Weekend wound up

This is the place to share whatever is on your mind or otherwise interesting.
Happy Memorial Day!


Can you guess who this was written about?

Surprisingly few have strong policy interests or experience. Most are willing to spend a day or two or three each week asking strangers for money on the telephone, a demeaning but obligatory exercise. Most have internalized an ethical code that allows them to solicit campaign contributions from people directly affected by legislation they vote on. This is not rare or even unusual — it’s standard.

It could have been about our governor or about members of the North Carolina General Assembly. But it's about a different legislative body.

Interesting tidbit, the

Interesting tidbit, the Chairmen of both the College Democrats and Republicans are students at Campbell University and both were elected unanimously. The Democrat is Louis Duke, a fine young man that has worked hard to build up the College Democrats at Campbell.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Spam and anonymice

We received a swarm of spam and anonymous comments this week. Much of it is welcome, but it's also something of a burden. Every comment requires a human being (Steve or me) to read and then manually publish it or delete it.

With the long weekend underway and administrative coverage certain to be spotty, we have reset administrative permissions so that only people with BlueNC accounts can post.

If you're one of our many anonymous guests, please consider taking this opportunity to sign up for an account (use any name you like ... you can still be completely anonymous) and then you'll be able to make posts and contribute comments without anyone having to spend time authorizing and publishing them.

Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your understanding.

More on spam

Just so you know, spam is a chronic and pervasive problem for blogs. A few minutes ago (around 10:30 pm) we had more than 150 anonymous visitors that could have led to a burst of spamming. A bunch of them were undoubtedly robots trying to sell cologne, watches, and diet pills.

Then again, maybe they showed up because they know we shut down access and wanted a pie fight.

Who knows ... but I'm glad to not have to be wading through it all.

Good Deal

Now that you have a little more time because you won't need to deal with all those spammers, perhaps you could peruse our line of cologne, watches, diet pills and other quality merchandise. :-D

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014


Been a rough night of crazy on the spam front. So it's good to have a chuckle. Glad you're here. Hope to meet you in Raleigh on the third!


If you're not reading Thomas Mill's blog - Politics NC - you should be. You'll find refreshingly candid discussion about the state of our state from folks who generally know what they're talking about. Check it out.

I read his blog

He's rehashing the same garbage against the elected NCDP leaders that Gary Pearce is spewing out on a regular basis.

After spending lots of time going in and out of Goodwin House for a variety of reasons (the Wake Dems have our offices there, we have board meetings there as do many other auxiliaries and clubs), I am convinced that we have (or have had) staffers that are not very professional nor very skilled politically. I mean after all - we got a serious butt-kicking in 2010, but Mills (and Pearce) skip right over David Young (picked for NCDP Chair by Bev Perdue) and goes right for throats of David Parker and Randy Voller. I wrote at great length on the Mills blog about the supposed professionalism and their political knowledge and skill.

It is a candid discussion - but is it a worthwhile and productive one? Is it productive to call Democratic activists who are officers in the Democratic Party "misfits"?

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

If they are misfits, it might be productive

I read his blog too, but I must be incredibly naive or out of the loop. I don't see any particular pattern of commentary that favors one faction or another.

But like I said, that may be because I don't really know what the factions are.

Many of us would rather operate without that kind of knowledge. We have little insight into the tortured machinations of party operations, and prefer it that way.

It's a sign of progress

I'm a little lazy, but I finally got around to doing it. really like these new buttons.

I'm lakebound

Just to get this off my chest: sometimes people suck. Some jackass stole my sister's kayaks, which means I don't have access to my usual poor man's therapy. :(

She does still have a paddleboat, but that's nowhere near as manly. *sigh*

Thanks for posting this

My father, James Alfred Protzman, was a hospital corpsman in the Navy, and spent his career assigned to various units of the Marine Corps. He was wounded in Korea on the battlefield. After he retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer, he lived a quiet existence in Hampton, Virginia with my mother, who later died from a heart attack. He held on for a few years after she passed, but eventually took his own life due to too much sadness and loneliness.

My dad is the reason I worked so hard to get into the US Naval Academy. I think he was probably proud of me, but he was not the kind of person to say such things.

Remembering dead heroes

While I was lucky enough to serve during one of the only decades without a major US conflict (1980's), I still lost over a dozen friends to various training accidents. What follows is one of those. I'm pretty sure most of this stuff has been declassified, but if something isn't explained enough in detail, that's all yer gonna get, so...

So we deployed to a handful of countries in North Africa for a JCET (Joint Combined Exercise Training), which basically means we both train and receive training from foreign military units. In this case, we were training their commando units in airmobile (helicopter) operations, moving platoon-sized elements into and out of tactical situations in a (generally) mountainous terrain. Which means, four or five UH1H choppers flying ass to nose so they can squeeze in together on a postage-stamp-sized landing zone.

Now, this is dangerous enough with pilots who do this stuff all the time. But in addition to training soldiers on how to get in and get out with the quickness, we also had to coach foreign pilots to do something they had never done before. Kinda tense, if you know what I mean. The pilots in my unit were pretty good, and they adjusted to flying together after only about a day-and-a-half of nail-biting and grey hairs. But three of my buddies who were in Morocco weren't so lucky.

As their lead bird approached a brand new LZ, they failed to see the power lines right in front of them until it was too late. Strangely enough, all the people on that first chopper survived. But when the #2 bird pulled up abruptly to avoid hitting #1, #3 plowed right into it. The main rotor (blade) from #3 chopped off the tail from #2, which flipped upside down, and then...well. Let's just say they're not designed for stuff like that. There was only one survivor from #2 and #3, and his back was broken in several places. Considering he was only paid the equivalent of about $30 per month as an active soldier, I'm not sure surviving was such a blessing.

Of my three friends who died that day, two were married. One had two children, and the other's first child was on the way. She never met her daddy. Strangely enough, I felt the worst about the single friend. He left nothing of himself behind except fading memories. Somehow that seems even more unfair.

Thank you

I never served. I wish there was no need for days like today, but... here we are.

To those who made the sacrifice to serve, and those who are left behind when that decision leads to even greater sacrifice, thank you.


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Three Memorial Day memories

1. My uncle, Navy ADJ1 Toney Barnett, who died July 29, 1967 in the tragic flight deck fire on USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin. I was 12 years old at the time.

2. My Naval Academy classmate Navy LT Jim Surch, who died October 23, 1983 in the truck bombing at the Marine barracks at Beirut airport.

3. 38 of my Dad's shipmates on USS Albert W. Grant (DD-649) who died in the early morning of October 24, 1944 at Surigao Straits, part of the larger Leyte Gulf operation. Dad survived, and the ship remained afloat, despite 22 hits from enemy and friendly fire.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR