If the media didn't cover it, did it happen?

Hell yes, it happened.

A one year anniversary protest and rally against Blackwater was held on Saturday, September 13th in front of Blackwater lobbying firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice's headquarters in downtown Winston-Salem. The protest coincided with protest rallies held the same day at Blackwater facilities located in San Diego, Idaho, and Illinois. The event was sponsored by Blackwater Watch. Co-sponsors included North Carolina Stop Torture Now, UNC Chapel Hill Students for a Democratic Society and Fight Imperialism-Stand Together. There was no coverage of the event by the mass media. The protest was covered by alternative media however and video will be available for later viewing.

Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice is the third lobbying firm hired by Blackwater since October 2007. Womble Carlyle lobbyists representing Blackwater are: John Mashburn, former general counsel and policy director for Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., who is the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee; and Mark Harkins, who was chief of staff to Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., chairman of the Investigations and Oversight subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee.

It's a crying shame that North Carolina's most powerful institutions - the General Assembly, our federal officials, the media, have all closed ranks in silence about the mercenaries. America is a free country, they say, and war is good business. So what's the big deal if the revolving door spins one more time? I wonder what Congressman Brad Miller thinks of Mark Harkins' move to the Dark Side? He's too much of a gentleman to say anything, I'm sure. So I'll say it for him: Prostitution is good business too.

52 Days: Dole’s irresponsible votes have left American soldiers vulnerable and unprepared

DAY 52

Today in Winston-Salem, Kay continues her discussion of her recently released veterans and military policy with the help of Viet Nam veteran Sen. Max Cleland at her seventh Veterans’ Town Hall. What has Elizabeth Dole done for our troops in combat? She voted against funding for armored humvees and opposed billions of dollars for new protective gear. Dole’s irresponsible votes have left American soldiers vulnerable and unprepared at a time when they are counting on their country to protect them while they protect us.

Read the entire post to read more on today's reason on why Elizabeth Dole is wrong for North Carolina and check back for updates over the next 52 days.

Veterans and active duty roll-call

In a veterans roll-call of BlueNC readers a couple of years ago, nearly two-thirds of regular visitors had served in the military. Let's see where things stand now. If you are a veteran, a member of a military family, or a person on active duty, please share your story with the BlueNC community. This is a great time for lurkers to come out for a brief moment in the spotlight, though real names aren't required, of course.

McCain and the March of the Emperor Neocons

Inspired by tomorrow's inclusion of a hate propaganda DVD in the Raleigh News & Observer's Saturday Edition, I decided to (once again) try to bring focus to the most important factor in the upcoming national election: whether or not we will allow the empire-builders to continue taking our country down their delusional path to world dominance. And I chose the title (and picture) for a reason: unless their progress is arrested, they will slowly and methodically continue until they reach their objective.

News and Observer: Greed over common sense

A box of cereal? Toothpaste? Does a box of cereal or a tube of toothpaste encourage me to look with hatred and suspicion on my law abiding neighbors who have a different religion than mine? Does cereal and toothpaste lead to pogroms, religious harassment, fear and intimidation? The trailer for this video is about hate, pure and simple, and shows the video has only one goal - to instill fear and hatred of neighbor against neighbor. If I receive this DVD in my paper, that day, after 22 years of receiving the N&O, will be the last day of my subscription.

Vote vets

One organization that is working hard to represent the real interests of military families is Vote Vets. Today I made a contribution to them in hopes that they'll be able step up their efforts in North Carolina. You can help too. If military families in North Carolina knew the truth about Elizabeth Dole's voting record, not a one of them would vote for her. We need a commercial like this focused on Senator Dole.


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