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William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 04/16/2021 at 4:26 am:
Brad, did you report the illegal bribes you witnessed to the Attorney General in that State ? Graft can be minimized if we have more faith in our American way of life than the corrupt. Wrong is wrong and liars and cheats can and should be exposed and shamed !!!👊
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 04/15/2021 at 11:54 am:
To Mr. Robert G Hester, "Thoughts While Shaving" April 14, 2021 edition. Really appreciate you mentioning the Fifth Sunday Night Singings. Those were some very good years while the singing lasted. Would like to say that the Rev. James "Billy" Hardee pastor of Oak Grove OFWB church was the emcee of the singing for many years. As best as I can remember, Singletary Baptist Church over across Big Swamp in Robeson county, Zion Hill Baptist Church out north of Bladenboro, Oak Grove OFWB Church north of Bladenboro, Sandy Grove Baptist Church north of Bladenboro, and Shady Grove Baptist Church out from Abbottsburg were the churches that participated during those years. Oh my, did we have some good times of fellowship and worship of God through Christian music in those singings. There were great talented singers in the churches. All the choirs were great. I espeically remember he piano players for the choirs and others who sang. In the later years of the singing I believe the pastor of the local church where the singing was held became the emcee. Not sure exactly why the singing ceased to be in existence but God surely used it as a blessing to many people while it was going.

One final note. If you want to attend a singing that operates along the same outline, Pireway OFWB Church down passed Nakina operates about the same way. Mostly local talent, but if you would like to drive down there; i'm sure they would warmly welcome you. It currently operates at 7 pm on, you guessed it Fifth Sunday Nights. They usually have some person that attends the church that can play about any song you might want to sing on the guitar or piano.
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 04/14/2021 at 6:53 pm:
While I was working at a national liberal newspaper company in the Northeast they had that same kind of mentality. It typically means that if you mess with one of us the rest will make it so that there is little to no production. Then management would come down on the supervisor and blame him for the lack of production. The union members had a little saying there as well and it was "Everything moves on green." Gift giving is a big business up there. I've seen gifts as large as $20k to the union chief. So when the grievance comes through from the union member they are told that the issue is not a big deal and to leave it alone. some know the game and play accordingly while others struggle. If there was a consensus among the group that some overtime pay was needed, magically there would be sheet breaks blamed on bad paper that would take 4 to 5 hours to fix. Naturally, these happened around middle of November and into December. However, things ran smooth Thanksgiving day and always in the summer. Must have been the cold I guess. Except you would see pennies on the floor during the same time frame. You see when there are 6 rows of printing presses with paper pulled tight across 5 stories high. It doesn't take much to cause a paper break. Watching a roll of paper wound up 5 stories high breaking loose is a heck of a mess and sight. Everyone knew what was going on as it was just a part of the game. Starting salary for a printing pressman in 2003 was $45/hr. at this facility. A few hours of overtime for 2 to 4 weeks would pay for a nice Christmas for the family. So no harm right. So what if they worked a little over. Well, management just passed those costs on to the consumer because they aren't changing their margins. This isn't the case with all unions. Some are good, but others have some interesting dynamics.

BTW, I made really good friends with those guys and they are good people. They just had a system in place since forever and they knew how to work that system to better themselves.
Herb P McIntyre Herb P McIntyre from Garland wrote on 04/14/2021 at 12:53 pm:
Years ago in a State far away, I had a highly skilled machinist and strong Union man as a neighbor. I remember his saying “The boss may yell and the boss may scream, but he is going to do it respectfully!!”. I could not help but ask why, his reply was “I am a Union Man and he knows I do not stand alone!”. Which makes me pretty certain that one of the reasons for being a Union Man is not only financial, but also self respect.
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 04/13/2021 at 8:18 pm:
I love the talk about minimum wage. I like the discussions of wage in general. Let me ask you this, William? If an employee anywhere in the United States is unhappy with their wage, why don't they get a higher wage job? I would love to hear your answer because I think we both know the reason. There are numerous job listings in the county and in the country that pay higher than $15 per hour. Why are these minimum wage dependent workers not going to get one? We have a national shortage of factory labor. Good paying jobs with benefits.

As for unions, I have nothing against them. I have been around them since I began my career. They had very promising beginnings in this country, but often times there is corruption and very limited value for the employee. Bribery and corruption can be found in many unions. I have seen people paid off to prevent grievances. You want to know how the USPS bleeds money, go spend some time in a Distribution Center. Don't get me wrong the people are good people, but they also know how to work the system.

I really don't care if teachers joined a union or not. I think it will just hurt the kids and the teachers just end up with more out of pocket to pay dues. I don't think most of the teachers are at fault with the schools either. It is like every other job where 99% are good and 1% are really terrible. The bureaucracy in the public schools is the problem for the most part. You have overpaid administrators who push curriculum requirements. You have standardized testing to push requirements. No teacher chose to do twice the work this past year. As far as teacher pay goes teachers do ok when you put the salary, insurance, and retirement benefits together. I mean it isn't what a lawyer or a doctor makes, but life is about choices. This is not a society where people are forced into a profession. It is also not like someone said, "Hey, go be an educator because the pay is fabulous." Their job is tough and I would never want to do it, and that is why I don't do it.

We are already seeing inflation with goods such as steel, wood, and oil products. Lets go ahead and increase taxes along with the minimum wage. Put another $2 trillion log on the debt fire and increase corporate tax on companies that will offshore. You know once we double the minimum wage those folks can pay more taxes, and we can fund better salaries for teachers. Now that is some Democratic thinking. You folks better get rested up so you can wait in the bread lines as Biden is going to put a chicken in everyone's pot.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 04/13/2021 at 12:38 pm:
Billy, have you ever heard of frugal living? You did some of it as you were growing up on a dairy farm in Bladen County. Remember back, did your Dad and Mom go out and buy a new vehicle every year? Did you eat steak every day? Did you leave the lights on all day and night? Think you get the picture. Did your Dad pay those farm workers that helped him on the farm; the same salary he made?

You will be surprised what a man can live off of. Try it now while you can, and see. All minimum wager earners need to do to double their income is to get a second minimum wage job.

Your comment about the rent for a single bedroom apartment reminded me of some thing that is happening in Bladen County. Many parcels of land are being inherited by children that have left Bladen County and are living else where. When they inherit the parcels of land here, guess what they do? They place ask an asking price on the parcels based on the value of the same size parcels in in the large cities in which they are currently living. IT DOES NOT HAPPEN. Of course, one good thing about this is that when people want to come back to Bladen County to retire or move here to live; they fine the cost of living much lower. It is easy to find out Billy since you are a tax payer in Bladen County; that means you own some property here. How does that the value of that property compare with the same size property in Charlotte or Mecklenburg County?

The minimum wage worker is usually very young, still living at home, in school, with very little if any financial obligations. If you want to pay that worker the same wage as you would an employee that has been with you for years, is married, and has financial obligations; more power to you. It will not work over the long haul. You are correct about taking care of employees and any business owner that is worth a "grain of salt" will do that because he sees the benefit to his employees and his business, Therefore, the need for unions is none existent today as opposed to the days of seat shop labor.
Noticed you said the "need for a higher minimum wage", not doubling it right off the bat. You do know that businesses, any business; that payroll of employees in directly related to the services that business supplies. In other words, if a man owns a trucking outfit that gets goods from one point to another; it is obvious that the price of fuel is one of the biggest expenses that business has. So here comes along "pops" and the price of fuel goes up $2.00 per gallon. Don't tell me you are going to go "truckin along" and not make some adjustments to what you are going to have to charge to get those goods from one point to another. As the saying goes, "come on man". In other words, an increase in wages will always call for a higher price for services provided.
Trey Johnson Trey Johnson from Bladen County wrote on 04/13/2021 at 12:10 pm:
Why is Bladen County Schools Enrollment Declining?

In my first article in the series’It Takes the Entire Village’ I highlighted the fact that nearly 600 students who live in Bladen County do not attend Bladen County Schools. Ladies and gentlemen that is enough students to fill multiple K-8 schools. In fact, that’s roughly the size of one of our high schools.

So let’s talk about the ‘why’ because most of us have certainly made some important changes in our lives, be it personal or professional but one thing is probably true about that change. We were looking for something better. Looking for something better translates to we were no longer happy or satisfied with the current situation.

That number of 600 students will continue to grow unless we address the ‘why’ because you can not ignore it. Parents now have multiple options for schooling their children. We have to address the ‘why’ with a vision and purpose to correct whatever is causing the unsatisfactory reasons for students to leave Bladen County Schools. I completely understand that there will be attrition but in a county of our size we can hardly afford our attrition rate to be hovering around 15%. So why are families opting out of Bladen County Schools? Surely, I do not have any data to back up my reasoning but the most obvious answer is a lack of satisfaction. You see, most people look for change based on what you are doing wrong. They leave not because the next place is really better but only perceived to be better based on a word from a family member, a neighbor or even a friend. It’s a competition and parents are going to chose what they think is best for their kids. We all do.

When charter begin advertising to open it doors, they were advertising all across the county. I was really surprised that Bladen County Schools had no plan or even no desire to launch it’s own campaign stressing why parents should keep their children in Bladen County Schools. The charter schools had a strategic focus to get their school up and running by appealing to families who were no longer satisfied with Bladen County Schools. For the most part Bladen County Schools accepted that fact and accepted those losses.

