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No Medal from the Wizard

I don’t know about you, but I do not get out of my car unless I can walk on a Nationally Accredited Main Street. So what if I need a piece of hardware? I insist on the vibe of knowing a street has a manager controlling focused mission statements for a vision. Well, Hendersonville’s Main Street program didn’t make the grade.

Liz Parham, director of the NC Department of Commerce Main Street Center, told Hendersonville’s Downtown Advisory Committee Wednesday morning that if members beef up their work plan, schedule more training, bolster their committees, and add a few more dollars to their budget, they should shine.

Cliquez ici if you want to read more madness about the accreditation of Main Streets.

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One More Is Never Enough

Not too long ago, teacher training seminars promoted a book explaining the differences between the classes. One of the most memorable distinctions was how the middle class valued work and paying bills, whereas the lower class put entertainment first. It did not take much of a brain to see that the leisure class could afford not to work because the working class was footing the bill.

And so, as manufacturing is a thing of the past, the news is often replete with articles about how Asheville will become the next Austin, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, or maybe all three. People are not merely going into business, they are promoting grand schemes to transform the economy with gambling, drinking, music, and other celebrations one might expect the peasants to be doing in a Bruegel painting. Why, marketing vice and pleasure to stimulate the economy has even become a role of the federal government.

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Indulgences to Unindulge

First, the Catholic Church took your money to keep the little man in the red Spandex away. Then, the Mafiosi took it to keep the arsonists away. Now, TSA is taking it to keep the blue gloves out of your, ejem, personal property. They are allowing people to buy their freedom from unreasonable search and seizure because money-makes-right is so much better than might-makes-right.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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Do Require a Tasting Room

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute has hopped on the bandwagon in designing a curriculum for – Hey, did you hear the one about . . . Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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This Audience Is Immature

If anybody cared to look in my toolkit for functional incompetency, they would find among other treasures one that advises the user to stay away from hype. It is a great way not to think and be right 95% of the time, on matters of hype, that is.

But when somebody became interested in building Faraday cages around everything, I agreed to read Bill Forstchen’s One Second After. I quit reading the book after the fourth day, as I was getting horrifically nauseous. Math and physics books are so much more humane. Frankly, I expect forces capable of manipulating the value of currency would cause widespread havoc before an enemy detonates a high-altitude atomic bomb.

As suspected, the technological explanations are hand-wavy at best. But the book does give good advice for preppers, like storing food, fuel, cash, and medicine, except the government won’t let pharmacies fill backup prescriptions. He also recommends making friends with one’s neighbors; especially the influential ones like him. Oops.

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Lost

People are getting fired up about what some are referring to as a “Second Coming” of Mountain Moral Monday. I received an email full of dead links indicating hot topics this year will include fighting for gay marriage and opposing Israel in any Middle Eastern conflicts. People are asked to bring signs to Pack Place Park August 4 from 5:00 to 6:30.

“I think it must have been a Tuesday.”

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Small, Medium, or Labor?

What is with these mod, rad web sites that list “labor” (1, 2) among their “categories,” along with “announcements,” “news,” and “opinion”?

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Special Rights Aren’t Rights

NOW was protesting in Asheville, and I am not sympathetic. The only rights I support are unqualified human rights. So-called women’s rights, gay rights, Scandinavian-American rights, or whatever have a way of implicitly advocating special consideration, special treatment, and demands on others to force equal outcomes; rather than offering fair opportunities for personalized quests.

The hot topic was the recent Hobby Lobby ruling. The same lecture has been delivered through the centuries, so repeating it here is not likely to change any minds. A good society will support the Hobby Lobbyists’ right to pursue the path they feel makes them right with their Creator. Hobby Lobbyists’ consciences are seared as they spend the fruits of their labors on breaking the commandments of their God. This is serious business, or their religion is pure hypocrisy. The limitations, of course, are when the Hobby Lobbyists’ right to the free exercise of conscience infringes that of others, and to date there is no widely-accepted school of natural rights teaching that pharmaceutical birth control flows freely, without effort, to women in the absence of faith-based, male obstructionists. Were birth control a natural right, men, women, bi’s, and neuters would simply pluck it from the easy breezes, as they do the pursuit of happiness.

That said, the women do have a right to freely assemble, and they can talk about whatever they like. May they not construe my freedom of expression as obstructionist.

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On Potions & Rings

The Canton Board of Aldermen are considering the regulation of various potions. Potions require regulation because they cause people to surrender control of themselves. With all the unclaimed control wafting about, elected leaders need only rationalize a great public cause to explain why they must haul it in to themselves.

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Recovering ’til My Face Turns Purple

AP outlets are sharing the big story that 35.1% of Americans are now in collections. Furthermore, the average amount owed is $5178. Now, if we want to dork around with numbers, we could believe the adage that the middle class is defined as those who worry about paying their bills. Here in Appalachia we get the idea that about half the folks are poor, judging from the number of kids getting subsidized lunches or the income levels for qualifying for county services. Therefore, it may be instructive to change our denominator to something closer to 50 to consider what portion of the population that is supposed to pay bills is failing to do so.

But as you surely surmised, this, like all other catastrophic underpinnings, is good for our redounding economic recovery:

The collections industry employs 140,000 workers who recover $50 billion each year.

The article being ubiquitous, I will choose to link to the HuffPo, because the last time I used their stats without any of my own mathmagic, I was eaten alive for my inaccuracies and misrepresentations.

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