency Is Inexplicable, Experts Say
By Lois Romano - Sunday, December 25, 2005 - Washington Post
Literacy experts and educators say they are stunned by the results of a recent adult literacy assessment, which shows that the reading proficiency of college graduates has declined in the past decade, with no obvious explanation.
"It's appalling -- it's really astounding," said Michael Gorman, president of the American Library Association and a librarian at California State University at Fresno. "Only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. That's not saying much for the remainder."
What makes this article so curious is the surprise that "literacy experts" show at the results. I spent most of the last 30 years as an executive in business, and my interviews of college graduates over that period does not cause me any surprise at the results. My only surprise is that the decline has not been recordable over a longer period. It seems to me that the deterioration goes back more like 20 years than 10.
Even in blogging, an area of which I am quite fond, the number of people who cannot carry on a decent disagreement and where the difference between facts and opinions is quite clear, fail to communicate at even the basic level you might expect. A large majority cannot tell the difference between fact and opinion, and an even larger majority cannot follow anything but the simplest of logic relationships.
Who can you blame except our educators? Yet you ask any of them and they have a litany of excuses as to why teaching feel good pabulum and the importance of accepting gays and other politically correct views on society's so-called ills without question cannot possibly be the problem. The correlation between the acceptance of this view of education and the deterioration in the ability to think, has to be just coincidence . . . . as far as they are concerned.
Monday, December 26, 2005
The Paranoid Style In American Liberalism
by William Kristol - Publication date: January 2nd, 2006 - The Weekly Standard
No reasonable American, no decent human being, wants to send up a white flag in the war on terror. But leading spokesmen for American liberalism- hostile beyond reason to the Bush administration, and ready to believe the worst about American public servants- seem to have concluded that the terror threat is mostly imaginary. It is the threat to civil liberties from George W. Bush that is the real danger.
What is one to say about these media--Democratic spokesmen for contemporary American liberalism? That they have embarrassed and discredited themselves. That they cannot be taken seriously as critics. It would be good to have a responsible opposition party in the United States today. It would be good to have a serious mainstream media. Too bad we have neither.
I don't often agree with William Kristol, even though we both claim to be neo-Conservatives. However this time we seem to be on the same wavelength. A Very good article that I highly recommend.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Campus Left To Christians, Conservatives: SHUT UP!
by Mark Tapscott (contact ) - Dec 24, 2005 - TownHall.com
Scratch many of the administrators in charge on American campuses these days and you often find a neo-Stalinist who has no hesitation about suppressing views that deviate from leftist orthodoxy.
Take California State University at San Bernadino, for example, where administrators refuse to charter the Christian Students Association because the group thinks its members should be professing Christians.
As ADF’s Tedesco points out, “university officials would never require that the student vegetarian club allow meat eaters or hunters . . .
Interesting phrase, neo-Salinist. It actually seems more fitting than the usual appropriate labels for many on the left these days. The left is composed of two groups, moral and patriotic "liberals" like Christopher Hitchens, and global "socialists" like Howard Dean. However even the global socialists seem to come in two flavors. Both are virulently anti-American, but one groups seems more willing to abuse their own beliefs in going after their opponents. I cannot disagree with labeling this group neo-Salinists. It seems to fit.
This is a great article and definitely worth reading.
The left is taking us closer to 1984 than many could imagine. If you doubt it, try this link, "Police tell Christian couple view on gays 'close to hate crime'"
This article talks about intimidation reported as "Police questioned a retired couple for 80 minutes about their “homophobic” views after they asked their local council if they could display their Christian literature next to gay rights leaflets, it was reported last night."
How can this be described as anything but neo-Stalinist?
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
'Munich,' 'Syriana' peddle left's usual cliches
Editorial - December 23, 2005 - San Diego Union-Tribune
There's much talk of Bush being in a "bubble" that keeps him from hearing any bad news. There may be something to this, but the Bush bubble doesn't compare to the huge one housing what Hollywood likes to call its "creative community." The tired, cliché-driven product of this community can be found at a theater near you.
It is important to keep talking about this. In the last 5 years the Hollywood lie machine has lost public support of a major part of American society. As a result, movie attendence has fallen in 4 of the last 5 years. "Red states" no longer buy the "cliche'-driven" attacks on our society. It is important for the people in America to know these two movies, 'Munich' and 'Syriana', are total lies.
'Munich' tries to sell the premise that Israel's retaliation for butchering 11 of their athletes was no different morally than the Palestinians butchery itself.
'Syriana' tries to sell the idea that the CIA is supporting the evil regines of the middle east rather than supporting those who are seeking democracy.
