Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Good deeds aside, I am intrigued as to what one would obtain from a dinner with Palin, as opposed to simply giving $63,500 directly to the charity itself. For example, which unique insights into the psyche of Palin, or the inner workings of American government, will the attendees take home with them?
Foreign policy? Once Sarah's guests visit her home, they will possess the same foreign policy experience as she, assuming its a clear day and Russia is still visible from her porch. Perhaps they'll learn about the American work ethic, like sticking with a job you sought and won until your term is complete. Economics? I'm still waiting for a treatise from Palin in National Review, or at the least, in Parade or Reader's Digest. Health care? Can you say "Death Panels"??? After much thought and using some complex mathematics, I determined the donor's Return on Investment, relative to knowledge gained vs. dollars expended would be zero, to wit: 0 insights/$63,500 = 0 ROI. Sadly, the answer is the same if the winner were to spend, say $1.47 for the "Dinner with Sarah".
However, Palin's idea is not a bad one. Thus, I am offering an alternative for a much lower price. Read on.
You can win a chance to go to dinner with the two most famous bloggers in Nags Head, NC. Bob Muller, the Wobbly former Mayor of Nags Head, and yours truly, the defender of individual and property rights (as long as you don't build a pink house next door to me).
The cost? I would guess less than $150. The requirements? Unlike Palin, who reserved the right to reject the winning bidder "if the winner fails to meet 'subjective standards of suitability, professionalism, background and other factors"; Bob and I could care less about any of these things. All we ask is that you pay the dinner bill for the both of us; the restaurant chosen must be in Nags Head, have waiters, and a wine list. Dinner courses not to exceed $25, and wine bottles (one each) not to exceed the same amount.
What do you get in return? From Bob, a history of how Nags Head evolved to its current lofty state as the premier town on the Outer Banks. Also, both our insights on the proposed convention center, beach nourishment, consensus government, Derb Carter, ORV Restrictions, wind power, and loud, hateful protesters of either stripe. In fact, our entire body of political opinion is a matter of public record and available for free on the internet. We can also discuss wine, food, wine, and food.
As to foreign policy, both Bob and I have seen Bermuda from the top of Jockey's Ridge (on a clear day and with proper amounts of wine), and he has been to Wanchese several times. Best yet, there is NO LIMIT on the number of winners. You supply the dinner and drinks, Bob and I will show up. Everyone wins.
And that's how it should be.
PS: Don't ask Bob to show you his pictures. He takes lots of them. They number in the thousands.
PSS: Disregard the above if you agree to buy wine for as long as Bob shows you his pictures. I can be bought, you see.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
It all began because as a bird watcher, I subscribe to the Carolina Bird's listserve. There, Derb Carter, the leader of the Southern Environmental Law Center, posted a blog post from this guy, who has a sub-blog under the Fishing Militia website. He goes by the initials "JAM", and is solidly against the ORV restrictions on our beach, as I am. "JAM" takes a stronger, more aggressive stance, as evidenced by this logo that he very proudly displays on his blog:
If you dislike the Audubon for their actions locally, as I do, this is pretty funny. But, the Audubon is many things, and many of the things they do are positive. Some of the best birding sites I have ever had the pleasure to visit were Audubon preserves and without their money and personnel, these sites would no longer exist. But, in the debate down here, some of this humor might go a tad too far. This instance however, I'll give 'em a pass. It's kinda funny, and offensive in a South Park/Family Guy genre. Birders, get a sense of humor.
However, JAM then wrote the following on his blog:
And so it goes... Derb Carter, aforementioned, is a Master of Spin and Deception. Derb likes to manipulate science and data that he must know is selective in nature and use this bad science to further his cause of keeping the beaches on Hatteras and Oregon Inlet closed to ORV's and even pedestrians.
I am Tired of waiting for the Senate and Congress of the United States of America, to step in and help us.. I am Tired of Groups that just stay on Defense.. I will be the Thorn in their side.. They have taken away from all of us what is rightfully ours.. Now its my turn, I will take away from them what they enjoy. Just by my Presence..