The losses have to stop because the enrollments are continuing to decline and eventually more schools will be shuttered due to extremely low enrollment numbers. More and more families will make the choice to move out of Bladen County for the sake of their children. We are an aging community and it’s important to keep our younger population here in Bladen while providing a high quality public education. We need to figure out the ‘why’ and stop our losses. Do things right, do things better and watch them start to come back home. We must work on solutions that benefits our students in Bladen County Schools. Everyone loves coming back home. That’s something that brings us together.

Trey Johnson

Your text to link...
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 04/13/2021 at 11:17 am:
GC, right now in America the minimum wage will not pay the rent for a single bedroom apartment. I applaud Pops' insistence on the need for a higher minimum wage.

You must remember that the effort is only for minimum wage increase. Companies that can't take reasonable care of their associates should not be in business to begin with.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 04/13/2021 at 10:54 am:
Billy, but what if the democrat administration currently in power says you got to double the wage of your employees even if it is already double what other employers are paying? Think you have had a bad payroll day. And I'm sure you bring in drivers and start them off at what your drivers are making that have been with you for years and years. It makes no sense. Better yet, why not pay them a starting salary equal to your salary. After all, based on the democrat philosophy, employees should not have to work their way up through the system to get a higher salary. In other words, why doesn't the democrat administration just go ahead and send every taxpayer a check for one million dollars and do away with the idea, if a man won't work neither let him eat. Since you left Bladen County and got up to the Charlotte area with the big boys, something or someone has filled your mind with the wrong economics of how life works. You are living in a system that is made up of all "chiefs" and no "braves". Wonder what happens in that kind of system when the "chiefs" disagree with one another. Seems "pops" is already having some trouble with some of his beginning to disagree and resign. WHY WORK WHEN ONE CAN STOP WORKING AND RECEIVE A CHECK FROM "pops" organization. There is coming an end Billy and I don't think you are going to like what it brings.

Have you forgotten so soon Billy, there was an election held in 2020 and the democrats are in total control of the government. Evidently, they do not believe what they spout off from their mouth; if they did, teachers would be earning what doctors and lawyers are earning. NOT. Because democrats don't believe what they say; they just want everybody else to believe it. Sure hope those thousands of employees you managed were ALL making the same salary, else you have been speaking with a forked tongue. Teachers making the same as doctors and lawyers AND "managers of thousands of employees"; don't think so. Under your system and that of democrats, what are School Superintendents going to think about their teachers earning the same salary they earn? You absolutely do not believe what you are saying. Nice try though.

By the way Billy, how do you feel about illegal aliens getting the checks and some American taxpayers are not getting them. And please contact "pops" and tell him to not raise taxes on all tax payers. If everyone is earning the same salary; surely every taxpayer will be required to pay the same salary. Of course, "pops" could care less with all that money coming to him and his son from Ukraine. Is "pops" giving his salary to charity? Is the VP making the same salary as "pops"? Could go on and on; suffice it to say the system you and other democrats want to put in place will not work because it has never worked and never will work.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 04/13/2021 at 9:24 am:
GC, I've been a Union member and also managed open shop facilities for a fortune 500 company with thousands of employees. If a company takes care of it's employees the employees don't need to unionize. I've always paid my employees more than the other similar companies, especially in Transportation. The other companies always seemed to be desperate for Drivers while My company always had a waiting list for people wanting to be a part of my company. Yes, until the Republicans figure out how to decifer cost/worth when it comes to Educators and all other essential personnel to properly educate, feed, transport the Most precious ones there will be people like me who will not abandon our public school system and the people who are it's lifeblood.

Teachers proper should be paid equal to our Attorneys and Doctors, not a penny less!
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 04/12/2021 at 1:32 pm:
The "SAME" should have been followed by hatred in my last post.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 04/12/2021 at 1:30 pm:
Guess the "tremendous Plague that is killing people world wide" is over since Billy Butler has jumped back into the political fray by suggesting that our teachers "join a strong union". Begs the question, are Billy's rig drivers members of a "strong" union? Got news for you Billy, Pops" as you like to refer to the current President of the United States; has absolutely nothing to do with teachers and their pay other than they must be paid at least the minimum wage. It is true that teachers are not among the highest paid professions in our nation but by the same token they are by no means the lowest paid. May be mistaken but I believe your wife is in that profession; wonder if your concern would be of such a stellar nature if she was not. You can always hire her as one of your rig drivers; of course she might have to take a pay cut to be hired by your outfit. You are right about one thing, it is Republicans or democrats 'at the state legislature level" that determine teacher pay or in some cases boards of education at the local level can throw a stipend into their pay to lure them to a local school district.

All your comment about President Trump shows that you have the SAME for him that the great majority of democrats have had since he was elected. Pardon me, believe Nancy Piglosi said she had never hated anyone; strange words coming out of the mouth of one of the absolutely worst politicians of our time. The only one that would give her a run for her money on that count would be Chucky "Woodchuck" Schumer over in the Senate. By the way, just what would you call allowing record numbers of illegal aliens into our nation on the southern border? By the end of Pops only term in office, I suspect that even all those illegal voters who cast ballots for him will regret it.

By the way Billy, the "tremendous Plague" is not over and our teachers are doing just fine.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 04/10/2021 at 6:02 am:
Trey, you are spot on !

I think that Our Teachers should join the teamsters or another strong Union. You may be taking the long and winding road around . Nice doesn't mean a thing to the Republicans who make and force their draconian ideology on America's Educators and support staff including the Cafeteria, Bus drivers and maintenance staff.

These people are arguably in the top tiers of our Democracy and should be compensated 10 fold and defended against the lunacy of the GOP in today's needs.

It is becoming more obvious by their Art Pope philosophy. Look no further than their demand that NC Teachers return to class without having had their Covid vaccinations. American Workers now have a seat at the Table .
Thanks Pops!

Never elect a Trump Republican. Uncle Sam detestes traitors.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 04/08/2021 at 9:03 pm:
The Pandemic is what it is. What it was as of January 29, 2021 was based on the statistics that have been given us was 400,000 American deaths credited to the pandemic. As of today, 12 days less than 3 months later, the number of American deaths attributed to the pandemic are 173,849 more on Joe Biden's watch as President. At this rate, WITH A VACCINE that was brought about by President Trump, the death numbers of Americans will have doubled somewhere over in November of this year. Hey Joe, when going get the number deaths slowed down, remember you do have the vaccines. By the way, this is not politicizing the Covid 19 virus; IT IS WHAT IT IS.
Trey Johnson Trey Johnson from Bladen County wrote on 04/08/2021 at 7:01 pm:
Love Thy Teacher

Bladen County Community, please pay attention because this is probably going to be the most heart felt article I will write in this series of “It Takes the Entire Village”. I say Love Thy Teacher because throughout these trying times, one of the most underrated professionals is that of our teachers. I know other professors have been at the forefront of this pandemic, so I am not disregarding those hard working folks. They deserve even more credit than teacher but just stop for a minute and think about what we have asked of our teachers over the past 12 months. I know everyone is not a fan of teachers and all teachers are not perfect, that is not the point I will be making. My point is most teachers in Bladen County Schools have done what has been asked of them day in and day out under the most trying situations. We really should Love Thy Teacher, simply because we asked them, back space back space, we directed them to go from teaching one way to teaching three different ways all at the same time. No one asked for their input, no one asked about their capabilities and no one certainly increased their pay for the additional
duties we unceremoniously bestowed upon them.

We all know our kids, some are model students and some are not but teachers love them just the same. Needless to say, teachers, for the most part want all students to be successful in school and in life. Teachers are required to teach students who choose to return face to face, teach students who choose to remain virtual and teach students who
have no access to the Internet. That’s a lot to ask of anyone, let alone a person who for all intents and purposes are sorely underpaid and most times underappreciated. This just solidifies my belief that teaching is a calling more so than a job. You have to truly love teaching to continue to return to face the same humongous challenges every day. When students walk into the school and see that favorite teacher, their entire face lights up. I wonder why is that? What causes that little 3rd grader to love a person they just met so much. I’ll help you answer that question. It’s because kids big and small know when someone really cares about him or her and his or her well-being.

The great thing about our teachers in Bladen County Schools is that you rarely hear any of them complain. Sure, they vent a little and blow of some steam from time to time but the next day just take a peak inside their classrooms. They are happy as can be and just teaching away with the biggest smile you ever seen on their faces. I am still amazed at the courage they show to muster the strength to make it another day. Love Thy Teacher because everyone needs encouragement from time to time. So the next time you see a teacher and we all know who the teachers are in our great community, tell them thank you for staying the course through these trying times. I know I will, will you join me.

Trey Johnson
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 04/08/2021 at 5:01 pm:
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
Abraham Lincoln
Herb P McIntyre Herb P McIntyre from Garland wrote on 04/07/2021 at 4:24 pm:
The politicization of the pandemic is really a very strange thing. It is almost as if instead of fighting the virus, we have decided to fight each other. I vividly remember the Polio Epidemic from my childhood, we were not allowed to play with each other nor attend school until we could show proof of vaccination. I certainly do not remember political parties getting involved in requiring the vaccination or not. No one wanted to wind up in an Iron Lung. Even today, children are required to show proof of vaccination when they enter school as well as when they enter college. I feel there is no problem with requiring Vaccination Passports for certain activities. If private businesses have the right to refuse services to gay people, it would seem that they would have the same right to refuse service to the unvaccinated. My opinion is really pretty simple, anything that helps us to get closer to Herd Immunity should be encouraged, politics has nothing to do with it.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 04/06/2021 at 5:23 am:
Brad... there is a tremendous Plague killing people Worldwide and it is mutating. Now is not the time to conduct a political debate.