All you have to do to know that both are totalling wrong is read anything Christopher Hitchens has written in the last couple of years. Hitchens may be the last liberal with a conscience left in America. He certainly has not bought into the anti-American hysteria that is driving Hollywood.
For that, he is now a target of the left wing fanatics.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Why Blogs Matter
This posting has limited time in which it will be easy to follow the hyperlink . The link on the title above will take you to the Powerline blog main page, which currently has the discussion I mention below, but which will shortly be changed. If you get to Powerline and the top posting is not "A Colloquy With the Times", search their blog site for that article by either scrolling down, or if it is not still on their "current" postings, check in their archive.
A Colloquy With the Times
By John Hinderaker - December 21, 2005 - Powerline
Reporter Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times responded to the email I sent earlier today; we had the following exchange.
The exchange that follows on Powerline is an amazing revelation. This posting by blogging supersite Powerline provides all the evidence needed to explain why the world of news has changed with the advent of blogs. Two years ago, reporters would just ignore blogs, and I suspect that John Hinderaker would never have gotten a response from Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times . Today, reporters know that they have to at least be courteous to bloggers ..... at least the really successful ones like Powerline.
Click on the title above to read a great article about the deception of the New York Times, the islamofascists number one cheerleader. Lichtblau has mislead New York Times readers by releasing top secret information to inform the islamofascists of a secret spy capability aimed solely at them. He both claims it is being abused, something for which he offers no evidence, and claims it is illegal when it has already been approved by the courts. Right now you are hearing from the main stream media a hatchet job attack claiming it is illegal, and quoting anyone (usually liberal democrats) who disapproves. Hinderaker quotes the case law that shows the liberal media campaign for what it is. Without blogs, you would never know the truth.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Bertie School Board Rescinds Motion -NOT
Please note: The NOT in the title above is a modification to the title used by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald for their article of Saturday. Read my opinions below to understand why I disagree with their choice.
Bertie School Board Rescinds Motion
By Cal Bryant - December 17th, 2005 - Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald
WINDSOR - The Bertie County Board of Education has changed its mind.
Exiting a closed session here Thursday afternoon, board members voted to rescind their majority decision on December 5 regarding the proposed desegregation plan and instructed the board’s attorney to develop another proposal and present it to the Department of Justice by the deadline of January 15, 2006.
The new motion includes two options. (1) To close John P. Law and Askewville elementary schools at the end of the 2006- 07 school year; or in the alternative, (2) if funding becomes available by the end of the 2006-07 school year, to close Aulander, John P. Law and Askewville elementary schools at the close of the 2008-09 school year and construct a new elementary school with a capacity of 450 students and to open that school at the start of the 2009-2010 school year.
I have to disagree with Cal's title / headline for his article above. Recognizing the reality of the desegregation case, it is clear that this motion does not change anything, and there is no serious rescinding of the Bertie County Board of Educations' (BOE) previous action by this new action. You have to read it carefully to understand why because technically it does rescind the previous motion.
The judge has the power to order that Bertie County fund alternative 2. Therefore the qualifier "if funding becomes available" has an uncertain meaning. If the Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney requests that choice and the judge agrees and orders taxes raised, then alternative 2 is the same effective motion as the previous motion that the BOE claims they are rescinding. How does that mean they have rescinded it? The new vote simply allows them to once again claim that they did not want it, it was ordered by the judge. Since all negotiations between the BOE attorney and the DOJ attorney are secret, how will anyone know what really went on?
The BOE still refuses to demand that we be granted "Unitary Status" immediately, at least they did not even mention it in their press release. Bertie County is not discriminating against minorities and has not for decades. The test is simple, "a school system must be declared unitary when it no longer discriminates between children on the basis of race". That is now the rule as accepted by the Supreme Court. To allow the DOJ to order us to do anything is a claim by the BOE that Bertie County is still discriminating. That is false.
No matter what is ordered by the judge, it will be because the Bertie BOE allowed it and negotiated with the DOJ to get the court to order it. At least one reasonable interpretation is that is done as "cover" for the Bertie BOE to claim it had no choice.
The BOE still wants to close 3 schools. The BOE still wants a new school. The BOE still wants the judge to order both actions. The BOE still has not demanded Unitary Status, the ending of this desgregation case.
When you read the new motion (that was once again passed by a 3 to 2 vote) it is clear that 3 of the Bertie County School Board have not rescinded anything.
U.S. 'Winning The War In Iraq,' Bush Says
By Joseph Curl - December 19, 2005 - The Washington Times
President Bush, addressing Americans from the Oval Office for the first time since he took the nation to war nearly three years ago, defiantly declared last night that "not only can we win the war in Iraq -- we are winning the war in Iraq."
