Boone held a meeting Thursday to solicit public input on its long-range agricultural plan. Measures that might prevent farmland from disappearing include agricultural zoning, allowing Christmas tree and cattle farming on steep slopes, and “taking outside money.”
According to the Watauga Democrat, “The project is funded by a grant given to the Watauga County Soil and Water Conservation District.” The High Country Press discloses that the grant came from taxpayers via the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. The program is entitled “Watauga County Farming for the Future: Shaping a Vision for a Vibrant Agricultural Economy,” and the plan will be written by consultants from Unique Places, Durham, NC.Read full article » No Comments »
Today, I read a transcript from an insightful talk I heard earlier this month. It was religious in nature, and so as not to offend anybody, I will leave off the reference and excerpt only secular comments:
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The societies in which many of us live have for more than a generation failed to foster moral discipline. They have taught that truth is relative and that everyone decides for himself or herself what is right. Concepts such as sin and wrong have been condemned as “value judgments.” . . . As a consequence, self-discipline has eroded and societies are left to try to maintain order and civility by compulsion. The lack of internal control by individuals breeds external control by governments. One columnist observed that “gentlemanly behavior [for example, once] protected women from coarse behavior. Today, we expect sexual harassment laws to restrain coarse behavior. . . . Policemen and laws can never replace customs, traditions, and moral values as a means for regulating human behavior. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we’ve become.”
In most of the world, we have been experiencing an extended and devastating economic recession. It was brought on by multiple causes, but one of the major causes was widespread dishonest and unethical conduct, particularly in the US housing and financial markets. Reactions have focused on enacting more and stronger regulation. Perhaps that may dissuade some from unprincipled conduct, but others will simply get more creative in their circumvention. There could never be enough rules so finely crafted as to anticipate and cover every situation, and even if there were, enforcement would be impossibly expensive and burdensome. This approach leads to diminished freedom for everyone. In the memorable phrase of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, “We would not accept the yoke of Christ; so now we must tremble at the yoke of Caesar.” . . .
I can share with you a simple example from my own life of what parents can do. When I was about five or six years old, I lived across the street from a small grocery store. One day, two other boys invited me to go with them to the store. As we stood coveting the candy for sale there, the older boy grabbed a candy bar and slipped it into his pocket. He urged the other boy and me to do the same, and after some hesitation we did. Then we quickly left the store and ran off in separate directions. I found a hiding place at home and tore off the candy wrapper. My mother discovered me with the chocolate evidence smeared on my face and escorted me back to the grocery store. As we crossed the street, I was sure I was facing life imprisonment. With sobs and tears, I apologized to the owner and paid him for the candy bar with a dime that my mother had loaned me (which I had to earn later). My mother’s love and discipline put an abrupt and early end to my life of crime.
Because entrepreneurs don’t have what it takes anymore, the federal government is making up the difference with expenditures for synergy and rapid product realization. University centers can partner with economic development communities to provide consulting, mentoring, and engineering services.Read full article » No Comments »
A lot of headlines this week concerned improper actions taken by legislators. The object in mentioning that here is not to throw the first stone, but to share the public’s outrage. Persons are being found guilty of things against which their consciences should have warned, while they are participating in the process of continually outputting more laws when long ago nobody in their right mind would read all that already existed on the books. In business and government, those who like to make lots of rules are often not very good at following them. Whereas the three Libertarians in my apartment complex are very good about following house rules and city ordinances, others expect somebody else to bag the loose trash they toss into the rollout containers and isolate their mandatory recyclables, smoke in the non-smoking laundry room and leave their cigarette butts on the floor, and let their animals roam about the neighborhood unattended. It is safe to say, some of these people belong to the cars decked in bumper stickers endorsing progressive candidates.Read full article » No Comments »
The Spruce Pine town council approved a master plan, though they’re not calling it that. Dr. Gary Cooper is given credit. Cooper is not an elected official, but he was contracted to oversee the project. It followed the normal pattern of holding lots of visioning meetings. Not astonishingly, the people managed to reach consensus on the same vision of New Urbanism that the people in any town have generated for the last ten years or so.
