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Democrats can boast about winning the White House all day long, but they got their butts thoroughly whipped in North Carolina last November.

As expected in the aftermath with bruised egos, Democrats' hatred for Republicans was predictable but still troubling. After two months of Republican domination, Democrats, the minority party, appear to be in over their heads and in search of a real agenda.


It's Duke deja vu all over again. Duke Energy is petitioning for yet another rate hike. The bid is a 9.7 percent overall increase with special love for residential customers who would be tagged for a 11.8 percent jump in electric costs. Duke also has a bonus feature request of an additional charge of $2.86 per month per household. This is to pay for “energy efficiency programs.” And, you thought those light bulbs they hand out were for free. It's not fair. I'm not talking about the rate increase but the fact that I have to come up with new material for an article when I could have had one reprinted that was written less than 18 months ago. Duke simply rehashes the same verbiage as it does for every rate increase request. As others have pointed out, capital expenditures and maintenance are a part of doing business and should already be factored in with pricing. When I bought a new espresso machine for the business, prices didn't go up. New tables didn't warrant a special seating surcharge either. If costs go up (for whatever reason) you make less money.


School truancy laws jail parents and levy excessive fines

We are now five years out from the worst financial crisis in modern history, and still the yoke around the neck of the average American seems to tighten with every new tax, fine, fee and law adopted by our so-called representatives. Meanwhile, the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) and the agencies under their command—Defense, Commerce, Education, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, etc.—have switched their allegiance to the Corporate State with its unassailable pursuit of profit at all costs and by any means possible.


From time to time throughout history, individuals have been subjected to charges (and eventual punishment) by accusers whose testimony was treated as infallible and inerrant. Once again, we find ourselves repeating history, only this time, it’s the police whose testimony is too often considered beyond reproach and whose accusations have the power to render one’s life over.

In the police state being erected around us, the police can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts. Making matters worse, however, police dogs—cute, furry, tail-wagging mascots with a badge—have now been elevated to the ranks of inerrant, infallible sanctimonious accusers with the power of the state behind them. This is largely due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Florida v. Harris, in which a unanimous Court declared roadside stops to be Constitution-free zones where police may search our vehicles based upon a hunch and the presence of a frisky canine.


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