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Under the blazing Arizona sun stands an encampment of military tents filled with some 2,000 people. They battle the heat by positioning themselves in front of a few large fans, but they are of little use when temperatures reach 145 degrees. Stun fences surround the perimeter, with four Sky Watch Towers bearing down on the occupants. Facial recognition software and K-9 units keep track of the people moving about.

For the residents of Tent City Jail, their time behind bars is an exercise in humiliation: They are forced to dress in pink underwear, they “work seven days a week, are fed only twice a day, get no coffee, no cigarettes, no salt, pepper or ketchup and no organized recreation.” They work on chain gangs, and have to pay ten bucks when they want to see a nurse. This draconian treatment is not reserved for hardened criminals. In fact, most inmates in Tent City are imprisoned for less than a year for minor crimes, or are simply awaiting trial.


“In a world gushing blood day and night, you never stop mopping up pain.” ? Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams

“Violence is as American as cherry pie.” ? H.R. Schiffman

The fact that 24-year-old neuroscience student James Holmes had the wherewithal to turn himself into a lethal killing machine is tragic but far from surprising. Frankly, I’m almost surprised it doesn’t happen more often, given that we’re not only raising young people on a diet of violence but indoctrinating them into a worldview that sees violence as a means to an end, whether it’s a SWAT team crashing through a door or the Avengers taking on invading alien armies. By the time a child reaches 18, it is estimated that he or she will have witnessed 200,000 acts of violence, including 40,000 murders on television.


In Franklin's last town election, all those running for reelection were unopposed. Perhaps the perception was that they were doing a fine job or there weren't any issues to prompt prospective candidates to step forward. In recent days, that has all changed.

One doesn't need a degree in Native American studies to realize that spraying herbicide on an Indian mound probably isn't the smartest thing to do. The stated intent was to save money on landscaping costs by replacing the natural grass with an “eco-grass” that would require less maintenance. Simply allowing the existing grass to grow on the mound without cutting it would have required virtually zero maintenance. The Nikwasi Mound now looks like a bad haircut. And, like a bad haircut, it's getting plenty of attention. I suppose it could have been worse. At least the mound wasn't covered with artificial turf.


“The Latest Effort to Dismantle Public Education” – that was the title of an article written by State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison after the filing of House Bill 1104 at the North Carolina General Assembly. Dr. Harrison’s article is just a sampling of the outcry from the public education establishment about this bill. But why is there such a furor? What does this bill do? North Carolina citizens deserve the whole story.

HB 1104 is a bi-partisan bill that would create a K-12 tax credit scholarship program for non-public education in North Carolina. If passed, this bill would allow children from lower income families to receive private school scholarships from nonprofit organizations.


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