God sent us vaccines much akin to life jackets.
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 04/03/2021 at 7:56 am:
Is a vaccine passport the right way forward?

The more that I read about the Covid-19 passports that are popping up everywhere the more I wanted to educate myself about it. I have read that you cannot go on a cruise without the vaccine or fly to different countries. However, most troubling is when the governor of our state is actively pursuing a way to require government employees to take the vaccine. I wonder is it right to force anyone to take a vaccine as a part of their employment? For Covid-19 I think we look at what we are being told about the vaccine. We are told that if you have the vaccine that you are not protected from getting the virus or spreading the virus completely due to variants, etc. The vaccine however does protect against severe sickness and death. Dr. Fauci said as much and why he continues to wear a mask and why mask mandates are still required even if a person has been vaccinated. So if you can get the virus and pass the virus even while vaccinated it seems as though the vaccination's primary goal is to protect the person vaccinated.

Secondly, we can look at the vaccine itself. Through my research I learned that the vaccine involves mRNA combined with lipid nanoparticles that go into our cells. This causes our cells to create a similar spiked protein to Covid-19 where we create antibodies to destroy it thus creating an immunity to the spiked protein in Covid-19. RNA research has been around since the late 70's, but most of the mRNA research has been over the last decade. Most of the mRNA research has been around cancer research as best that I can tell. So, this vaccine is much different from the vaccines that humans have been taking since the late 18th century. Those vaccines dealt with dead or compromised viruses that were weakened so that our bodies could fight them and obtain antibodies.

Moderna was the primary research company of mRNA research (stock symbol MRNA by the way). I looked for the studies that have been completed on Covid-19 using mRNA and learned that Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 of the trials are still underway.

Phase 1 (3/16/20 - 11/22/22)
Phase 2 (5/29/20 - 10/6/21)
Phase 3 (7/27/20 - 10/27/22)

So, the government gave permission to administer this vaccine while still in trials under an emergency use order. Thank goodness for that because it has saved lives for sure. However, I want to circle back to the requirement to take the vaccine. Should our governor really be looking into mandating government workers to take a vaccine that is still in clinical trials? Should people that do not want to take the vaccine be forced to make a choice between their livelihood or freedom of movement and taking a vaccine that is still in clinical trials?

I think the decision of what we eat, drink, or inject into our bodies should be our choice. For some, taking the vaccine is a no brainer. The risk of getting the virus is too great. Let us not force people into injecting themselves. Let us vote in a new governor who will protect the rights of the people as government is supposed to do instead of infringing upon them.

On a side note, Moderna’s stock value is over 10 times greater than it was in July of 2019.

Clinical trial information on Moderna Covid-19 vaccine
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04283461
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04405076
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04470427
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 04/02/2021 at 11:18 am:
Billy, don't you think it is just a tad hypocritical to speak of Rep. David Rouser smiling when the man you call "pops" is showing his pearlies. Someone said he learned how to smile when someone told him he was President; he couldn't see his smile so he opened his eyes. "Pops" smiling while while "the USA burns". Bu the way, Rep, Rouser's file picture always show him smiling; why? Because he is and has been an optimist. We are not in a poverty stricken area in Bladen; not since everyone is receiving their free money. You did hear what a democrat said about the national debt, didn't you? He said borrowed money doesn't have to be repaid. Keep looking for those #1400 checks every month. Walla!!!! The $15.00 per hour minimum wage is accomplished. And based on the democrat current philosophy, borrowed money does not have to be repaid. Good time to go and buy some new rigs!!!! With borrowed money that is. God bless David Rouser. Goliath proved, one does not mess around with a man named DAVID. He may just turn out to be "pops" one day; as you call the President. Happy Easter to the Butlers. In about 45 minutes Jesus will have gone to the cross to pay for our sins.
William Butler William Butler from CHARLOTTE wrote on 04/02/2021 at 3:31 am:
Every Bladenite and Neighboring citizens should all go to the Politics page here and scroll down to David Rouser's picture.

He voted against Covid relief after supporting a President who played down Covid. Bladen County is in a poverty zone with some of the highest property taxes in the State .

Look at the Grin on His Face...
This one's gotta go !
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 04/01/2021 at 12:17 pm:
Although the news concerning covid 19 is beginning to improve, the latest figures on deaths is showing 165308 have occurred since January 20, 2021 and of course we are all aware that number has occurred over just over a 2 month period under President Joe Biden.

With former President Trump in office it took a year for 400, 000 to die of covid 19 without a vaccine being in place. Draw your own conclusions. My question would be, are we missing him yet? The southern border mess, the covid 19 mess, the public school mess, the economy mess, etc. It really is a mess; pray brothers and sisters pray. HAPPY EASTER to everyone.
Trey Johnson Trey Johnson from Bladen County wrote on 03/29/2021 at 12:21 pm:
The Relationship with the Community Matters

Imagine me showing up to your home or business for the first time to discuss a very important matter with implications that will effect the entire community. I don’t know about you but that would seem like a pretty awkward moment for me. In education, we always say relationships matter. Trust me, relationships really do matter. When you have a prior positive relationship with individuals in the community, it becomes a lot easier to resolve issues and work through those difficult moments. That relationship requires being proactive in ensuring the community is kept informed of your thoughts and how you process information to make a decision. Relationships gives the community purpose and a voice when impactful decisions need to be made. We all can benefit from building better relationships throughout the community by getting to know people on the other side of the discussion.

We struggle to be transparent when it comes to making decisions about the future of our kids. This struggle plays out in the face of the public as angry and confrontational and that only divides us further. When we are not transparent and fail to communicate with the members of the community, they feel left out and their voices silenced. That will only result in the community becoming upset and continued erosion of the community’s confidence in Bladen County’s public education system. Building relationships is pretty easy to do but it takes having a purposeful intent to reach out to individuals you ordinary may not spend time talking too. Being an effective leader starts with setting the example you want those that follow your emulate. Leaders are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and begin those conversations even with the most so called difficult parents. That, my friends is calculated and purposeful leadership and that’s how you build relationships one person at a time.

Communicating openly and honestly with the community only strengthens our bond as a community. True transparency is a management approach in which all decision making is carried out in public. It is an approach that encourages open access to information, participation, and decision making, which ultimately creates a higher level of trust among stakeholders. Making draft documents, arguments for and against a proposal, the decisions about the decision-making process itself, and all final decisions accessible to the public will help restore the community confidence in our school system.
The key step in the entire process is having those open discussions prior to any decision being made and at the end of the discussion a decision should be rendered and justification to support the decision should be shared. This requires stating the facts as we know them without having a personal agenda.

One thing I learned and love about our community is when you talk to people you build strong relationships and whether they agree or not with your decision they will offer their support as much as possible. That support is rooted in a solid trust from prior decision making and respect for each other. Building relationships through communication sends a strong message to the entire community that we must and we want to work together. This relationship building just cannot shouldered by the teachers, lord knows we have already piled enough on their shoulders and we continue to do so.

Trey Johnson

Your text to link...
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 03/29/2021 at 11:29 am:
I don't know what to tell you William. It should be the first link that comes up. Copy and paste the link below directly to your browser. I am going to have to start charging for IT support. 😂

https://www.letmegooglethat.com/?q=bladens+bloomin+agri-industrial+inc
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/28/2021 at 8:56 pm:
Brad, Google, Bing and Duck Duck Go all don't locate much information about Private non-profit organizations using taxpayer funds to become an investment company. 13 employees seem like a pretty large expenditure for a group that was designed to ease the burden on elected officials. Their board has County Commissioners on it's Board of Directors. Seems like double work for some elected officials.

I in no way am saying that Bladen's Bloomin is doing anything wrong or illegal, They must understand that the unknown tends to grow. Bladen County has had way too much political Drama recently . Shouldn't there be an audit by a independent Accounting firm done and accessible just like our County has to do.
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 03/27/2021 at 3:23 pm:
William,
Do a search on bladens bloomin agri-industrial inc and non-profit. I use DuckDuckGo for my search engine so that may have better non-paid results than google will provide. You can find IRS documents in that search or on the IRS website. I highly suggest to anyone that is donating funds to research the organization prior to donating to make sure that the organization is doing what you think it is. There are many great organizations out there, but a few bad apples makes it necessary to do the homework.
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 03/27/2021 at 9:41 am:
I had a bigger post where I aired some of my frustrations about crime, etc. but instead I deleted it and wrote the information below.

If you want to learn more about Christianity and the gift that Jesus provides visit a local church. We have many in our community that are good. My wife and I have bounced around to a few in the last 3 years since we moved here. You are welcome at the church I attend, New Light Church in Bladenboro. I am not sure of the address, but it is on Chestnut Street about 500 yards
or so on the right just as you turn off Center Rd/Village St. They start at 10am. If you are nervous about going or sleep in on Sundays, you can catch them on YouTube at the link below. I do not do anything right now with the church other than attend when I can. I doubt that any of the people who run the church would even know who I am, but it is a welcoming place where everyone is nice. No one stares at you like why are you here and who are you. It is just a friendly environment. They have a separate opportunity for children and my daughter loves it. To be honest I often don't feel like going since Sunday's are my sleep-in day, but I do it for her since she has such a good time.

