Friday, May 27, 2011

McIntyre's fate might be settled long before November 2012 -- GOP payback inevitable!

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / USA DOT COM / May 27, 2011

U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre’s bid for a ninth term in Congress might not be determined at the ballot box in November 2012, but could instead be decided in the coming weeks on an easel in Raleigh.

For the first time in almost forever, Republicans control both houses of the General Assembly, and the timing for them couldn’t be better as district lines that will be used for the next decade must be drawn to align with the 2010 census.

After being gerrymandered out of power for a century, the GOP will be looking for some retribution, and Republicans apparently covet the District 7 seat tightly held by McIntyre, a Lumberton Democrat, since he first waded into the political pool in 1996.
McIntyre never had a serious Republican opponent in the General Election until 2010, when Ilario Pantano garnered about 47 percent of the vote. Pantano, a transplanted Northerner who now claims Wilmington as his home, has already announced he will run again.

But McIntyre’s fiercest opponent might be Republicans in the General Assembly, who are unlikely to encounter a whole lot of resistance during redistricting from our local legislative delegation, which has a couple of strikes against it.

Three of the four members are Democrats, the minority party, and the local delegation doesn’t boast much seniority, with two freshmen and a sophomore among their ranks. The most senior member, state Rep. Garland Pierce, does sit on the House committee in charge of redistricting, so there’s that.

Robeson County residents know who butters their bread, which is why Democrats don’t even have to campaign here. The county supported Democrat Mike Dukakis, a Massachusetts liberal, by a two-to-one margin over George Bush the dad during the 1988 presidential election, and four years earlier, went for George McGovern, also Democrat, who suffered the worst loss in a presidential race in the nation’s history.

So our allegiance is clear, and won’t escape Republicans, who could grab the paring knife and dice up Robeson County as a way to dilute that voting power.

Your politics will dictate whether or not you believe McIntyre’s exit from Congress would be a good thing or a bad thing. But on this, Robeson County Republicans and Democrats should unite: A fractured Robeson County isn’t a good thing for our clout in Congress, because lawmakers tend to be loyal to the voters who elect them, and if this county’s role in electing a U.S. representative is negligible, expect that kind of love in return.

The redistricting process is underway in Raleigh, and while new lines haven’t been drawn, there is writing on the wall.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pantano: If Israel falls, America's mission in the War on Terror will fail!

Verne Strickland USA DOT COM Blogmaster
May 27, 2011

Dear Fellow Patriot, 

Does President Obama understand what it means to be an ally? By calling for Israel and Palestine's borders to be drawn in accordance with 1967 lines, Barack Obama has pushed Israel into an indefensible position, possibly unraveling decades of work by previous American presidents.

First Poland, then Saudi Arabia, and now Israel... how many U.S. friendships is Obama going to sour while he's in the White House? As a former Marine Corps officer, I have consulted, researched and written on a range of national security topics, including the Middle East. That's why I'm not surprised by the president's betrayal of Israel.

But that doesn't mean I will stand for it.

President Obama's speech last week reaffirms why I am running for Congress: to fight for the country I love. Because if Israel falls, America's mission in the War on Terror will fail—and we cannot allow that. So will you stand with me to defend America and one of her greatest allies, Israel?

Obama's dangerous shift in American policy towards Mid-East peace could compromise our position negotiating with regional partners. Partners the U.S. needs to fight terrorism, protect our forces stationed in the region, and trade for vital strategic resources like oil.

At best, President Obama has established a framework for dismantling the Jewish state as we know it. At worst, he has accelerated the likelihood of a regional war between Israel and Iran.

If Iran obtained nuclear weapons, would Obama stand to protect Israel? Or would he appease a new evil nuclear power? An Israeli-Iranian conflict would have dire consequences for American troops and intelligence officers across the region. And not just in Afghanistan and Iraq, but Egypt, Kuwait, Pakistan and everywhere there are Americans on the ground.

So as we head into this Memorial Day weekend, think about this: The tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks and a decade of war in Afghanistan are just around the corner.

A few weeks ago, Osama bin Laden was finally brought to justice by courageous Navy Seals. Is it worth risking the progress we've made thanks to the sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform and their families to shun Israel?

I think not.  

That's why I'm asking you to join me as I fight to defend America and her allies. Your support is needed -- in every way. Please help me make a difference -- in the U.S. Congress!

Thank you in advance for your loyal and patriotic assistance to my mission and my campaign.

God Bless America,

Ilario Pantano
Republican for Congress - NC-7

Barber arrested. For giving somebody a bad haircut? Au contraire -- he "acted up" in NC House gallery. Just a show off?








Rev. William Barber
Rev. William Barber
The president of North Carolina's NAACP said Wednesday his group will continue vigorous protests against a Republican-backed budget bill, doing whatever it takes to turn the public's attention to polices he said represent a "moral crisis" for the state.

The Rev. William Barber's comments came a day after he and six others were arrested following a vocal protest in the House gallery.

"The House budget was shamefully passed with debilitating cuts to education, health care and other vital resources," Barber said Wednesday morning after being released from jail. "We must challenge what is going on."

Some activists are unhappy with a number of legislative actions passed by the GOP majority this year, but the passage of a House budget bill most provoked their ire.

The NAACP and affiliated groups charge that cuts in the proposed spending plan will disproportionately hurt poor and middle class North Carolinians.

On Wednesday, Barber chastised legislators, especially House Speaker Thom Tillis, for cutting programs for poor residents while failing to close tax loopholes for corporations and the rich, another option for helping to balance the spending plan.