But with Democrats aligned in opposition to nearly every move he makes in Iraq and advocating immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces there, the president asked skeptical Americans to remain patient and reject despair.
My reaction to the speech was positive. My reaction to this article, and most of the coverage I have seen, "when did liberals in America reach the point that they cheer for our defeat?" There is a great quote that came out right after the speech while the "deconstructing" of the speech by the press was still going on.
Blogger Stephanie Plum posted, "I heard some 'expert' on Fox analyzing the body language and criticizing the way the President used his hands during the speech. Absolutely sickening ... this is not a game, folks, this is not political, this is real and our way of life is at stake, regardless of how you are registered to vote !!"
Stephanie has it right. Liberal democrats are treating this war, and the possibility that we could be attacked with nuclear bombs, with the same cavalier attitude they held all during the 90s. It was that attitude that got us 9/11. Any intelligent person can see that the islamofascists are trying to get nuclear bombs, and the more Iraq type governments that exist in the world, the more certain it is that we will see them going off in American cities.
George W. Bush said before the Iraq war, "we cannot wait until Iraq is an imminent threat". Those who support the war in Iraq as a part of the war against the islamofascists recognize this is true. Those who insist that we have to wait until someone is an imminent threat are advocating suicide. I will not join them.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Bertie County Schools Discussion Moved To 'Inner Banks Eagle'
The following is an article I posted on the Bertie County Patriot, explaining why I have moved some of the articles (not all, just my articles containing my opinions) talking about the Bertie County BOE attempts to close some of our schools. The proponents of this action have attacked me with the argument that I am being partisan by disagreeing with them. Since they are supposed to be non-partisan, how is it that if you disagree with them, they attack you as being partisan? Does that not prove that they are breaking the rules and being partisan?
I am opposed to closing John Paige Law Elementary School in Merry Hill. The reason is that I believe in community schools. I believe that school consolidation has been used all over this nation to the detriment of our children. This school should not be closed. How is that partisan?
I believe the history of discrimination has to be ended. I do not believe there is any reasoned argument that Bertie County government is discriminating against minorities, nor has it for years. I also believe that the races must learn to work together for a better society for all. How is that partisan?
I abhor the use of our unelected federal judges to rule local governments. That has been the practice all over the nation for most of the last 35 years under desegregation cases. Bertie County is one of the last 3 counties in North Carolina where a federal judge is being used by forces within our education community to order actions that the people of Bertie County would not and do not support. Why is this case still active? Why are we not allowed to decide within our local community how to educate our children? How is a belief in representative democracy partisan?
One of the most fascinating aspects of life is how different people perceive things differently. I have been assured by numerous people (all of them my opponents) that all of my beliefs above are in fact partisan. If they believe that ..... then that perception must be dealt with, even if I disagree with their conculsion.
It has been my policy and intent since I started the Patriot Blogs for our local area, that the Patriot Blogs would be used just for public information and community service. Only the Inner Banks Eagle would have my political thoughts and personal opinions. Therefore as a courtesy to my opponents I have moved all my articles about the Schools and Board of Education issues over to the Inner Banks Eagle [Where we are now].
This is not over. The discussion will continue. See you [Here].
And here we are. As I said, the discussion will continue. I do not believe there is anything partisan about supporting community schools. I do believe that the actions of the Bertie County Board of Education are both partisan and bad education policy as well. Spending money for schools we do not need is not just a waste of taxpayer money, it results in money being taken away from our children.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
With Delight And Fervor, Iraqis Cast Ballots
By Luke Baker - December 15, 2005 - Reuters
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - There may not be the same sense of history this time round, but the joy and determination of Iraqi voters emerging from dictatorship is still evident.
Young and old, able-bodied and infirm, they streamed to polls for the third time in 11 months on Thursday, this time to elect a four-year parliament.
While not as novel as the first post-Saddam Hussein election in January, participation was more widespread. Sunni Arabs, who boycotted the earlier poll for an interim assembly, flocked to vote this time, determined not to miss out on power again.
If the turnout noted above is true, then exceeding the already amazingly high participation of the last election will end the pretense by democrats that these Iraq elections are not legitimate. However don't expect liberal democrats to give up on their demands that we declare defeat, then cut and run, just because Iraq is succeeding. Their increasingly frenetic demands that we declare defeat are not based on a fear that we will lose this war but the opposite fear .... that we will win.
Democratic leaders believe the only way they can ensure defeat is to recreate the stupidity of Vietnam. First we must cut and run. Then liberal democrats will find a way to abandon Iraq so that Iran or some other socialist power can invade. They will then declare that this was inevitable.
