James's blog

Choosing choice

I've been surprised how little discussion there is around here about the Great Abortion Debate. And I don't know whether that's because we're all in agreement (seems unlikely) or because it's just not on the minds of those who spend time at BlueNC. After all, it's not currently a hot topic in state politic, though it could flare up at any time.

The Decider Has Decided

You've heard that George 'The Decider' Bush has decided that no non-English-speaking people should be allowed to sing the national anthem in any language besides English. Here's one cut at the story from Canada. Even more ironically, you can find an official Spanish version of the patriotic song if you go to this official US State Department website. But the grandest irony of all is that the criticism comes from non other than AWOL George, a preznit who can barely speak English himself.

Useless little piggies

I couldn't figure out how to add all this in a comment, so I apologize for having to make this another post. This is in response to Screwy's question about Chuck Taylor's effectiveness in earmarking House appropriations funds.

If you start diving into the House appropriations committee earmark miasma, it's going to make you sick and disgusted. Truly. And you're also going to find that the @$$holes cover their tracks prettty darn well. Though I haven't found a good central database of all earmarks by Congressman, I did find one site that looks promising. It shows that in 2004, North Carolina ranked DEAD LAST among all states in earmarked appropriations. In 2005, NC had moved up to 47th.

I personally think the whole earmark business sucks and that our so-called conservative House members are hypocrites of the highest order for slopping at the public trough and then trying to brag about it. That said, for anyone to claim Chuckie Taylor is especially effective at anything besides embarrassing North Carolina seems to be little more than wishful thinking. It looks like our entire Congressional delegation pretty much sucks at bringing home the bacon.

Take a look at the attachment for a first hand look at the trough.

Now they're rewriting history

At the risk of giving the Art Pope more publicity than he deserves, I am compelled to point out one more grisly act in the Puppetshow. Mr. Pope doesn't like how schools teach history and wants to have it rewritten in his own egomaniacal image. Witness the North Carolina History Project.

Purpose and Goals

During the past few decades, scholarship has minimized what most know to be true—that individuals can make a difference and that ideas matter.

Really? My daughter went through public school in the past few decades. I never once got the impression that individuals don't make a difference and that ideas don't matter.

Public financing pilot for N.C. legislative races endorsed

Public financing pilot for N.C. legislative races endorsed

Here's a small bit of good news. It looks like NC may be taking another step toward election policies that level the playing field just a bit. Republicans are agains public financing of elections because they like things just the way they are . . . where rich guys can buy whichever races they want. We'll have to wait see how this fares in the NC House - but let's keep an eye on it. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing these good people have helped usher this along.

Lies, damn lies and statistics

Last night I was invited to examine the methodology of surveys conducted by the John Locke Foundation. Having been in the market research business for more than 20 years, I consider myself at least partially qualified for the task.

To those not familiar with the industry, there is as much art as science involved. For example, knowing how to ask questions to get unbiased responses is one aspect of the art – assuming of course that you actually want unbiased responses. This is especially challenging for researchers who come to their projects with ideological biases and agendas. The tobacco industry, for example, is widely known for its abuse and misuse of all kinds of research.

The Prince Of Puppets

I have to tell you, this is about as sad as it gets. Grown men and women in Wake County who actually give a damn what John Hood thinks about anything, and especially about public education. I guess when your bossman is Art "the Puppetmaster" Pope you get accustomed to people sucking up to you, but this sorry spectacle is beyond belief.

Taylor reads the tea leaves

We've all been following Chuck Taylor's latest screw-up, having refused for two years to put $10 million in federal funding toward a national memorial to the flight. It looks like the old weasel is changing his mind.

Family members met with Taylor's staff Wednesday. In a rare national television interview, Taylor explained that he wants to make sure private funding commitments will be met so that the federal government won't be left on the hook. And three Pennsylvania lawmakers pledged that the federal funding will come through this year.

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