"The constitution of this state says that the only purpose of political power is for the common good and not just to cater to a few, the wealthy. The General Assembly leadership is being disrespectful to our constitution," Barber said.

"Come on, Mr. Tillis. Come on, extreme right. Come on, tea party. Embrace the future," he continued. "Let's lift our state rather than trying to tear it down. We can do better than this."
Meanwhile, Tillis said he wants Barber to apologize for disrupting lawmakers.

"I do think that Rev. Barber owes this House an apology for his disrespectful and disruptive behavior," Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said during a news conference Wednesday.

Tillis said he would be willing to meet with members of the NAACP, but not Barber or the six arrested with him. "It would be inappropriate of me to meet with somebody that's the subject of a police investigation, I would think," he said.

Barber declined to respond directly to Tillis' request for an apology, calling it an attempt to divide the group of activists that has become more and more vocal as the legislative session wears on.

But Michelle Laws, of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP chapter, said Tillis is off base.

"How dare he ask for an apology," Laws said. "Speaking as someone who cares about the children of this state, I think he owes us an apology."

Barber said the NAACP and members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street coalition are planning to organize across the state to fight what they call "extreme right-wing" politics in city, county and state governments. He said voter registration drives are also planned in hopes of changing the Legislature's makeup during the 2012 elections.

Members of the NAACP and other protesters have complained that legislators brushed off their concerns, ignoring phone calls and letters and refusing meetings with group members.

Tillis said he did agree to meet with Barber and his group in February, but NAACP representatives canceled.

While Tillis acknowledged that the Republican leadership is unlikely to see eye-to-eye with NAACP members, he said he is ready and willing to listen and make policy changes where warranted.

He said House members are open to working with the Legislative Black Caucus and are helping to form a new American Indian Caucus in the General Assembly.

New RNC chairman says NC to be battleground in 2012. Conservatives tell him first battle will be family squabble.

RALEIGH, N.C — The Republican National Committee’s new chairman on Wednesday pleaded with North Carolina party leaders for more money to support candidates in 2012, but some activists told him the national party needs to better embrace the conservative values of the tea party movement.

The opening paragraph in this story (above) is, to me, the most important topic in this whole piece. RNC Chairman Priebus said Wednesday in Raleigh that he needs more money to fend off Democats in 2012, while Republican conservatives told him he could buzz off if he didn't get away from the politically suicidal middleground.

Sounds like a reprise of the muddle we're in on the international level, where we need strings attached to our support of countries which stuff our money in their pockets then give us nothing in return. It's a losing game we've naively played for way too long. We should have learned our lesson.

Back to the AP story -- here is where the rubber meets the road:

Patrick Yanke of Wake County told Priebus that the RNC needed to get out the message that it supports the conservative movement, adding that he quit contributing money to the group when Steele was chairman.

“Recently, the RNC, unfortunately, has been an enemy, or at least a competitor, to the conservative movement,” Yanke said. “Your articulating that message is going to be one of the most important things the RNC can do to get its coffers back.

“Until you stand up for the Constitution and the Republican platform, you’re not getting a dime of my money,” Yanke said to applause. “So if you will stand up for conservative candidates, I think you’ll see your coffers full.”

Priebus responded: “I don’t quarrel with you. I think a lot of what you’re saying is right.”

Are conservatives and Tea Party faithful talking sense here or what? The GOP is definitely a party divided against itself, and there's no way it will stand. Without some major course corrections, we might as well print up a new supply of White House letterhead for Barack Obama.

The AP/WP article concludes with:

Last week, the Democratic National Committee said it had raised about twice as much money as the RNC during the first month of Obama’s re-election campaign. The DNC collected $12.4 million in April, more than double the $6.1 million raised by the RNC during the same month.
Through the end of April, the DNC reported $14.8 million in cash on hand, compared with $5 million for the RNC. The DNC had $15.4 million in debt compared with $18.9 million in debt for the RNC.

I think it is entirely reasonable for our conservatives to stake out a firm position on political philosophy now -- while the RNC is running around begging for money, and we have some serious bargaining chips.

Priebus says "Show me the money." We say, "Declare your loyalty, sir, or we're going to take our marbles and go home. Then you can just play with yourself."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Paranoid schizophrenia — not political fervor — should be considered in Tucson tragedy.

First published on: 10th January, 2011
By Verne Strickland



January 10, 2010

 It will almost certainly be announced that Jared Lee Loughner suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.
Easy there. I’m not a psychoanalyst. I had a brother who suffered from this cruel and pitiable disease. A talented artist, sculptor and teacher (MFA), he died at 52 at a nursing home in Angier, NC.

It is ghastly what Loughner did, and the anger and incredulous emotions that have erupted are justified.

But these intense feelings are misdirected. They should not be directed at the Tea Party, or Sarah Palin, or any political persuasion – or even the “alleged” shooter (we must be politically correct, mustn’t we?)

The 22-year-old drop-out and loner was and is sick. Desperately sick. Not sick in the sense of being a warped political lunatic. Sick with a disease which makes him unfit to wander about in the world of the sane.

I will be surprised, therefore, if it is not found that Loughner was a clear threat and could have been stopped long ago, and helped long ago, by being discovered as a ticking time bomb.

No one can say with assurance that an individual like this will kill or attempt to kill. But in this day and age, many opportunities to defuse this prospect existed, and should have been noticed.
My brother never killed anyone, and thank God for that, nor did he ever offer clear evidence that he might be such a threat. But he heard voices, thought the FBI, the CIA and the KGB were shadowing him, and wrote fantastic and often unintelligible statements which he sent to the newspapers, to prominent political figures, and others he knew personally.
The disease ruined his life, his marriage, and brought untold grief to my father and mother, as well as to my brother and me. I cherish the memory of Bruce’s good years. There were too few of them.

