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Comparative Indiscretions

I shall stoop to talk about dirty politicking. Asheville School Board member Lisa Baldwin has her face smeared all over the local daily because a school employee used their school email to encourage other school employees to vote against Baldwin. Neither the fact that the employee used her school account for a political campaign, nor that she carelessly sent it to an informant, should get anybody out of shape. The nasty thing is, the victim’s face is plastered all over so anybody who only reads headlines, looks at the pictures, and reads the first paragraph will be led to believe Baldwin was up to worse than her adversary actually was.

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What Else?

The State Board of Elections found only 1425 folks “who are likely non-citizens” registered to vote in North Carolina.

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Best Case for More Education Spending – Brilliant

The Power of 3 Votes is working to get people to vote with Moral Monday. Narry as I can figure, they want more money to go to education so they can learn math. Their philosophy is, if one person asks two friends to come to the polls, and they each ask two friends, and so on, and so on, there is a power of three thingy going on. If organizers were proficient in math, they would realize they were dealing with Pascal’s triangle and powers of 2, so they make a strong case.

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Fighting Politicians

The Wee People in Boone would like some water. It is good for drinking and washing. But the town fathers are now hesitant to invest in system upgrades for keeping pace with anticipated demand. You see, they are afraid that if they will build it, they will come. They, of course, are the pirates in the legislature who like to seize assets from municipalities.

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I’m Just Sayin’

I keep forgetting to mention this. I recently agreed to interview some candidates for the Carolina Journal. Two of the six responded almost immediately and answered within minutes when I had last-minute follow-up. Both took their time and invited me to get back in touch if I needed anything. Two others laid low. Now, if you were in my position, and the candidates were in your district, all other factors being equal, who might you prefer to have representing you?

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Wanna Get from Here to There? Get Your Thug on

Saith the Hendersonville Times-News:

Tryon police officers have become “overzealous” and “intimidating,” and are harrassing motorists in such a manner that it is harming commerce.

Among complaints are “excesssive stops, searches, license checks, and followings.”

Where do you want to go with this? Do you want to whine that we are just pieces of meat in the eyes of government, terrorsts until proven innocent? Those who treat their guns legally so as to render them useless for self-defense are easy meat. Do you want to whine about the last place you guarded your laptop and purse because of the razors and syringes on the ground and the goofs in dealer attire lurking around, signaling, talking on their cell phones, and cussing? And then the guy rolls into the seedy part of town in his new Lexus equipped with wires from all kinds of electronic stuff. (I’m talking about last yesterday.)

But we can’t profile, That might emit brainwaves. Not all perpetrators of victimless crimes are predators, but a wealth of psychological research indicates unchecked addictions can lead to poverty, desperation, and then crime.

“Nonsense!” you cry. “Carl Sagan smoked pot, and the leader of the former free world was raised by a single mom! For every statistic you site, there is one to the contrary. Statistics justify, but they do not lead to wisdom.”

So, what are overzealous cops out to get, if not more remarkable statistics?

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Outgoing DA Ron Moore is going to pardon 230 speeding tickets. Mine are not among them.

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You So Bad

Me mum informs me my little nephew received an ersatz gold medal for placing third in his grade in math for his school district. But that’s in Indiana. In Western North Carolina, kids arrive by making bomb threats.

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You’re Invited! Tarry Not!

The Buncombe County Commissioners got into a heated debate, along partisan lines, about whether or not Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger acted appropriately in extending office hours until 7:00 p.m. on October 10, after Judge Max Cogburn, Jr. ruled gay marriage to be legal in North Carolina. (Correct me if I am using the wrong terms for the process by which the judicial branch makes law.)

Now, it seems in the eternal scheme of things, we should be concerned about whether or not any harm was perpetrated. Instead, the argument concerned whether or not Reisinger sent out a single email to each commissioner or spammed them all at once. Had he emailed everybody individually, that would have been a polling of commissioners, and all would be well. But he didn’t.

Had a majority of commissioners replied-all to the multi-recipient email, the communication would have constituted a public meeting, which would require properly notifying the public. But, since only three replied, the communication did not constitute a violation of open meetings laws.

At the commissioners’ meeting Tuesday night, Bob Deutsch, the county attorney, was of the opinion that any legal problems could be cleaned up by having the commissioners vote to approve the extended hours retroactively. And that’s what they did. Since this occurred at an open meeting, consider yourself noticed. Any concerns you would care to share with the commissioners will be weighed and considered as much as anything else you have to say – unless your group has a high enough hip factor to justify bending the rules.

Commissioners Mike Fryar and Joe Belcher disagreed with the process, citing rules. Commissioner Holly Jones called Fryar, “wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong,” asserting, “The disgrace I see is the frivolous use of taxpayer money for a political witch hunt.”

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Anything in the Name of Tourism & Job Creation

We accept that the economy is such that most of us do not enjoy the luxury of taking vacations except for family emergencies anymore. However, if you are rich and looking for a tourist tax on which to blow your hard-earned money, you may reconsider sightseeing in the Third Beerest City.

The “community” projects selected to receive a total of $4,825,000 in grants from the room tax are:

  • The Enka Ballfields project. You may recall, the commissioners recently promised another lump of your contributions to the newly-forming nonprofit in a deal that involved the flipping of county real estate.
  • Highlands Brewing. This community organizer, which also happens to sell beer, will receive $850,000 for “expansion and improvments that will enhance the guest experience, including rooftop access, event space, and upgraded tour amenities.”
  • Riverfront Destination Development. Among other green obesity-fighters is a train-viewing platform.
  • Riverlink. A commercial-grade access will facilitate “river experiences and activities.”
  • The Collider. This will be a state-of-the-art conference center designed to help “leverage growing demand for expertise from the nearby National Climatic Data Center.”
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