Primary race for sheriff spurs GOP voters to switch parties – Source: The Rocky Mount Telegram

Hundreds of registered Nash County Republicans have switched their party affiliation in recent weeks leading up to the May 4 primaries. (Read more @ The Rocky Mount Telegram)

Note: The same is going on in Pitt County with the Sheriff race there.

I wonder is the Republicans going to switch parties in the Wilson County Sheriff race? The incumbent has a black challenger.

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Democrats, Tea Party to rally this weekend – Source: The Rocky Mount Telegram

Three major political gatherings are scheduled to take place on the same day this weekend. (The Rocky Mount Telegram)

Note: I will comment on this after Saturday.

The Connections Talk Show Live On WNCR TV Host George Fisher Has Councilwoman Lois Watkins On Talking About Weatherization And Electrical Cost

I tuned in to the show about 7:40 PM because I had to handle some business. The discussion at that time was about high electricity bills. The discussion was just getting good.

Tonight of all nights the show should have stayed on until 9:00 PM due to the nature of the topic. The way the show ended was just disgusting. Maybe Councilwoman will be able to come back again and pick up from where they left off.

Attorney: Pittman’s proximity to remains not significant – Source: The Rocky Mount Telegram

When Halifax County deputies stumbled across the remains of Christine Boone – a Rocky Mount woman missing since 2006 – behind a mobile home last month where Antwan Maurice Pittman once lived, it seemed like a shocking piece of circumstantial evidence pointing toward Pittman as a possible serial killer. (Read more @ The Rocky Mount Telegram)

Note: This brings more thought to this issue. Serial killer, now sex offenders in the surrounding areas. Oh ell back to point A. Oh well. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

See related:

Murdered and Missing Women

Confederate ghosts in the South’s attic – Source The Institute for Souther Studies

Facing South

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DATELINE: THE SOUTH – News and trends
FEATURE – Virginia reawakens the South’s Confederate ghosts
INSTITUTE INDEX – Disaster in the coal fields
DATELINE: THE SOUTH – News and trends

DISASTER-STRICKEN WEST VIRGINIA MINE HAS A HISTORY OF TROUBLE: So far 25 coal miners are reported dead in an explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, W.Va. — and federal records show the facility has a history of safety problems. (4/6/2010)
NEW FED RULES ON MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL OFFER HOPE FOR APPALACHIA’S ENVIRONMENT: The EPA intends to curb damages from surface coal mining operations with an innovative approach to limiting water pollution allowed in affected streams. (4/6/2010)
TAXPAYERS LOSE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN OFFSHORE DRILLING: President Obama’s push to expand offshore oil and gas drilling will force his administration to confront a dysfunctional federal program that has cost taxpayers billions of dollars in corruption and lost royalties. (4/6/2010)
EPA MOVES TO VETO MASSIVE MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL OPERATION IN WEST VIRGINIA:The Obama administration takes a step toward keeping its promise to crack down on the environmental damage related to mountaintop removal coal mining. (3/29/2010)
LOUISIANA ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM CASE GETS INTERNATIONAL HEARING: An international human rights body has agreed to consider a petition charging the U.S. government with violating the rights of predominantly African-American communities exposed to alarming levels of toxic industrial pollution(3/29/2010)
THE SOUTH AND AMERICA’S PRISON EMPIRE: Robert Perkinson’s new book explores why the criminal justice system in the American South is so punitive, and why that history is so hard to overcome. (4/5/2010)
FEATURE – Virginia reawakens the South’s Confederate ghosts
By Chris Kromm
When Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell
declared April as the state’s Confederate History Month, Republican operatives likely thought it was a safe and symbolic gesture that would please the state’s older conservatives.
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Instead, it’s exploded into a national news story, raising sharp questions about how race is used in politics — and how the South’s Confederate past still haunts its political present.
The biggest scandal is what McDonnell’s proclamation left out: Not once,
in five "whereas" clauses, did it mention slavery. McDonnell batted away criticism about the oversight, saying:

"There were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states. Obviously, it involved slavery. It involved other issues. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia."