Paranoid schizophrenia usually strikes its victims when they are in their twenties. It is an inherited disease. Both men and women are susceptible.

My mother’s sister, a vivacious young woman who loved life, was also stricken. She died mentally wasted years later in an institution in Baltimore.

My brother Bruce also spent much time in mental institutions, and was incarcerated frequently for bizarre  and potentially harmful behavior.

And he was helped. He wasn’t cured, of course. But he was accorded good medical and psychiatric care, including powerful prescription medicines which calmed him and allowed him to function with some degree of normality.

If not for this, I do not know what the outcome might have been. At times, when he was off his medicines, the savage disease came back with a fury. It was a chilling lesson. Sanity of a sort is in the prescription bottle. It is ignored at one’s peril.

Conservatives believe passionately in assuming responsibility for personal actions — noble or otherwise. So I never thought I’d find myself saying this, but society, the Tucson community, this young man’s family, his teachers, and others who were close to him and observed his bizarre behavior were – while certainly not criminally negligent – at least incredibly na├»ve to have ignored the deafening alarm bells that were going off all around Jared Lee Loughner.

In the news this morning, there are reports that the alarm bells actually were heard – over and over. But no one acted until the unthinkable, but predictable, tragedy was played out.

And so we hear unfortunate statements that America’s freedom of speech – twisted in this case to focus on the conservative movement – should somehow be blamed and curtailed. That is irresponsible and cruel in the extreme.

 It was not a political persuasion that took the lives of the innocent at the wonderful “Congress on Your Corner” event, and critically wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is even now fighting for her life.

The evidence is already suggesting that what triggered this violent and deadly eruption can be traced back to a disease which can be inherited, treated and managed before it leads to a tragedy like this one that has horrified the nation.

One immediate reaction was that the death penalty should be sought for Loughner. This from the father of the precious 9-year-old Christina Green, who died in the hail of bullets.

This is not surprising from a grief-stricken parent. But it will not happen.

It is fortunate – if anything about this can be so described – that Loughner was stopped before he loaded a second ammunition clip into the semiautomatic Glock pistol he wielded, and that he was taken alive.

If suicide was a part of his “plan”, he was denied the chance to take this exit, which often is a grisly punctuation mark after mass shootings like this.

We will now have the opportunity for some careful and much-needed analysis, and calm reflection, to determine what did – and didn’t – spark this deadly tirade in Tucson, Arizona.

Our politicians, including Congressman Mike McIntyre, needn’t fear another outburst like this. At least not from any right-wing zealot. To be fair, McIntyre has not in so many words indicated that this is a suspicion he harbors.

But this is a familiar mantra which is commonly employed by left-wing media and partisans to pillory conservative Christian Republicans and portray their fervor as madness of a sort.

That’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s misguided. And it’s ignorant.

McIntyre should go ahead and bring in a phalanx of law enforcement protection at his next speech if that will make him more comfortable, and he shouldn’t be blamed for doing so.

But it does appear a bit melodramatic. And unless one of his rallies is attended by a few people suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, he’ll probably be safe.

Normal people don’t do this. And among these normal people I proudly include patriotic Americans, of any political persuasion, who feel moved to become actively involved in the political process — and bold enough to voice their hopes and concerns. It’s the great American way.

I loved my brother Bruce Owens Strickland. His bright and lucid intellect was struck down by a demon that he didn’t want or invite. I suspect the same demon is working fiendishly in the tortured life and soul of Jared Lee Loughner.

May God forgive him. And may God rest the souls of those who were slain, comfort their loved ones who are left to grieve, and bring healing grace to our beloved fellow American Gabrielle Giffords.

I will take criticism for these things I have said. And I may be in error with some of my conclusions. May God forgive me too if I have strayed off course. But I don’t think that’s the case. Time will tell.

Be assured that I have spoken sincerely and in good conscience, for what it’s worth.

A Look Back: Ilario Pantano keynotes moving tribute to fallen American heroes in 2010 Memorial Day observance.

This is an excerpt from Verne Strickland's coverage of the 2010 Memorial Day observance in Wilmington, NC, first published on June 1st, 2010. Verne now writes his popular conservative column for USA DOT COM


Everyone in the world wants your freedom.

Question is – do you want it more than they do?

Through the years, over a million Americans in uniform have answered that question by fighting – and dying -- for their country.

Memorial Day – May 31, 2010 – was a day to honor their sacrifice, by coming together in prayer, gratitude, and reflection.

At Wilmington’s Hugh MacRae Park, in a moving ceremony on a sunny afternoon, a gathering too small in number mourned those who have been lost – but not without cause.

In the shadow of a monument to Fallen Heroes – sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, who called New Hanover County home while they lived -- respect was paid by the posting of the colors, the laying of wreaths, patriotic remarks, and a bugler’s soft call of Taps.

The moving tribute was organized by American Legion Post 10 of Wilmington, formed 91 years ago – among the oldest Legion groups in North Carolina.

Keynote speaker for this 2010 Memorial Day event was Ilario Pantano, a combat veteran of two tours in the Middle East as a U.S. Marine officer.

His wife Jill, and their two sons, watched from a position close by the speaker’s podium in a shaded, grassy corner of the park.

