Category Archive 'North Carolina'

23 Oct 2016

Asheville: City of Bears

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measuringbearcub
Expert measuring bear cub.

In Atlas Obscura, we find that Asheville, NC has a lot of very large urban wildlife, and the experts (of course!) are studying the issue of just how many bears can live in the city.

Over the past decade, Asheville has racked up all kinds of accolades: according to one list of fawning headlines, it’s “Fantastically Yoga-Friendly,” “One of America’s 12 Greatest Music Cities,” “The Biggest Little Culinary Capital in America,” “#1 Beer City USA,” and “America’s #1 Quirkiest Town.”

Somewhat more quietly, it’s also one of America’s Best Cities for Bears. They hang out near the local hospital, and at the storied Grove Park Inn. Mailmen regularly run into them on their routes. Last August, a bear broke into an Asheville man’s home and stole a stick of butter out of his kitchen trash. As part of its pre-show, the Fine Arts Movie Theater, in downtown, shows a photo of a curious black bear reading its marquee from across the street. “I never saw a black bear until I moved to the city,” Boll says. “Now, I’ll be driving and I’ll go, ‘There’s a bear in someone’s yard!’ or ‘Look at that bear, knocking over that trash can and taking the bag!'”

When we talk about urban wildlife, we’re usually referring to small, deft creatures—squirrels, pigeons, or other standbys that mind their own business and fade into the background. Your average city-dweller might catch a deer in their headlights every once in a while, or spot a raccoon digging through the trash. A bear is something of a different story. A male can weigh 600 pounds. That’s not the kind of creature you get used to seeing on your commute.

Somewhere around 8,000 black bears range around western North Carolina, and many of those make Asheville itself part of their meandering. According to the Urban-Suburban Bear Study, an ongoing project by the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission and North Carolina State University, these bears are very healthy, often well-fed enough to have twice as many cubs as your average scrappy mountain bear, and confident enough to den right outside of town.

After a couple of years of study, the researchers—along with most of Asheville’s humans—are wondering exactly how many bears the city can hold.

The democrats are probably working on registering the bears to vote.

11 May 2016

How To Beat the DOJ Lawsuit

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NorthCarolinaFormerly

Rush Limbaugh has the legal argument in hand that should allow North Carolina to defeat the Department of Justice lawsuit overturning that state’s law banning transgendered use of ladies’ public bathrooms.

The solution here might be that the North Carolina governor could say that we don’t identify as North Carolina anymore, and therefore your lawsuit against us is irrelevant. We’re not North Carolina. We don’t identify that way, as long as your lawsuit — I mean, it’s absurd here! What do you mean, the way I want to present one day? So North Carolina, I say just turn it right around, “You know what, we do not identify as North Carolina for the length of your suit.”

09 Jul 2015

North Carolina Sells Out of Confederate Flag Plates

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NCConfederate-plate

Walter Todd Huston:

So many citizens of the Tar Heel state have rushed to order their Confederate flag license plates that the North Carolina DMV has run out of the tags, officials report.

Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman Mike Charbonneau reported that in the last 10 days the department has received a whole nine-months- worth of orders for the tags featuring a Sons of Confederate Veterans Logo.

The N.C. DMV says that it will be at least 30 days before the plates will be back in stock.

The rush of orders came on the heels of N.C. Governor Pat McCrory’s claims that he’d like the legislature to end the issuance of the Confederate flag plates.

At the end of June, the Governor urged the legislature to pass a law to end the official designation of “civic club” for the Sons of Confederate Veterans organization and to stop issuing plates with the C.S. flag emblazoned on them.

20 Mar 2015

Carolina Butcher

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Carnufex
Carnufex carolinensis

The Guardian has news of the discovery of a very large, bipedal crocodile which once inhabited the Carolinas.

Scientists have unearthed fossils in the United States of a big land-dwelling crocodile that lived about 231 million years ago, walked on its hind legs and was a top land predator right before the first dinosaurs appeared.

Transported back to the Triassic Period, what would a person experience upon encountering this agile, roughly 9-foot-long (about 3 meter-long), 5-foot-tall (about 1.5 meter-tall) beast with a long skull and blade-like teeth?