I will go to every Bird Club Meeting that there is.. I will go to every Bird Watching Event on this Island.. I will bring Air Horns and Discharge them @ will while on the Birding Trips .. I will make their stay on this Island as un-welcome as possible.. I guess I will become The Bird Watcher, Watcher..
Their next Get together is Nov. 6 Cape Hatteras Light House parking lot 9 a.m. It will be hosted by the Carolina Bird Club our buddy Derb Carters Group.. http://www.carolinabirdclub.org/
I will be there with Bells on, or should I say Air Horns on.. Hope to see some of you there, lets show them a good old Hatteras Welcome.. If you take something away from me , I will take something away from you.. Don’t think that you can Shit where you Sleep and get away with it.. Not gonna happen.. Rant off .. JAM out .. Creepin While Your Sleepin..
Derb then posted this to the Carolina Birds listserve...
Cape Hatteras birds and birders need your help. A small group of ORV users who think they own our National Seashore and can drive on the Seashore beaches anywhere and anytime have plans to disrupt the Wings Over Waters birding festival this November. Read this post below from one of their websites:
“I will go to every Bird Club Meeting that there is.. I will go to every Bird Watching Event on this Island.. I will bring Air Horns and Discharge them @ will while on the Birding Trips .. I will make their stay on this Island as un-welcome as possible.. I guess I will become The Bird Watcher, Watcher.. Their next Get together is Nov. 6 Cape Hatteras Light House parking lot 9 a.m. (Wings Over Water) It will be hosted by the Carolina Bird Club. I will be there with Bells on, or should I say Air Horns on.. Hope to see some of you there, lets show them a good old Hatteras Welcome.. If you take something away from me , I will take something away from you.. Don’t think that you can Shit where you Sleep and get away with it.. Not gonna happen.. JAM out .. Creepin While Your Sleepin..”
Many of those who have stood up for birds and other wildlife on Cape Hatteras National Seashore have endured threats to their person, threats to property, property vandalism, nails in their driveways, wanted posters, and other acts. This has been especially tough on our local island residents who have supported reasonable management of ORV use to give breeding birds and nesting turtles a chance. Park Service efforts to meet their mandate to protect nesting birds and turtles by closing sensitive areas during critical times have also met with opposition, vandalism of signs and posts, dead fish on turtle nests to attract predators, stomping on turtle nests, and other crimes. This gives a bad name to those who responsibly drive on the Seashore and respect the needs of wildlife.
The good news is that all species have benefitted from enhanced protections the past two years. Nesting colonial waterbirds have doubled, threatened plovers and fledged chicks have increased, black skimmers returned to the Seashore to nest, and sea turtles have nested in record numbers. At maximum, during the peak of the bird breeding season, less that 13 miles of the 67 miles of Seashore have been closed to ORV use for resource protection. Despite being in the midst of a recession, visitation to Cape Hatteras National Seashore has increased each of the last two years.
So what can you do to help. First, go to Wings Over Water in November. Enjoy some of the best Fall birding NC has to offer. Do not be intimidated by these tactics. Defy the thugs. We know several of the individuals involved in this and have been working with federal and state law enforcement.
Second, you will be asked soon to help defeat proposed legislation to overturn the wildlife protection measures on the Seashore. Dare County and the ORV groups agreed to interim protection measures until a final ORV plan is adopted, but they are now trying to overturn their own agreement. Finally, you will also be asked later this Fall to weigh in on a final ORV plan for the Seashore that is under preparation. Hatteras birds and birders will need your help.
Chapel HillNowhere in JAM's post did he specifically refer to the WOW festival. And what is this "small group"? One blogger does not a "small group" make. In addition, Derb and another local environmentalist called "law enforcement" to give them a heads up to this potential criminal act. This is Derb Carter at his best--a petty, pot-stirring troublemaker reacting to the post of ONE person who never once threatened to "disrupt" Wings Over Water.
