Friday, February 12, 2016

Craft Brewery Limitations

Pete Kaliner discusses craft brewery limitations on their ability to distribute their products.
February 11, 2016

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

LTE: Finds mixture of politics and religion a bit confusing

Letter: Finds mixture of politics and religion a bit confusing
Erich Hoffmann, Asheville Citizen-Times, February 8, 2016

People in my office confuse me when it comes to religion and politics. I find many conservatives in this area talk about America as a “Christian nation,” but oppose most social programs and tax increases, because “why should we help people that are too lazy to work?” You can’t claim to be a devout Christian and demonize the needy at the same time. There is no passage in the Bible that says “help the poor, the meek, the needy, but only if they’ve completed the necessary paperwork...”


"conservatives talk about America as a 'Christian nation' but oppose most social programs and tax increases"

The writer attempts to confuse the reader by conflating individual religious action and coercive government action. Once this false premise is introduced, he can complain about the straw man he has created, where the writer mischaracterizes an argument in order to refute it.

The writer says, "You can’t claim to be a devout Christian and demonize the needy at the same time." This, of course, is the deliberate logical fallacy of No True Scotsman. It involves setting up a false standard that can be called into question.

It is true that some principled Christians may oppose government actions such as certain social programs and tax increases. Opposing those government actions in no way contradicts the impulse or the religious teaching to care for or help the poor.

In Christian teachings, helping the poor is considered an individual charitable action born of compassion, sometimes done in cooperation with others who share the urge to compassionate works. But this action is performed voluntarily as an act of will, not through the use of force. The opposition to government action usually stems from a moral objection of the use of force to achieve a goal, even a worthy one.

There can be no such thing as forced charity or compelled compassion. The very introduction of force in human relationships precludes an act of charity. If force is used to extract wealth from one person in order to give it to another to who it does not belong, it is properly considered thefta violation of the rights of the individual to dispose of his property according to the dictates of his heart. The notion that opposition to coercive redistribution is un-Christian becomes absurd when viewed in this light.

Therefore, the claim that Christian opposition to social programs and tax increases is necessarily a "demonization of the needy" or infidelity to faith is false.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Misleading the Voting Public

The Mountain Xpress cartoon of January 23, 2016 by Randy Moulton attempts to rather strongly imply that ID is no longer required when voting. This is FALSE. Voter ID is absolutely required to have your vote counted in future elections in North Carolina.

Reverend Barber, depicted in the cartoon, is on record attempting to mislead the voting public in the same way: "The state NAACP wants voters to know that there are ways to cast a ballot this year even without photo identification, but the State Board of Elections is worried that the group’s message is misleading."

The change to the law referenced in the cartoon, implemented under House Bill 836, does NOT relieve voters from their obligation to present valid state-issued ID when voting.

It does, however, accommodate certain hardship cases. House Bill 836, which passed unanimously (less a few votes) in both the House and Senate, allows a voter to declare (in a sworn affidavit, co-signed by a public official, and under penalty of perjury) that they have a “reasonable impediment” to possessing current and valid photo identification. They will then be given a provisional ballot to cast their vote. A provisional ballot allows a voter to cast a vote during the election period, but the ballot is not officially counted until the local Board of Elections can verify a person’s identity.

What happens if you have ID but forget it when you go to vote?

For more information on the state of the law, see the NC Board of Elections website:

It's time amateur partisan activists to stop misleading the public as a strategy to regain political power.


Video tries to clear up voter ID confusion in N.C.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Distant Shores

Distant Shores is a rare British TV series first shown in the United Kingdom on ITV in January 2005, starring Peter Davison and Samantha Bond.

Peter Davison plays a successful London plastic surgeon Bill Shore. In a bid to save their marriage, his wife Lisa, played by Samantha Bond, accepts a six-month veterinary research job on a small Northumbrian island called Hildasay. Bill reluctantly agrees to relocate on the island with his wife, daughter and son. The stories revolve around the various ways in which the family adjust to the island and its welcoming, but sometimes peculiar, inhabitants.

The series is thematically similar to Northern Exposure and Doc Martin — a "fish out of water dramedy" that focuses on the difficulties of an unwillingly-transplanted metropolitan doctor who is forced to adjust to a rural and often quirky environment. While Doc Martin is going into its seventh season, Distant Shores is notable for being a rare example of a show to have an entire series shelved in its country of origin following the completion of post-production.

Season One

Season Two

Episode Guide:

Monday, December 21, 2015

Why Is Obama making life easier for terrorists?

Tammy Bruce
Washington Times
Monday, December 21, 2015

Online-only Edition

Experts and amateurs are endlessly telling us what we ought to be doing in our war against Islamic jihadism. But we know what needs to be done: eliminate the threat. The trouble is finding a president who is interested in defending this country.

Some people continue to insist that Obama is stupid, incompetent or weak, as a way to explain his otherwise inexplicable actions. None of which explains everything. The only thing that explains everything is: malevolence.


Hagel: The White House Tried to ‘Destroy’ Me
In an exclusive interview, Chuck Hagel said the Obama administration micromanaged the Pentagon, stabbed him in the back on the way out -- and still has no strategy for fixing Syria.

Administration nixed probe into Southern California jihadists
There are terrorists in our midst and they arrived here using legal means right under the noses of the federal law enforcement agencies whose mission is to stop them. That is not due to malfeasance or lack of effort on the part of these officers; it is due to the restrictions placed on them by the Obama administration.