Which apparently didn’t include 4 million African-Americans held in slavery. By the end of the day, after critics including the GOP-inclined Richmond Times-Dispatch denounced him, McDonnell shifted gears and added another clause stating "the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice."
But it was too little, too late — and didn’t hide the fact that McDonnell’s "omission" wasn’t an accident: As
Adam Sorensen at Time points out, earlier Republican proclamations for Confederate History Month did include references to slavery; McDonnell just cut them out of his version.
NEO-CONFEDERATES AMONG US
For Southerners, the McDonnell affair is hardly Big News. As historian James Loewen documented in his excellent book
Lies Across America, Southern states are filled with thousands of historical markers, tourist sites and other remembrances of the Confederacy that downplay, or entirely omit, the essential racism behind the Confederate project.
The end result is that Southerners grow up surrounded by one-sided history, etched into the very landscape. Attempts to romanticize and rehabilitate the Confederate past can take on near-comical proportions. As Loewen wrote for Southern Exposure magazine in 2000:

Although many Confederates were conquered in spirit in 1865, between about 1890 and 1930, neo-Confederates declared victory on the landscape all across the United States, including places that never existed or never were Confederate during the war. A Confederate monument dominates the lawn of the east Bolivar County courthouse in Cleveland, Mississippi, for example, "To the memory of our Confederate dead, 1861-65." The only problem is, Cleveland, Mississippi, had no Confederate dead. Cleveland did not exist during the Civil War or for some decades afterwards.

Even when historically accurate, these ever-present memorials usually go beyond remembering Confederate "heritage" and end up glorifying the Confederacy.
Consider the Arlington Confederate Monument, where even President Obama felt obliged to lay a wreath in 2009, like all presidents before him. As leading neo-Confederate scholar Ed Sebesta
pointed out in a letter to Obama at the time, the goal of the monument was not just to remember the Confederate dead, but to champion the Confederate cause.
Indeed, the Arlington monument’s Latin motto is "Victrix causea Diis placuit, sed victa Catoni." That translates into, "The winning cause pleased the Gods, but the losing cause pleased Cato" — the implication being that Cato, the stoic advocate of "freedom," would have sided with the Confederacy, a sentiment that descendants of slaves would find deeply ironic.
The same is true with the Museum of the Confederacy, also in Virginia. As
Southern Exposure reported in 2000, future President George W. Bush was a donor to the museum’s annual Confederate ball, which each year draws hundreds of all-white guests in period costumes.
But the
Museum of the Confederacy is hardly an innocent history operation: Its store is stocked with far-right literature on race and politics, including books by neo-Confederate ideologue Ludwell Johnson, who in 1993 was appointed as a "museum fellow" — author of "Is the Confederacy Obsolete?" and other calls for revival of the old Southern system.
Sometimes, the racial motives of Confederate remembrances are subtle. Other times, they are crystal clear, as with the decision to adopt Confederate flags in Georgia (1956) and South Carolina (1962). Today, historians agree these moves were timed by white leaders to protest the growing civil rights movement and its attack on Jim Crow.
So McDonnell’s antics and appeals to Southern white racial resentment are hardly new, or news, in the South.
But the scandal does pose hard questions for conservatives: How will such thinly-veiled racial codes by Southern politicians play out nationally? What does this mean for their efforts to reach moderates and independents?
And as the South and country grow more racially and ethnically diverse, how do appeals to Old South racial politics help conservatives’ long-term political prospects?
(To comment on this story, please click here.)
INSTITUTE INDEX – Disaster in the coal fields

Number of miners confirmed dead in an April 5 explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia: 25
Number still missing: 4
Date on which U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said the miners died "unnecessarily": 4/6/10
Number of times miners were evacuated from the Upper Big Branch mine over the past two months due to dangerously high levels of methane, suspected to have been a factor in the explosion: 3
Number of times the mine was fined for ventilation problems last month alone: 3
Number of times federal inspectors shut part of the mine since 2009 after finding serious safety violations: 54
Number of workers previously killed at Upper Big Branch since its 1994 opening: 3
Number of workers who suffered injuries there during that time: 229
Number of regulatory citations and orders issued against the mine since it opened: 3,035
Number of citations Massey received last year alone for serious safety violations there: 50
Number of those citations it appealed: 37
Date on which a congressman complained at a hearing that the number of appeals by coal companies since the 2006 passage of tougher mining laws threatened to render "meaningless" accountability efforts: 2/2010
Percentage by which the appeal rate has grown since the 2006 law was passed: 300
Percentage of underground mines nationwide that are in compliance with the 2006 law: 10
Number of criminal charges a Massey subsidiary pleaded guilty to in 2008 after two miners were killed in a fire and it was discovered that the company had removed ventilation controls:10
Date on which Massey CEO Don Blankenship told a West Virginia radio network that safety violations are "a normal part of the mining process": 4/6/10

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