18th Annual PUMPKINFEST :: Saturday, October 25 from 9am - 4pm * Downtown Franklin :: CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Opinion

For those hoping to better understand how and why we arrived at this dismal point in our nation’s history, where individual freedoms, privacy and human dignity have been sacrificed to the gods of security, expediency and corpocracy, look no farther than America’s public schools.

Once looked to as the starting place for imparting principles of freedom and democracy to future generations, America’s classrooms are becoming little more than breeding grounds for compliant citizens. The moment young people walk into school, they increasingly find themselves under constant surveillance: they are photographed, fingerprinted, scanned, x-rayed, sniffed and snooped on.

Add to this the epidemic of arresting schoolchildren and treating them as if they are dangerous criminals, and you have the makings of a perfect citizenry for our emerging police state—one that can be easily cowed, controlled, and directed.

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On any given week, an estimated 100 million people shop at Walmart, or about a third of the American population. That number is set to tick upward with the advent of Franklin's Walmart Super Center. Like children waiting for Christmas morning, the anticipation continues to rise. For others, the outlook is more of a Walmart Scrooge, with a bah humbug point of view. For some, Walmart is too big/successful to patronize - the evil empire of retail. With annual gross revenue over $400 billion which exceeds many nations GDP, it's understandable why Walmart is despised by some as the Goliath among the David-sized competitors.

There has never been a time when it's been easy for the smalltime operator. The failure rate for new small businesses has always been high, even before Walmart arrived on the scene. The last century saw the emergence of the supermarket and the shopping mall as well as the critics who opposed their existence. These entities created a paradigm shift in the market place.

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I don't have a dog in the fight but I agree that Romney was “best of show” in the first debate. It's interesting, that as soon as a presidential debate is over, the pundits huddle and declare a “winner.” It's immaterial what is said, but how it is said. Style trumps substance. If the debate seemed scripted, it was, and in more ways than most realize.

Since 1988, the Commission on Presidential Debates has conducted the presidential and vice presidential debates, having replaced the League of Women Voters as the host of these quadrennial events. While the CPD may sound like a governmental entity, it is non-profit corporation, founded and run by the Democrat and Republican parties. Part of its mission statement is to “provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners.” In reality, the CPD serves as a firewall to prevent unscripted questions and alternative points of view.

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From the Office of Rep. Phil Haire

Interim committees continue to meet at the General Assembly to discuss and study education, health, transportation and other matters vital to our state. The hope is that indepth evaluations of specific programs will lead to better decisions when we return to session in January.

This week, I wanted to share a few pieces of information about ethics, redistricting and the economy.

Ethics

The legislature’s bipartisan Joint Legislative Ethics Committee has issued new guidelines prohibiting legislative employees who serve at the will of a lawmaker from having dating relationships or sexual relations with registered lobbyists or state agency liaisons unless they disclose the relationships to the employing legislators. The guidelines followed the resignations of two members of the Speaker’s staff who were found to have relationships with registered lobbyists.

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