Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Conservative’s Viewpoint
NO OLF in Northeastern North Carolina

Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

On December 18, 1903, the headline on a front page of The Virginian-Pilot was “Flying Machine Soars 3 miles in teeth of high wind over sand hills and waves at Kitty Hawk on Carolina Coast.” The era of aviation was born in eastern North Carolina. Now, one can fly coast-to-coast in five hours or less.

Our military, too, has been transformed from its emphasis on ground troops to high-tech aircraft soaring in the stratosphere able to deliver a payload with pin point precision to its intended target miles below.

While computers handle the technical side of things, it is still essential to have military pilots who are well-trained and capable of landing a $50 million aircraft on the decks of a carrier at sea.

The Navy, since 1999 has been trying to secure an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) so its pilots from the Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach can practice touch-and-go landings before they attempt the real thing on the decks of a carrier. Few would disagree that the training is essential.

That’s not the issue.

What has caused the uproar is where the Navy wants to establish the landing field. Early on, the Navy zeroed in on a 50,000-acre site in Washington County. Land would have to be sold, a poor county’s tax rolls severely diminished, and a peaceful and tranquil countryside transformed into a constant barrage of thundering aircraft overhead. Environmentalists were outraged, pointing out that the proposed location is too close to a wildlife preserve that is the home to 50,000 migratory birds. From the National Rifle Association to the Audubon Society, everyone said “not here”.

Politicians stepped into the fray opposing this potentially economic and ecological disaster from taking place. Victory cannot be claimed yet for those opposing the field’s location here. The Navy states that this is still their preferred site.

North Carolina has presented six more sites for consideration. Two are in Gates County, two in Camden County, and two more are near Jacksonville. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole said she wants to send a message to the military that North Carolina is still a military-friendly state. Indeed we are, as witnessed by the eight active military bases including the Cherry Point Naval Air Depot, Pope Air Force base, Seymour Johnson Air Force base, the New River Air Station, Simmons Army Air Field, Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune and the U. S. Coast Guard Air Station in Elizabeth City. Dole would like to see a future flight base located in North Carolina and does not want to jeopardize that possibility.

On September 18th of this year during the governor’s study panel in Raleigh, Navy Admiral David Anderson said that Cherry Point could handle the training for two squadrons there and would not be using the proposed new OLF. Originally the Navy’s reasoning for placing it in northeastern North Carolina was their desire to have an air field that would service both Cherry Point and Oceana. It now comes down to the needs of Oceana in Virginia. The Navy states a new OLF is needed there even if there were no further encroachment within a 100 mile radius of Oceana.

Recently, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine offered 10 sites in his state for an OLF, including Fort Pickett in southside Virginia, which has 45,000 acres and two landing strips. With some retooling of the airstrips this base could adequately meet the needs of Oceana.

Poor planning by the Navy and greed on the part of Tidewater Virginia developers have placed Oceana’s needs in this box. And Tidewater residents are fed up with the incessant noise the F/18 super jets create and want something done about it. Interesting to note that a significant number of military retirees have moved to North Carolina to escape the noise.

For the Navy, rural North Carolina seemed like a logical choice for the OLF site, even though Virginia is reaping all of the economic benefits from Oceana and should be more than willing to foot the bill for an OLF.

Northeastern North Carolina, which is mostly rural and poor with a miniscule industrial base, would be economically devastated if the Navy puts an OLF here. This has nothing to do with patriotism or an unwillingness to provide land for training our pilots, but everything to do with economic survival. There are many choices available to the Navy for an OLF that do not include economic and environmental destruction to an entire region of the state. Many in northeastern North Carolina seem unwilling to become the sacrificial lamb when the Navy has a myriad of suitable alternative sites available.

I am not yet ready to agree that our Navy is as mistaken as Bob and others think that it is. I am also discouraged that so few in our area are willing to listen to the possibility that by the time the OLF is built, we will need it desperately.

First let me concede that at this point the training requirements of our pilots . . . the purpose of a new OLF . . . are being met. At this point.