Whistleblower Says He Could Have Prevented CA Attack If Gov't Didn't Cut Funding

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Confusion at City Hall

Don't these people talk to each other?


Jade Dundas, Water Resources Director, City of Asheville:"Issues that would need to be resolved include:
    -Transferring the contracts of the department’s 148 employees.
    -Nontransferrable federal and state health-and-safety certifications.
    -Transferring the financial, accounting and information technology systems.
    -Training new employees.
    -The city’s water-related bond debt, which is financed by system revenues."


Esther Manheimer, Mayor, City of Asheville: “To me a corporate transfer doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the experience our city will have with this company. It may just mean a change in ownership. It may not mean a change in the employees or the number of employees they plan to hire or their agreements. It may have no implications in terms of their agreements with the city.”


Blogpost: Asheville's Continued Misinformation Campaign

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Who Owns WNC's Water

Carolina Public Press
October 22, 2015
Town Hall, Fletcher, NC

At its Newsmakers forum held on Oct. 22, 2015, Carolina Public Press held a panel discussion on the ownership and management of public and private drinking water systems in Western North Carolina. Panelists were Kim Colson, director, N.C. Division of Water Infrastructure; Katie Hicks, assistant director, Clean Water for North Carolina; Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson; and Lee Smith, utilities director, Hendersonville Water and Sewer. The event was moderated by Carolina Public Press’s Investigations and Open Government Editor Jon Elliston and its lead environmental contributing reporter, Jack Igelman.

Subtopic: The Asheville Water System
Speaker: Chuck McGrady

Full Video:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Friends of WPVM

Controversy at WPVM
Saturday, December 12, 3:00 p.m.
Pack Library, Lord Auditorium, Asheville

Before you attend the meeting today, here's a little background on WPVM:

Participants in the drama, and the author of the Mountain Xpress article (“Lost in Transmission: Amid Heated Controversy, WPVM Charts a New Course,” Nov. 4), choose to remain uncomprehending of parliamentary procedure or laws governing non-profits in North Carolina.

Chris Lawing thought he had a position on the official Friends of WPVM Board of Directors, but Lawing simply did not, and when informed of that reality,  chose (with others) to take the route of fueling a smear campaign.

When Friends of WPVM  was in the planning and start up phase in September 2014, an interim Board of Directors formed just to get the process rolling and Lawing, Byron Ballard, and others were placed on a interim Board. This was done to satisfy MAIN's requirement that the group demonstrate a commitment to doing the necessary steps to acquire the FCC license.

Once MAIN voted to transfer the license, the group began the formal proceedings of filing Articles of Incorporation with NC Secretary of State, and then the group was instructed to hold a formal organization meeting. An official Board was formed on Oct 8th to comply with NC State Incorporation law.  (Signed documents verifying who was voted on to  the official Board of Directors in October 8, 2014, for Friends of WPVM are below.)

MAIN Director Pat Battle inserted himself into Friends of WPVM, in a highly inappropriate manner, since he was in blatant conflict of interest at demanding to be on both Boards, and was against the FCC license transfer and had voted on MAIN as being opposed to the transfer ((A Director must act in the best interest of the organization of which are Director, as a first priority, and cannot be opposed to the business at hand, which was the transfer of the FCC license. One cannot be loyal to two different negotiating entities).

When it became obvious he had a clear conflict of interest (being both boards and opposed to the transfer) he was required to remove himself from Friends of WPVM dealings in any way, and thereafter he began an aggressive campaign to sabotage the license transfer process.

Sitting elected officials Gordon Smith and Cecil Bothwell have also participated in fueling the flames of controversy or have made attempts at sabotaging the license transfer. Smith commented on the Asheville Politics Facebook page and councilmember Bothwell used his bully pulpit to discredit the new management with some of the show hosts.  Bothwell and his associate Barry Summers have engaged in fear-mongering and have suggested that people send letters to the FCC opposing the license transfer.

Also fueling the controversy are show host's from Asheville FM, Barry Sanders, Shad Marsh, Steve Shields, Adam Strange, John Spears, TJ Amos.  Sadly, Carmon Ramos Kennedy of WRES has also participated. Wally Bowen's son Connar Elliott has participated. Some have collected screen shots of all the comments made in regards to this ongoing smear campaign so there is a paper trail to back up points made here, and those screenshots are available for anyone to view at the station.

Rusty Silvis, who is calling for the meeting is a member of a group that had a show on WPVM (Vets for Peace). When the show Vets for Peace lost their main point person Ellie Halsey due to internal conflict in the group (composed of Ellie Halsey, Rusty Silvis and Don McCeachan), untrained show hosts McCheachan and Silvis took over and clearly did not know, or chose to ignore, basic rules such as using the dump button when guests used profanities, or not having food over the broadcast mixer, endangering a major piece of equipment that runs the station.

Vets for Peace were informed that when a show loses it's main point person, the replacements must go through the complete orientation procedure to insure that they know how to operate the equipment to do their show.  Additionally they must be computer savvy enough to receive emails and know how to archive their shows.

The programming committee reviewed the shows and sent suggestions on improving the show delivery. The improvements have not been attained (because they have not come in to do any more shows), nor have Rusty or Don done the required show orientation follow up. Meetings were held with Rusty, Don and the VETS for Peace President and where it was discussed what they needed to do to be in compliance.  They were unhappy at needing to go through the orientation and that all participants needed to know how to operate the equipment.