When Perspective Is Missing

All of us have our sensitive spots. Sometimes we react to comments we find offensive that were not meant to be offensive at all. Sometimes we read meanings that were never intended into things based on our own experience. Some recent local events illustrate that point.

A local weekly newspaper called The County Compass (which I would consider a conservative news outlet) publishes a page written by members of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA). The CCTA is composed of ordinary citizens who are concerned about the rapid growth of government and increase in taxes in recent years. Members attend local board meetings of various kinds and attempt to hold our elected officials accountable. They also post vetting reports of candidates on their website during elections to provide voters with information. The group is made of up people of all ages from different professional backgrounds and personal experiences. Recently the CCTA page dealt with the issue of bringing those to justice who have engaged in a soft coup attempt to undo the 2016 election. The writer of the article stated that she hoped those guilty would be held accountable for their violations of the civil rights of Americans and their attempted coup. At the top of the article was a picture of a noose, which to many Americans represents an old fashioned concept of justice. Unfortunately, for some people a noose, even in a totally non-racial context, represents racism. The professionally outraged saw the picture and swung into action.

A local young black woman chose to post that graphic on her Facebook page with a remark about the paper’s being racist for having published it; she chose to disregard the subject matter of the article entirely; therefore, her post was completely out of context.

The NAACP got involved, and a local TV station interviewed Jeff Aydelette, the publisher of The County Compass, and the NAACP on the subject.  Then this past Wednesday, about 120 members of the NAACP staged a protest rally outside the offices of the Compass.  Jeff offered them chairs, went around and shook hands, and behaved in his usual gentlemanly way.  Again, a report was featured on local TV.

Now The County Compass is getting calls from advertisers who are cancelling their ads.  They are saying that the NAACP is telling them that their businesses will be boycotted if they continue to advertise in the Compass.

Although I am willing to concede that the picture may represent different things to different people, I think it needs to be viewed in context. I believe that this protest is simply an effort by the political left and its allies to shut down a conservative news outlet. This should be a wake-up call to all Americans who value free speech and freedom of the press that our First Amendment rights are under attack.

 

The Numbers Don’t Add Up To The Proposed Bill

The “Let Them Spawn” bill (HB-483) will be coming up for a vote in the North Carolina Senate shortly. The bill has already passed the North Carolina House. The bill would drastically limit the amount of fish commercial fishermen would be allowed to catch. The bill is aimed at limiting commercial fishermen. It does not take into account the fact that recreational fishermen catch many more fish than commercial fishermen. I was truly surprised at the numbers–they can be found in The County Compass week of June 27-July 3 Issue.

These are the numbers:

So what is this about?

The article concludes:

The undeniable facts and truth when it comes to fishing are that on any given year, recreational anglers catch overwhelming numbers of fish. They typically catch MORE poundage on many of the shared species that both recreational and commercial fishermen target. No one complains about this typically from the commercial side because they believe they have their right to fish. This, however, is not the case you typically – or ever – hear from the recreational fishermen and their special interest groups – the CCA and NC Wildlife Federation.

These groups have one agenda and one agenda only. To lobby your legislators and preach that commercial interests cause ALL damage to any fish stock. How aggravating it must be to most legislators to hear the same story over and over again, and see these druids preach their bile when anyone with any aptitude can look at numbers such as these presented in the chart and know they are spouting falsehoods.

I reference it in this biblical way because I believe that the legislators who drink in this poison and continuously attempt to introduce bills against commercial fishermen are akin to Jim Jones and his cult following. They are indeed directed, and I’m sure if probed deep enough, well-funded by special interest groups including the aforementioned. Extremely fluent and wealthy in backing by small conclaves of radicals that absolutely hate anything to do with commercial fishing but are well funded enough to keep pushing their agendas forward.

I will tell the average citizen, consumer, and your legislative elected officials that represent you: DON’T DRINK THE KOOL-AID!

Learn the facts, know your constituents, and get to know the people that bring you Quality North Carolina seafood. Only through interaction with all of these hard working people will you ever come to understand that everyone has a right to fish either for recreation, or to provide for their families.

Another article in the County Compass explains that the passage of HB-483 would create some health issues for those who consume seafood in North Carolina. We are not ‘seafood independent.’ Imported seafood accounts for over 90% of seafood consumed by Americans. Imported shrimp accounts for 90% to 94% of the shrimp that Americans consume.