Let me also concede that I don't think the choice of Washington County, the site preferred by the Navy, is as free of environmental impact as the Navy says or as horrible as its opponents and the politicians feel it is.

So what is my concern?

Sometime in the next few years we are going to see nuclear bombs going off in American cities. The war against Islamofascism is not being managed in a fashion that this risk will be stopped. We are going to have to fight this war with a superior air capability.

In the face of this the arguments against an OLF are being touted with such exaggerations as, "a peaceful and tranquil countryside transformed into a constant barrage of thundering aircraft overhead," "opposing this potentially economic and ecological disaster" and "economically devastated."

I received an email where people who are my friends, or at least who I thought were my friends, adamantly insisted that the goal had to be to STOP ANY OLF. Not just in our area, but ANY OLF. This was not based on any kind of careful analysis of what is best for America but simply based on their NIMBY reaction to the possibility that if an OLF went forward, the location near us MIGHT be the best place for it.

From their analysis it was clear, the future was not their problem. During the 30s we had in America an attitude that we did not want to worry about what happened in the world. It is a sobering reality that more than 60% of Americans do not believe that the war against us by the Islamofascists has to be fought. Those Americans believe that we can just ignore the Islamofascists, retreat from the world, and live peacefully with them.

No statement by any of the Islamofascist leaders that dispute's their delusion make any difference to the anti-war "bring our troops home" . . . . appeasers (there is no other word that accurately sums up the position) who vote this way in the polls. The Islamofascists have been at war against us since 1978-1979. We ignored repeated attacks until 9/11 and after 6 years of no attacks on our homeland, many are ready to return to the innocence of pre 9/11. That innocence was . . . . and still is . . . . a delusion.

The OLF will not be an economic devastation wherever it is built. "Seymore Johnson Air Base" is right next to Goldsboro and has not slowed the growth there. "Oceana" is right next to Norfolk and has not slowed the growth there. Bob's solution, "Fort Picket" is right next to Blackstone, Virginia, less than 30 miles from Petersburgh and it has not slowed the growth there. I guess I want to ask Bob what growth does he really see being slowed? The growth that the enviromentalists are determined will not happen in NE NC no matter what? These are the people he is aligning himself with since they are the heart of the NO OLF movement.

Elizabeth Dole has now adopted the policy that she will only support an OLF if the people in an area support bringing it in. I wonder if this is her position even if no area will accept the OLF and we lose Oceana? Is there any point at which anyone will say, "if it is important to America, bring it here?"

Freedom is not free. Tell that to the NO OLF brigade. In the meantime do not expect that any rational analysis of the site choices will be made. It will be all politics, the worst kind of politics. With major players being anti-war and appeasement groups that are opposed to America in every case.

The best summation of my position came in an email from friend Holly Koerber, "I want to commend Carolyn Riggs for her Letter to the Editor in today's Daily Advance. It is refreshing in today's world of knee-jerk emotionalism and promotion of self-interest to be reminded that our Nation's defense needs are owed a fair hearing. Each of us benefits tremendously by the freedom secured by our Armed Forces and therefore we should be willing to hear the military's training needs . . ."

Are we willing to listen or does self interest trump everything?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Patriot Blog Review -
By Michelle Malkin

Book Review by Nancy . . .

Nancy Adams

You can learn a lot about this book just by reading the inside flap:

" Un-hinged adj: affected with madness or insanity; [syn: brainsick, crazy, demented, distracted, disturbed, mad, sick, unbalanced] —The American Heritage Dictionary

Warning: Unhinged liberals are hazardous to the nation's health.

They're slashing your tires. Burning your lawns. Heaving pies at Republican pundits. Hurling racist epithets at minority conservatives. Nursing nutty conspiracv theories And pining publicly for the murder of President Bush.

And they call us crazy?