The post resulted in a mini-debate on Carolina Birds, with some supporting Derb and others asking him to basically go away and leave us alone. One poor little birder whined about how he and his family will never come to the OBX again because "there was pro-ORV propaganda" in stores, one restaurant humorously had "Piping Plover" on the menu, and some fishermen "flipped him off" while he was birdwatching. Oh boo-hoo. He now goes to Hilton Head apparently, where I hope he remains. Its much more civil down there! And all of those well manicured country clubs and lawns are an excellent example of preserving the coastal environment. Not that I care, but bird watchers are usually quite keen on this sort of thing.
As you can see, both sides have gone beyond the pale. I posted the following on JAM's website:
Good job JAM. Your post has now been republished on EVERY birding website in the east coast, including that of Derb Carter, the head of the SELC, the organization that brought the lawsuit to ban ORV driving and the same organization that wishes to shut down the Oregon Inlet bridge. Thanks to your ill-conceived post, birders all over the Carolina’s have their worst fears validated and have become incensed enough to meet your challenge. I am an avid surf fisherman, a member of the Nags Head Surfing Club, the NCBBA, the OBPA, and other orgs. In the time it took you to write one post you gave Derb, Sidney and others all the ammunition they need to continue to portray us as rednecks. I am also a bird watcher and see no conflict between the two passions. WOW does NOT have a dog in this fight, but thanks to you, they are now implicated. Do all of the rest of the ORV drivers a favor and STOP doing trying to help us with your posts.
I received stuff like this back from JAM:
How nice of you to not hurl childish insults, this post. Guess ya figrured ya might have to face me sooner or later.. As you know Ip addresses do not lie.. Comments you made about my education, grammer and Spelling, not to mention the AF, poof all gone.. And now I'm a good writer..( You wish the obxjournel got the hits that the militia site or my blog recieves).. I was around in the beach bum days.. I am done with you sir.. Just put your head back in your ass and continue drinking the Kool-Aid, its much warmer and quieter in there, and I am sure no one will bother you.. BTW how much money have you raised and Donated to the OBPA, 2 years stand in the sand around 50 grand thanks to Rob and the Militia .. Hope to see ya soon your friend in Birding ... Jam out
If you read my post, and one subsequent, you will see that nowhere did I criticize "JAM" for the items mentioned. His reference to "IP addresses" refers to the fact that bloggers like myself can follow the Internet Protocol address of folks who leave comments or send emails to us. Problem is, there is a difference between a static IP address and dynamic ones. Most of us who use Embarq share the same IP address and most of our posts are funneled through a server in Fayetteville, NC. So, four or five people who reacted negatively to JAM's post have been lumped in with myself, and JAM believes them to be the same person. Likely, all are Embarq or Charter subscribers with static IP's coming from their ISP. In fact, that weekend I was in Greensboro-Winston Salem where another critic of JAM's apparently resides, and hence our IP was the same. I was using the hotel wireless at the Mariott on Cherry Street.
So where does this leave us? Apparently, some birders (who are generally well educated) took aim at JAM's service in the USAF and his grammar skills. Typical of the arrogance of many who populate the Carolina Birds forum. But JAM, like many ORV proponents appear to embrace the Rambo, rugged outdoorsy persona. References to me being afraid to "meet" him are about as subtle as a schoolyard bully. I've had to deal with this on other blogs from other people. And obviously, JAM knows less about the inner workings of the Internet than he thinks he does.
Like many folks in small towns, I serve on Boards and have club memberships that are often at cross-purposes; my multiple interests complicate things further. And, life in a small town means political/civic activism brings this sort of close-to-home interaction.
Bottom line--the environmental movement has the upper hand in this debate, and a Federal judge in their corner. And while I understand ORVers are frustrated with working within the system--disruptions and such are only going to serve to perpetuate the "Beach Bum" myth perpretrated nationally by the anti-ORV crowd at the Audubon Society.
I know the bird watcher groups don't seem interested in compromising at all. Too bad for them. But I hope ORV advocates police themselves better and remind JAM and others that this sort of thing is worse.