Pantano chose as the theme for his Memorial Day presentation the story of the National Anthem, which we know as “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

He noted that the lyrics of the anthem come from “Defence of Fort McHenry”, a poem written in 1814 by 35-year-old amateur poet Francis Scott Key, who had witnessed the bombardment of the fort by ships of the British Royal Navy in Chesapeake Bay. The Battle of Fort McHenry took place during the War of 1812.

“His inspiration came as he realized that the American flag was still waving above the fort after the horrific, unrelenting attack from British warships. In his lines, he asks, ‘Oh, say, can you see?’ He almost wonders if it actually is still there.”

Fort McHenry was held by 1,000 defiant American defenders, who stood fast through 25 hours of bombardment by the British fleet of 19 ships, Pantano said.

“There were bombs bursting in air, and ‘the rockets’ red glare’ was from ordnance used as a psychological weapon of terror. The rockets were inherently inaccurate, but they added to the mental anguish of being under intense attack,” he observed.

Pantano punctuated his riveting patriotic discourse by raising the concluding line of a stanza rarely included in the singing of “the Star Spangled Banner” today: “Then conquer we must when our cause is just, and this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

In 1956, the United States by law adopted “In God We Trust” as the national motto.

“Those American heroes weren’t afraid to talk about God,” Pantano asserted. “And they weren’t afraid of those British guns. They held their posts. They won. And here we are today honoring the sacrifices for our nation then and now.

“We have freedoms, opportunities, liberties, that are worth fighting for, and are worth dying for. We’ll never forget that. And we’ll never forget those who have fallen,” Pantano concluded.


Post Script: Ilario Pantano is a candidate for the U.S. Congress in 2012 -- his second bid for the office, for which he will likely run in the Thirteenth North Carolina Congressional District.

He is a solid favorite this time, after running a close and spirited race in 2010 against Mike McIntyre -- finally falling in the final stages of that campaign against a generously-funded seven-term incumbent.

This year Ilario will assume a prominent role in a unique 2011 Memorial Day Event:

"Murph on Memorial Day" Fundraiser for Wounded Warrior Project and the college funds of MSG Ben Bitner's son. 

Contact Info


Pre-made, convenient Paleo



Star-studded roster slated for "I Love America Rally" -- NCGOP Convention, June 3, Wilmington.

June 3, 2011     5:30 - 7:00 PM
Wilmington Convention Center
Wilmington, North Carolina

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / USA DOT COM / May 25, 2011

Conservatives from across North Carolina will come together on the banks of the Cape Fear River to celebrate America and our unique American Freedoms! With thousands of Conservatives gathering in Wilmington to participate in the NCGOP State Convention, this is a unique opportunity for those of common political ideals to unite and once again dedicate themselves to our Nation's Founding Principles!

This event is being sponsored by statewide 'grassroots' Conservative groups and individuals, and will include speakers from across the State.

List of Speakers:

Andrew Breitbart, Breitbart.Com
Pat McCrory, NC Leadership PAC
John Hood, John Locke Foundation
Ilario Pantano, 'Pantano On Point'
Robin Hayes, NCGOP
Timothy F. Johnson, Phd., NCGOP
Jessica Anderson, Heritage Action for America NC
Kathy Hartkopf, FreedomWorks NC
Dan Forest, Re:Vision North Carolina
Adam Love, Campaign For Liberty NC
Curtis Wright, Cumulus Broadcasting Talk Show Host
Marcus Gibson, Baritone
Roger Bacon Academy School Choir


Registration & Information:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vuvuzelas 'may spread diseases' (We knew there was something weird and sinister about these things.)

Verne Strickland Blogmaster   May 25, 2011

South Africa supporter blows a Vuvuzela  
Vuvuzelas came to global prominence in 2010 World Cup 

Dr Ruth McNerney / Study author / BBC Health News

Vuvuzelas - the horns used by football fans celebrating last year's World Cup - not only cause noise pollution but may also spread diseases, say experts.
A short burst on the instrument creates a spittle shower similar to a sneeze, travelling at a four million droplets a second, a PLoS One journal study shows. In crowded venues one person blowing a vuvuzela could infect many others with airborne illness like the flu or TB.

Vuvuzela etiquette (Say what?)

Dr Ruth McNerney, who carried out the latest work at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said a "vuvuzela blowing etiquette" may be needed rather than a ban.
"Just as with coughs or sneezes, action should be taken to prevent disease transmission, and people with infections must be advised against blowing their vuvuzelas close to other people," she said.

Her team investigated the vuvuzela hazard using a laser device to measure how many droplets were produced by eight volunteers using the horns.

On average, 658,000 lung particles, or aerosols, per litre of air were expelled from the instruments.The droplets shot into the air at the rate of four million per second.

In comparison, when the volunteers were asked to shout, they produced only 3,700 particles per litre at a rate of 7,000 per second.

"When attending a sporting event and surrounded by vuvuzela players, a spectator could expect to inhale large numbers of respiratory aerosols over the course of the event," Dr McNerney warned. "People with infections must be advised against blowing their vuvuzelas close to other people.”

Critics say they are anti-social and unsafe because of their potential to generate a din louder than a plane taking off. It is not certain that the vuvuzela will be allowed at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Obama, the nearly aborted president. Where would he be now? Where would America be?

Peter Heck - Guest Columnist /  Perspectives /  May 25, 2011

Peter Heckcolumnists archives buttonThere's an old African proverb that says, "Who knows whose womb carries the chief."  This simple truth has taken on a powerful meaning recently for every American paying attention.

According to recently secured documents from the Immigration and Naturalization Services, evidence has emerged that President Obama's father, Barack Obama, Sr., apparently paid to send a young Kenyan girl he had impregnated in Massachusetts to London to have an abortion.