In Unhinged; Exposing Liberals Gone Wild, Michelle Malkin plays conservative Margaret Mead to the alien political creatures of the American Left. With uproarious detail and rollicking reportage, Malkin chronicles the bizarre world of leftists gone mad in their natural habitats: the mainstream media, academia, Hollywood, and Washington.

Unhinged unmasks liberals who've completely abandoned rationality and reality.

They're taking chainsaws and bayonets to campaign signs. Running down political opponents with their cars. Setting fire to political opponents in effigy. Defacing war memorials. Swiping yellow ribbons off cars. And supporting the fragging of American troops.
In Unhinged. you'll meet:
The Top 10 Unhinged Leftists, Celebrities, MediaLiberals, and Politicians.
The Pennsylvania Democrat who repeatedlyscreamed "faggot" at his Republican opponents on the Senate floor.

Continued on back flap."

I had thought I was an independent conservative but, after reading this book, I guess I am a neo-conservative. I am also very happy to say that I cut my ties to the democrats years ago when I voted for Ronald Reagan. I was appalled it had stooped to such levels of vulgarity as were quoted from prominent Americans some of whom later said that the quote was not what they meant to say or “taken out of context”.

Thank you, Michelle, for writing this book. I recommend it to all who love America and want to keep it “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.”

The final thought I have can be summed up by posting just one of the book reviews from This is a posting from a liberal, and I have to believe it stands as proof of Michelle's premise.

"Malkin's book would only be useful in a classroom unit discussing propaganda. It is little more than a casserole of cherry-picked statements and essentially served up in what could only be described as a "screed" fraught with "glittering generalities" and ahistorical claims to establish the existence of that old bogeyman, the "dark other." A serious student of this kind of work would be better served examining nativist literatures of the mid to late eighteen-hundreds which tend to be better written and less devious in their presentation. Irony, sarcasm, and context are all discarded in this work in favor of infantile literalism, paps for the "red meat" crowd for whom nuance and good research is secondary to the validation of already formed and stubbornly held neoconservative political beliefs. In short - the crassest kind of pandering at the expense of others.

William Alexander

Not one factual criticism. Just a series of insults to Michelle and anyone who agrees with her. Point made. Good book and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Inner Banks Laughter - Political Humor

Humor by Jeff Whelan

A Conservative’s Viewpoint
Stimulating Job Growth In North Carolina

Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

There are many wonderful things about North Carolina, but its job growth and tax climate are not among them. This is not an aberration. It has been a downward trend for many years. And that is not a good sign for our economic future.

Because of our high taxes, the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., think tank, ranks North Carolina near the bottom – 40th – in our ability to attract businesses. Neighboring states of Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia have significantly lower taxes - ranked from 13th to 26th in their ability to attract business- giving them an edge. We need to close this gap if we are going to compete for jobs.

North Carolina has a 6.9 percent corporate income tax rate, which has to be a consideration when companies consider relocating here. South Carolina’s rate is 5 percent and Virginia 6 percent. This puts North Carolina at an additional disadvantage in the attracting-jobs-to-our-state sweepstakes.

Most of the jobs in North Carolina are created by small businesses whose owners report their earnings as personal income and at those levels generally pay an 8.00 percent state income tax, the eighth highest nationally and far exceeding any other state in the Southeast. The ugly truth is that the North Carolina General Assembly is controlled by a handful of legislators who dictate what legislation will be heard and what programs will be funded. They decide how the money is spent – not the small business owners who should be making those decisions.

Recently, state leaders have been using tax dollars for incentive packages to woo or keep industry here – companies like Google, Dell, Goodyear and Bridgestone Firestone. It gives our lawmakers an opportunity for photo-ops, enhancing their image with the folks back home, but it puts our hard-earned tax dollars in the pockets of corporate giants. Utility companies are also cashing in.