Just because our policy in Iraq and the middle east is succeeding does not mean anything has changed in partisan politics. The whole partisan battle in America is about the socialist goal to subvert capitalism and replace it with socialism. That is the motivation of the leaders of the democratic party. If the long term result of their goals to weaken America on behalf of their economic agenda is nuclear bombs going off in America, well that is simply a price they feel we will have to pay to end capitalism.
Not all democrats feel that way, but the ones that do not are publicly criticized. Joe Lieberman is being attacked by his party just because he does not think we will lose in Iraq. How bizarre is that?
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Meeting on Schools - Monday the 19th - 4:00 PM
Special Meeting Notice about Education Hearing
Joint Meeting Between the
Bertie County Board of Commissioners
and Bertie County Board of Education
When: Monday, December 19, 2005
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Bertie County Council on Aging
103 School Street, Windsor, NC 27983
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss Bertie County Public School issues and to brief the Board of Commissioners regarding the pending case of US Department of Justice vs. Bertie County Board of Education. This is a public meeting.
The Boards will receive public comment.
Questions can be directed to Clerk to the Board Misty Edwards at (252) 794-6110 or via e-mail at
End of Notice *************************************************************
The above meeting notice is In response to the public request by Rick Harrell at the last public hearing of the Board of Education and the School Superintendent. As noted above they have agreed to a joint public hearing with the County Commissioners about concerns with the BOE plans and the vote to close Aulander, Askewville and J.P. Law.
A major issue on the agenda at that meeting will be on the BOE vote to let the judge in the desgregation case order Bertie County to spend 35 million dollars and a request that the BOE explain why we do not yet have UNITARY STATUS.
It is imperative that we move quickly to stop the lawyer from the BOE from proceeding with any secret agreements with the U.S. Attorneys.
The following map shows the location of the meeting on Monday, December 19th, 2005 at 4:00 PM. Click on the map for a larger version that you can print out.
Bertie County Council on Aging, 103 School Street, Windsor, NC 27983
L.A.'s Underground Cash
Study finds employers ignore payroll laws for 15% of county workers
By Beth Barrett - December 13, 2005 - Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles County's underground cash economy is expanding rapidly, eroding the work force and sapping an estimated $2 billion a year from city, state and federal coffers, according to a key finding in a major regional report scheduled to be released today.
Driven by what the report authors call economic desperation, the region's cash-only work force has grown about 5 percent in the past four years to nearly 680,000 workers - nearly half of them in the city of Los Angeles alone. They account for about 15 percent of the total Los Angeles County work force, according to the report on a Milken Institute study titled the "Los Angeles Economy Project."
The report mentioned in the article above is very evasive about the driving force behind this problem. The problem is that illegal immigration is now dominating Los Angeles and all of California's social problems. Spanish is rapidly becoming the language of choice. Criminals flood up from Mexico, stealing, raping and even killing American citizens. This does not alter the fact that illegals are coddled by the socialist dominated governments of the region. It is not a matter of hispanic opposition. Some of the most angry citizens are Americans of hispanic descent. The flood of illegals are publicly proclaiming their intent to take California back and make it a part of Mexico.
We are not just at war with terrorists. We are at war with Mexico. It is simply an undeclared war with only one side involved. It is a Mexican invasion defended by the democratic party and immigration groups within our nation. Why is this being tolerated?
Monday, December 12, 2005
Nowhere To Go
Stop the taunting, and let's have a real debate about the Iraq war.
By Christopher Hitchens - Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005 - Slate.com
The Iraq debate does not need to become less rude or less intense. It needs to become much more bitter and much more polarized. As I never tire of saying, heat is not the antithesis of light but rather the source of it.
When my conservative friends ask why I continue to talk with liberals, Christopher Hitchens is my defense. I love his fire and passion. Hitchens and I don't agree on everything, but we agree on; the superiority of America over islamofascism, patriotism is a good thing, representative democracy beats all other forms of government, it is ridiculous to accept the concept of moral equivalence between good and evil, the people of Iraq deserve to be free of Saddam . . and a few other things. We disagree over the value to the world of capitalism and the free enterprise system.
However this is a disagreement over how to do good. I am glad to discuss those things with someone who has proven his integrity as Hitchens has. I don't agree with him on these economic issues, but I respect his right to his opinions, since his arguments are over how to do good. I do not respect those on the left who are opposed to the war in Iraq. I am sorry, but on this issue you are not disagreeing over what is the best way to accomplish good, you are siding with evil. That is all the difference in the world.
We also disagree about the value to society of religion. On this one I think Hitchens is over blaming the group for individual actions of the few. He is right that the few who do evil in the name of religion are too often those who are the leaders of the religious groups. However I do not think again that we are arguing about the goal, which is to do good. Hitchens just has a different opinion about how to do good. I still respect his opinions even if I do not agree. He is not advocating evil.
