Only Neil Can Break Your Blog

A few weeks ago, John Hood assured us that the authors on the John Locke Foundation's Locker Room Blog don't need to allow user comments to keep them honest. That is, there are internal disagreements that will do the same thing. He may be right: the past couple of days have seen a heated back and forth on some of the age's most difficult political and social
questions. Along the way, dear readers, we learn that there are perhaps as many as one Locker Roomers who are not painfully naff.

State Drops Bid to Execute Mentally Retarded Man

One of two death row inhabitants convicted by Mike Easley when he was a DA, Elton McLaughlin, is going to instead serve a life sentence. The man was declared mentally retarded because he scored a 70 on an IQ test when he was ten. State law requires IQ tests to be administered by a licensed professional in order to be considered when determining mental retardation for these purposes. The state contended that McLaughlin could not use his test because it was administered by a teacher rather than a mental health professional. The problem for the state was:

Shotgun Sundays

AP Wire | 04/17/2006 | Wildlife officials consider lifting Sunday hunting ban

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - State wildlife officials are in the midst of a study to determine if a ban on Sunday hunting should be lifted. Dain Palmer, human dimension biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, says the agency doesn't have the authority to regulate hunting on Sundays, and that the commission was instructed to conduct the study. The wildlife agency contracted with Virginia-based Responsive Management, a firm that specializes in the human aspects of wildlife management, in conjunction with Virginia Tech.

From Black Net Global Intel

WASHINGTON — A year into a broad overhaul of U.S. intelligence operations, top officials said Thursday they have gained greater confidence in their intelligence assessments, in part by incorporating dissenting views into their analysis.

In a rare, on-the-record briefing, 10 top intelligence officials said that because of improved coordination through a new national intelligence office, they are confident they can avoid the mistakes they made in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

"What we have to offer decision-makers has benefited from the introspection the intelligence community has undergone in the last several years," said Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who is the nation's No. 2 intelligence official.

"I always thought if they didn't like the prayer, they could step outside."

Apparently Jesus is the sixth Chatham County Commissioner. He wasn't democratically elected, but if you have a problem with that, you can just stop participating in your local political process, no biggie. Here's a simple form you can use if you should care to communicate with Chatham County's Commissioners.

Taylor wields congressional influence to reap profits in Russia

While sworn to represent the interests of his constituents and those of the United States, Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC) agressively pursued his own financial interest, purchasing a Russian bank with a former KGB operative, former General Boris Bolshakov.

The only American to own a Russian bank, Bank of Ivanovo, Taylor also owns an investment company, Columbus, that does business exclusively in Russia. In addition, Taylor profits from many and varied business interests in and around Ivanovo, a former manufacturing city 200 miles east of Moscow.

In 2000, he sponsored legislation that would have channeled money to banks like Bolshakov's former bank, SBS-Agro, and the Bank of Ivanovo (which Taylor purchased in 2003). When Taylor sponsored the home mortgage legislation, he had been doing business with Bolshakov for years.

gastonia-charlotte toll road

Here is a letter I wrote to the editor of the clt observer, but it was not published, so I figured I'd post it here

The NCDOT website says that there are only two policies being
considered on the topic of traffic between Charlotte and Gastonia. The
first option is leaving I-85 corridor as it is. The second studied
option is by building a new road connecting Gastonia to Charlotte's
loop highway (I485) with a projected cost of $600,000,000. The DOT
ignores a third option of building a commuter rail line that would
connect Gastonia to Charlotte.
The state could build a commuter rail line that would connect

NCDP Chair Jerry Meek on MyDD

Hey, y'all. As President Bush and the Republican Party continue to nose dive in the polls, the prospects for retaking the U.S. House keep looking better and better. Here in North Carolina, we're doing our part. I want to tell you about two races where we think we'll be able to help usher in a new congressional majority for Democrats.

Check it out, and be sure to recommend it!

News From Swain County

This was in the Asheville Citizen Times. Looks to me like Heath Shuler is the only one who cares about the situation as Charles Taylor is never around.

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060417/OPINION03/60414049/1194

Written by Clyde Cable, April 17
The North Shore Road is not a “cash settlement” issue. This ongoing controversy involves a deep-seated, broken promise made by government officials in the early 1940s to hundreds of broken-hearted families who were forced to leave their homes, their lands, their roots, their heritage, burial sites of their loved ones, etc. Their only ray of hope was to someday travel a new replacement road up and down the north side of Fontana Lake which would permit them to visit their treasured past and the graves of loved ones left behind. Interestingly enough, none of these folks had the resources to employ legal expertise for negotiating adequate renumeration or for creating a binding contract for the replacement road. And too, most were led to believe that the lesser settlement amounts would help to defray the cost of a new road.

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