According to the Mitchell News-Journal, “The first step in the land use plan is to create an identity, or a brand for Spruce Pine.” Needs identified by the people and researched by Cooper (nod nod, wink wink) were:
• outdoor meeting areas downtown
• downtown anchors
• better access to Riverside Park
• better connection to the surrounding neighborhoods
• unifying the 226 corridor
• mid-income level multi-family housing
• definition of the downtown boundaries . . .
• an extra-territorial jurisdiction [to] help the town in annexing more areas in order to grow . . .
From the illustration in the newspaper article, it appears there may also be a need for a new town hall and the elimination of motorized vehicles.Read full article » No Comments »
WBT, News Talk 1110 FM out of Charlotte, this evening hosted an interview with Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform. Ellis discussed the 1990 page “Affordable Healthcare Bill” unveiled today by Nancy Pelosi.
Ellis said he didn’t read the entire bill, but he’s been reading bills for ten years, so he can cherry-pick taxes out of them. The ATR web site lists the taxes and the pages on which they are mentioned. Ellis wanted people to take that information to their legislators and ask why they thought the taxes would be good for them and their families. New taxes included a new 45% income tax bracket, a 2.5% income tax increase for people who don’t purchase healthcare, and taxes on medical devices. Abominations like state-funded abortion, euthanasia, and rationing are reportedly still in the bill.
I have not read the bill and likely won’t. I am like the Republicans and certain that government does not belong in the healthcare business. In a saner era, one could rejoice in that the Democrats had made the bill too vomitous to stand a chance of passing. It could have been a retirement pill for anybody voting in favor.Read full article » No Comments »
I recently received a spam claiming persons accepting Cash for Clunkers got taken for a ride. It claimed automobile dealers raised the price of green vehicles they traded out by about $3000. Dealers had been discounting the cars because the free market wasn’t taking them, but raised the prices back to list when they had a guaranteed market. Furthermore, people who traded in clunkers will have to pay taxes on the free money the federal government gave them for doing so. Then, most paid sales taxes and registration fees for the new cars and will be paying interest on new loans. The author of the spam estimated each person receiving $4500 in free money from the federal program actually netted a loss of $3350. One could argue this was good for the automotive division of the federal government because auto dealers made an extra $3000 plus kickbacks on the typical sale.
This information is a few weeks old, but federal math also came under fire for errors detected in a report “from a government oversight board” claiming the president’s plan for blowing $787 billion in newly-printed money had already created 30,000 jobs. The report covered $16 billion in spending on 9000 government contracts. A brief review by the Associated Press disclosed jobs listed included:
• 3000 jobs that lasted no more than five weeks
• 2950 short-term jobs awarded by multiple contracts hiring the same people
• 129-3.9% COLA raises listed as jobs saved
• 280 students to be served through capital improvements
• jobs created through economic multiplier analysis.
The point is, obviously, the numbers associated with a $1 trillion federal healthcare program covering 95% of the population are unreliable.Read full article » No Comments »
The public has been in commotion about a Bible book burning. Marc Grizzard, pastor of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Bethel, announced his intentions, claiming only the King James Version contained the unperverted word of God. Grizzard was informed by the Haywood County fire marshal that the burning was against the law. The infraction had nothing to do with freedom of speech or freedom of religion. State law prohibits the outdoor burning of anything but vegetative matter. Grizzard said he wanted to obey the law. If he didn’t, he could be fined $25,000.Read full article » No Comments »
Some do not think government must play an integral role in healthcare. The merged Haywood Regional Medical Center and WestCare does not want a county commissioner on its board of directors. Commissioners want a seat at the table, claiming they were blamed when HRMC was shut down for failing a federal inspection recently.Read full article » 1 Comment »
In accordance with expectations, Asheville City Council six-oned three opportunities to receive donations from the federal deficit to assist local public safety efforts. The dissenting votes came from Dr. Carl Mumpower who pulled the items from the consent agenda. Disappointingly, he didn’t flag the item where the contributions from the federal deficit were “already there,” but he did say he regretted it being so.
Robin Cape, extending an olive branch to the lone conservative who is always on the losing side of votes, said she would like to see tracking of the ROI of newly-printed money delivered to Asheville. That is, she wanted to see how porkulus was growing tax revenues.Read full article » 1 Comment »