Spreading The Word, At Home

While many people I know talked about the TEA Parties in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, I was focused on our local TEA Parties because that’s where the real change and momentum will come from. The local communities. You can’t change things on a national level if you ignore the issues in your own backyard.

Artwork

 

I had several things that I needed to get done today, but I made sure to stop by the Carroll County TEA Party. They had a great lineup of speakers for the event, and I’m glad I took the time to participate even if I wasn’t able to attend the entire event.

I arrived as Gerry Purcell, Republican candidate for Georgia Insurance Commissioner, began his speech. I’ve been wanting to meet him in person for a couple months, and it was awesome to get that chance when he concluded his speech. He even made sure I got a yard sign, which is now standing proudly in my front yard.

Gerry Purcell Speaks at the Carroll County TEA Party

 

The next person to take the stage was Dr. Deborah Honeycutt, who is running for the Georgia District 13 Congressional seat. I thought her speech was great, and she did a good job energizing the crowd when she spoke about the Fair Tax.

Dr. Debra Honeycutt Speaks at the Carroll County TEA Party

 

Dr. Honeycutt has been on my radar for a couple months now, and my only regret is that I don’t live in her district (not that I would trade Rep. Phil Gingrey anyway).

Carroll County Sheriff Terry Langley followed Dr. Honeycutt, and he delivered another great speech about the last line of defense being local law enforcement.

Sheriff Terry Langley Speaks at the Carroll County TEA Party

 

When Sheriff Langley wrapped up his speech, I needed to head back home. I still had a couple things I needed to get done, and it was getting hot. I didn’t want to make my headache any worse than it already was. I posted more photos on my Flickr account, if you want to see them.

The Douglas County Instant TEA, which was held at the corner of Chapel Hill and Douglas Blvd. was another instant “hit”. A small group of TEA Party die-hards (including myself) met on the grassy knoll to remind people that we’ve been Taxed Enough Already.

Reclaim America!

 

While many people were focusing on the larger events held in large cities, others were making sure the message was getting out at the local level. The very place it needs to be sent.

When all is said and done at those larger TEA parties and people drive 20, 30, 50, or even 100 miles to get home, what message was sent to the people who stayed home in their communities? How many of their neighbors got the message from that grand TEA party in downtown Atlanta?

While they were attending those large parties, hundreds, if not thousands, of their fellow hometown citizens drove down their local roads on their way home from work.

Taxed Enough Already!

 

Our group may have been small today (you can see more photos at my Flickr account), but we carried a loud message, and based on the people honking and waving their support I’d say we got the job done.

I hope everyone else had fun at their big city TEA parties, because we had a blast here on the homefront.

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Ridiculous, Revealing, Right-Of Center, & Resplendence

Floyd County - Red-Tailed Hawk (9)I spent the day working on the same project. Some projects seem to go easy with little to no trouble at all, and others seem to be cursed from the start. I’m getting there though. Frozen lines, hard drive failures and everything else aside, I am making progress.

It’s almost 11:30 this evening, so I better hurry and type up some thoughts for the day.

Thought #1

Our local county school board is entertaining the possibility of a “four-day week”. I’ve heard a lot of people talking strategy to cut costs and save money but this has to be one of the worst ideas I have heard yet. There are two reasons why a four-day week for schools is a horrible idea.

The first reason is that fifth day. How many parents will be forced to find a babysitter or all-day child care because they work that day? How many families will be adversely affected by the extra expenses required because the school district thought cutting back one day would save them a lot of money?

The second reason involves the time each student would spend in class each day.

At the high school level that means the students would have 62-minute classes and each school day would last from 8:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m.

Taking into account that a lot of kids ride the bus, and they have to get up well before that bus arrives, most kids will be walking out the door by 7:15 each morning and not returning home until close to 6:15 each night. I don’t know about you but I have a feeling most kids aren’t going to enjoy being in school (or enroute to or from school) for 11 hours each day. How effective will those classes that end at 4:50pm be for the students?

Don’t forget to factor in the 2 hours of homework and any extra-curricular activities each night too.

Like I said, a four-day school week is a bad idea.

