June 19, 2008
Don't tell John Hood
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 8:08 PM
Class offerings in military history are disappearing from college campuses across the country. An article on the issue in this week's U.S. News includes UNC-CH professor Wayne Lee's reaction.
Beyond war studies' inherent value, some historians point out that it
is also one of the few humanities disciplines that actually train
real-world practitioners. Most of the officers who teach history at
West Point, for example, get their military history Ph.D.'s at civilian
institutions. "It is up to us to teach people good history," says UNC's
Lee, whether students are voters in an upcoming election or ROTC
members who will be serving abroad in a few years. "This is something
that history departments should offer as part of a liberal arts
education. The better educated we are historically, the less likely we
are as a country to make stupid mistakes."
One wise man (and I say that not just because he signs my paychecks) agrees about the importance of military history.
Parton suit details
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:16 PM
Attorney Jeanette Doran and plaintiff Jim Garrett answered questions this afternoon about a new lawsuit linked to the failed Randy Parton Theatre in Roanoke Rapids.
Carolina Journal Online will have details Friday morning. In the meantime, you can watch the 23:39 news conference by clicking play below.
Re: Latest dispatches
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 3:45 PM
What I found interesting about John's discussion of the positions held by the major party candidates for governor and senate is how none of them are willing to express an opinion in favor of drilling for oil off of the NC coast. In the senate race we have both against and in the gov race we have one against and one who has "an interest in exploring the possibility." In other words, we have one against and one who is not necessarily against. Boy, conservatives really have a lot to look forward to this election, don't they?
Corruption and Press Stories
Posted by Chad Adams at 12:28 AMCertainly corruption knows no political party, but our state seems to have a definite tilt over the past few years as has been documented at Carolina Journal and other publications. Just down the road in wonderful Robeson County, their ex-sheriff, Glen Maynor, has been sentenced to six years in prison for, yep, corruption. Nowhere in the story will you see the word (Democrat) but Maynor was as was former Brunswick Sheriff, Ron Hewitt, House Speaker Jim Black, Ag Secretary Meg Scott Phipps, Representative Thomas Wright, Congressman Frank Ballance and his son Judge Frank Ballance Jr. (All have or will have time behind bars.)
One has to wonder if one party rule inevitably leads to this. Maybe it's just that there aren't many elected republicans in the state. Then again, it might be that the democrats have just become too comfortable thinking they're not being watched or that people just don't care. And now there's a potential issue with a certain state senator in Wilmington.
Sheriff Glen Maynor (D-Robeson)
Live from the Legislature
Posted by Becki Gray at 12:06 AM
The Senate is debating SB 1951, Repeal County Land Transfer Tax. Doug Berger (D-Franklin) offers an amendment that would allow, but not require, counties to designate what the revenue would be used for.
Vote on the amendment: 35 yes; 9 no.
The bill, as amended, repeals the county land transfer tax option.
Vote on bill: 38 yes; 6 no
It now goes to the House.
Re: The governor is
an idiot in Italy
Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:17 AMJudging by today's news, I think maybe Sen. Hoyle was correct in both versions of his comments:
State records obtained by The News & Observer of Raleigh show Gov. Mike Easley's industry-hunting trip to Italy cost more than $170,000.
Easley, his wife and a dozen others made the nine-day trip in April.
The newspaper reported Thursday that the expenses ranged from $590 for two nights in a hotel in Florence to $61,000 for a daily chauffeured Mercedes for the Easleys.
Live from the Legislature
Posted by Becki Gray at 11:15 AM
The House Judiciary II committee is considering the bill that would enact a moratorium on involuntary annexation until June 30, 2009. According to the bill, no involuntary annexation could be initiated during the moratorium period.
There is some confusion about how many involuntary annexations are currently pending. There are suggestions that some cities are rushing to start the annexation process before the moratorium is initiated.
Arguments are being made that no municipalities are so desperate for money that they can't hold off during the moratorium period.
Several property owners gave impassioned pleas to the committee with tales of annexation abuse.
Representatives from Greensboro and Charlotte spoke out against the moratorium, citing harm to economic development. Planning Association representatives said that planners need these tools to make their growth viable. Local planners will do their own study if abuses are found. Overall, they argue that they can't see any benefit from a moratorium.
Discussion continued throughout the meeting and will be taken up again next Tuesday.
No vote was taken today.
Chairman Blue asked staff to look at if anybody is doing the process correctly, as the legislature directed.
Parton Theatre fiasco leads to lawsuit
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:25 AM
We'll learn details this afternoon of the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law's latest lawsuit. It alleges "a conspiracy by Randy Parton and others to fraudulently obtain public money to build a theater in Roanoke Rapids."
For more details of the problems linked to the Parton Theatre, see Carolina Journal's extensive archive on the topic.
There's another $62,500 gone
Posted by Becki Gray at 09:30 AM
It costs the taxpayers of North Carolina about $62,500 each day the General Assembly is in session to pay all the salaries, keep the lights and air conditioner on and other operating expenses. Today, while the Senators are voting on their version of the $21.3 billion budget, the House will be considering other important matters - like a bill recognizing the one hundredth anniversary of "Everybody's Day".
All this for $62,500 a day.
Great advertisement for alternative fuel
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:11 AM
Here's a great lede from today's News & Observer:
The Big Green Bus is encountering a few inconvenient truths on the road to environmental change.
Among the inconvenient truths associated with the 37-foot vegetable oil-powered bus:
"The bus breaks quite often," said Elysa Corin, a Dartmouth College graduate and Chapel Hill native.
Lauren Wang, 21, an environmental studies major who graduated in
June, called the past seven days the most stressful week of her life.
was the breakdown on the way to Washington. The crew discovered holes
in a radiator hose, which kept the vegetable oils from heating properly
and overheated the engine.
A temporary fix of duct tape and
clamps left the wide-eyed travelers less than confident that their fuel
system would make it. They turned the heater up full blast to
sufficiently warm the vegetable oil and spent the five hours to D.C. in
If that's not enough ...
[B]ecause the fuel is an inexact science, crew members have been
getting their hands dirty. Contaminants in the vegetable oil sometimes
make it through filters and clog and damage engine parts.
This bus is designed, of course, to convince people to use alternative energy sources.
For a more sensible take on energy, see Daren Bakst's recent research on the topic.
Latest dispatches from the political trail
Posted by John Hood at 07:52 AM
• Kay Hagan, Beverly Perdue, and other Democratic candidates will speak this weekend at the state party convention in New Bern. Organizers expect a large attendance.
• Perdue makes a musical selection for her inaugural ceremony, perhaps a bit prematurely.
• Responding to President Bush's call for an end to the federal prohibition of offshore drilling, both Hagan and Elizabeth Dole express doubts. The division is clearer among the gubernatorial candidates, with Perdue saying she is “100 percent opposed” to offshore drilling and Pat McCrory expressing interest in exploring the possibility.
Today's Carolina Journal Online features
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:50 AM
Today's Carolina Journal Online exclusive features David Bass' report on upcoming career fairs designed to help members of the military transition into the private sector.
John Hood's Daily Journal critiques new smoking regulations adopted in the N.C. Senate.
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