North Carolina Senate Bill 3, passed and signed into law, enables North Carolina energy giants Duke and Progressive Energy to charge electric customers now for all costs {including licensing and permitting} for future nuclear power plants-in North Carolina-and also any other location {South Carolina? Florida? Indiana?} that would supply power to North Carolina service areas. This applies to new coal power plants as well. If a power company chooses to construct a new facility out of state we, in effect, will be paying for it, and a second time when the power is sold back to us. The John Locke Foundation estimates SB 3 will cost North Carolina taxpayers $500 million. A sweet deal for the utilities, but hardly one for the taxpayers.

When government decides who will get our tax dollars, how much, and under what circumstances, we are witnessing big government at its worst. This flies directly in the face of free market principles and fiscal responsibility.
The state not only has an outrageous tax structure, its roads, bridges and water and sewer lines need upgrading or replacing, and our education system is crying out for reform.

There are solutions:
• Eliminate incentive packages, enabling us to cut our corporate income tax by half, or perhaps eliminating it.
• North Carolina has the 14th highest per-person tax rate in the nation. Reduce it all levels, especially at the top, where entrepreneurs are being stripped of significant capital that could be used for expansion and the creation of jobs.
• Create a network of statewide technology high schools, particularly in the east where we have none. These schools can work with business leaders in their communities and around the state, preparing a matrix of study that will better prepare our youth for employment and opportunity, including college.
• Amend Senate Bill 3 to insist that alternative sources of energy plants be constructed in North Carolina, and within a certain timeframe.
• Establish an intense effort to repair our roads and bridges, sewer and water lines.

Higher taxes stifle job creation and expansion, the very things this state and region desperately need. With these changes, we can announce to the world that North Carolina is seriously open for business.

There are some interesting examples of the hostility to free enterprise contained in Bob's numbers above. The most egregious is the comparison between the tax rate on big corporations, 6.9%, and the tax rate on small business, 8%. Since small business generates the bulk of new job growth, traditionally over 80% of it, why on earth would any state with sanity tax small business at a higher rate than big business?

The reality? Big business gives big campaign contributions to the socialist party, the Democrats. The collusion between government and big business is clear. Big business has become the advocate of price controls (monopoly utilities and minimum wage), social welfare (health care coverage and egregious safety rules) and corporate welfare (tax breaks and special subsidies). Big business has become the advocate for socialist practices to drive out competition. It is working. Big business touts capitalism but practices socialism.

Lowering taxes is just one of the issues we need to address. Eliminating the small business penalty would be another good move allowing us to get back to the competition of free enterprise. Competition is the great benefit to society which drives us to a high standard of living with low costs. Competition is what free enterprise is about.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Patriot Blog Review -
"The Rise of Today's Rich and Super-Rich"
By Roy C. Smith

Book Review by Nancy . . .

Nancy Adams

This is a review of a book I have not read yet, but I was very impressed with how many misunderstandings about wealth creation have been promoted by the MSM and thought it really worth sharing.

Review by Henry Berry:

In 1982, Forbes magazine began its now much-read annual list of America's richest men and women. At the time of the first list, there were 12 billionaires in the country and fewer than 200,000 millionaires. By the year 2000, there were nearly 300 billionaires and about 5 million millionaires. Smith's account of the rise of the rich and super-rich tells the story of five types of individuals: entrepreneurs, dealmakers, investors, tycoons (corporate executives, who are distinguished from entrepreneurs), and entertainers.

The extraordinary jump in the number of exceptionally wealthy individuals and their growing share of the overall wealth of the United States is attributed to the economic and fiscal policies of the Reagan Administration, which came into office in 1981. Labeled "Reaganomics" by the press, it espoused lower taxes, deregulation, and entrepreneurism. Reagan's approach to government continued into the presidency of Bill Clinton.

Clinton "had never known a bond trader in his life," says the author, but he nevertheless had the sense not to tamper with the robust economic activity he inherited, which was creating fabulous wealth for many and improving the prosperity of an even wider circle of the population. During the Clinton Administration, the technology sector especially stood out for its growth and the numbers of rich and super-rich it produced.

