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Archive for November 14th, 2012

Yet Another Local Government “Educational” Campaign For A Referendum

The Fayetteville Observer reports the city has cancelled a February special election during which voters would decide on a $45 million parks referendum. As we’ve seen  with other local governments, Fayetteville was planning to spend a boatload on an “educational” campaign. These “educational” campaigns have become a source of concern since they use tax dollars to convince voters of the need for bonds/services/projects. The localities, of course, say they are simply “educating” the public. But other than specifically advocating for a “yes” vote, these campaigns clearly try to convince voters to approve projects. Those who oppose the projects simply can’t compete.

“Consistent with the action taken by Fayetteville City Council, city staff has ceased the educational campaign and is prevented from taking further action to place the capital projects bond proposal on the ballot,” a city news release said.

“Effective immediately, efforts taken in pursuit of the planned Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, bond referendum have been halted,” the release said.

The city was planning to hold at least a dozen public forums over the next three months and sponsor an advertising blitz in local media, on TV and on billboards designed to educate the public about the bond package. The city’s campaign budget was about $77,000. The special election would have cost the city about $100,000.

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Aren’t judges supposed to be, you know, smarter than the rest of us?

You can’t make this stuff up.

A North Carolina administrative law judge has ruled that the people of Brasstown, N.C., by temporarily caging a ‘possum for their annual New Year’s Eve “‘possum drop,” are depriving a poor, innocent animal of the right to get run over by a pickup truck or killed by a hunter:

An administrative law judge ruled Tuesday that the state cannot issue a special permit allowing a caged marsupial to be lowered 20 feet over a stage – a 20-year tradition once profiled in The New York Times and the highlight of the mountain town’s celebration.

“Hunters must afford wild animals the same right Patrick Henry yearned for,” Senior Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison Jr. wrote in his order. “’Give me liberty, or give me death!’”

The decision hands a victory to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which sued the state in December and has long argued that confining a ‘possum and subjecting it to loud noises and heavy crowds constitutes cruel treatment, regardless of it being released into the wild after the event.

That a judge, administrative law or any other type, would fall for PETA’s reasoning is sad enough, but Morrison’s extension of Patrick Henry’s famous quote to marsupial freedom has made him the butt of jokes in the blogosphere.

I’m sorry, but I have to side with those in the blogosphere who have questioned Morrison’s judgment. To be more precise, I’d question the judgment of any judge who sides with reasoning from the likes of PETA in almost all instances.

Most human beings possessing a modicum of common sense understand that lowering a marsupial slowly to the ground in a cage on New Year’s Eve is not animal cruelty. Neither is pulling Punxatawney Phil from his burrow in Pennsylvania every year animal cruelty, which PETA also alleges, by the way. Put bluntly, these people are crazy.

Judge Morrison has gotten his 15 minutes of fame, and the soundtrack is well-deserved uproarious and derisive laughter.

UPDATE: On-point comment from CarolinaPlottHound.com: “Thank God Paul Newby kept this guy off the Supreme Ct. in 2004…”

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It Makes No Sense, But That Doesn’t Seem To Matter

Over at sister blog The Locker Room, Mitch Kokai points out another head-scratching, illogical argument coming from the Left. And here I thought the Left opposed corporate welfare. Nope.

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Shopping Trips For The Wife, A Spa, Broadway Show Tickets, And More

Here’s yet another example of outrageous spending. In this case, the man who engaged in it has been demoted.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has demoted the former head of U.S. Africa Command who was accused of spending thousands of dollars on lavish travel and other unauthorized expenses, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Panetta stripped Gen. William “Kip” Ward of a star, which means that he will now retire as a three-star lieutenant general. Ward also has been ordered to repay the government $82,000.

And what has he been wasting money on?

A report by the Defense Department inspector general found that Ward used military vehicles to shuttle his wife on shopping trips and to a spa and billed the government for a refueling stop overnight in Bermuda, where the couple stayed in a $750 suite. The report detailed lengthy stays at lavish hotels for Ward, his wife and his staff members, and the use of five-vehicle motorcades when he traveled to Washington.

The report also said Ward and his wife, Joyce, accepted dinner and Broadway show tickets from a government contractor during a trip during which he went backstage to meet actor Denzel Washington. The couple and several staff members also spent two nights at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

Other charges were that Ward often extended his overseas trips _ particularly those to the U.S. _ for personal reasons, resulting in “exponential” increases in costs.


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And It Didn’t Take A Government Program

Great story today about the Chapel Hill community pitching in to help fund and build a home for a family. Look at what Mr. Moo has to say about freedom and coming to the United States.

Moo works at the Smith Center as a housekeeper and lives in an apartment in Carrboro with his wife and three sons.

“For our family, I am very happy to get a Habitat home,” Moo said.

He said when he and his wife lived in Burma, political unrest led them to flee to refugee camps in Thailand.

“We needed to stay in the camps,” Moo said. “If we went outside to find a job, the police would catch us.”

Moo wanted his family to have the freedom they didn’t have in the refugee camps, so they came to the United States.

“When we arrived here, we could go anywhere,” Moo said.

“We don’t need to stay in a camp.”

This is a great example of community helping community, rather than relying on a government program. And it’s a great example of how each of us can contribute.

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