Read this article by Hitchens. It is excellent.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Howard Dean, Defeatist
Editorial - December 7, 2005 - New York Post
Not all the surrender monkeys live in France.
Take Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean — the sedition-mongering former governor of Vermont who once presumed to the presidency and who now is working overtime for a terrorist victory in Iraq.
I have a number of friends who are democrats. They are patriots (or they would not be friends!) so they are really having a problem with Howard Dean's positions. It confuses me when they cringe at the more extreme statements being made by democratic leadership. However they turn right around and quote chapter and verse some of the milder ways of saying "Let's cut and run" that democrat support groups like "Answer" put out.
Patriotic democrats are not being honest when they attack the war. They are rationalizing that these partisan attacks are not anti-American. Part of the reason democrats are getting so angry and hostile these days is that they know in their hearts what they are saying is wrong.
Appeasement is appeasement.
They need to look at what has happened to their party. Howard Dean represents the people they are aligned with. Howard Dean is today's democratic party.
Board of Commissioners Addresses Action by the Board of Education
WINDSOR, North Carolina – December 7, 2005 - On behalf of the Bertie County Board of Commissioners, we are very troubled by the unfortunate action of a three-person majority of the Bertie County Board of Education Monday night. It appears clear that the Board of Education ignored the wishes of the parents, teachers, and most importantly disregarded the best interests of the children of Bertie County when it voted to close the three highest performing elementary schools in Bertie County. We are further shocked and dismayed by the way the Board of Education majority chose to ignore the wishes of the taxpayers and citizens of Bertie County by committing no less than $13 million and up to $30 million for school facility construction without negotiation or litigating the issues raised by the Department of Justice. The lawsuit has been reopened for over four years. The County Commissioners have never been briefed, or in any way given any information regarding this lawsuit by the Board of Education.
It is clear that the Board of Education does not understand North Carolina public school finance law, which requires participation of county commissioners in the expenditure of capital funds and school construction. The Board of Education has no authority to obligate capital expenditures without the consent of the Board of Commissioners representing the citizens and taxpayers of Bertie County.
It is further troubling to the Board of Commissioners that I was assured by the Chairman of the Board of Education that no action would be taken on Monday night so that the Board of Commissioners could be briefed on the issues at a joint meeting. Despite those assurances, and the requests by the Board of Commissioners to have a joint meeting on December 19, 2005, the majority of the Board of Education chose to disregard the opinions of the citizens, parents, teachers and the best interests of Bertie County children and voted to enter into an ill-advised consent judgment, which obligates expenditure of funds, which it does not have. It is clear that the three-person majority on the Board of Education has chosen a fiscally irresponsible course of action, which is contrary to the wishes of the public, contrary to the County’s ability to pay and, most importantly, contrary to the well-being of the school children in Bertie County.
It is of further concern that, less than one month after the Commissioners and citizens of Bertie County agreed to finance and construct a new $18.5 million middle school, that the Board of Education would commit, by consent decree, to close the three highest performing elementary schools in Bertie County and spend another $13 to $15 million for a new elementary school. Once again, the Board of Education has chosen a course of non-accountability in its stewardship of tax dollars.
We invite the public to contact your Board of Education members specifically Chairman Seaton Fairless, member Gary Cordon, Sr. and member Gloria Lee and let them know where you stand regarding their unilateral decision on Monday night. Demand that they be accountable to the taxpaying citizens and to the children of Bertie County. Ask that they call a special meeting to review their decision and give consideration to the opinions of the taxpaying citizens of Bertie County.
We invite you to attend a joint meeting between the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education scheduled for Monday, December 19, 2005 at 4:00 PM at the Bertie County Council on Aging, 103 School Street, Windsor.
Rick Harrell, Chairman
Bertie County Board of Commissioners
Remembering Pearl Harbor
Editorial - December 7th, 2005 - The Advocate
While the sacrifices of many young people in Aghanistan and Iraq continue to be on the front pages, it's important to remember the generation of Americans who also sacrificed themselves for their country in World War II.
America was forced into that war on Dec. 7, 1941 -- the "date which will live in infamy," as President Roosevelt said -- when Hawaii was attacked by the aircraft of Imperial Japan. The surprise attack killed approximately 2,400 Americans, and worse casualties were to come in a conflict that raged across the entire world.
Almost four years of hard fighting were ahead before America and her allies defeated Germany and Japan. The nation ought to remember their sacrifices on Pearl Harbor Day.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
by William J. Stuntz - December 6, 2005 - The New Republic (Online)
Brief Wars Rarely Produce Lasting Results.
Long Wars Often Do.