The article explains:

Imported seafood is largely grown in aquaculture ponds where veterinary drug use is necessary to prevent mortality and maximize yields. These drugs include the widespread use of antibiotics and other illegal veterinary drugs some of which are known carcinogens.

Imported seafood is not a good thing for Americans to be eating. Please contact your North Carolina Senator and tell him to vote against this bill. Information on how to contact your Senator can be found at the North Carolina General Assembly web page.

Failing To Save Money

New Bern, North Carolina, is a beautiful city (rebuilding after Hurricane Florence). Obviously, rebuilding is costing a lot. The City Alderman are doing a good job of trying to repair the damage done by the hurricane, but it is costing a lot. In addition to the cost of the hurricane, New Bern is now faced with the cost of a U.S. House District 3 primary election, possible run-off election, and off-year election to replace Congressman Walter Jones. That has brought up the issue of the cost of elections–they are expensive.

In the March 21-27 issue of The County Compass (I could not find the letter on the website, I actually have the paper. This is a link to the website.), New Bern Alderman Jeff Odham explained a way that the City of New Bern could save money on elections and increase voter turnout in municipal elections. New Bern normally holds its municipal elections in October every four years (2013, 2017, 2021, etc.). Alderman Odham proposed holding municipal elections in March during federal election primary elections. This change would decrease the cost of municipal elections from roughly $36,000 (if there is no runoff) or $55,000 (if there is a runoff) to less than $5,000. What a fantastic idea. If the elections are held during the primary, the runoff can be held during the general election in November, again at a cost of less than $5,000. This resolution would have to be approved by the Board of Aldermen and sent to Raleigh so that the legislature could modify the charter of the City of New Bern.

Last night the Board of Aldermen rejected the resolution. Among other things, the proposal would result in the current Board of Aldermen serving a three-year term instead of a four-year term. A number of the Aldermen objected to that. They were willing to cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars in order to serve for one more year. The Aldermen that voted against the proposal were Aldermen Best, Aster, Harris and Bengel.

Mayor Dana Outlaw, Alderman Kinsey and Alderman Odham voted for the proposal. It is unfortunate that the other Aldermen were not interested in a savings of at least $30,000 every four years. I will not be voting for my current Alderman (who voted against the resolution) in the next election.

There Are Some People Who Just Don’t Want A Level Playing Field

We live in a culture where money talks. People give to politicians to support them (and sometimes to gain access), corporations and unions give to politicians, corporations and organizations buy ads on television and radio to support their cause. Consumers have the option of believing or dismissing these ads. Public relations has become a major part of most businesses, politicians, and charities. Well, not everyone is happy with the idea of equal access to the playing field.

The County Compass posted an article today about two groups attempting to limit the free speech of a company they disagree with. NC WARN and Friends of the Earth have begun legal action to ban what the groups allege is pervasive influence spending by Duke Energy.

The article reports:

The petition calls for the NC Utilities Commission to prohibit the use of customers’ money for influence spending by Duke’s two Carolinas-based utilities and the parent corporation. It details how virtually all the spending for political and civic influence originates from customer bills, and how Duke Energy uses an “accounting fiction” to claim that its stockholders or employees pay for image-polishing propaganda, targeted philanthropy, political giveaways and other efforts to buy favor.

The article includes the reply by Duke Energy:

Reached Wednesday afternoon at Duke Energy headquarters, Meredith Archie with the Corporate Communications department released the following statement:

The claims by this organization about our company are patently false and misleading. Duke Energy is proud to make charitable contributions in the communities where we live, work and serve, as well as to participate in public discourse on important policy matters that affect our customers and our company. The dollars used to fund these efforts are funded by shareholders in accordance with the law.

The article concludes:

Chan (Michelle Chan), the V.P. of Programs at Friends of the Earth, echoed Bradford’s (Peter Bradford, a former chairman of the New York Utilities Commission) statements.

“Adequately responding to the climate crisis means not just tackling the technical question of transitioning to renewable energy,” said Chan. “It also means stopping corporate monopolies like Duke from corroding our democracy and standing in the way of the change we need to protect people and the planet.”

First of all, there is no evidence that man’s behavior is responsible for climate change. Secondly, Solar energy may seem like a wonderful thing, but what is the carbon footprint of manufacturing the panels and how can they be safely disposed of since they have a limited life span?

I am not really surprised that two liberal organizations are attempting to shut down the free speech rights of an organization they have decided to demonize. I just wonder what they would do if Duke Energy went out of business–do they use electricity?