The MSM tries to imply all this category of the new super rich are over compensated corporate executives, called tycoons in this book, when in fact they are the smallest category of the newly rich. The biggest surprise is the vast number of new super rich in the categories of "entertainers" (including sports) and "technology" (including the Internet), who are almost universally critical of the very laws that made them rich. Talk about hypocrisy.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Chowan County Regional Fair
September 25th - 29th

As usual the Chowan County Regional Fair has a web site where most of the information can be obtained about how to enter, what will be happening, how to get to the facility and the schedule of events. To get to the web site click on the title above or click here.

Exhibit entry will be Saturday September 22nd and Sunday September 23rd, with Judging on Monday September 24th.

Events open to the public will be on the days from:
Tuesday September 25th
Saturday September 29th

The Little Miss Pageant will be on Tuesday September 25th.

The Regional Talent Show will be Wednesday September 26th.

The Elvis Extravaganza Impersonation Contest will be on the big stage on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 25th and 26th.

Other acts later in the week will include Dyversity, Cruizin' Coyote, Called Out II, Homesteaders, Linda Farley, Sarah Leary and Beverly Hurdle.

To get to the web site click on the title above or click here.

Don't miss the greatest Fair in our area!

Chowan Arts Council Honors Bertie Artists

Last night the Chowan County Arts Council honored Peggy Brinkley, Jaquelin Perry and Nancy Spruill with a reception at the Edenton Gallery to display their art. It was a strong show by three strong artists and it got the kind of crowd attendence that it deserved. Every room was packed.

I asked the artists to show me their favorite painting in the show. This is Peggy Brinkley's favorite of this show. It is named "Swain's Mill".

Nancy Spruill chose this painting named "Late Fall Peanut Bales" as her favorite for this show.

Jaquelin Perry was not able to come due to doctors orders so she missed the reception. We missed you Jaquelin! She is a great artist though and I couldn't leave her out. I therefore had to pick a painting to display by talking with people at the show. This painting (shown below) is not the artist's choice, but was the choice of my small poll. It is named "July Day In The Garden".

My own favorite of this show is the painting below. I love beaches and boats!

You can contact the Chowan Arts Council by going to their Gallery in the Swain Building at 200 East Church Street, Edenton, NC 27932 or call them at (252) 482-8005. Dawn Fenimore is the Executive Director.

A Conservative’s Viewpoint
Where Do North Carolinians
Draw The Line?

Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

On September 11, people from across this great nation paused to remember that day six years ago when our country was attacked by Islamic terrorists. On Tuesday, our state legislature also met in special session in Raleigh to reconsider House Bill 1761, the Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund, which had been vetoed by Governor Easley. The bill would give the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. up to $40 million in state incentives over a 10-year period if Goodyear made a minimum $200 million investment to its Fayetteville plant. Gov. Easley vetoed the bill, citing a number of problems, including the possibility that Goodyear could lay off workers and still receive state aid.

Instead of trying to override the Governor’s veto, Democrats behind closed doors worked out a deal to appease the governor while saving themselves the embarrassment of the veto being sustained. To do that, they trotted out House Bill 4 on Sept. 11, giving it the same name as the vetoed bill.

But the new bill will increase the total of the handouts to $60 million over 10 years, and expand corporate grant eligibility. To make matters worse, this bill added Bridgestone Firestone, which had asked for a similar deal several years ago as an incentive for investing in their Wilson plant. They were turned down and went ahead with their planned investment anyway. So why are we now adding them to this entitlement package?

Democrats pushed this legislation through the House by a vote of 61-44: the Senate by a 25-16 vote. In the House, only four Republicans sided with the Democrats, while four Democrats voted no. In the Senate, all Republican voted no.

Ronnie Bryant, President and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, said that in spite of the possibility of lost jobs, the legislation was better than having a plant close or having it leave the state. Companies are investing in more expensive equipment, which requires fewer workers. Requiring companies to guarantee jobs isn’t as important as employee wages and the company’s overall investment in the region, he said.