Check out New Light and other churches in the community.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeT1GWEhLD95v0Psv2Q39GQ
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/25/2021 at 8:13 pm:
Brad, will you share with us where to find information about groups like Bladen's Blooming ?
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 03/24/2021 at 11:24 pm:
There is a big difference between small and large business. The small business is generally an individual or family that is trying to do better for themselves. Large businesses are run by boards and executives who have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders so they must make decisions that are in the best interest of profits as long as they are legal and ethical in the country they are operating in. The businesses are without a soul, but they are important for the stakeholders who do have souls. If you have ever worked you have been a part of a business, whether it be trucking, education, and even government.

As for local farming many things have happened over the last 50 years that has meant the small farmer typically cannot make a livable wage in the industry. Tobacco fell to the wayside thanks to a large drop in exports and the government tobacco buyout program. Once the quota system was gone processors developed contracts with individual growers and the markets no longer existed. Other crops such as soybeans and corn don't make enough per acre for small farms and to produce that much product takes expensive equipment. Thus we end up with large scale farming.

I will agree that the term farmer should be used loosely. Many farmers now are business professionals that hire tenders or caretakers to run the day to day operations of the farm. There are still some that get their hands dirty, but not all are that way. I don't think the truck driver is a farmer. My brother-in-law moves pigs and he is a truck driver. If no pigs were there he would move other freight. I use logistics companies to move my products from factory to end user all of the time. The truck driver is not in the automation industry, but the logistics industry.

I think all farms are a business, but you must be creative with less acreage. You have to produce premium products and land contracts with restaurants or stores. An example, is with organic versus non-organic or non-GMO vs. GMO. Otherwise, you have 10,000 acres and a lot of equipment, labor and storage facilities.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/23/2021 at 3:10 pm:
Billy and Herb, Looks like you guys agree to be wrong. There are small businesses and large businesses. And busnineses(they do not have a soul) that do not make a profit are not in businesses any longer. They are bankrupt.

Herb that friend of yours that deals with the futures market, is one smart dude; think about yourself, if you had a choice of planting soy-
beans or corn and you get on your computer and find out there is going to be a glut of soybeans on the market from Argentina and there is going to be a severe shortage of corn. Which are you going to plant? God help you if you plant 10,000 acres of soybeans. This has always went on in the occupation of farming. Just why do you guys think that farmers in this area grew tobacco. By the way, were those farmers that grew 10,00 acres of tobacco NOT FARMERS? The size of a farm does not make it a business no more than the number of students make a learning institution a school.
While it is true there are far fewer people in the BEGINNING of the farming process; all through the process it is still FARMING. To say less would be like saying a dairy farmer who has a milk truck pull up to his dairy farm with the responsibility of getting that milk to the processor; that driver is not a farmer. Take that DRIVER out of the chain and see how long that dairy FARMER stays in the FRAMING BUSINESS.


LARGER YES, but still in the FARMING BUSINESS. Back in the day, a one horse, two horse, three horse farmer was still a farmer.

Both of you need to read the article in the Sampson Independent about Billy's older brother, Don, and his wife Ann.

All these %'s that Billy is spouting off about Bladen's Representative, Mr. William Brisson, in Raleigh; yet Billy can't even find out about Bladen Bloomin'; take some computer classes Billy. By the way, Billy, how is your trucking company doing? Does it haul farm items then you are still in the FARMING BUSINESS.
Herb P McIntyre Herb P McIntyre from Garland wrote on 03/23/2021 at 12:37 pm:
GC… there do not seem to be many small farmers left in this part of Bladen County. The only guys I know that are involved in Ag these days are managing thousands of acres of crops. It seems like every job is contracted out, from field prep to harvesting. One friend of mine seems to spend most of his time dealing with the Futures Market. In he 1960s it seems like everyone out here in Northeastern Bladen was trying to make a living off 8 acres of tobacco, these days it seems like anything less that 10,000 acres under management makes you a small farmer. From my perspective, Ag, these days, looks more like an Industry than anything resembling farming.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/23/2021 at 11:56 am:
Trey, you'll do good to Bladen County. She's been banged around pretty bad recently by these so-called Republicans. The Politicians will soon be replaced by Statesmen and Stateswomen. People who aren't connected at the hip by Businesses. Businesses have no Soul their only mission to to make profits, regardless !

People need to realize that the William Brissons of the World aren't toting the load of real life People.

A 92% voting record on the side of Businesses just let's you know that 8% are not considered important. The Politicians need to be replaced with Statesmen and Stateswomen. Sooner than later. Don't worry for the Businesses. If they can't fend for themselves they have no business being in business.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/23/2021 at 9:56 am:
Thank God for our farmers. Each one who continues that vocation here in Mother Bladen are to be commended and praised for the work they do in feeding an ever increasing population while do their business of agriculture on ever decreasing amount of acreage. This is their day of recognition during this week of Agriculture. God made six days to recognize the contribution farmers make to his creation (and seven if the ox gets in the ditch on the Lord's day). By the way, when was the last time you saw a mule pulling a single wing plow up and down the fields of Mother Bladen. If you see farmers today, THANK THEM.

By the way, there is an article in the Sampson Independent about a man and his wife as it relates to agriculture. Seems he and his wife have set up a scholarship over at Sampson Community college, honoring education and agriculture. Very good reading. Thank God for the Butlers and their contribution to the future of Agriculture.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/21/2021 at 10:54 am:
Brad, Republicans used to question such...
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 03/20/2021 at 9:59 am:
I think William doesn't have the correct idea about Bladens Bloomin Agri-Industrial, Inc., but does bring some good concerns. William, that business is a private, non-profit that is not run by the county. Therefore, there are no county employees. Also, income in any business doesn't convert to the amount of people's salaries. Kind of weird that you would think so since I think you are/were a business owner. As a non-profit organization they have published tax records if you wish to see income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and salaries. I know very little about this organization, but I do find what I think they are doing interesting. Their purpose I believe is to get grants and donations to purchase assets used in helping people start a business or relocate a business to Bladen County. This creates tax revenues and helps bring new businesses to Bladen County. What I am wary of as a tax payer is understanding what the returns of my tax dollars are. From what I have seen everything seems to be legit and a benefit. We just need to make sure that there is transparency so that tax payers are getting a better return on investment here versus putting that money somewhere else. Having data that shows the number of jobs saved/created and taxes paid would help me feel more comfortable with this organization. I am all for building business and getting people jobs so if they are doing that responsibly then kudos to them.
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 03/20/2021 at 8:27 am:
Hi Trey,
My child is one of the children that does not attend public school in Bladen County. I can tell you why for me, but every family has their own reasons. Our family has 4 kids that went through US public schools and one that has gone to private school and is currently home schooled. Our best experience with public school was in the state of Iowa. When we moved to North Carolina, we found a public school system that was failing our children. The kids were no longer a name, but a number. Small schools in NC have been consolidated to supposedly save money. Our bad experience with our kids getting lost in the system was compounded by two events. My son's science teacher was arrested for an alleged relationship with another student. My other son's math teacher told us that she could not review assignments due to her other job. Those two things happened over the 3 years that we were in the NC public school system.

When I grew up in Bladen County, schools were not consolidated. There was a relationship between each student and each teacher. In Iowa, this was the same. No school had more than 300 kids. We had 5 schools that my kids went to. One was K-2, another grades 3 - 5, another 6th, another 7 - 8, and lastly high school. There was also another school in another town in our district that was K - 5. It was more levels because that town was smaller than ours. Even though this was public school, we still paid some tuition each year, $120 per family I think. We also had the school supply lists that we had to pay for.

Another reason and really the biggest reason we chose not to go through NC public school with our youngest is our faith. We want our daughter to get an education grounded in God. Our lessons, teach from a basis of religion. For example, humans didn't evolve from apes as they were made in God's image by God. We provide a rigorous curriculum and provide yearly testing for our child. We follow all guidelines required by the state and keep tedious records. Our 3rd grader has math, science, history, language, spelling, art, religion, PE and health classes. We mix in a little bit of foreign language and will be introducing keyboarding, computer programming, robotics, and finance/business related studies in the future. There are many resources outside of our house that help with our curriculum as well. Our goal right now is exposure to different concepts so that we can focus on the things she enjoys along with our standard curriculum. We also try to stay involved in sports, gymnastics and other activities, but Covid hinders that some.

Other benefits of home schooling are that we are minimally affected by Covid, illness, weather, family vacations, or the need to go to the doctor or the store. If we want to go to the beach on a Wednesday we can do that. Our days are structured around how well the concepts are grasped versus a bell that rings. Some days we are done by lunch and others we are still working at 6pm. We don't have the traditional homework to bring home where the parent spends 20 minutes trying to figure out the assignment before they can help. There are many benefits for us.

The interesting thing is homeschooling was considered early on, but we were very happy in private school. The only downside was the long days as she attended Harrell's Christian Academy and we live 45 minutes away. When Covid struck we were forced to homeschool and it went really well. With the unknown of what would happen this year we decided that we didn't want to pay tuition and still be doing some form of school from home. My health of my business was also up in the air with Covid. So far homeschooling has worked out well.

None of this is accomplished without sacrifice. We made the decision when she was born that my wife would stay home until my daughter was in school. When she went to private school my wife did work briefly, however that structured punching the clock didn't work for us. This means less income for our family, but we manage through budgeting and not trying to keep a lifestyle that our friends and neighbors may have. I am happy with our decision to homeschool right now. Eventually, she will be back in the classroom with other kids. I believe that will be private versus public because of our faith and we loved the private schools she attended. However, we haven't ruled out public school. It is a wait and see approach at this point.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/19/2021 at 12:33 pm:
GC, the only site with any information was Dunn and Broadsheet. They have 13 employees, claim 913,000 as annual income. Surely any entity with an income of 900,000 and 13 employees can afford to have a transparent website. if every employee averaged 50 k income including benefits it amounts to 600,000.00 plus. Shouldn't our County employees make equal and have proper benefits and diversity?