In 1861 Abraham Lincoln led what was left of his country to war to restore "the Union as it was," to use the popular phrase of the time. Free navigation of the Mississippi River, the right to collect customs duties in Southern ports, the status of a pair of coastal forts in South Carolina and Florida--these were the issues over which young American men got down to the business of killing one another that sad summer.
It was all a pipe dream. "The Union as it was" was gone, forever. Events proved William Tecumseh Sherman--the prophet of that war--right, and everyone else wrong: An ocean of blood would be required to reunite the United States, and once that blood was spilled, the country over which James Buchanan had presided was as dead as the soldiers whose corpses littered the battlefields of Shiloh and Gettysburg, Antietam and Cold Harbor.
Reading this article by professor Stuntz is both sad and inspiring.
It is sad that we are so much at risk of the pessimists and appeasers having their way and demanding that we pull our forces out of Iraq. American troops won every battle in Vietnam but had the victory stolen from them by those who would not fight. We gave away South Vietnam to satisfy the appeasers. Millions of Vietnamese died and were tortured because of that shameful chapter in our history. Once again the left wing appeasers are determined that they will not let us win. This time it is Iraq at risk.
However this article explains the reason we have to stay in Iraq and win better than most can say it. It covers an amazing history of a nation that has paid the price for freedom and democracy. The listing of the powerful commitements to ideals greater than self, the legacy of the men who fought our battles, the glory they achieved for themselves and our nation, will make any patriot proud. We must not forget that this time the legacy of defeat will almost certainly be nuclear bombs exploding in our cities.
This is a very special article that everyone should read.
Bertie Taxes Raised In Secret Session
NEWS FLASH - In closed session last night, the Board of Education voted, I heard by a vote of 3 to 2, to have Bertie County spend 35 million dollars for new schools (they played around with the wording so it is not directly a vote on the 35 million, but the wording does not change what they want). This will require taxes be raised. The BOE strategy still appears to be to have the Judge order this so that the county has no choice but to raise taxes.
This vote is also a vote to close J.P. Law Elementary, Askewville Elementary and Aulander Elementary. This is completely at odds with the best process of educating, called community schools.
Is this how democracy is supposed to work?
Monday, December 05, 2005
It is long since time that we should have ended the desegregation case that was started in 1967. Bertie County has not discriminated in more than 30 years at least. The U.S. Attorneys and the Board of Education lawyers will never concede that though. Today at the Bertie County Board of Commissioners meeting, I expressed the following opinions about what we need to do next with regard to ending the desgregation order against Bertie County.
I recently obtained a copy of the federal court order that is reportedly the reason our Board of Education solicited a study from Heery Consultants. In the course of reading both the order and the Heery report, it became clear that the recommendations to spend money are completely inconsistent with the order under the consent decree.
It is important to remember the purpose of the consent decree. It is intended to eliminate the vestiges of past racial discrimination. It does not turn our school choices over to the courts, except to address the issues of past discrimination and past segregation to accomplish discrimination. Embarrassingly, our case is one of only three counties in North Carolina that have not been settled.
If the Board of Education allows the claim that Bertie County is still so segregated and discriminatory that they must spend 35 million dollars to overcome this discrimination, it will be both ridiculous and an insult to our county and our Board of Commissioners. The tax consequences of their request will be destructive to education.
It is the position of the United States attorneys that JP Law Elementary has defects that are still based upon ongoing segregation. If correct, then fixing those defects is an appropriate obligation under the consent decree. What is not appropriate or reasonable is the claim by the Board of Education that the Heery report addresses issues for which the court is the correct forum.
It is not. Setting aside the issue of JP Law, none of the upgrades being requested are in any way related to past or current discrimination. Yet that is what the Board of Education is apparently trying to claim by sending them to the court. It is not the court's business to decide how much money we spend on education. The court can only intervene if a specific school defect is the result of segregation or discrimination, past or ongoing. That discrimination must be proved. I repeat; none of these proposals can claim to be justified on the basis of discrimination by Bertie County.
We cannot allow the court to order the level of funding they desire for ongoing school facilities. The Board of Education needs to be required to go back and appropriately respond to the U.S. Attorneys claim that the defects in JP Law are the result of discrimination and limit their response to a defense of Bertie County. They must be stopped from asking for any actions or expenditures not based on discrimination. If not stopped, the judge will rule wrongly based on their wish list of expenditures.
Government discrimination has been ended in Bertie County for some time. We should be granted what the courts call "Unitary Status" which would end court supervision of our county's schools. We need to insure that the judge receives views of the citizens of Bertie County who do not believe that the current and recent boards have practiced discrimination that affects the education of our children. I hereby request that the Bertie County Board of Commissioners immediately intervene in this case to protect the interests of Bertie County and its citizens.
