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Archive for March, 2010

5 Percent of Your Income

This time of year, tax talk is focused on the feds and the state. But here’s the reality of what local government costs in North Carolina — in other words, the local tax and fee burden citizens face.

The average North Carolinian surrendered almost 5 percent of his personal income to fund city and county government in the 2008 budget year. That’s one of the key conclusions in the latest edition of By The Numbers, the John Locke Foundation’s yearly look at tax and fee collections by local government in North Carolina.

Here’s a look at how Triangle area cities and counties fare.

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Inappropriate Lighting?

I love the night sky, but is it really an issue that calls out for government regulation? In Carrboro, it seems it’s not dark enough so the town is considering a government ordinance that, among other things, would force outdoor lights in Carrboro to be directed toward the ground.

The town may be a little darker at night if the Board of Aldermen decides to change outdoor lighting rules.

Town staff has prepared a draft ordinance that would create stricter standards for outdoor lights. It explains that inappropriate lighting can “interfere with observation of the nighttime sky,” create a glare and waste energy.

If passed, the new rules would apply to new developments that require permits. Existing lights would need to conform when they are replaced.

In subdivisions, lights would need to be shielded or directed to the ground.

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D’oh

Charles Johnson the once-conservative but now-lefty wacko blogger at Little Green Footballs, sees neo-Nazis everywhere.

He even saw them carrying what he was sure was a neo-Nazi flag at the recent anti-ObamaCare rally in Washington. You know, the one where people reported lots of racist and homophobic comments that the dozens of Democratic video cameras failed to catch (we know this because they would be on YouTube by now if they had).

Problem is, the flag happened to be the Tennessee state flag. D’oh.

This is about the same level of accuracy of most charges of racism at tea party rallies.

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They’re fighting a transit tax in St. Louis, too

Well, at least one young conservative, John Burns, is:

Just as the Tea Party movement did on the national level a little over a year ago, Burns has emerged from nowhere to serve as one of the most recognizable faces of the opposition to Proposition A, which would raise the county sales tax by a half-cent to help fund the Metro transit agency.

To see what North Carolina big-government backers have done over the years to push unneeded and wasteful transit funding, check out these Carolina Journal articles.

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Duke lefty women wackos forced to apologize

The Duke University Women’s Center, which rescinded a reservation for Duke Students for Life to discuss motherhood at the center, has been forced to apologize:

After the free-speech activist group FIRE exposed the decision to cancel an event at the Center sponsored by Duke Students for Life, which wasn’t even about opposition to abortion, the Duke University Women’s Center abruptly reversed course, offering a terse apology to the DSFL.

Of course, it’s too late for them to hold the event, so, mission accomplished.

AFTERTHOUGHT: How many of the Women’s Center employees were among the raging pot-bangers at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., after accusations were made against the Duke lacrosse team?

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N&O ignores Obama contributor arrested for death threats to Republican

When I posted yesterday that it would be interesting to see how many mainstream media outlets would ignore the story of the crazy Obama supporter who was arrested for threatening to kill Republican congressman Eric Cantor, I really didn’t think they’d do it.

To my surprise, my morning newspaper, The News & Observer of Raleigh, completely ignored the story. Not a word appears in the print edition. This incident, an actual arrest of a left-winger who made death threats to a Jewish Republican, was not considered newsworthy by the editors of the N&O. And while the editors could find no room for the Cantor threat story, they did find room for a six-column story on 6A about a man getting four years for throwing a dog off a bridge. Priorities.

However, a front-page refer to the militia arrests in Michigan was deemed essential for the reader, and a nearly full-page of lurid mug shots and a photo of federal agents in battle gear dominated page A3. You have to understand, this fits the N&O’s template that the left is never violent and the right is pregnant with extremist impulses.

Any incident involving a right-wing nutjob is assumed to be representative of the entire conservative movement, the Republican Party and, of course, Sarah Palin. Incidents involving left-wing nutjobs, like this guy Norman Leboon who allegedly wanted to kill Cantor, is either considered a one-off creep with no connection to the Democrats or Obama, nor are they deemed to have been inspired by any rhetoric on the left.

To the media, “Kill the Bill” signs are much more dangerous than “Kill Bush” signs. The latter were ignored during most of the last decade. The former are considered dangerous “eliminationist rhetoric” by lefty newspaper pundits, and the routine language of politics, such as “campaign” and “target,” are suddenly evidence of conservatives wanting to kill all Democratic incumbents.

It’s one thing for a party to engage in such reprehensible tactics. It’s another for the media to play along. But it’s not surprising.

UPDATE: Like the N&O and most dailies, the legacy networks ABC and CBS completely ignored the arrest of the man who threatened to kill Cantor. NBC gave it about 5 seconds.

UPDATE 2: Bob Owens points out several acts of lefty violence that you probably never heard about, because the media ignored them.

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Will N.C. Pursue Offshore Oil and Natural Gas?

Carolina Journal TV’s Anthony Greco takes a look at our state’s potential for offshore drilling, as well as the status of the General Assembly’s advisory committee that’s looking into the issue. The committee is expected to make its recommendations at its last meeting on April 13.

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Let’s see if the MSM notices this story

So far, the mainstream media (including The N&O) has ignored or drastically downplayed the story that shots were fired into Virginia Republican Congressman Eric Cantor’s office in his district. Meanwhile, the MSM has vastly overplayed the questionable, and probably made up, stories of spitting and epithets aimed at Democrats.

Let’s see if they ignore this story:

Today, a two-count complaint and warrant was filed charging Norman Leboon with threatening to kill United States Congressman Eric Cantor and his family, and threatening to kill Congressman Eric Cantor, who is an official of the United States, announced United States Attorney Michael L. Levy and FBI Special Agent in Charge Jan Fedarcyk.

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Michael Mann: Gee, I wish I’d been ethical back then

Woulda, coulda, shoulda:

Penn State global warming scientist Michael E. Mann regrets he did not instantly object when a fellow climatologist asked him in 2008 to delete e-mails subject to Freedom of Information requests.

”I wish in retrospect I had told him, ‘Hey, you shouldn’t even be thinking about this,”’ Mann told The Morning Call in his first interview since the university last month launched an investigation into his conduct. ”I didn’t think it was an appropriate request.”

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It’s the Bad Economy…Or Is It?

The state of North Carolina is behind on issuing income tax refunds. It’s easy to presume the lag is due to the poor economy. But what role have state legislators and the governor played in the delay? (emphasis is mine)

Joe Coletti – director of fiscal policy studies for the John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank – said the Democratic-controlled state legislature can’t blame the delay only on the economy because that legislature increased the budget this year despite falling revenues.

“It’s something the legislature should have planned for,” he said.

But Coletti said he doubted there is much political hay to be made of the delay.

“By November I think it’ll be forgotten,” he said.

In other words, when you continue to spend, spend, spend when you know the economy is struggling and revenues will be sluggish, this is what you get.

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