Why doesn't Bladen County own those positions?
Trey Johnson Trey Johnson from Bladen County wrote on 03/19/2021 at 11:57 am:
Dear Bladen County,

I have decided to write a series of short articles addressing our educational challenges in Bladen County. The series will be called “It Takes the Entire Village”. The thought to write these short articles came to me when I realized that something has to be done to help bring our wonderful community together. Bladen County has some really wonder, caring citizens. Maybe these short articles will help in bringing the community together and increase the morale and confidence in our public education system.

We have far too many students not attending our public schools in Bladen County. I believe that number is close to 600 students who live in the county but attend private schools or home school. I am not even sure we conduct exit interviews to try to address the “Why?”.

I hope you enjoy the articles from the viewpoint of the other side of the table.

Equity in Education

Let me start by simply saying majority do not rule when it comes to equity in education because that risks underserving a lot of students. Bladen County School district policy and instructional design should focus on raising the achievement of students at all socioeconomic levels. This requires meeting the specific needs of individual students. No Child Left Behind has the right ideas and intentions. No child should be left behind by the public education system that is entrusted to make them better educated and productive members of society. All available resources should be readily available for a pathway to a produce a quality public education. That requires all “stakeholders” to do their part. Now that’s a word you don’t hear too often nowadays.

Focusing on what separates us is easy because those are countless with no accountability. However, those of us who truly care about education will focus on what brings us together and hold us accountable. That accountability and focus really has to start from the top. If it does not start from the top then the message we receive is, ‘it is really not that important’, so it’s guaranteed to fizzle out at some point. While building quality schools and repairing roofs are important, they cannot and should not be the number one focus of our school district. We cannot be consumed with the beauty and constant discussions about bricks and mortar. Every minute we spend focused on things other than educating our students is a minute lost that we will never get back.

Education equity has to be the number one focal point. That’s our purpose, our mission, our vision and our rallying cry to bring us together. Equity ensures “all” students have equal access and resources to achieve. It’s not focused on skin color or social economic status. It just happens to often fall along those lines. Let me explain. It’s true that we often commit additional resources to those less fortunate to try to increase student achievement but that do not mean we should not commit additional resources to those students who are economically stable or high achieving academically. Both groups of students deserve the same opportunity to be better. In reality, if you provide for one group of students and not provide for the other group of students, then that’s exactly what separates us.

Sometimes we have to stand up against our leaders to ensure every student has education equity when we as a school district are falling short of that mission. That takes forward thinking, vision and intestinal fortitude to do what is right even when it is not the most popular decision. Education equity cannot be about which group is more established or has the power of influence in the community because that only separates us even more. I believe all parents only want what is best for their child and that starts with a quality education and not necessarily trying to create an unfair advantage for their child, they just want equity, which is something our educators are required to provide to each and every

student. Let’s start doing better and coming together for increased equity in education for all our students. Equity in education is a great place to start because it allows us to focus on something that brings us together rather than separate us.

Trey Johnson
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/19/2021 at 11:25 am:
Billy, Billy, Billy, You miss the point altogether. The President of the United States REFERRED to another individual AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. He is a sick man and evidently you along with most democrats have drunk the kool aid and already know that he will either be declared incompetent to full fill the duties of the office of President or he will resign. Doesn't say a whole about a party electing a man in that kind of health condition. One thing is for sure, it is opening our beloved nation up to serious situations militarily defense wise. Sounds like you are as sick as hey joe appears to be. All I can say about that is that God down the span of time has used incompetent people to lead a nation where is should be. AOC indeed; your Mom would be a better candidate. As bad as it sounds, I hope and pray that hey joe will be able to finish out his term in office.

Billy, you raise questions about your home county and then you refuse to take the information that is given to help you understand. Seriously doubt you have read the article previously referred to where Bladen Bloomin' and the County Commissioners had a meeting; if you had you would have seen that the money in the fund they use to loan to businesses to start up or make improvements when paid back goes right back into the fund. Only the interest on the money is used for other purposes. By the way, if you think the business world today is still so simple that these type organizations are not needed; then you are still back on the dairy farm just outside of Bladenboro. Surely you jest Billy. Maybe the reason you are trying to stir up trouble is because you see the tearing down of businesses in Bladenboro to make room for progress. Haven't heard much said about houses being built out on your dad's diary farm instead of cows producing milk. Rememeber Billy, there was a time when something had to be torn down for the Wonet theater, Bridger Corp., the Ford dealership, etc. to be build. It is called the price a community has to pay to stay up to date. One can only look back with fond memories of what was; then instead of going down to Bridger Drug Store for a fountain coke or milk shake, go on out to Benson's grill or Hardees for something to drink and eat. And remember Billy, there was a time when Hardees was not there; in fact, I can not remember what was across Hwy 242 from Mr. Gilliam Walters saw mill and lumber yard. Not to mention the fact that the Hwy 211 Bypass was not there either. Hopefully, a new day is coming for Bladenboro and folks in the future will be talking about what once stood where the soon to be gone Bridgers Drugstore stood. Welcome to the new Bladenboro and the folks who are helping to bring it to pass; who knows, Bladen Bloomin' may be involved in it. Would not that be ironical based on your concerns.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/19/2021 at 5:54 am:
GC, you were spot on about Pops letting you know that We have a badass Vice President. She's beautiful, former California Attorney General, a Former Senator, now Vice President. Watch her, she is the Leader needed to fend off Greed !😉

Sounds like a Lady that we all can appreciate.
I hope she picks another strong Lady as her V.P. I nominate AOC.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/19/2021 at 1:54 am:
GC, how much taxpayer money has been given to Bladens Blooming since they started accepting funds from Bladen County?
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/18/2021 at 7:49 pm:
Billy, you peaked my curiosity about Bladen Blooming'. I found an article that might give you some of the information you are seeking about the organization. Google, Bladen Blooming; check out the article entitled "Bladen Bloomin' Agri-Industrial And County Commissioner Meet. It is dated 1/17/2018, but it does given some very pertinent information about Bladen Blooming' and the impact it has had on the economy of Bladen County. Chuck Huestess at that time was involved in the organization that time. Being a Bladenboro/Charlotte guy; I'm sure you are concerned about what is taking place in the main business part of Bladenboro. Happy reading.

Billy, you might want to check with President Biden; he has addressed Kamala Harris as President. Also it has been revealed that INDEED some illegal aliens are receiving the $1400 "covid" relief checks. How great or "not so great" is that. One great thing has developed, President Biden is going back to some of former President Trumps southern border policies. With those illegal alien children sleeping on the floor, guess he was beginning to feel the heat.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/18/2021 at 4:45 pm:
Billy, you often refer to yourself as a tax payer on Bladen County Property you own. Yoi are not illiterate so you have the same privilege as anyone else. It is called toady "google it". if you are not satisfied with what you find about Bladen Blooming when you google it, you can also like other tax payers that pay taxes on property they own in Bladen. Contact Mr. Greg Martin the County Manager of Bladen County. Then if you need more information you can always come to a County Commissioner, you know those people you say need to be replaced, meeting on the first and third Monday evenings at 6:30 pm. Be sure and wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart if you come to a meeting. You might also contact Mr. Leon Martin over in Tar Heel. Seems the last I heard he was director of Bladen Blooming. Hope this helps you. Don't be concerned about Bladen County elected officials doing their jobs; why I even think the democrat members on county boards have Mother Bladen's best interest at heart. My question to you is do you know what the duties of county board members really are.? And just who are you insinuating are not doing their jobs?

All the things I have stated about Bladen Blooming maybe completely inaccurate.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/18/2021 at 6:00 am:
Can someone please expound on the Bladen's Blooming budget in detail for the last 3 years ? They seem to hold a pretty sizeable amount of funds GRANTED to them by the Bladen County Commission. Who are they, what are they and why do they exist and what laws enables their existence? Their Montrail seems to be that they ease the workload of Elected officials.

Time for some new Elected officials who can fulfill their Sworn responsibilities, not give them to an unaccountable PRIVATE Enterprise...
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/16/2021 at 12:01 pm:
BLADEN COUNTY PRAYER MEETING WILL BE HELD AT SHADY GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH 7:00 PM. The church is located halfway between Abbottsburg and Whites Crossroad on Twisted Hickory Road. Everyone welcome. Meets every Tuesday same time and place.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/15/2021 at 10:02 pm:
Billy, Billy, Billy, Still in a delusional state of mind are you? If you think children actually read BOL, you really are delusional. Since you brought it up, wonder why all these wonderful democrats like Clinton, Carter, Kennedy, etc. never have done what hey joe has done? If you think the last year has been historical, you need to take some classes virtually in a local high school. Have a peaceful nights rest. Don't forget to pray for President Trump.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/15/2021 at 9:52 pm:
Today is a special Day ! A Native American is now the Secretary of the Interior. The first Native American ever to sit on the Cabinet of the President of the United States.

You kids have witnessed more History in one year than ANY Generation. Especially the ACTUAL Attempt by a man to become King of America.

NEVER FORGET
Herb Poe McIntyre Herb Poe McIntyre from Garland wrote on 03/15/2021 at 9:48 pm:
Brad, there are many people who are not qualified yet to get the vaccine. It is becoming clear that a vaccinated person has a reduced ability to transmit the vaccine, hence protecting the unvaccinated. My point is that this is not an individual thing, but that a pandemic means we are all in this together.