Doing the work that investigative journalists of the mainstream media used to do, author Jack Cashill reveals that the foreign press, unlike their American counterparts, are all over the story.

Far from speculation, according to the INS documents, the high school-aged girl was in Massachusetts on an exchange program when she evidently became pregnant by the 29-year-old Obama.  Asian News International notes that this incident occurred prior to 1973's Roe v. Wade decision, meaning, "abortions were illegal in the U.S."

One cannot help but wonder if such a revelation would not cause a man whose own wife describes the heinous butchery of partial-birth abortion as a "legitimate medical procedure" to consider: that could have easily been me.

Let me pause to acknowledge that I don't typically like using these kinds of tactics when discussing the issue of abortion.  The truth is it doesn't matter whether the child being killed is the next Beethoven, Bach, Edison or Einstein.

What makes human life valuable and worthy of protection is that it is human life, bearing the inviolable image of the Creator.  Life is valuable because of what it is, not what it does -- whether that's making beautiful music or being tone deaf, inventing a light bulb and unlocking spectacular scientific mysteries or needing help tying shoe laces...or yes, leading the most powerful nation in world history.

But this unfolding bombshell regarding Barack Obama's family is highly instructive given our president's life-long commitment to defending abortion. 

The simplest scenario arising from the story is this: President Obama had a half-brother or half-sister who, rather than having the chance to thrive and succeed as he has, ended up in a dumpster in London.  The more complex reality for the president to grapple with is that it is not that far of a stretch to assume, given the complexities of his relationship with mother Ann Dunham, that Barack Obama, Sr. might have preferred the same end for our current president.

Such a scenario, beyond offering a brand new perspective on Obama's memoir Dreams from My Father, would provide the most pro-abortion president our country has ever known with the same chilling realization that so many of us born after the disastrous Roe decision encounter: had it not been for the strength and resolve of loving, pro-life mothers, we could have been legally slaughtered.

It was former President Ronald Reagan who is credited with having stated the obvious but enlightening fact that those fighting for abortion rights are those who have already been born.  This disquieting account about his father allows our current president the chance to put himself where his half-brother or half-sister once was...where he once was...and reconsider his tragic position on life in the womb.

As I read the heartbreaking details of this story about a soul deprived of its unalienable right to breathe free, I'm taken back to President Obama's response to Rick Warren at the Saddleback Church presidential forum in the lead-up to the 2008 election.

Asked when a baby gets human rights, Obama cowardly surrendered righteousness for convenience and politics, infamously asserting that, "answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade."

That embarrassing response shouldn't have been a surprise given that just a few months prior, Barack Obama addressed the issue of sex education on the campaign trail.  Speaking specifically about his own daughters, the man who could have been aborted himself proclaimed, "I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

Like father, like son.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Final NC redistricting map in works. Pantano encouraged by chances in a new 13th District

This draft of NC district map is said to be a possible version which might emerge from N.C. Redistricting Committee within a few weeks. Source Photo

Verne Strickland Blogmaster USA DOT COM   May 23, 2011

Excerpts from an article by Patrick Gannon published May 13, 2011 in the Star News

David Wasserman, U.S. House editor of The Cook Political Report – a nonpartisan, online political newsletter – recently posted a sketch of the possible congressional map on his Twitter account, writing that the initial GOP plan in North Carolina "might look something like this."
The 7th Congressional District as it exists today would basically be cut in two. One new district along the coast would be strongly Republican. The other would be a minority-dominated – and largely Democratic – district inland along the South Carolina border, including McIntyre's hometown of Lumberton.
If the final outcome of North Carolina's ongoing redistricting process looks anything like that map, it's possible that most ballots in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties in the 2012 elections wouldn't include McIntyre's name.
Instead, the new configuration would concentrate Republican voters along the coast into a new 13th District, opening the door for a GOP candidate to represent the majority of the residents in the three counties.
"This map as it stands would be very favorable for a conservative candidate," said Ilario Pantano, a Wilmington Republican who plans to run for Congress again in 2012 after losing to the Lumberton Democrat McIntyre last year.
On the Republican side, Pantano, a former Marine, and Tim Wilkes, a Brunswick County resident, have announced their intentions to run for Congress in 2012. Both would live in that new 13th District. McIntyre has also said he will run again, but he could face a choice of which district to run in. Congressional candidates don't have to run in their home districts.
The GOP-leaning 13th District, according to the map, would include all of New Hanover County, except for a strong Democratic and African-American area in the downtown Wilmington area. It would include all of Brunswick County, except for the far northern sections, including Northwest. And it would include all of Pender County, except the western part.
The 13th District would also include all of Onslow County, which votes Republican, and Camp Lejeune, where Pantano was stationed twice as a Marine.
"I know their issues intimately," Pantano said. "I've lived their life."
That district also would include all of Duplin County and parts of Wayne, Johnston, Sampson and Cumberland counties.























Here is one possible new congressional district map that is being circulated online. No official proposals have been made in the legislature. Courtesy photo.

Obama campaigners make beaucoups tracks across State for their man in 2012.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster    USA DOT COM / May 22, 2011

Obamacrats are plowing, planting and hoping for bumper yield of suckers in 2012. Can we spoil their party? Let's give it a go.

The administration of President Barack Obama continues to lavish attention on North Carolina as we get closer to the 2012 election year.

