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After a night in Margaritaville, I was curious about the self-professed pirate, and decided to learn a little more about him.  I stumbled upon a description of his early days, busking in New Orleans and Key West.  An online search for the term “busking” ironically led me to a list of modern day slang and some words that really don’t bear repeating, but it made me curious.  What are kids saying today?


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Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:09 AM PDT

NC Anti-Abortion Bill - Live Coverage

by VeloVixen

Just in case you've been under a political rock the last 24 hours, you'll be the last to know that the NC GOP launched a sneak attack on women all across the Tarheel State Tuesday evening.   Until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, a bill on the Senate Judiciary I committee's calendar only showed a bill that dealt with the application of Sharia law to family cases. However, almost immediately, the committee took up an amendment to the bill that dealt with abortion. House Bill 695 practically mirrors the Texas anti-abortion bill that has mobilized thousands to protest in Austin this week.

The Senate has convened in Raleigh at 9am EDT this morning to debate the bill.  For live coverage, follow the link below.  While you're listening to the debate, you can read details of the bill below the fold.

NOTE: I tried to embed the video code, but the WRAL site code doesn't work here.

Sen. Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, the Senate Minority Leader during debate, cautioned:

"We're sitting in here tonight and you're going to win this debate and feel really good about yourself because all you big, grown-up, grey-haired men have beat three women. I want to see what you do with about 10,000 of them. Because they're coming. They're coming. They're not going to put up with you doing this to them...”

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Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 04:27 PM PDT

Reinstating the Death Penalty in NC?

by VeloVixen

My home state, the Tarheel State, one of basketball legend, great barbecue, beautiful mountains and beaches, and the birthplace of aviation, is in jeopardy.  Great jeopardy, peril, and even danger.  The insidious march of the Tea Party and it's Art Pope/Koch Brothers agenda is continuing its ardent pursuit to make this an uninhabitable state.  A state so backward, so lost in the pursuit of power and greed that if you are a woman, black, Latino, or anything other than a bible-totin' right-wing conservative 'Christian' male, you'd best pack up your belongings and high-tail it out of one of the original Thirteen Colonies.

The latest step in a long list of legislation aimed at taking us back to the 1800's is a bill waiting for Governor Pat McCrory's signature, one that he will most assuredly sign, that will restart executions in North Carolina.

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Apparently, even liberal radio show hosts forget to do their homework.  On Monday's show, Current TV's openly gay and progressive talk show host Stephanie Miller, agreed with Major George Hood of the Salvation Army that the gay community’s concerns about the Salvation Army’s anti-gay history are all Internet lies:


STEPHANIE MILLER: We’ve gotten a lot of letters about the Salvation Army being anti-gay, can you address that?

    SALVATION ARMY’S GEORGE HOOD: Well it’s a great misunderstanding that’s spread across the country, and we’re doing everything we can to re-educate and help people understand that the very mission of the Salvation Army calls for meeting the needs of humans without discrimination…. So discrimination is not something that we would gladly carry the banner or pride over, we want to dispel the notion that we do discriminate when the fact is we’re working very hard not discriminating and it is a part of our mission.

    MILLER: You know, Chris, you can help me with some of the things, you know, again, you’re right, Major, once things get out there, you know…

    HOOD: Many of those things start fueling through blog sites and postings on the Internet and it’s really really tough to shut them down when they get out there.

    MILLER: And you don’t discriminate against hiring gays?

    HOOD: We do not.  We have many who work for us and will gladly tell you they work for us.  It’s not a question that we ask in an interview process.

    MILLER: Okay.

    MILLER’S SIDEKICK: Are you saying there are things on the Internet that are not true?

    (Everyone laughs)

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Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:00 PM PST

The Red Kettle Shines No More For Me

by VeloVixen

Only 27 days 'til Christmas, and you see them everywhere.  At the grocery store, the mall, and on every corner you can hear the familiar tinkling bell before you even get out of the car.  Folks passing by drop dollars and change into the red kettle, symbol of all that is charitable and good.  Since 1865, funds from the famous kettle have provided shelter, food and social services to millions in need.  Representing the second largest charity in the United States, the kettle raises over $2 billion a year.  But today, the red kettle has lost its shine for me.

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Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:01 PM PST

How A Woman Should Buy a Car

by VeloVixen

My dad was truly a master of all trades, especially when it came to cars.  He always had one or two in the shed that he was working on at any given time.  His favorite 'tinkering' machine was the cantankerous and finicky Corvair.  As a little girl, I spent hours watching my dad tinker with old cars, and I learned a thing or too.  He planted early seeds of appreciation for a well-maintained, sparkling clean ride that anyone could be proud of.

When it came to buying a car, my dad was no less thorough in teaching me the salient points.  An event that occurred very rarely, buying a car was a really, really big deal.  He took me with him, and coached me on how to do my research and be prepared before I ever set foot in a showroom.

1966 Corvair
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Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:35 AM PST

Who Killed Savita? Epilogue

by VeloVixen

Relgious zealots have hijacked the words 'pro life'.  They rant and preach about gifts from God and personhood.  Some murder doctors who perform abortions.  Some shame women for having sex by telling them that getting pregnant is their punishment.  Some force women to suffer and die while giving birth.  These are not acts of being for life, these are acts of power and control.

It was the story of Savita's death that prompted me to research and write about her, and the story of another friend's life that I will leave for you to contemplate the real meaning of the words 'pro life'.

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This is Part Three of a series of diaries exploring the issues surrounding the death of Savita Halappanavar, a 31 year old woman who died in an Irish hospital after suffering a miscarriage.  Her story has sparked heated debate about abortion laws, both in Ireland and in the U.S.  

Part I - Malpractice

Part II - The U.S. Connection

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This is Part Two of a series of diaries exploring the issues surrounding the death of Savita Halappanavar, a 31 year old woman who died in an Irish hospital after suffering a miscarriage.  Her story has sparked heated debate about abortion laws, both in Ireland and in the U.S.  

[Part One is available here]

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This is Part One of a series of diaries exploring the issues surrounding the death of Savita Halappanavar, a 34 year old woman who died in an Irish hospital after suffering a miscarriage.  Her story has sparked heated debate about abortion laws, both in Ireland and in the U.S.

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With the lights out for days, and travel treacherous, many of you affected by Sandy were stuck indoors.  Once you are safely tucked in, with candles and blankets ready, you turn to other necessities:  like food.  If you're like many folks, grocery shopping is a last minute ordeal, something you plan on the sly on your way home from work or soccer games.  As hunger pangs announce your empty stomach's needs, you venture to the refrigerator or pantry.  Which leads us to ask, "What's In Your Pantry?"


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At first, I didn't really think too much about it, but it did seem a little weird.  I was having coffee at a local Starbucks when I was approached by a nice-looking, 30-something male with an Obama sticker on his shirt.  He held a clipboard in his hand, and politely asked "Have you registered to vote?"  "Well, no I haven't!" I replied.  Since moving to North Carolina two years ago, it was the last item on my long checklist of things to do when you move.  "Well, I can take care of that for you!" he enthusiastically suggested.  So, I filled out the brief form on the clipboard with my full name, address, phone number, drivers' license number, and party affiliation.  He thanked me, and I asked him if I needed to do anything else.  "Oh, no."  he replied.  "We will get everything taken care of for you, you don't have to worry about it."  Whew, glad that was taken care of.  And wow, it was really easy.  Too easy, it turns out.

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