While incentive packages have been offered before to companies being wooed to the state, such as to Dell and to Google, this legislation is unique in that it involved companies already in North Carolina and the size of the payout {although in October 2004 Gov. Easley did award $1 million to Phillip Morris to help it retain a facility in Cabarrus County.}

So now not only do we have to create tax incentive packages for companies to relocate to North Carolina, we have to pay them millions of dollars to stay here. Who is going to be next in line for their share of this corporate welfare? We have opened up Pandora’s Box and unless this course in legislative mismanagement is stopped, we will be marching toward a financial abyss.

North Carolina offers industry a great climate with plenty of skilled workers and an abundance of natural resources. By cutting corporate taxes--North Carolina has the highest in the southeast-- and easing corporate regulations, we would significantly enhance our marketability.

North Carolina is a right to work state. Why do Japanese companies pick non-union states to locate their plants? They certainly are not running to Michigan with its high taxes and unions. It’s all about economics. And that does not mean giveaways placed on the backs of the taxpayers. It’s about creating a business environment that enables corporations to pay employees good wages while escaping the burden of excessive corporate taxes. That’s what capitalism and the free market system are all about.

With the value of the American dollar dropping, Goodyear and Bridgestone Firestone should be able to sell more tires in their foreign markets as American goods become more competitive. They don’t need taxpayer—funded incentives to help them increase their bottom line. North Carolina should not allow itself to be held hostage by corporate America or by a legislature that needs a lesson in basic economics.

Bob you have this one nailed accurately. It is CORPORATE WELFARE, better known as socialism. It is no surprise that Democrats get huge campaign contributions from both big business and big labor since "corporate socialism" has become the favorite form of government collusion between Democrats and some so-called capitalists. This is not "free enterprise" capitalism since the whole idea is to reduce competition and assure that the winners work behind the scenes to maintain an illusion that the Democrat Party is against business.

The Democrat Party is not against business. It is merely opposed to competition. The Democrat Party loves corporate welfare for the right corporations. You just have to look into who gives them campaign contributions.

The press is also complicit in this game. Early reports implied that the new money would be spread across a large number of companies so that it didn't favor Goodyear. That was of course simply wrong.

It is only with "free enterprise" competition that you get winners and losers. When you rig the process so that big business dominates, the lack of competition assures that they can charge excess profits, which the corporate fat cats can share with the socialist party as taxes and contributions to socialist favored charities. They do this while maintaining the illusion they are on opposite sides.

It is this collusion that leads me to say repeatedly that the term "capitalist" has ceased to mean anything. The world today is a competition between Republican Party "free enterprise", which means competition, and Democrat Party "corporate capitalism" which really means socialism. That is the battle ground.

As this insanity proves, Democrats are the party of "corporate welfare", better known as socialism. It is wrong and long term it harms America.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Inner Banks Laughter - Political Humor

Humor by Jeff Whelan

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Conservative’s Viewpoint
Are There Heroes Among Us?

Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Throughout history there have been individuals who – by circumstance or divine intervention – became leaders who forever changed the world. Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr., Golda Meir, Mother Teresa and Ronald Reagan were among those catapulted into greatness. Each had to overcome adversity-including poverty, paralysis, rejection, racism, ridicule and defeat.

Lincoln rose from poverty to become the 16th president of the United States. He fought to keep the nation united, and with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, abolished slavery.

By peacefully fighting political and social evils, Gandi helped secure India’s freedom after 150 years of British rule.

Meir, a Milwaukee housewife, became prime minister of Israel. Her commitment to her land and people is legendary.

Mother Teresa and King each won a Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in giving poor people of all colors hope and a sense of dignity and self-worth. They sparked the conscience of a generation.

Roosevelt pulled the nation from the depths of the Great Depression, and with Churchill, defeated Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan in World War II.

Reagan achieved peace through strength and ended the epic Cold War confrontation with the Soviet Union.

While different, their individual life-long journeys uniquely prepared these heroes for the world stage. No one can adequately explain why. Throughout history, men and women have appeared when hope seemed lost and despair was the mindset. Will it happen again?