There is a meeting tonight that citizens who are concerned need to attend. Information about the meeting can be found at this link. I hope to see you there.
Journalism's Moral Collapse
by Ralph Peters - December 5, 2005 - New York Post
Three decades ago, two young reporters became the story and crippled American journalism.
Budding yuppies who avoided inconvenient service to the state needed heroes they could call their own. And they got them.
Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman played Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on-screen. It was as if Mike Bloomberg was portrayed by Brad Pitt. Overnight, journalism became an upwardly mobile profession — and our country is much the worse for it.
In place of the old healthy skepticism, we have arrogant cynicism. The highest echelons of the media and government became preserves for America's most-privileged. An Ivy League degree was the ticket to a reporting job on a major daily. And incest produced the usual ugly results.
"Mainstream" newspapers lost touch with American workers because the new breed of journalists didn't know any workers.
This is one of two articles published today that address one of the most serious issues facing our nation, the imminent collapse of representative democracy caused by the collapse of an unbiased press. The democratic party and the main stream media have both become aligned with global socialists who are dedicated to ending American capitalism. To do that though they argue that America is evil. Representative democracy is not meaningful when one party rule is the reality and our nation is the target.
The second article follows:
"When Press Is Paid To Lie,
The Truth Always Comes Out"
by Clarence Page - December 5, 2005 - Chicago Tribune
When I heard that our government has secretly paid Iraqi reporters and newspapers to report good news about the war, it only made me wonder how bad the real news must be.
That's the trouble with pay-for-good-press schemes; The truth has a nagging little way of coming out, causing more damage than the chicanery gained.
This second attack from a proponent of global socialism is incredibly devious. Clarence Page dances around the fact that he has not found a single incident of the military paying for anything but the truth. Instead he puts together a duplicitous argument that essentially relies on the unproved premise that if you pay for good news that does not follow the MSM line that America is evil, it must be presumed false.
Both articles are must reads. And both articles support the same premise. Today's MSM press is the enemy of our nation, and they are aligned with a political party that is controled by enemies of our nation. It is difficult to maintain a viable two party system when one party controls the press.
At this point in history we have a strong economy and are winning a war ten thousand miles from home. The democrats and the press deny both of these truths, and calls anyone who disputes them a liar.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Closing of School in Bertie County Makes No Sense
This was originally posted on November 25, 2005 - see notes below
The current issue with the $35 million school expenditures has gotten a lot of attention recently. It has not been that long since the last time the Board of Education went to the federal courts to push it's wishes over the opposition of Bertie County Citizens. Just as a history lesson, this is an article from last year that sums up the Askewville changes the Board of Education requested (my opinion!)..... and got ..... earlier this year.
By Don Carrington - December 19, 2004 - Carolina Journal Online
.... forget the school system for a moment and let’s take a look at some other black and white numbers for Bertie County. Five of seven Askewville Elementary teachers are black. The Askewville Elementary principal is black. The school system superintendent is black. Eight of 10 Bertie school principles are black. Blacks make up a majority of the Bertie County School Board. Blacks make up a majority of the Bertie County Commission. Bertie belongs in the 1st U.S. Congressional District, the 5th State House District, and the 3rd State Senate District. All three areas were drawn to elect black representatives and black Democrats have consistently won those offices.
According to my sources, after the public hearing the school board realized that the public strongly objected to the federal intrusion.
Didn't matter that much to either the Board of Education or the Superintendent though that the people opposed the Askewville change. The decision they wanted was ordered by the judge despite civic resistence. This was not necessary as the board could have gotten a different result if they had wanted it. The lesson should not be lost. If Bertie County residents want a different outcome this time, they must take the decision out of the hands of the Board and the Superintendent.
It is long past time that Bertie County was granted unitary status so the education community is no longer allowed to use the courts to order their desires against the citizens wishes.
***************** End of original posting
December 5, 2005 - Update to this article at time of reposting
At the Board of Education meeting tonight, Seaton Fairless, the new Chairman of the Bertie County Board of Education, informed me that in his opinion this article was a lie. Not that one or two facts were wrong, his words were, "the entire article". I have a problem with that broad of a statement, but in any event I asked him why he did not respond by posting his disagreements. He argued "because of my position I cannot respond". I do not understand that either. I offered several suggestions as to how he could get me the facts to correct the article, anonymously if needed. If there is anything wrong, and the facts can be provided, I shall be glad to correct.