And JAM, come meet me anytime. I'll give you a lesson in IP so you won't mix up your critics.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
From my friend, Heather Akers, who is very active in German Shepherd rescues....
This year we have three awesome raffle prizes so we have posted them on our website www.gsdrescue.org!!
Here’s a quick link: http://www.gsdrescue.org/reunion_raffle.html
You can win a vacation for as little as $10. You do NOT have to be present to WIN!!!
So please check it out for yourself! Please tell your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors to support GSRA!
All ticket sale proceeds will go directly to support GSRA. You may win one of the following fabulous prizes:
· Two round trip Air Tran Airline tickets to anywhere in the continental
· A Nags Head Vacation week with a couples massage in early November.
· An Ocracoke 3 day/2 night getaway with dates of your choice anytime during October through May.
Details are on our web site! Raffle tickets can be purchased on-line until October 1. Additional raffle tickets will be available at the event on October 3. Anyone purchasing an on-line ticket is welcome to join us at the event for food, fun, additional raffle prize opportunities and doggie games.
Entrants need not be present to win, but we ask that you complete the on-line entry forms with accurate and up-to-date contact information.
The random drawing will be held on October 3, 2009 at the Reunion Picnic located at Montague's Lake,
If the winner is not present, they will be notified by phone or email no later than October 4.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Chip Reynolds in a motorized wagon..
Jay Hart & Gil Meyers--Beach Bums who rode our motorized jet skis.
Our Shark mobile!
Ye ed in the motorized hammock
Our rescue team in case of breakdowns....blares beach music from twin speakers!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Life in a small town can be, well, small. So it was no surprise when the occasion of opening Nags Head's (population: approximately 3200) second Food Lion brought out crowds, radio stations, and dignitaries for the Grand Opening
Our intrepid reporter interviewed the new manager, Lloyd Carbuncle, who advised our readers that the new store sold "meat, poultry, laundry supplies, beer, toilet paper and all kinds of other stuff including tapenade". Carbuncle admitted he had no idea what tapenade was, but noted it was "usually green and packaged in small jars.". Nags Head police were on hand to make sure no one entered or exited the premises with any plastic bags, which are illegal in that town.
According to Carbuncle, plastic bags were banned in Nags Head because sea turtles mistake them for jellyfish and upon ingestion, become hallucinogenic--thinking themselves sharks, whereupon they attack and devour tourists.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Where to start? First of all, Rep. Wilson would appear to be a prime candidate best advised to adhere to a twist on an old adage, to wit: "Idiots should be seen but not heard". In an era where the opponents of President Obama will be forced to walk on eggshells due to the ever-present "race card", Wilson is the last person who should violate Congressional decorum and call out a sitting President--- face-to-face. He is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. In and of itself, that doesn't bother me...much. Many of "us" southerners had relatives who fought on the wrong side of the war, yet recognize that, like most soldiers, they were doing what their country requested...even if that country was illegitimate. However, it takes something inherently misplaced to join such an organization in this day and age. Yet more study reveals Wilson also defended the continuation of flying the Confederate flag over the South Carolina capitol building--a position that cannot be intellectually defended under any circumstances. On the other hand, in the end, Obama was allowed to distance himself from the church organization he belonged to, even though his minister made controversial remarks regarding race, ethnicity, and government conspiracy.
And, when Strom Thurmond, the segregationist Democrat turned Republican was cited by a black woman as her real father, Wilson publicly called the scenario a "smear". Problem is, he was wrong--- the woman was right, and Wilson came across as..well...not racially tolerant.
