Local Shopping for Holiday Gifts

The national scene is still hopping with the illegal spying, transit strike, and other exciting stories. But here in North Carolina it looks like everyone has closed up shop, started the fire, and began sipping on the egg nog. So, I figured that I would join the season. This year I managed to do all of my shopping at local stores, except for one book I picked up at BJ's, but the gift from BJ's was a cook book by Mama Dip in Chapel Hill so it should count as well. I figured I would share my best local spots for finding gifts in Raleigh and ask for help for next year. But first the political commentary: Why is it that progressives, who hate their country, the ones willing to spend more to shop local and keep jobs in the U.S.?

Nuclear Worries in Wake County

A few days ago the N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network ("NC Warn") and the Union of Concerned Scientists told Washington that whistleblowers at Wake County's Shearon Harris nuclear power plant had come to them with security concerns. The charges sound pretty serious:

According to N.C. WARN, the guard or guards say that Progress executives ordered them in some cases not to search vehicles and equipment entering the plant's protected area, where the most sensitive operations take place and the most dangerous materials are stored. They also are said to claim instances when intruder detection equipment was flawed or missing, when alarms were ignored, and when improper weapons discharges were covered up. Securitas is said to have ordered some guards to cheat on security exams.

newsobserver.com | Editorials

Pardon our Dust and (Internal) Links

The one difficulty we have had in transferring to the new system is that many of our internal links are now bad. We are working hard to fix the problem and should only be a concern in older posts, but please let us know if you click on anything that does not take you to where you need to go.

Walter Jones in Mother Jones and Why That is Good

Republican Walter Jones has been a conservative voice in the North Carolina congressional delegation since his election in 1994, for which he changed both parties and districts to run. Jones is so conservative that he won and accepted the "True Blue" award from the ultra-conservative Family Research Council. He even gained infamy by leading the charge to change "French Fries" to "Freedom Fries". But his switch from leading war supporter to critic has recently gained him praise from progressive circles.

Mintz, the NCGOP, and Something About a Jedi

Remember Chris Mintz? He was the Chairman of the Wake County Republican Men's Club who announced a couple of weeks ago that he was quitting the Club, quitting the Republican Party, and running for the state legislature as a Democrat. Everyone was surprised. That story is here.

Today there's an editorial up at NC Rumors by the Acting Chair of the Wake County Republican Men's Club, in which he pretty much calls Mintz a power-hungry opportunist. The author, one Frank Williams, doesn't help his own credibility by bookending his piece with Star Wars jedi analogies, and he doesn't explain why he's such a bad judge of character. But Williams does raise some questions that Mintz will have to answer if he wants to be taken seriously as a candidate.

Now here's a surprise

Just in case anyone was anxious about all those lottery addicts down in Mecklenburg County, here's some comforting news from AP via the Charlotte Observer. Just think! You'll be able to win 340 million next year too!

Commission: N.C. lottery will join Powerball

RALEIGH, N.C. - Last month, an Oregon family won 340 million dollars in the multistate Powerball lottery game.

Next year, someone in North Carolina could cash in from the same game.

The state lottery commission today decided to join the Powerball roster after hearing the presentation from its operators. Currently, 27 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands participate in Powerball. That's according to its Web site.

JibJab's Latest Efforts

With everyone jumping all over themselves about the new Jib-Jab video on Bush, I figured that I would post a link.  Check out the Bush video, it is funny but tends to make him too much of an innocent party to circumstances for my liking.  I would say that "Big Box Mart" on the same page is a much better effort.  The movie is basically a short diatribe against Wal-Mart and very well done.  It includes a great line (transcribed from memory, so may be a little off):


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