“Abject terror,” said North Carolina State University paleontologist Lindsay Zanno, who led the research published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“Climb up the nearest tree,” advised North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences paleontologist Vince Schneider.

The creature is named Carnufex carolinensis, meaning “Carolina butcher,” for its menacing features. It was a very early member of the crocodile lineage and was unlike today’s beasts. It was not aquatic and not a quadruped, instead prowling on two legs in the warm equatorial region that North Carolina was at the time.

16 Nov 2013

Great Smoky Mountains Elk: The Video

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You recall that young bull elk, who was photographed beating up on a photographer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last month?

There is also a video of the encounter.

Watching the video, it seems clear that the photographer could have stood up and, at least briefly thereby, frightened off the elk, and he would very probably then have had time to scurry off and take shelter in one of the nearby cars. It also seemed clear to me that the young elk was frequently very close to starting a really thorough hoof-stomping, antler-poking display of power.

The Knoxville television station reported yesterday that Park authorities sent that elk off to live on a farm, having apparently witnessed more than one incident of “human contact.”

Apparently, park visitors had been feeding him, and antler rubbing and close encounters of the cervine kind may have been his way of saying: “Feed me, Seymour!”

12 Nov 2013

Elk Beats Up Photographer

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The Park Service restored a herd of elk in 2001 to the Catalochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Last month, a young bull elk, inflamed by the rut, decided to treat a human photographer as a rival for female elks’ affections.

Montana Outdoor Radio passed along the story from Go Smokies:

I saw a very unusual sight in Cataloochee Sunday morning. There were about twenty people lined up along the road watching and photographing a bull elk and his harem of about ten cows and three calves. Everyone was being very quiet and truly enjoying the sights and sounds of a beautiful Fall day in the Smokies.

Movement caught my attention to my right and there sitting on the pavement about seventy-five yards up the road from me was a spike elk sparring with a photographer. The spike had apparently come out of the woods behind the man and wanted to do a little sparring. I turned my camera and began recording the session.

The man lowered his head to avoid eye contact and covered his face with his arms while the spike placed the crown of his head between his antlers against the man’s head and began turning back and forth. The man protected himself as best he could with his arms while clutching his camera and this went on for several minutes.

Each time the spike stopped and backed up a few steps the man would look up and the spike would begin again. The man did not appear to be suffering injuries but the spike would not stop. Finally, a white car approached and turned toward the spike who backed up just long enough for the man to rise to his feet. When the man got up the spike moved toward him and lowered his head like he would charge. The driver of the car approached the spike closer and the man was able to get in the car.

Montana Outdoor Radio asked: “Have you ever seen anything like this in areas out west where the elk are used to people?”

Yes. Some years ago, Karen and I saw California idiots trying to pet a female Roosevelt elk from the Elk Meadows herd near Orick, California. As the human family advanced, the elk looked more and more alarmed, and it was easy to see that if that elk ever decided she was cornered, she was going to stomp or kick some of the offending humans good and proper. Fortunately for them, the elk found herself an exit from the crowd closing in on her, and trotted away. But there was certainly a real possibility for someone to have seriously hurt.

10 Jun 2012

Homeless NC Girl Wins Admission to Harvard

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Dawn Loggins

The New York Daily News has the story of a young girl, abandoned by her parents, indigent, who slept on friends’ couches and worked part-time jobs to survive.

She was never trained in personal hygiene or social conventions by anyone, wore the same dress for months at a time, and was forced to transfer to six different schools. She worked a job as a janitor in her high school but nonetheless got straight A’s.

“There are no excuses,” she told the interviewer from a local radio station. “It all depends on you, and no one else.”

It doesn’t take a village. It takes personal determination and drive.

30 Dec 2010

In North Carolina, No Less

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A 17-year-old star student in Sanford, North Carolina was searched, then suspended, arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, because she was mistakenly carrying her father’s lunchbox, identical to her own, and his contained a small paring knife which he used to slice his apple.

WRAL story

It is time for the revolution.

America has somehow wound up being run by nincompoops who respond to unique and extraordinary crimes committed by a few individuals (Columbine, 9/11) by awarding themselves unprecedented grants of authority, completely alien to our constitutional and civic traditions, to tyrannize over the entire American population.