Yet, and this is important..no one can know what motivated Wilson to call Obama a liar. We need to be really honest here. During the eight years of the "W" presidency there was absolutely no respect shown to the President by the left. Pelosi called Bush an "utter failure" virtually any time a mic was shoved in her face. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) called Bush a liar twice in a House floor speech, and Dowd's new found respect for Congressional decorum aside, it makes little difference to me whether I am present or not when someone accuses me of lying. If Dowd wants to split semantic hairs, so be it. In doing so, she is still intellectually dishonest and childish..a character trait the left usually reserves for Neanderthal conservatives. In fact, given the myopic tunnel vision expressed by many on the left vis a vis conservatives, I am shocked that MoveOn.org hasn't debuted an ad campaign proclaiming "Republican. So Backward Even a Caveman Can Join". Also, as mentioned above, its unfair to assign a racial motivation to Wilson based upon his association with certain groups if people like Dowd are willing to give a pass to Obama concerning his former church and its pastor.
If we are to transcend race, then Obama, an avowed liberal, and his supporters, including Jimmy Carter and Maureen Dowd must acknowledge that conservatives possess a legitimate, ideological right and duty to oppose many of Obama's programs. And any form of nationalized heath care is certainly something any red-blooded anti-Leviathan might find disturbing. And just as liberals were fired up about conservative "intolerance", conservatives have a right to oppose the growth of the State without liberals like Dowd and Carter turning such opposition into an issue of race.
I'm not sure where the answer lies, and given Wilson's pedigree, he didn't help matters much. Yet, liberals need to be very careful when raising "race" as a foil to legitimate doctrinal differences. And Republicans need to look closely amongst their own number and learn to disavow and disown those who might be rooted in the antebellum era. A card carrying Son of the Confederacy isn't your best representative to be the first Congressman of the modern era to break protocol and blurt accusations at a sitting President during an important policy speech. Both parties, and their fellow-travelers need to take a deep breath, remember 1968, and from the right-- refrain from racially oriented messages, or conversely, from the left..think long and hard before raising race as an issue where no such proof is present.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Fancy a run on an Army base that has a beach on the Atlantic Ocean, another on the Chesapeake Bay, and paths through a maritime forest? And best of all, the proceeds benefit the St. Mary's home, where my high school friend and fellow blogger Kathy works tirelessly with these special children.
The date is October 3, the time 9 AM. A 1K Fun Run follows. Click on the logo above and if you have the time, it should be a fun way to spend a morning.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
However, this seems to be the year of change. And I think its time for a new person to hold the office of Mayor in Nags Head. I could tell you why I support Bob Oakes, but its easier to visit his website:
and see for yourself. My friends know I am pretty serious about politics and many know this is not an easy decision to make, especially in a public forum. Suffice it say that when you visit Bob's website and tick off the various buttons on his policy positions I can't find one with which I even remotely disagree.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Windell Middlebrooks, the Miller High Life "delivery guy", was arrested at Lucky 12 in Nags Head after he took several dozen cases of the product from two "hoity-toity" local establishments (Ocean Blvd and The Sanderling Inn) and attempted to give them away to patrons at the Lucky 12.
Middlebrooks, a television celebrity, well-known for visiting high end bars, parties where rich people hang out, and field box seats at horse races, often proceeds to repossess numerous cases of Miller High Life and redistribute them to "regular folks". He was apprehended without incident according to Nags Head officials.
Apparently encouraged by the redistribution policies of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barak Obama, Wendell was unaware that the original owners of the Miller beer had actually paid for the product with their own money and thereby had a "free and clear" title to the malt beverages. Miller Brewing was also surprised that stealing beer from paying customers was somehow illegal and vowed to release a new series of commercials.
Windell began his career taking back bottles of Pepe Lopez tequila from high end bars (where it was used as the house brand) and passing them along to bums on Skid Row in Milwaukee.
Shocked by his arrest, Middlebrooks also revealed that his next plan was to kidnap doctors and nurses from medical offices located in high-income areas and redistribute them to middle and lower income neighborhoods.
Friday, September 4, 2009
In case you haven't heard, the North Carolina legislature passed a law effective September 1st banning the use of plastic bags in a very few situations.....