I doubt that we will ever be required to get the vaccine, but I do suspect that it is possible that at some point certain privileges will be granted to those of us that are vaccinated. Perhaps the privilege will be air travel, restaurant privileges, or maybe entry into ball games or entertainment events……

It is still a long road to herd immunity.
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 03/15/2021 at 8:46 pm:
Hi Herb,
I hope that you are doing well. With all due respect I believe you are wrong in how you are looking at things. The virus protections in place other than the vaccine are to prevent others from the virus. The vaccine is to protect yourself from the virus. If everyone else will get the vaccine who am I hurting by not getting it? This is why it is so important that the most vulnerable get the vaccine first. Once everyone that wants to get the vaccine has it the rest of us should not blame anyone but ourselves for getting Covid. This is no different from the flu vaccine or other vaccines in my opinion. I also believe that when it comes to vaccinations it is a person's choice to have it or not. Are you saying that we should be required to inject a man-made substance into our bodies? The track record on these vaccines are currently less than 12 months. What are the long term effects if any? We can say the same with the virus as well. Like I said, if you are older and vulnerable it is wise to get the vaccine as the long-term effects if any are likely less than the virus itself. I have a feeling that there is a time coming where we will be forced to take this vaccine. It will be interesting to see the outcome if that comes to fruition.

Just so you guys understand where I am coming from, let me list the following things that I believe:

1) The Covid virus is real and has resulted in a large number of deaths.
2) The Covid virus results in more deaths from people who are elderly and who are overweight.
3) The Covid vaccine is extremely valuable and I know many family and friends who have rightly received it.
4) The Covid vaccine should be by choice and anyone that dies from Covid who is unvaccinated when the vaccine is readily available is doing so under their own free will.
Herb P McIntyre Herb P McIntyre from Garland wrote on 03/15/2021 at 6:24 pm:
Brad… I do not think that “My Body, My Choice” applies to a Covid infection. My main motivation for getting the vaccination was to do as much as I could do to keep from giving it to my wife who suffers from asthma and various lung problems. I also did not want to give it to my children or any of my elderly neighbors. “My Body My Choice” really only applies to situations that affect only yourself and Covid is not one of them.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/15/2021 at 12:05 pm:
Billy, the Federalist Society does not have celebrities in its membership; it has PATRIOTS since you like to refer to the Whigs and Tories so often in your post. If I was a betting man, I'd say you probably require the drivers of your rigs to wear mask inside their rigs when they are driving up and down the roads with only them inside the cab. Most of the people riding down the road inside a vehicle, with the windows up, by themselves, and wearing a mask are probably democrats. When I see this, my first question is WHO are they afraid they are going to catch the virus from? Even the CDC would say it is an impossibility to catch the virus from your own self. By the way Billy, who are you going to listen to when the virus is gone? Mecklenburg County officials, Gov. Roy Cooper, Mrs. Cohen, Hey Joe Biden, etc.

Mask are optional(unless one is going into a business that requires them), for sure the vaccines are optional(even the government admits this by having different segments of our population that can get them). The nest thing that may come down the pike could be actual gas mask; wonder who will get first dibs on those under the current democrat administration. No doubt, your drivers will be first among those who get them since you CLAIM to know Roy Cooper and Joe Biden personally. By the way, Billy, if you are over weight, go on a diet, and by doing so make a statement that you are not going to get Covid.
Geez.
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin wrote on 03/14/2021 at 11:22 pm:
Hi William,
I appreciate your concern about my children's thoughts about my health. I believe that to come from a good place.

That said, your comment about dietary preferences is not accurate with Covid or other illnesses. According to the CDC, whom I assume you trust since you follow their guidelines on vaccines, says that obesity contributes to Covid deaths. Here is the link.

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/obesity-and-covid-19.html

This directly impacts people who are in lower income brackets because the low cost foods are full of sugars and other sweeteners that increase a person's likelihood of obesity. Obesity is a big problem in the US and other modern countries.

Now you can talk about the importance of the vaccines, and if Covid is still around in a few years I am sure that I will get the vaccine. However, for now as you would probably say, "my body, my choice."
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/14/2021 at 10:57 am:
GC and Brad, the 40% of Republicans boycotting the Corona virus numbers were from one of the celebrities of the Federalist Society. First the hiding the danger of the virus from American people, then refusing to wear a mask, then sidelining virus Specialists, recommending Dugs that don't affect the virus. 500,300 plus deaths and Trump still has a brainwashed 40% of Republicans refusing to believe that this plague is extremely dangerous and will kill them. Not eating sugar won't save anyone from the dire effects of covid. Gamble with the life of your children's parents ? Maybe you won't be missed ?
Brad Brad from Dowless wrote on 03/14/2021 at 9:47 am:
It is interesting that you guys think many things people do are based on whether they are republican or democrat. For example, saying people don't want to take a vaccine because they are Republican is simply not true. I know many hard core Republicans that are vaccinated. For me, I am not wanting to take the vaccine right now. I believe in statistics and I also believe that if I take better care of my body naturally that my odds get much better. Looking at the statistics, people below 50 years old living in NC currently have a 0.0712% chance of dying while having Covid-19. That means that out of the 11,534 deaths only 403 were people less than 50 years old. The numbers rise drastically above that age with it being 11.832% for people over 75 years of age. If you are older than 50 you should strongly consider vaccination. My parents and grandparents have been vaccinated.

Looking at the general health of Americans we are in trouble for more illnesses than just Covid. We are overweight and many have type 2 diabetes and other issues related to diet. The government is very quick to tell me that I have to wear a mask and stay away from people, but they say little to nothing about the food that we are eating that is killing us. In fact they encourage it through subsidies and a misleading nutritional guide. We the people need to also know that we are not to blame for overeating. Many people will say that people need to eat less food and they won't be overweight but it is not that simple. The hormones in our bodies are the cause and not a person's will power.

When the US went on this low fat craze years ago, they started pumping sugar and now high fructose corn syrup into everything to make the food taste good. Now it is really hard to find food that doesn't have these products in it. If you do they are often expensive. For example, look at the peanut butter in the grocery store. Try to find one made with just peanuts as the only ingredient. Once you find it compare it to the price of peanut butter with additives to sweeten it and preserve the consistency. How can something with less ingredients cost so much more? It doesn't make sense. Good luck finding a salad dressing without added sugar. It is hard.

So when our bodies consume sugars, hormones increase and over time we get hungrier more often and the hunger is worse so we overeat. It is a viscous cycle that leads us to become overweight and unhealthy. That makes us more susceptible to many illnesses including viruses because our bodies are just not well enough to fight them. So I am going to limit what goes into my body whether it be sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, other drugs, and yes even vaccines. If I die of Covid, I will die my way and it won't be because I lean left or right politically.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/13/2021 at 11:17 am:
Billy, Billy, Billy, Surely you jest. Warp speed production of the vaccine, had the virus himself and recovered; are you missing him yet Billy? Do you think the Republican Party put out the information that 40% of them were not taking the Covid vaccine? Billy, you have swallowed the false news lies and propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

Speaking of lies, the liberal progressive news media of the last several years has followed right in behind the Nazi's, one of the democratic party's favorite people of history. Seems you were caught up in admiration of his tactics several months ago. Keep up Billy, how could Putin have been involved in anything that went on in in the 1930's?

Right wing thinking can not hurt people because it is RIGHT. The word you are looking for for what happened back in the 1930's is HATRED; exactly what the democrats have attacked our beloved #45 with over the last several years. How does it feel Billy to be one of the great haters haters of all time, the democrat party? All the while you are like the left wing bunch, trying CANCEL history. I thought you and I were taught in school at Bladenboro it was 6 million that were duped and killed by one of the all time leaders of left wing thinking.

The dummies in Washington are staying vigilant alright Billy; it still looks like a third world capital city all over the city at the behest of the democrats. Funny thing they would not accept nor allow the National Guard up there when it was really needed. Hope you have a great vacation touring our Capital city with all the cherry trees blooming.

Enjoy your $1400 Billy, not doubt and man of your means is in dire need of it. Second choice for a great vacation for you would be the southern border. Hear they are having a great party down there with the influx of Illegal aliens. You might even drive one of your rigs down there and bring back a load to the Charlotte area. And you have a great Lord's day; attend a service in a church building sanctuary if at all possible. You are surely aware that it is so "convenient" to stay at home and catch a service on the boob tube. While all the while, the Christians guide book, the Holy Bible, states; "fail not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some iis". What percentage of democrats are in favor of that? Not 100%, because we have some brothers and sisters of that persuasion who attend services three times a week. Be sure and pray for those children that President Biden is allowing to come over the border without their parents by their side and of course no one has to remind you to pray for our President unless his last name just happens to be TRUMP. Those of your ilk seemed to be sooooo concerned about those children under the last administration; where is the outcry under the present administration. It is all about the news media Billy; remember the 40%?
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/13/2021 at 6:21 am:
It is incredible that 40% of Republicans won't get the Covid vaccinations. That's right in line with the percentage of the Republicans who believe that Trump was robbed of his landslide election win.

If you don't realize that these people are victims of right wing propaganda you're not paying attention. Vladimir Putin has set his hook into too many otherwise good people. It happened to the German population in the early 1930's and 3 Million People were killed because the Furor thought them to be worthless.