Evil surrounds us. From terrorism to genocide, much of humanity seems to be losing its moral compass. Family values are eroding and the value of human life has been diminished. The willingness to stand up for what we know is right is being tempered by voices telling us that it’s not our problem – that if we don’t talk about it, it will simply go away.

We have lost respect for our land and the environment. Have we become so selfish a nation that we have forgotten the meaning of sacrifice and perseverance? Someone, perhaps unknown to us now, may be the man or woman who also will change history. It may be a current presidential candidate. Or a housewife from North Carolina.

This nation was built on sacrifice. To continue to be the beacon of freedom and hope to the world, we need heroes.


I guess the only question is, hero by whose definition? Some of the people Bob listed are leaders. Some are just role models. The important issue to note is that heroes, whether role models or leaders, are almost always a product of the environment in which they find themselves and the qualities they bring to make change in that specific environment. There is also the recognition that no hero is a hero to all. Every one of the people Bob listed above have enemies who do not consider them heroes.

What is important is what Bob has noted; we are at a very important place in history with a great number of challenges that are forcing change in our world. I think it is accurate to say we are at war on a number of fronts. We are at war with Islamofascism. We are at war with Aztlantism. We are at war with Relativism (my phrase for the culture war). We are at war with Socialism.

We seem to be looking for a leader who can fight all these battles. I wonder if such a miracle leader exists? I suspect that we will find a leader in one or two areas and maybe even a hero for every one of our wars. Hopefully that will be enough to make the world a better place for our children.

Bob has written a great article with an important point. We do need heros. Are you ready to be one . . . . or follow one?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Representative Paul Stam
Speaks To Al-Pam Club

by Bill Tarpenning - September 6th, 2007
Bath, NC

Bill Tarpenning

The Al-Pam Republican Club held its monthly meeting on Thursday, September 6th, 2007, at Montero’s Restaurant in Elizabeth City.

Club president Chris East (shown above), of Roper, introduced this month’s speaker, Representative Paul Stam (R-Wake), Minority Leader of the North Carolina House of Representatives after opening remarks by Bill Blevins (shown below), Republican Party Chairman for Pasquotank County.

Bill Blevins - Pasquotank County Republican Chairman

Representative Stam (shown below) told the group that this was just one stop on a swing around the state recruiting candidates for the House. He said, “Of the 120 members of the House, Republicans hold 52 seats. Of the Democrats’ 68 seats, 32 ran unopposed in 2006.” Stam wants a Republican candidate in each of the 120 races.

Representative Paul Stam

“The total vote for Republican House members in November 2006 was 860,225, while the Democratic total was 830,642. That’s 50.87 percent for the Republican members and 49.13 percent for the Democrats. From that, you would think that the Republicans should control the House. “The reason for this disparity is that Democrats have gerrymandered the House districts in their favor. The process puts the maximum number of voters allowable into Republican districts and the minimum possible in Democratic districts.

“For three elections in a row Republicans have received more votes than Democrats.” Stam is hopeful for Republican chances in 2008, as he says, “Gerrymandering is only good for two or three elections because people move or change their minds and the power of the gerrymander dissipates over time.”

He also expects that the national Democrats will put up somebody “like Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama” that North Carolinians won’t like.

“Additionally,” he said, “the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate are acting together much better than in the past.” He cited as an example that every Republican voted against the 9.5 percent budget increase for next year.

The need to become the majority “is simple,” he said. “The majority sets the agenda. In our attempt to pass the Defense of Marriage Amendment we had bi-partisan support with more than half the members acting as sponsors of the bill. They tried to kill it in committee but we won that 10 to 14. When it came to the floor, before it was debated, the speaker used his power under the Democrat set rules to deflect it to another committee, where it died.

“When we tried to pass an Eminent Domain Amendment we had 98 sponsors, and it passed 101 to 15, but under reconsideration there were six attempts, by six different groups, to gut the bill and they finally succeeded, and it died.”