....on Barrier Islands only. And not on other islands. Nor anywhere else in the state. And even on barrier islands the rule doesn't apply to small stores, such as 7-11, bait and tackle shops and newspapers delivered in the rain. Nor anything that contains meat or meat by-products as a packaging exterior. Or items purchased at a small hardware store.
Actually, the entire law appears to be aimed at Food Lion, Harris-Teeter, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and K-Mart. Unless they are located in Elizabeth City. Or Raleigh. Or Charlotte. Or Winston-Salem- Greensboro- High Point, Cary, Durham and Mayberry, all of which possess significantly larger populations than the barrier islands and hence, use more plastic bags. But these towns don't have sea turtles, whom apparently like to eat plastic bags.
So, says I to myself, "this seems fair". Until I noticed the sponsor of the bill excluded his home town, which is on this island. But not a barrier island. (At least not now. As soon as the beach finishes eroding in Nags Head, their status will change). Don't trust me? Here's proof...
See? It is an island, which happens to contain the town of Manteo, our county seat (and therefore the social and political conscious of the entire county). Apparently, islands are surrounded on four sides by water. Whereas the "island" where I live is actually a peninsula, surrounded by water on only three sides. And one of those sides is Oregon Inlet, which doesn't really count.
And its not as though people from Manteo wouldn't go to the grocery store, purchase items packed in plastic bags, and then carry those bags onto our beach ... where the wind or a kid deposits it into the ocean. And then the bag winds up in a sea turtle's buffet. Now we know why Southern Shores doesn't allow people from Manteo on their beaches. If they did, they might actually bring their legal plastic bags with them and threaten Southern Shores wildlife.
Nor are there any boating communities on Manteo/Roanoke Island. Except for Pirate's Cove, Broadcreek Marina, Thicket Lump Marina, Heritage Point, and the entire Wanchese commercial fishing area. Next time you observe a charter or small fishing boat leave a dock on Roanoke Island, you won't see lunch, beer, chips, bait, and lures packed in plastic bags being brought on board. If you are blind. And where are those bags eventually opened? In the Gulf Stream, where they can be directly fed to the sea turtles year-round as the wind takes a few hundred every day off the boat and into the water.
Thus, I traveled to Manteo today, just to see if the folks there were honoring the wishes of their favorite son and the sponsor of the anti-plastic bag bill. Because its not really the law that makes us despise plastic bags. Its for the the sake of the planet and of course, the children. Here is the store, which by its size and volume would fall under the plastic bag ban if located 10 miles east...
And what did I behold?
A real man toting a plastic bag while setting a bad example for his young ward. I am an equal opportunity offender, so I feel morally bound to publish this picture also...
That's right. In our county seat, even real women use plastic bags. And, if you stand in the Food-A-Rama parking lot, looking to the east, this is what you observe...
Enlarge the picture if you must (by clicking on it) but this photo, taken from the Food-A-Rama parking lot in Manteo depicts Shallowbag Bay, which empties into Roanoke Sound and then to the Atlantic Ocean...sitting there less than .2 miles across the street. Waiting to suck up a stray plastic bag. Or two. I counted at least three in open-air garbage cans in the Food-A-Rama parking lot. One gust of wind and Flipper goes to his doom.
I returned to Manteo later in the day to see if plastic bags were still in use. I was surprised by what my eyes beheld. Apparently, people from Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and other points north had migrated to the Food-A-Rama in order to obtain these plastic bags. Why? We use them to line small trash cans, contain the detritus from litter box cleaning, and clean up after our dogs take a walk. Paper just doesn't cut it, which is why exactly 0% of American trash cans and litter boxes are lined with paper. Look at this crowd, all because of the plastic bag ban on the northern beaches....
I imagine the Food-A-Rama folks were ecstatic.
But not worry. I will soon be selling plastic bags on a street corner near you in Nags Head. I will bring them in from the plastic-bag dens of the larger cities to the north, where bag dealers and bag runners fill the night offering their seedy wares. And how will I hide them from the local constabulary?
Easy. They fit comfortably and unobtrusively in this container. I suspect if pulled over the average cop will think me a model citizen. Really.