We must stay vigilante. The Demon Trump is still alive and plans another assault on our Democracy.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/12/2021 at 10:59 pm:
Billy, nice try but you better check with the local funeral homes in the Charlotte area or anywhere else if you think $1400 will bury anybody anywhere. Don't think it would even pay for a cremation.

Herb, you hit the nail on the head; something is finally happening because of "Warp Speed". That just happened to get the vaccines in the pipelines at least 5 years before Hey Joe would even have started talking to the drug companies. And just like a good progressive socialist, President Biden will not even give credit where credit is due. Proving that he has jumped right on the band wagon with the democrats that have proven they have hated President Trump for the last 4 years. Being a Duke educated man, I'm sure you see the fallacy of not giving President Trump the credit for the vaccines being on the market so soon. That is like saying Duke deserved to go under Covid lockdown so they can not participate in the NCAA tournament. Don't think you would agree with either. Hope things are going well across the river.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/12/2021 at 1:04 am:
GC, The $1,400.00 assistance from Uncle Sam will help makeup the expenses that 500, 300 families incurred to bury their loved ones.
Herb P McIntyre Herb P McIntyre from Garland wrote on 03/11/2021 at 11:16 pm:
GC... The week of Jan 20 we were having 240,000 cases of Covid a day. Yesterday we had 55,000 cases.... Still to high, but I do get the impression that something good is happening.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/11/2021 at 7:01 pm:
Ever so often, NBC news will slip up and tell Americans how many folks have died of Covid 19 since inauguration day 2021. Since January 20,2021; 129000 have died of Covid. That is in less than 2 months under the new President. At this rate hey joe will have presided over 500000 covid deaths in about 7 months into his presidency. Not good.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/11/2021 at 7:01 pm:
Ever so often, NBC news will slip up and tell Americans how many folks have died of Covid 19 since inauguration day 2021. Since January 20,2021; 129000 have died of Covid. That is in less than 2 months under the new President. At this rate hey joe will have presided over 500000 covid deaths in about 7 months into his presidency. Not good.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/11/2021 at 1:21 pm:
Billy, If you and your family need the one time $1400 check then I feel sorry for you. Of course, this go around you may not even qualify for it and that is a good thing. Here is one for you to think about Billy, just how far do you think the one time $1400 will go? How far will it go in your family? If in fact it was targeted to those who really need it; that would be great. The democrats are saddled with the sad fact that the $1400 was not targeted to those WHO REALLY NEED IT. Just keep wondering how much the !400 would have been increased if the BLUE STATES and CITIES bailout provision has been moved over to help those who really need it.

Where have you been since the pandemic first came about from one of your president's best friends, Wuhan, China? There were 5 economic help bills passed last year on a bipartisan basis; two of those resulting in direct payments to taxpayers. You need to keep up Billy so you can see on a daily basis what hey Joe and his "unity" concept are doing to this nation. The southern border is in a shambles, our relationship with Iran is back to "near war" status, and now there is talk that China may be tossing around the idea of attacking us with missiles. While all the while those folks coming over the southern border are bringing the Covid 19 with them and children with no parents. It seems that hey Joe has been taught well and I believe his teacher is known as Barack Hussein Obama. Oh, did I mention the increase the increase in fuel and the sell out to unionization. Have your drivers joined the truckers union yet?

It is already getting bad and by the end of hey joe's term it will so bad that people will regret they ever heard his name much less voted for him. I'm sorry you have hatred for your "liberal" side of the family; but have been misled on this too. If you want to get a TRUE picture of hatred just look at how the democrats treated the 45 President of the United States. One of your best, Maxine Waters, said to all Republicans, " you are not welcome here, you are not welcome anywhere". And yet in your party's "safety net" bailout bill California will send 40 billion dollars. No doubt about it Billy, you are not a member of GOD'S OWN PARTY (GOP). Surely I jest with you Billy, for I think God would spew all political parties out of His mouth and say join the Christian party; in fact here in Bladen County there signs out beside the road in the 2020 election saying vote for JESUS or JESUS in 2020. One thing is for sure, the man that was elected is a far cry from JESUS. And you have a wonderful day and be sure and do something about any amount of hatred that may be in your heart toward your liberal friends.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/11/2021 at 1:21 pm:
Billy, If you and your family need the one time $1400 check then I feel sorry for you. Of course, this go around you may not even qualify for it and that is a good thing. Here is one for you to think about Billy, just how far do you think the one time $1400 will go? How far will it go in your family? If in fact it was targeted to those who really need it; that would be great. The democrats are saddled with the sad fact that the $1400 was not targeted to those WHO REALLY NEED IT. Just keep wondering how much the !400 would have been increased if the BLUE STATES and CITIES bailout provision has been moved over to help those who really need it.

Where have you been since the pandemic first came about from one of your president's best friends, Wuhan, China? There were 5 economic help bills passed last year on a bipartisan basis; two of those resulting in direct payments to taxpayers. You need to keep up Billy so you can see on a daily basis what hey Joe and his "unity" concept are doing to this nation. The southern border is in a shambles, our relationship with Iran is back to "near war" status, and now there is talk that China may be tossing around the idea of attacking us with missiles. While all the while those folks coming over the southern border are bringing the Covid 19 with them and children with no parents. It seems that hey Joe has been taught well and I believe his teacher is known as Barack Hussein Obama. Oh, did I mention the increase the increase in fuel and the sell out to unionization. Have your drivers joined the truckers union yet?

It is already getting bad and by the end of hey joe's term it will so bad that people will regret they ever heard his name much less voted for him. I'm sorry you have hatred for your "liberal" side of the family; but have been misled on this too. If you want to get a TRUE picture of hatred just look at how the democrats treated the 45 President of the United States. One of your best, Maxine Waters, said to all Republicans, " you are not welcome here, you are not welcome anywhere". And yet in your party's "safety net" bailout bill California will send 40 billion dollars. No doubt about it Billy, you are not a member of GOD'S OWN PARTY (GOP). Surely I jest with you Billy, for I think God would spew all political parties out of His mouth and say join the Christian party; in fact here in Bladen County there signs out beside the road in the 2020 election saying vote for JESUS or JESUS in 2020. One thing is for sure, the man that was elected is a far cry from JESUS. And you have a wonderful day and be sure and do something about any amount of hatred that may be in your heart toward your liberal friends.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/11/2021 at 5:38 am:
Our Republican Cousins see Uncle Sam's recent help for the hurting as Welfare, saying it's terrible. If it's a lie I saw Larry Kudrow on Fox Business just now say it.


.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/11/2021 at 5:10 am:
Thank you President Biden and the Democratic Party for the safety net you just provided to Americans. Many have been in an absolute financial free fall (no fault of their own) for a year and now finally have some help from Our wealthy and strong Uncle Sam. My Republican Cousins see ZERO reason for the new safety net. I pray that their Souls be rid of hatred for our Liberal side of the Family and realize that they have been duped be the GOP's owner MAMMON.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/10/2021 at 1:33 pm:
Billy, you do know what causes "pond scum", don't you? It comes from what is under the water, on the bottom and sides of ponds. There is an old saying "the cream always rises to the top", you can have the scum produced by the Democrats behind close doors with no imput by the Republicans in Congress. The previous Five Covid relief bills were pass with bipartisan vote the one back in the House ZERO bipartisan votes. One thing it is not bipartisan about is the fact after the limit covid dollars in this bill, there is an additional $4100 for every living American that is not covid related plus the fact that there is at least ONE trillion dollars of the last five bills that were passed with bipartisan vote that still has not been spent. The
$4100 amount is being borrowed in the name of your children and grandchildren. If you are going to talk about being "inbred", do that at your own behest not at the behest of other democrats and Republicans for sure.

Other than that, you have a great sunshiny day and invest your $1400 check in an account in the name of all your children and grandchildren.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/10/2021 at 8:39 am:
It defies all logic. America has seen a President who called The Covid Global Pandemic a lesser threat than the Fku. A year later, with more than 500,000 real people dead, millions out of work or terrified to go to work due to being exposed to Death. THANK GOD for our Healthcare people made ends without help from the Republican Party and their leader.

The despicable response from ' The Republican Party was that not 1, zero,zilch Republican Senator voted for The much-needed relief for you.

The Republicans tried to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

These Republicans have inbred their "CONSERVATIVE effort until it is unable to defend itself from "Pond Scum" .

Every American should not fail to remember the GOP's involvement in the coordinated the first attack on America from within.

Now EVERY Republican led State have performed a scorched earth assault of our most important Institution of the right to vote for God's favorite people, the least among us. This will not bade them well
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/07/2021 at 3:36 pm:
Mr. Everett , so sorry to hear of your Son's passing. Our condolences to you and yours. I don't know where you go to Church but they are blessed to have you. It'd be cool to attend Sunday School at yours and President Jimmy Carter's Church. Both of you are "Followers of Christ". The term "Christian" has been soiled in the past few years. Hope all realize that the penalties for not being a "Follower of Christ's" example and teachings remain the same. Proud to be your Kin.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/06/2021 at 8:51 pm:
There is no doubt about it, Bladenboro, Bladen County, and southeastern NC would be a much better place if it was populated by more Everett Butlers. A man I once knew and considered to be highly educated could sit down and talk with an educated man on his level while he could also sit down an talk with an uneducated man. Being able to converse with people on their level is so important in the walk of life. The Bible has a very unique verse in Proverbs 25:11 about being able to use the right words at the right time; "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver".