On Monday, Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, will join Congressman G.K. Butterfield in meeting with hospital officials, doctors, patients and other key health officials at East Carolina Heart Institute at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

She will be highlighting the Partnership for Patients program which is designed to reduce preventable injuries and complications.

On Thursday, Tammy Duckworth, an assistant secretary for Veterans Affairs, will speak to the Wayne County Middle College High School graduation in Goldsboro. She is a decorated Black Hawk helicopter pilot who lost both her legs in Iraq. The school was chosen as one of six finalists in Obama's Commencement Challenge which recognizes schools that excel in preparing students.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was in Raleigh this past Wednesday to meet with party leaders.
Earlier this month, First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, the wife of vice president Joe Biden visited the Marine's Camp Lejeune.

Ilario Pantano: Masada shall not fail again -- unless Obama says so! National Review Exclusive.

Pantano Article Responding to Obama's Betrayal of Israel Featured by National Review
We are honored to announce that Ilario's article, "Masada Shall Not Fall, Unless Obama Says So" written in response to Obama's betrayal of Israel has been featured by the National Review. The National Review and National Review Online "are America’s most widely read and influential magazine and website for Republican/conservative news, commentary and opinion."  Ilario's article, pasted below in its entirety, may be found online at:

A shocking, sobering and uplifting essay on Israel's past, present, and future. And where we fit, if at all.

By Ilario Pantano / May 23, 2011

As 18-year-old Marines in the first Gulf War, we joked that “Onward, Christian Soldiers” was the Kuwaiti, Bahraini, and Saudi national anthem. Today it would be ’N Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye.”

It was just a few years after that first war where the U.S. liberated Muslims from other Muslims that I was in Israel training as a young Sniper. The antiquity, the resolve, and the true grit of the place had always fascinated me.

The Israeli people have a kind of cultural toughness that only comes when entire limbs of your family tree have been sawed off. When parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles have been exterminated before your eyes, you have a deeper appreciation for security than the average Joe. The sense of history and mission is reinforced by the swearing-in ceremony of IDF soldiers who, after climbing to the top of Masada, declare before God that it “shall never fall again.”

I have stood at the top of Masada, and looked out to see the desolate landscape where the Romans once laid siege to the Jews. Today, after Obama’s infamous Middle East speech, all of Israel stands there, alone and abandoned.

At best, Obama has established a framework for dismantling the Jewish state as we know it. At worst, Obama has accelerated the likelihood of a regional war, which may or may not have been inevitable, by forcing Israel into a display of force to Iran.

America has definitively demonstrated that we are not serious about protecting our tiny ally. And like the others that this administration has betrayed, from the Saudis to the Poles, the Israelis will be forced to make their own “arrangements.” 

As 200 North Korean nuclear engineers are busy developing Iran’s missile and nuclear-warhead capabilities, Israeli commanders are reviewing maps and plans. First to go would be the recently activated Bushehr facility, which the Russians just put the finishing touches on this month.

Then there are at least eleven other sites that would need to be hit, including Natanz. That figure does not include other Iranian missile-launch facilities such as those being built in Venezuela. I pray we are not counting on the Israelis to hit those, too.

We can hope that it stops with airstrikes, but some of us know that once you let slip the dogs of war, there is just no telling what will happen — especially when hot war with Israel might be the only glue to help the mullahs maintain power in Iran as the gale of the “Arab Spring” continues to blow.

The biggest disappointment for me personally is that none of this comes as a surprise. Of course there was no mention of Israeli natural-gas shipments being turned off by the new Egyptian government, which we will supposedly subsidize.

Naturally there was no outrage that Hamas, when not busy pursuing “peace” with Israel or calling Israel’s creation a “catastrophe,” is busy calling Osama bin Laden a “hero.”

While none of Obama’s speech bears repeating, this statement from Hamas does: “We regard this [killing of Bin Laden] as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood. We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs.”
The Left might want you to forget that this is the same Hamas that Israelis are supposed to trust with their lives, but I won’t.

I’m not surprised by the silence, spelled C-O-W-A-R-D-I-C-E, from the likes of Rep. Anthony Wiener, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. They have made their bed.

Eric Golub nailed the point in the Washington Times: “It is time for Jewish liberals to realize that they can no longer be both. Either their religion is Judaism or liberalism. Either thousands of years of religious tradition means something or it doesn’t. The days when Jewish liberal women care more about abortion than Israel needs to end. The days when liberal Jews consider global warming to be the real Holocaust needs to stop. The Democratic Party of old is dead.”

Where is the Church? Where are the defenders of the faith, now? What has happened to their tongue?
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.

Isaiah 62.1

What does it mean for a society when we can quote more lines from Charlie Sheen and Arnold Schwarzenegger than we can from the scriptures? Has the relentless anti-Christian, anti-faith messaging of the mainstream media finally broken the backs of Main Street? Have we grazed on the moral equivalency offered up by our sitcoms and our gossip magazines to the point where we are so bloated we don’t even have the strength to push away from the table?
Are we, the believers, satisfied to be beaten into submission when the Left calls defending traditional marriage “hate speech”? Is it okay with you when defenders of the unborn are mocked and called extremists in the same breath as the Taliban? “Tolerance” has become the new code word for intolerance.

The purveyors of political correctness have made standing for nothing more honorable than standing for something. Christ was nailed to a cross for us, but today we are afraid to step out of our comfort zone to tell the truth. Is that what it means to be a practicing Christian or Jew in the 21st century?

It is not enough that we have allowed God to be chased out of the classroom, the courtroom, and the fox hole. Now, with the surrender of Jerusalem, we are allowing God to be chased out of the Holy Land. Don’t just sit there shaking your head.

