Larry Kissell's blog

Funding OK’d for barracks repairs just in time for Military Families First Weekend

It's sadly indicative of not only the current administration, but the prior near decade of complete Republican control over all government agencies, what it takes for any "progress" to finally happen for the average working American. It's tragically no different for our hard working military, in spite of all the "support our troops" rhetoric from those that do anything but...

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Today is the Armed Services' Military Spouse Appreciation Day or Military Families First weekend as it's known in my District which includes Fort Bragg, where the Army just approved $2.9 million to fix the substandard living conditions.

North Carolina

We have a lot going on today in North Carolina as you all know. You can feel the excitement in the air. We aren't accustomed to our primary being so important to those outside our state and getting the attention here in North Carolina that we've been getting. Now let me say first of all that I'm pleased that I don't have an opponent in today's primary so I can relax a bit. However, I can't help thinking as I watch what is happening that it isn't nearly as important what happens today as is what happens tomorrow.

As I watch what is happening here on the ground...

Mill Hill

The Nation magazine recently came for a visit to Biscoe, the headquarters of my campaign for Congress, and they saw first hand how devastated our Congressional District is:

It's a bright, mellow, short-sleeve April evening in the troubled pinelands of south central North Carolina. Except for the waspish drone of lawnmowers and the occasional whoosh of a car sliding along Highway 220, this town of 1,700 is almost eerily quiet--partly because, with gas costing what it does, people can't afford to do much driving around. But it's mostly because of the big yawning silence at the center of Biscoe, where the mill used to be.

Tractors are Sexy

"Agriculture is not just about putting things in the ground and then harvesting them...it is increasingly about the social and environmental variables that will in large part determine the future capacity of agriculture to provide for eight or nine billion people in a manner that is sustainable" - Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP

This Earth Day, I thought it important to consider an often unsung hero of the environmental movement that remains our best line of defense in securing the ultimate goal of environmentalism - our sustainable existence. That unsung hero is the local family farmer, and must be an integral part of the solution to the tsunami of interrelated epidemics on the global horizon from the world food crisis to the world energy crisis and every imported fruit and vegetable driven home from a Supercenter in a plastic shopping bag in between.

The Butterfly Effect

Sadly, MIT professor Edward Lorenz, father of the chaos theory also known as the 'butterfly effect', died this week at 90. You may wonder why that matters to a high school civics teacher running for Congress.

Professor Lorenz's theory is why I believe we all have to step up and do our part to change the world. You may have seen that he was honored on one of the very first pages created on my Congressional campaign website in 2005, and to this day there is a butterfly on my website.

He was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he came up with the scientific concept that small effects lead to big changes, something that was explained in a simple example known as the "butterfly effect." He explained how something as minuscule as a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil changes the constantly moving atmosphere in ways that could later trigger tornadoes in Texas.

Where do all OUR Tax Dollars we spend on the Iraq War go?

It's tax day, which means millions of hard working Americans will be scrambling to file their Federal taxes today, many begrudgingly as they watch an escalating cost of the Iraq War exceed $500 billion on the shoulders of working families.

That said, as you file your taxes today you may be shocked to learn exactly where many of those tax dollars go. We all know my opponent Robin Hayes is one of the wealthiest lawmakers in Congress, but this is downright shameful.

Civil War

On this day a 143 years ago, our American civil war came to its end.

We know that more than 620,000 Americans died in our Civil War with disease and the chaos of conflict killing twice as many as those lost to actual violence. 50,000 survivors returned home as amputees. We know when it started and when it ended. The war was over 4 years after it had begun by 1865.

By contrast, the Sunni-Shiite conflict began some 1,400 years ago and we cannot pretend it does not continue today.

Thousand Dollar Hot Dogs

Often people who I talk to about my campaign are surprised I still work at my job as a teacher. When I tell them that it isn't really a choice, that I'm not wealthy and I have to work to support my family they seem genuinely shocked that someone is running for Congress who can't 'just take a year off'. There are others here in my district who understand exactly what I'm talking about and are getting involved in politics, sometimes for the first time, because they know that we can't leave the business of Washington only to people who can afford to take time off and run 'full-time'. Here in North Carolina's 8th District, we've been represented for 10 years by the 6th wealthiest Member of Congress and this is where we find ourselves:

There's a reason a new poll shows that Voters in NC focus on economy.

June Nance, a 50-year-old unemployed educator from Scotland County, said she is learning to live without health insurance, exercising regularly and eating healthy.

"Thank God, I'm fairly healthy," Nance said. "I pray daily that nothing serious happens to me.

June is not alone.

Heckuva job, Mr. President

Today's Charlotte Observer has an AP story that should concern us all.

FED REGULATION
Revamp of rules proposal debated
Plan to overhaul financial oversight is set for release today

WASHINGTON -- In proposing the broadest overhaul of financial oversight since the Great Depression, the Bush administration has kicked off a fierce debate. It pits those eager to revamp an antiquated system against an industry opposed to excessive regulation.

A complete overhaul is obviously needed, and has been for some time. Sadly, it took the economic recession those of us in the middle and working class have been feeling for some time to start pinching the pockets of those with the ear of the President for the crisis to be recognized. But is the same Bush Administration that not only engineered this economic crisis in the first place (not to mention oversaw the Hurricane Katrina rescue disaster) the best folks to be consolidating powers on their way out the door?

NC-08: "Most troops will be home by 2008"

Sadly, we all know the tragic milestone of U.S. deaths in Iraq.

As I think about the honorable sacrifices of our military families today, I'd be remiss to not remind you all why my opponent, Republican Robin Hayes, must be retired.

If anyone has ever doubted that Robin Hayes would say or do anything to get through just one more election cycle, take a look at his remarks on the Iraq War just days after narrowly clinging to his seat by 330 votes in 2006.

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Full size image here.

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