Thought #2

CBS News is running a poll allowing you and I to grade President Obama’s first year in office. As of the time of this post, 64.58% of those grading have given him an F for his handling of the economy. 51.64% have given him an F on foreign policy, 75.02% give him an F for health care, 50.83% give him a D or F for his handling of Afghanistan, and 51.89% give him a D or F for his handling of Iraq.

On the threat of terrorism, 57.55% give him an F. More than 50% give him an F on energy and the environment, and social issues too. 76.04% say he has failed in bipartisanship, which is stunning. He hasn’t done anything in a bipartisan manner, so I think that the other 23.96% of the people are demented.

Overall, 55.42% give him an F for the overall job he has done as President. Factoring in the D grades, 81.18% give him a below average score.

Surprising? Somewhat. I thought the disapproval numbers would be even higher by this point, but then again, it’s only January.

Thought #3

John Hawkins, from Right Wing News, conducted a poll of more than 250 right-of-center bloggers on which candidate they would support if the 2012 Republican primaries were held today. Sixty-nine of us responded. Here are the results:

12) Mike Huckabee: 0% (0 votes)
11) Ron Paul: 1% (1 votes)
10) Newt Gingrich: 3% (2 votes)
9) Haley Barbour: 3% (2 votes)
8) Rick Perry: 4% (3 votes)
7) John Thune: 7% (5 votes)
6) Jeb Bush: 7% (5 votes)
5) Tim Pawlenty: 9% (6 votes)
4) Mitch Daniels: 10% (7 votes)
3) Mitt Romney: 12% (8 votes)
2) Mike Pence: 14% (10 votes)
1) Sarah Palin: 29% (20 votes)

So, which one did I pick? You may think you know, but I bet you can’t guess. Leave me a comment with your guess and tell me who you would have chosen.

Thought #4

For the past several days people have been reporting a Tundra Swan in a pond up in Floyd County, so this afternoon when I got done working I ran the boys up there to see if we could locate it and get some decent photos. Needless to say, we were successful.

Floyd County - Tundra Swan (4)

 

We were able to get a few good shots of the Tundra Swan, but soon afterward a Red-Tailed Hawk flew over, and well, I just can’t resist a beautiful bird of prey. You can see my set of photos from today’s trip over at Flickr.

Goose Meets Gander

Yesterday, there was an article in the Times-Georgian newspaper (our county newspaper) which announced a new web site to help local consumers and farmers. The article did a nice job informing the local community about the new website which is designed to help consumers find local farms so they can buy local and support the local economy.

I have to say, I am all for that. There is nothing better that heading over to the farmer’s market, picking up farm fresh eggs, meat and vegetables and bringing them home. The meals we make with locally farmed products taste so much better, and they don’t have all those preservatives you would find in items at the store. One thing I support is buying locally, if the product or service is available.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the county feels that way. Local businesses are hurting more than ever. More than a couple of our favorite local stores have really suffered in this economy and some of them have been forced to close, they just couldn’t make it through this tough time.

If we’re looking for a book we consider visiting a locally owned bookstore on the square in Carrollton to see if they have it before we even think about visiting the big nationwide bookstore. When we want ice cream we have a local place here in Temple that fits the bill. One of our favorite little shops for gift ideas is on the main street in Villa Rica. The ladies at that shop are always cheerful and witty, giving their shop just the right atmosphere for local shoppers. My family makes an honest attempt to shop local because, as local business owners, my wife and I both understand the importance of community support.

It seems, however, that not everyone agrees on the definition of “buy local” or what it actually entails. Companies and individuals that want websites developed have a few really good local choices, yet there are far too many local websites in Carroll County that have been developed everywhere except Carroll County. I’ve noticed quite a few local business websites that were created by companies in metro Atlanta, neighboring states, and even as far away the west coast, yet very few that were designed and developed right here in our own county.

I had one potential customer (who was local) ask me what kind of discount I was going to give him because he was a local customer. I thought he was joking and chuckled. Does he get a discount at the local Mexican restaurant because he lives around the corner? Sadly to say he chose to have his website developed by a company in Tennessee. As much as I support the “buy local” movement, I have to admit if my business depended solely on local companies and residents, my business would have folded long ago.