A Tunisian man doused himself with gasoline over his street cart. What will you do to defend your faith and our Holy Land? While you search deep to figure that out, make a commitment with me now that “Masada shall never fall again.”

— Ilario Pantano is author of Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.

USA DOT COM will be on point June 3-5 at NCGOP convention in Wilmington.


By Verne Strickland May 23, 2011

Looking forward to covering the NCGOP convention June 3-5 here in Wilmington, where conservative Republican candidate Ilario Pantano will join a star-studded speaker's roster at the Opening Banquet on Friday night, June 3, at the Wilmington Convention Center. 

Our Wilmington hero will be in good company, as the banquet headliner is United States Congressman Allen West, known for igniting conservative faithful. Also on the evening program are Whitney Deann Jezek-Power of Semper Fi Fund, John Falkenbury of USO-North Carolina, and NCGOP Vice Chairman Tim Johnson. Get all the convention highlights at USA Dot Com.

Please turn out to support the NC Republican Party and our stellar cast of candidates!

Go to the NCGOP official website for complete registration and convention details:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

China even has Hollywood spooked; MGM playing footsy with the Communists.

Feature referred by Pantano for Congress

Without Beijing even uttering a critical word, MGM is changing the villains in its 'Red Dawn' remake from Chinese to North Korean. It's all about maintaining access to the Asian superpower's lucrative box office.

China has become such an important market for U.S. entertainment companies that one studio has taken the extraordinary step of digitally altering a film to excise bad guys from the Communist nation lest the leadership in Beijing be offended.
When MGM decided a few years ago to remake "Red Dawn," a 1984 Cold War drama about a bunch of American farm kids repelling a Soviet invasion, the studio needed new villains, since the U.S.S.R. had collapsed in 1991. The producers substituted Chinese aggressors for the Soviets and filmed the movie in Michigan in 2009.

China is on a cinema-building binge    About this series: Reel China 

But potential distributors are nervous about becoming associated with the finished film, concerned that doing so would harm their ability to do business with the rising Asian superpower, one of the fastest-growing and potentially most lucrative markets for American movies, not to mention other U.S. products.

As a result, the filmmakers now are digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols from "Red Dawn," substituting dialogue and altering the film to depict much of the invading force as being from North Korea, an isolated country where American media companies have no dollars at stake.

The changes illustrate just how much sway China's government has in the global entertainment industry, even without uttering a word of official protest. Although it's unclear if anyone in China has seen "Red Dawn," a leaked version of the script last year resulted in critical editorials in the Global Times, a communist party-controlled paper.

That followed postings of pictures on China's popular Web portals Sina and Tiexue in late 2009 of the "Red Dawn" set showing actors posing as Chinese troops and mock propaganda posters of the U.S. Capitol building smashed by a hammer. The posts received tens of the thousands of views. "When does it come out?" read one Chinese comment. "There is no hope for theatrical screening [censorship], wait for pirated version."

An MGM spokesman said that no one at the studio has had discussions with Chinese government officials about "Red Dawn."

Hollywood has learned the hard way that besmirching China's image on-screen can have long-running implications for the many arms of a modern media conglomerate. In the late 1990s, Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures and MGM all faced a temporary halt in their business dealings in the country after releasing the movies "Kundun," "Seven Years in Tibet" and "Red Corner," respectively, which were critical of the communist government.

Today, China is far more important to the Hollywood studios, despite the government's policy of allowing only about 20 non-Chinese films into theaters each year. In 2010, China was the fifth-biggest box office market outside of the United States, with $1.5 billion in revenue.

A number of Hollywood studios are deepening their business ties to the world's most populous nation. Disney is building a theme park outside Shanghai, Sony Pictures co-produced the recent "Karate Kid" remake with the government-affiliated China Film Group, and News Corp.'s Fox International Productions recently made the Chinese-language hit "Hot Summer Days" there. Even independent studios like Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment will release their films "Killers" and "Red" in China in coming months.

 Dan Mintz, whose DMG Entertainment is a leading producer and distributor of movies in China, said the "Red Dawn" story dramatizes how Western companies can fundamentally misunderstand how the nation works. If the picture had gone out without redacting the Chinese invaders, he said, "there would have been a real backlash. It's like being invited to a dinner party and insulting the host all night long. There's no way to look good.... The film itself was not a smart move."

Mintz, who met with the producers of "Red Dawn" to offer some suggestions on how they could proceed, said that doing business in China requires a partnership approach. "The more you reach out, the better your relationships will be," Mintz said. "This is bigger than a single film."

The "Red Dawn" remake follows several teenagers in Spokane, Wash., who fight invading Chinese forces allied with Russia in the near future (in the original film, the Soviets partnered with Cubans). The roughly $60-million production stars Chris Hemsworth, who will become much better known to moviegoers this May when he plays the title role in the superhero event picture "Thor."

MGM had been set to release "Red Dawn" in November, but the debt-laden studio filed for bankruptcy the month before and emerged under new leadership at the end of the year. New chief executives Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum are seeking to sell both "Red Dawn" and the horror film "The Cabin in the Woods," the last two pictures produced under a previous regime, as they try to reshape the 87-year-old company.

China will be an important market for the studio as it goes ahead with plans to produce two movies based on "The Hobbit" and James Bond sequels. The last Bond movie, 2008's "Quantum of Solace," grossed $21 million in China.

In the last few weeks, MGM has begun showing "Red Dawn" to potential buyers at other studios. Several people who have seen the movie but requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record said they couldn't risk distributing it given the potential blowback in China.