Americans are now harassed, electronically strip-searched, and groped at airports, treated like criminals upon entering courthouses and public offices, and children are arrested and thrown out of school for drawings, carrying toys, or for being found in possession of kitchen utensils.

Not so very long ago, high school boys used to participate in target shooting in urban high schools. Rural students would bring deer rifles to school, and keep them in the lockers during class, in order to go hunting at the end of the school day.

Only someone genuinely insane would suppose that Ashley Smithwick really represented a threat to anyone, but an ideological regime pathologically hostile to private possession of arms and fanatically devoted to the principle of a statist monopoly of force has descended upon schools across the United States. Zero tolerance policies are gestural expressions of ideological absolutism. Zero tolerance policies express the viewpoint of officialdom that our pacifistic, hoplophobic values are more important than facts, rationality, or your rights. Nothing whatsoever is as valuable as physical safety and the unchallenged rule of established authority.

Totalitarianism never came to America through foreign invasion, military conquest, or our defeat by foreign enemies. But totalitarianism has arrived here, in our schools, our airports, and our public spaces, entirely domestically. Totalitarianism is already occupying ever-expanding regions of our public lives via the petty tyranny, the habitual cowardice, the overwheening self-importance, the small mindedness,and the contemptible values of our ordinary administrators and minor officials.

This country needs a new litigation center dedicated to combating zero tolerance policies, safety fascism, and TSA-style security policies.

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Update from Bryan Preston via Glenn Reynolds.

The school administrators are issuing misleading press releases, obfuscating the student victim’s status and trying to depict a new-fangled lunch container as a purse. Sleazoids.

06 Oct 2010

A Southern Perspective

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From Ta-Nehisi Coates.

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Correction:
Originally mistakenly tagged “South Carolina” by a blind and incompetent editor.

10 Mar 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

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I bet it would work on democrats, too.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

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The federal government has nearly doubled the no-fly list since the Xmas bomb attempt.

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“There goes my life’s work.”
George Monbiot (the original moonbat) laments the impact of Climategate. The experts, he observes, are “Like squabbling evangelical churches in the 19th century, they can form as many schismatic sects as they like, nobody is listening to them any more.”

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The recent New Yorker profile of Paul Krugman features some particularly fine examples of superbia.

“We were the only textbook that incorporated the financial crisis, as we were chronically late. We were supposed to have the manuscript delivered in August or September, and by October we were still working, and we just said, ‘We can’t send it out like this, too much is going on.’ We were really in nail-biting territory, because you have to get it to the printers by a certain date or you miss the academic year.”

“We were right in the middle of that when the Nobel Prize committee called, and Robin’s reaction was ‘We don’t have time for this! …

“Paul is really averse to being drawn into a social network, to being groomed,” Wells says. “He doesn’t go to Washington because he doesn’t want to fall into that. As a spouse, you have your little list of things that you jokingly won’t forgive your spouse for. Right after he started writing for the Times and attacking George Bush, we got an invitation to have dinner with Paul Newman and his wife, but he wouldn’t go. And now he’s dead.”

“It was inconvenient,” Krugman says. “I just don’t get any joy out of thinking, Oh, here I am with the movers and shakers. It would have required really discombobulating my schedule just to be able to say I’d had dinner with Paul Newman, and it’s not worth it.”

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Richard Murphy explains to his readers why he fights.

    Tory parliamentary candidates have undergone training by a rightwing group whose leadership has described the NHS as “the biggest waste of money in the UK”, claimed global warming is “a scam” and suggested that the waterboarding of prisoners can be justified.

This is the reality of the libertarian right – openly hostile to humanity at large, embracing abuses of human rights, putting profits before else, contemptuous of the needs of the majority, denying facts when it suits them, seeking to destroy society as we know it, and wishing to make life for most considerably worse than it is now to advance their own enrichment.

That’s why I take them on here – and the bogus economics some of them use to support their arguments.

20 Oct 2009

Another Fascinating Decision By Obama’s Justice Department

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“Of course he wants to vote the Democratic ticket!” (Harpers, 1876)

Party labels are essential in elections in order to assure black democrats win. If black democrats don’t win, and black Republicans should accidentally be elected, black voters are being deprived of their electoral will, according to Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.