My wife manufactures sewn products, so she sees a lot more local interest than I do in web design and development, yet our local farmer’s market still sells re-usable “environmentally friendly” bags that are made in China.

It’s easy for people to claim they buy local, and it’s easy for them to preach the value of doing so, but when push comes to shove they tend to forget about the service businesses and that buying local means much more than supporting your local retail stores and farmers.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

Recalls, Reactions, Reports, & Representatives

I spent another day getting as much work done as possible and when 6pm came, I started prepping everything for the big dinner tomorrow night. We’re having a small family gathering, almost as small as we could get, as my mom will be our only guest tomorrow. My sister can’t make it down from Kentucky, and well, I’m not going to discuss anything else. Let me just say that it’s very clear there won’t be anyone else ringing our doorbell.

This evening, I am getting the bread ready for the stuffing, chopping onions and celery, and making sure I have all the spices I need for the traditional family stuffing recipe. The wife and kids are cleaning washing our special dishes, but hopefully we’ll all be in bed early so getting up early won’t hurt so bad in the morning.

Thought #1

A bit of local politics here on the bog.

The Citizens for the Future of Carroll County are working to recall Carroll County Commission Chairman Bill Chappell. From their website:

While the grounds for recalling a duly elected official may include one of the following reasons, our committee checked all 5 reasons on their “Application For Recall” regarding Chairman Bill Chappell:

1. Has committed an act or acts of malfeasance while in office;
2. Has violated his or her oath of office;
3. Has committed an act of misconduct in office;
4. Is guilty of a failure to perform duties prescribed by law; or
5. Has willfully misused, converted, or misappropriated, without authority, public property or public funds entrusted to or associated with the elective office to which the official has been elected or appointed.

Our committee included the following “facts upon which this recall is based” in their application:

“As Carroll County Commission Chairman has committed the following acts of misconduct: (a) violated O.C.G.A. 21-2-414(f) by wrongfully being in an area where early voting was occurring; (b) entered into contracts exceeding his authority under County Ordinance 8(a)(22); (c) misappropriated county funds by unauthorized personal monthly car allowances and having the County pay registration fees for Sue Horn, his longtime girlfriend but listed on the registration form as his spouse; (d) violated the Georgia Open Meeting Statute by discussing an IT services contract in closed meeting when no threat of litigation existed; (e) failed to perform duties prescribed by law by failing to present contracts and other matters to the Board of Commissioners; (f) misused SPLOST funds for settlements and inappropriate purchases; (g) abused his authority by usurping the Board of Commissioners’ authority and by using county funds and resources for the benefit of selected supporters, including Wayne Garner; and (h) violated his oath of office by violating the Times-Georgian’s First Amendment rights, as well as his violations of state law and county ordinances as reflected herein.”

When I first heard that he was seen at the early voting location greeting voters, I suspected he was no good. It doesn’t matter why you are the building, on county business or not, you don’t greet voters inside the building, as they arrive to cast their vote.

Having been brought up to speed on all the other issues, I can’t help but wonder why he’s still in office. If you live in Carroll County make sure you click the links on their page to reserve your place on the petition or even volunteer to help out a bit.

Thought #2

It seems there is a problem with some of the Swine Mexican flu vaccine in Canada.

An unusual number of severe allergic reactions to swine flu vaccinations have been recorded in Canada, where a batch of the vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been recalled, the WHO said on Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control here in the United States has re-assured people that there is no problem with the supply in the United States. Uh, hello? Are countries actually preparing their own supplies or is it all made at the same place? I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the U.S. supply, but how can they be so sure?

Thought #3

Wow. First emails, now source code. Climate change (aka global warming) data has been falsified from the beginning.

yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]

valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor

There is no doubt this was an inside job. The reports first said it was hackers, but I think it was someone on the inside who thought enough is enough and started spreading the word.

I only have two questions now. Why is President Obama still going to Copenhagen? And what in the hell is Al Gore going to invent now to keep Tipper in the lifestyle that she is accustomed?

Thought #4

There are so many new congressional districts, we’re going to need at least another hundred congressmen to represent them.