“Politics is not a single dimension, a straight line between the left and right, liberals and conservatives,” he pointed out. “There are people above and below the line, split between social and economic issues. Holding the Republican Caucus together is a very difficult proposition, but we’re doing better. Several times we stood together and got eight or nine Democrats to join us to defeat bad legislation.”

He cited as an example the high-risk insurance pool, in which all insured would be assessed to establish the pool to insure high risks: “We thought that was bad idea and we argued long and hard. In the end we lost by one vote in the House, but when it went to the Senate, they had listened to our arguments and agreed to fund it from the general fund.

“We thought the bullying bill was not a great idea, but if we had such a bill it should apply to everyone, not just gays and minorities. We stuck together and got a tie vote in the House. The Senate agreed with our position. When it came back to us it just died.”

Coming back to his plea for House candidates, especially against representatives Bill Owens, Tim Spear and Arthur Williams, he cited two reasons. “We make the Democrats spend their money on those races. And candidates for all offices are needed to excite the voters.

“We don’t want kooks, commies, Klansmen, or felons,” he quipped, “We need good, clean candidates.

This is a first. I usually cover these events and write my own article about them, however Bill Tarpenning (from Bath, NC) shared his article with me and I really like what he had to say. So I used his article above as the blog report on the meeting. Hope you enjoyed it too.

I especially like his use of Paul Stam's closing line as the closing line to his article; "no kooks, commies, Klansmen or felons". The only proviso I wish to add would be that we not continue to be so paranoid of embracing possible sinners that we allow the liberal press to attack us as intolerant and bigoted when things happen.

The recent situation with Senator Craig of Idaho is an example of what concerns me. Anyone who has paid attention to press reports has to recognize that at this point we know as little about what happened in his situation as we knew in the early days about the Duke Lacrosse rape allegations which proved false. However though we really don't know whether Craig acted on the possible sinfull urges which the police officer accuses him of, we know for a fact that Republicans across the nation condemned him and demanded his immediate resignation. Just the possibility that he might have done something wrong meant to Republicans that he was unforgiven and unforgivable! Whatever happened, we (as we always do) destroyed his career. Is this what Jesus Christ taught us? When did we abandon the part of the new testament that says, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

Is anyone really so free of sin that he can condemn someone on such flimsy analysis? Even if Craig had the sinfull urges which are attributed to him is it not true that even the police officer agrees he did not act on them? The officer wants to condemn him on the officer's opinion that he would have acted. Really? How can he be sure? How can we know if he would have acted even if he had the urge to sin? Is it possible he is like someone who occassionally has the urge towards greed, who is nevertheless strong enough to ultimately resist? Are you so free of sin that Jesus would not caution you to seek forgiveness for your own sins first? Do we have no Christian charity?

What I know for sure is that once again Repubilcans have proven themselves intolerant of and unforgiving of any possiblility of sinfull transgressions. Our reputation for failure of Christian charity remains intact.

On another subject, Bill Tarpenning himself spoke at the meeting to give everyone a status report on Ron Toppin's medical condition. Ron had a series of strokes last week and still had, even as I write this, an ongoing problem with blood clots in some partially blocked arteries at the back of his brain. Doctors continue to agonize over whether to try and treat the clots with blood thinners or to operate on them. Ron is in the Duke Medical Center in Durham. If you get anywhere near there, drop by and give your comfort to Ellen. She has not left Ron's side since the problems started a week ago. God bless them and please pray for them both.

Bill provides update on Ron's medical status.

I enjoyed meeting Paul Stam. I also enjoyed meeting Pat Franzese, candiate for City Council, First Ward, in Elizabeth City. I wish more candidates would attend meetings like the great meetings that Al-Pam conducts.

The Al-Pam Republican Club continues to expand and draw great crowds. Congratulations to Chris East and all the other club members who are working so hard to build this club. Below are some pictures of those who came to Montero's last night.

See you next month!