Please note: There are two different articles above. One from Carolina Journal Online from a year ago, and two opinions that I expressed about the same topic in my posting last month. They were my opinions, not facts. If anyone disagrees with any facts and can provide evidence to contradict them, I will correct them. If you have no evidence but believe the facts are wrong, I will be glad to note your disagreement. If you think my opinions are wrong and wish to discuss them then show how I have arrived at wrong conclusions! Or even if you wish to argue a different opinion (on the same subject), THAT IS WHAT BLOGS ARE FOR.
This entire series of articles on education is to try and get a public dialog going about whether we still should be subject to the claim that Bertie County is discriminating against its minorities. I think that premise is ridiculous and that recent court decisions provide overwhelming evidence this case should have been ended long ago. The reason I believe we are still subject to the decree is our Board of Education likes to be subject to the case. I can only assume they use it as an excuse to have the judge order the county to do things they publicly deny they want so they will not be blamed.
Lets debate that! The position they take is "they cannot get out of the case", period. They claim it has to be discussed in private because of "attorney client privilege". That is the END OF THE DEBATE as far as they are concerned. That is unacceptable.
Why are we not having public hearings on how to get out of this case? Why have no filings in this case contested the U.S. Attorneys position and demanded unitary status? Is it because filings are public? Why is attorney client privilege used to hide the secret negotiations between the board and the U.S. Attorneys? What is the board trying to hide?
Bertie County is not discriminating, has not for decades and this case should have long since ended. The Board of Education may not like this premise but that is the premise of both articles.
Dems Determined To Ignore Progress In Iraq
by Mark Steyn - December 4, 2005 - Chicago Sun-Times
Sen. Joe Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, came out with a big statement on Iraq last week. Did you hear about it? Probably not. Everyone was still raving about his Democrat colleague, Rep. Jack Murtha, whose carefully nuanced position on Iraq is: We're all doomed unless we pull out by next Tuesday! (I quote from memory.)
Also, the United States Army is "broken," "worn out" and "living hand to mouth." If the reaction to Murtha's remarks by my military readers is anything to go by, he ought to be grateful they're still "bogged down" in Iraq and not in the congressional parking lot.
The best quote in Steyn's article is " ... who wants to hear that [Our Troops Must Stay]? Not the media and certainly not Lieberman's colleagues in the Defeaticrat Party."
Once again we have a major example of the selecteive reporting of the MSM (Main Stream Media). If you don't get your news from a broad spectrum of news sources, including at least one of the conservative blog sites, you will no longer know what is going on in the world or our nation .... or even inside the democrat party.
Friday, December 02, 2005
48% Say U.S. Winning War on Terror
28% Say Terrorists Winning
December 2nd, 2005 - Rasmussen Reports
Confidence in the War on Terror is up sharply compared to a month ago. Forty-eight percent (48%) Americans now believe the U.S. and its Allies are winning. That's up nine points from 39% a month ago and represents the highest level of confidence measured in 2005.
Just 28% now believe the terrorists are winning, down six points from 34% a month ago. The survey was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday night following the President's speech outlining his strategy in Iraq.
Isn't that 28% the same percentage of the American population who believe Elvis is still alive?
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Bush offers a strategy beyond "staying the course" in Iraq.
Editorial - Thursday, December 1, 2005 - The Wall Street Journal (Opinion Journal)
Our reading of history is that the American people will accept casualties in a war, even heavy casualties, as long as they think their leaders have a strategy to win. So we were glad to see President Bush yesterday begin what the White House says will be a consistent effort to counter the defeatism toward Iraq that has lately taken over so many American politicians and elites.
The speech had Mr. Bush's familiar, albeit even more forceful, pledge "that we will never accept anything less than complete victory." (The Middies loved that line.) And it also laid out the stakes for Americans if we did withdraw too soon and leave Iraq a mess. "If we were not fighting and destroying this enemy in Iraq," he said, "they would be plotting and killing Americans across the world and within our own borders."
I am still flabbergasted by the number of Americans who cannot see why we are fighting in Iraq. Nuclear bombs are a reality. Access to nuclear bombs by the Islamofascists is coming if we do not do something. The only something that matters is to establish a powerful army and train them to defeat the Islamofascists. That army needs to be in the heart of the middle east and not hunkered down defensively here in America.
In the fist blush of the war Bush said that one reason we were fighting in Iraq was so that we would not fight them here in America. The democrats screeched that such a position was intolerable. They then said that Bush had not anticipated that Iraq would be a magnet for the Islamofascists. Both postitions are so blatantly stupid that I could not believe anyone would say them publicly, if for no other reason than that they are mutually contradictory. However many people accepted both positions, (we shouldn't plan to be a magnet in Iraq, and we had not expected to be a magnet in Iraq) as reasonable. As I said, I am flabbergasted.
I propose a toast to "complete victory".