The feedback led to MGM's decision to make the highly unusual changes. Although it's common to reshape movies in the editing room, there's no known precedent for changing the nationality of an entire group of characters.

People close to the picture said the changes will cost less than $1 million and involve changing an opening sequence summarizing the story's fictional backdrop, re-editing two scenes and using digital technology to transform many Chinese symbols to Korean. It's impossible to eliminate all references to China, the people said, though the changes will give North Korea a much larger role in the coalition that invades the U.S.

"We were initially very reluctant to make any changes," said Tripp Vinson, one of the movie's producers. "But after careful consideration we constructed a way to make a scarier, smarter and more dangerous 'Red Dawn' that we believe improves the movie."

Representatives for director Dan Bradley did not respond to requests for comment.

If MGM is unable to find a distributor for the movie, it could end up going direct-to-DVD or could even be shelved, never to be seen by the public.

"Red Dawn" is not the only piece of entertainment to swap out Chinese villains for North Koreans recently. The video game "Homefront," which was released this week and features a script by John Milius, writer of the original "Red Dawn," was also originally intended to feature a Chinese invasion. For business reasons, publisher THQ changed the occupying forces to North Korea.

A representative for MGM said it's hopeful the unusual changes will have a simple result: turning "Red Dawn" from a complete write-off into a movie that can find an audience and make money.

"MGM has been working with the film 'Red Dawn's' director and producers to make the most commercially viable version of the film for audiences worldwide," said Mike Vollman, executive vice president of worldwide marketing. "We want to ensure the most people possible are able to experience it."

Times staff writer David Pierson in Beijing contributed to this report.

McIntyre grumpy about possible split of Robeson County in redistricting. GOP says prospect makes sense.

By Bob Shiles, Staff Writer
The Robesonian May 15, 2011 
Verne Strickland Blogmaster                              
U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre
U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre
LUMBERTON — U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, fresh off his closest election since he won the District 7 seat in Congress, might have a steeper hill to climb in 2012 — if Republicans in the General Assembly get their way.
According to an online article published earlier this month on, state Republicans are targeting districts now represented by McIntyre and U.S. Reps Larry Kissell, Brad Miller and Heath Shuler — all Democrats — as potential majority Republican districts.

That could mean Robeson County, which is now entirely in McIntyre’s district, could be split into two separate districts. McIntyre doesn’t like that idea, saying it will water down the county’s clout in Washington, D.C.

“We need to keep Robeson County moving forward, and we want to keep Robeson County united as one county in a congressional district,” he said in a statement. “It is critical that Robeson County not be split apart, which would only diminish our voice in expressing our needs and concerns in Washington. Our county’s citizenship and needs are unique, and any effort to split those up only hurt our efforts to move forward with economic progress.

“Many Robeson County citizens have expressed concerns about redistricting to me, and they do not want Robeson County to be split two or three ways with a congressman from Charlotte, Goldsboro, or Morehead City. Putting us in a district with folks from Charlotte, Goldsboro, or Morehead City will diminish our views, needs and our communities of interest here in Robeson County and all of Southeastern North Carolina,” said McIntyre.
The highly political process of redistricting sets legislative boundaries for the next 10 years based on the last census. This will be the first Republican-controlled General Assembly to lead redistricting since Reconstruction.

Gary Strickland, the former chairman of the Robeson County Democratic Party, also worries about a fractured Robeson County.

“It would be best to keep our district the way it is. I don’t think we need to split Robeson County,” he said.

“If we were mixed up with a more conservative Mecklenburg County there would be a lot of static in our voice when it comes to voting. … We would have to woo two different congressmen.”

The current District 7 also includes parts of Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Sampson, Duplin, New Hanover and Pender counties.

Phillip Stephens, the chairman of the county Republican Party, said there are several unofficial maps circulating, some showing District 7 being expanded to the east, west, or north.

Stephens said that because of Robeson County’s size and large Democratic population, it can easily swing an election and negate the vote of two or three smaller counties.

The GOP leader said that Robeson County Republicans are lobbying for “common sense” district lines based on the region’s values and beliefs, not party designation.

“We’re keeping our eyes on the Republicans now more than the Democrats,” Stephens said.
Stephens said that because redistricting is a “political process” that occurs only once in a decade, it’s difficult to identify who holds the heavy hand in the process.

“We’re finding no one seems to know where the center of power is in redistricting,” he said. “I don’t think there is one person, Democrat or Republican, who knows how all of this is going to turn out.”

Stephens said there is a chance that local Democrats and Republicans will both be unhappy when the process is complete.

“We want to make sure that Robeson County is adequately represented, and that means by someone who is familiar with Robeson County,” Stephens said. “We don’t want to be represented by someone far distant from the county, whether he’s a Republican or Democrat.”

Stephens supported Ilario Pantano, a Republican who is from the North but has adopted Wilmington as his home, against McIntyre in last year’s General Election. McIntyre won with about 54 percent of the votes, his closest election since his first in 1996. Pantano has indicated he would run again for the District 7 seat.

According to reports, state Rep. David Lewis, a Republican from Harnett County and the senior chairman of the House Redistricting Committee, has said that draft maps will be ready by mid-June. He also has said that an unspecified number of public hearings will be held afterward.

State Rep. Garland Pierce, a Democrat who represents Robeson, Hoke and Scotland counties, serves on the House Redistricting Committee. He cautioned that the process is in its early stages.

“We’re hearing all kinds of scenarios,” he said. “Until we get the maps, everything is just speculation.”

Bob Shiles can be reached at (910) 272-6117 or