Vance-Aycock Decompression and The Scary Truth About Jim Neal

I'll start with what you really came here for: the truth about Jim Neal. The site is boiling to the brim over the possibility of Rep. Martin running for the Senate, especially now that Sen. Hagan is out of the race (according to a few who could be counted on to know attending the Vance-Aycock dinner). So I'm sure you want the dirt on this Neal guy so that you can throw it back at him if Rep. Martin runs. Unfortunately for those who get their kicks from schadenfreude, Neal showed himself to be a nice, likable guy with a full-shoe operation.

Beautiful Minds Needed to Reach Across the Divide

I tried this post on Kos and it didn't get much play and what it did get was slightly on the negative side. The post had links embedded which didn't copy to BlueNC, but the full post with links can be found here. It might make for more entertaining reading there.

Perhaps you were a fan of the movie A Beautiful Mind which was a biographical look at the troubled life of mathematician John Nash. You might be a mathematician yourself, versed in the details of gaming theory, or you might well be sick and tired of so little getting accomplished by the political leaders of this country as they spend more time looking to beat 'the other guys' than they do practicing thoughtful governance.

My guess is that most of you fall into the third category. If so, or out of general curiosity, please continue reading below the fold to see what may be done, both theoretically and practically, to get our leaders to lead and so lend hope to our now uncertain future.

Costa Ricans have more rights than you. CAFTA vote today!

I worked in textiles 27 years. Now I don't. I teach school, praying my own kids and students can have some semblance of the life I and my parents enjoyed right here in some of the most beautiful country God ever created.

My opponent, multi-millionaire and mill owner Robin Hayes, still maintains his decisive flip-flop on CAFTA will make one of the poorest Districts in the nation and some of THE most unemployed counties in North Carolina, somehow better.

As the FREE people of Costa Rica go to the polls today to reject or ratify Hayes' singular shining contribution to American working families... Let's visit.

Holy Hell

The New York Times is filled with good stories this weekend, but this one takes the cake.

Across the country, hundreds of ministers and pastors desperate to reach young congregants have drawn concern and criticism through their use of an unusual recruiting tool: the immersive and violent video game Halo. The latest iteration of the immensely popular space epic, Halo 3, was released nearly two weeks ago by Microsoft and has already passed $300 million in sales.
Far from being defensive, church leaders who support Halo — despite its “thou shalt kill” credo — celebrate it as a modern and sometimes singularly effective tool. It is crucial, they say, to reach the elusive audience of boys and young men. Witness the basement on a recent Sunday at the Colorado Community Church in the Englewood area of Denver, where Tim Foster, 12, and Chris Graham, 14, sat in front of three TVs, locked in violent virtual combat as they navigated on-screen characters through lethal gun bursts. Tim explained the game’s allure: “It’s just fun blowing people up.”

Once they come for the games, Gregg Barbour, the youth minister of the church said, they will stay for his Christian message. “We want to make it hard for teenagers to go to hell,” Mr. Barbour wrote in a letter to parents at the church.

As my daughter asked, why don't they just hire prostitutes to have sex with all the teenage boys? Wouldn't that keep them coming back, too?

North Carolina In the National News Again

And like always, it ain't very flattering. Here's the closing of the New York Times article.

In North Carolina, Mr. Easley faces a battle in proving that the lottery will be a winner for voters. After its first full year, revenue was 25 percent less than projected, giving critics ammunition in their case that lottery revenue is an unreliable source of money for schools.

ConvergeSouth . . . the place to be on October 19-20

If you haven't made plans to attend ConvergeSouth in Greensboro, it's time to get crackin'. ConvergeSouth is a cool, free blogging conference and it's a great opportunity to learn what's happening behind the scenes on the interTubes in North Carolina. Did I mention it's free?

More important than free, it's a great conference with lots of how-to info on all aspects of citizen journalism, new media, social networking and more. Here's a sample of the Saturday schedule, which looks most excellent. If you scroll down, you'll see Kirk Ross (our own kmr) leading a session on Sustainable Journalism. Plus I'll be co-leading a session with Ed Cone on "Better Blogging." I'm hoping to learn a lot!

If you're a veteran blogger, this is a great place to meet your counterparts in real life and share your war stories. If you're a lurker, ConvergeSouth will be just the nudge you need to jump in with both feet.

Hope to see you there!


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