Welcome to the post-racial America we were assured would come into being upon the election of America’s first black president.

Washington Times:

Voters in this small city decided overwhelmingly last year to do away with the party affiliation of candidates in local elections, but the Obama administration recently overruled the electorate and decided that equal rights for black voters cannot be achieved without the Democratic Party.

The Justice Department’s ruling, which affects races for City Council and mayor, went so far as to say partisan elections are needed so that black voters can elect their “candidates of choice” – identified by the department as those who are Democrats and almost exclusively black.

The department ruled that white voters in Kinston will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats and that therefore the city cannot get rid of party affiliations for local elections because that would violate black voters’ right to elect the candidates they want.

Several federal and local politicians would like the city to challenge the decision in court. They say voter apathy is the largest barrier to black voters’ election of candidates they prefer and that the Justice Department has gone too far in trying to influence election results here.

Stephen LaRoque, a former Republican state lawmaker who led the drive to end partisan local elections, called the Justice Department’s decision “racial as well as partisan.”

“On top of that, you have an unelected bureaucrat in Washington, D.C., overturning a valid election,” he said. “That is un-American.”

The decision, made by the same Justice official who ordered the dismissal of a voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia, has irritated other locals as well. They bristle at federal interference in this city of nearly 23,000 people, two-thirds of whom are black.

17 Nov 2008

First, Vermont; Then, Siler City

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Mark Stinson, in the Chatham (North Carolina) Journal Weekly, laments the invasion, and take-over, of Siler City by intolerant representatives of the contemporary community of fashion.

We have a certain number of people that are transplanted here because they wanted some space. We have others that have money that wanted space too; that like the city life but want to live in the country. These people use their wealth to force the rest of us to do what they want. …

Bobby Smith of S&W Speed Shop in Siler City has occupied the same corner lot for almost 40 years. He has been a constant tax paying citizen and local fixture around this area. …

This brings me to the invasion of the jug making pot heads that want to turn Siler City into a smaller version of Chapel Hill. You see the arts incubator has grabbed a chunk of mid down town Siler City and proceeded to start transforming the town into a Chapel Hill / Carrboro clone. Bobby never in 40 years had one complaint about a vehicle sitting in his parking spots beside his shop or parts of vehicles stored in his lot behind his shop until the artsy bunch cleaned up town (as they put it) and located a pottery next to him. They have constantly whined and complained to the town forcing Bobby to move just about everything off his property to accommodate their desires to make downtown visually pleasing to them.

Recently they sent a police officer because Bobby had his truck. which he is repairing sitting in his parking spot “turned the wrong way” and they didn’t like the looks of that truck so they wanted it gone. …

Kenny Clark is feeling the effects of their constant complaints as well and Clapp Brothers will be next on the hit list if something isn’t done to balance things out again. They have already complained about things such as shipping crates temporarily stored in Clapps lot.

I personally love arts n crafts. I enjoy learning new ways to be creative but not at anyone else’s expense. If I want to see pottery I go to Jug Town where it is done the right way. I may be wrong, but in my opinion anyone can learn to make a pot. Not everyone can fix a bull dozer, build engines or repair a truck that helps members of our community make an honest living. …

does it make sense to bully the small established businesses out just because you want to make pots? The Arts incubator could never draw the kind of money some of these business have and never will. People involved with the Arts Incubator may have millions but that money isn’t being spread around the community. I was all excited about the arts incubator coming to Siler City until I saw how it grew to push people aside and trample those that are established in the community just to add “culture” to Chatham. …

I went through town to see a naked blue lady on top of a building, a half a naked man and a naked anatomically correct statue of a man on a street corner and honestly was upset. I don’t want my children to see such things in what is supposed to be a public place. I find it offensive. Is it better to be offended by art or annoyed with an eyesore of machine parts that are supposed to be outside a garage anyway?

23 Apr 2008

“Extreme”

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This anti-Obama ad was produced by the North Carolina GOP. (Good for them!)

0:40 video

And, would you believe this?

John McCain and (the now McCain-ite) Republican National Committee have called upon those tarheels to withdraw the ad, calling it “offensive,” “inappropriate,” and not “respectful.”


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