The family you were raised in and being the kind of man you are reminds me of the old E F Hutton commercials of years ago; to paraphrase, when Everett Butler speaks people listen. I was so sorry to hear about your son's passing as I expressed to you at the grave side. It really struck me as to how many of his young friends were at the grave side. A man that will have friends must show himself friendly. May God continue to bless you and the whole family as you continue to look to the future.

You are correct, if the words we use don't get the message across to help people; then we have probably used the wrong words. God's continue blessing upon you and your family.
Everett Butler Everett Butler from Bladenboro wrote on 03/05/2021 at 7:10 pm:
Thanks, Brother Bryan. Other than losing my youngest son to the Grim Reaper a week before Christmas, all is well.

The point that I was attempting to make is that during a conversation, I use words that my audience can understand. I have worked with highly educated people who used words above the intelligence of his audience, me! If I carry on a conversation with someone, I want to be understood. I appreciate that someone wants to expand my vocabulary and I extend thanks to them. As I stated, I am a simple person who does not want to impress others with my vocabulary. I graduated the sixth grade and can have a decent conversation with almost anyone. college folks or good old boys.

When you and Billy go back and forth with each other, I am impressed with the courtesy you extend with each other even though you both disagree on political issues. You both have the means of communicating without the use of a thesaurus. Easily understood words, appropriately paragraphed, and plain spoken.

I could expand my vocabulary but few people in my Sunday School Class or my other lectures would think that I was trying to be above my raisings. I once worked for a gentleman who had a fantastic vocabulary that he used during meetings. After he sat adjourned, few knew what instructions that he intended to give us. He used words that I hadn't heard used since my college days. I made one attempt to let him know that most of his employees were good old boys and would he please tone it down. Honestly, he didn't know how or he ignored my advice.

I think that I could have a better vocabulary but not at the expense of my friends thinking that I was getting above my raisings. I want to ne on the same wave length as my church family and the folks that I associate with.

That is my story and I am sticking to it.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/05/2021 at 4:01 pm:
Everett, appreciate your comments about "new word" article that has recently appeared on BOL. The running of the word "uchronia" could not have come at a better time for the liberal left that reside in Bladen County since they are all for "rewriting" history. You know like people in the current administration who don't recognize that "warp speed" took place under President Trump and gave us the Covid vaccine in record time. Of course, the word could be used slangly, Like talking to a liberal one would say, you and "you chronies" won't get away with rewriting history or cancelling culture. Too me it is just a cummy uchronia word. But then again, it is on the AWARD WINNING BOL site, so it must be alright.

Good to see you back on the GUESTBOOK, hope all is going well for you and your family.
Everett Butler Everett Butler from Bladenboro wrote on 03/04/2021 at 11:24 am:
I have noticed of late that someone is trying to improve our vocabulary with words that we have no clue as to their meaning. It is an effort that could be appreciated if our audience was of one accord. Thus, if we use the words our conversation will not be understood by most. The current word "uchronia" is such an example. I never read the word in any of my college books that I can recall. Should I try to include it in any sentence of conversation, I would not be understood. Thus I, a simple person, would have to use simple words to explain what such an animal is. Cudos for trying, though.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/04/2021 at 9:34 am:
Keep up Billy. Even less years ago, the Son of God Jesus Christ reduced the TEN commandments to TWO. Seems some smart individual was trying to trick the Son of God into saying which of the TEN commandments was most important. So Jesus straightened the individual out rather quickly by reducing the TEN to TWO. He not only helped the individual who asked Him but also all of humanity.

How many of the TEN can you name Billy right off the top of your head? Rather a taxing task. Billy, Love God with all that you are, have, and hope to be; then love your neighbor as yourself. Unfortunately, a major portion of society today can't even remember the TWO.

As to your snide remark about "Trump supported preachers"; if they are men called of God then they called on their parishioners to pray for the 45 President of the United States of America and to be "good" American citizens. The ones called of God certainly did not call upon their parishioners to go our and Burn our cities to the ground, Loot private and public property, and Kill private citizens and law enforcement officers. Keep wondering Billy, eventually you may get it right. Thanks Billy for reminding everyone that there is a penalty for not living right. Back in Moses' day, the ground opened up and people fell to their death in earth quakes; then in Noah's day all but eight people suffered death in the flood; next time it will be by fire. Since there is a penalty, there certainly has to be a remedy. Call out to God for forgiveness of sins and believe on His Son that He is able and willing to grant forgiveness of sins,

To more current situations relating to the current President of the United States.
How about:
Children on the border being illegally held for more than 72 hours.

Fuel on the way to $1.oo a gallon more than it was on January 19.

National guard troops still on the streets of Washington DC.

Subway tunnels and bridges being put in the COVID bill in Congress. The Republicans have both of them taken out of the bill. As well as the $15.00 per hour minimum wage fiasco.

108 people coming cross the southern border already afflicted with COVID.

As the old song goes, "And the beat 'count' goes on and the 'count' goes". Beliecve it was by Sonny and Cher.

Be sure and pray for hey Joe. By the way Billy, you know how they treated #45 about his wife; wonder how #46 got his current wife. True his first wife died as a result of a car accident, but he did not have to go out and take one of his friends wife.

By the way, the FBI has stated there is no evidence of an "armed" take over of the Capital on January 6.

You have a great day and remember those TWO commandments as God gives you the privilege to live in the midst of your neighbor today.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 03/03/2021 at 11:16 am:
I wonder how the Trump supported preachers explained the Golden image to their Bible believing sheep?

Moses handled this one years ago, seems there only 10 commandments. Shouldn't be hard to follow just 10 things.

The penalties remain the same...
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/02/2021 at 3:24 pm:
Thanks Herb. I remember Mr. Williams and I stand corrected.
Herb P McIntyre Herb P McIntyre from Garland wrote on 03/02/2021 at 10:37 am:
GC... I believe Essics Williams was the last county resident to be appointed Superintendent. Mr. Haire was probably the last Superintendent to be born and raised in Bladen.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 03/01/2021 at 10:27 pm:
Congratulations to Dr. Jason Atkinson on being appointed Superintendent of Bladen County Schools. If memory serves me correctly, believe he is the first Bladen County Resident to be so named since Mr. Haire back in the mid nineteen hundreds; 50's or 60's. Forgive me if I have misspoken about the last Bladen County native to serve as Superintendent before Dr. Atklinson.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/27/2021 at 10:41 am:
Thank God for that blessed gift of Mother. Next to salvation, the greatest gift God ever gave to humanity on this earth. Jefferson Weavers article about his Mother reaffirms that gift. Good reading. No day is ever well spent without some thoughts of Mother. Thanks God for Alma Hester Bryan, my Mother.
And thank you Mr. Weaver for an excellent article; somewhere in it all Mothers surely were mentioned.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/24/2021 at 6:06 pm:
Billy, unless he is going to follow the precept of "promises made, promises kept" FOR ALL AMERICANS; he will be the worst AG we have ever had and he has got to hurry to beat Erick Holder and his Obama cronies.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 02/23/2021 at 10:54 pm:
GC, did you watch Judge Garland's promises made during his confirmation hearing for Attorney General of the United States of America? If not you should Google it.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/22/2021 at 7:13 pm:
On this date 2-22-2021 the death toll from covid 19 passed the 500,000 level. Just last month, on January 19, 2021 President Trumps last full day in office the death toll hit the 400,000. A little arithmetic shows that it took 10 months for it to reach the 400,000 mark under President Trump. Now less than 2 months under President Biden it has grown by 100,000. At 100,000 in less than every two months; more deaths will occur under President Biden in less than 8 months than occurred under President Trump in over 10 months. Who are we going to blame? Isn't he the one who said a million vaccines a day for the first 100 days. Wonder how that is coming along? The gases prices seem to be coming along pretty good. At the current clip should be up over $1.00 per gallon in another month.

Way to go Hey Joe. Promises made, promises not kept. Where is the unity, Hey Joe?
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin, NC wrote on 02/20/2021 at 9:39 am:
Is the Internet Driving a Divide Among Us?

This is a question that a few will not quite understand at first, but follow with me briefly. How can people from the same area, be similar in age, have a similar upbringing, but view things from two totally different point of views? The answer to that may be simpler than we think. I believe that answer lies in how we are manipulated through the internet.

What we must understand about the internet is that it is driven by companies with the goal of making you click on content. Another goal is to keep you looking at that content for as long as possible. There are different ways to make money by search engines, social media platforms, and websites. One is when companies pay for ad space within a link or on a social media page. That social media page or that search engine can't make any money if you are not engaged in the content. So they track what items you look at and drive that type of content to you through the search. They also do it based on where you live, how old you are, your gender, etc.

With that understanding look towards politics on social media, newly established so-called news sites, and even the established news sites. When a person with left leaning views searches for a political person from the right, their results will come back with scandals and other items that paint that person in a negative light. When a right leaning person searches the same person, they will find positive articles popping up. This is because they want each person to click the items so that the search engine makes money. These search engines are not going through and checking what is true or false as that is not the objective. The results cause a republican to ask why are these democrats so stupid, and the democrats asking why are the republicans so stupid. This creates divide and animosity among people.

Having been to many places in this country and others I can attest that we are not as different as we think. Fundamentally, we all want to be loved. We all want to thrive. We all want the best for our children. However, as long as we keep our heads down in our devices and closed off to only the world we are presented we will miss the big picture. A lack of understanding and animosity will creep in and continue to grow.

I grew up watching people sit at my grandfather's gas station/grill or his farm supply business having face to face conversations. Discussions from whose wife made the best pies to presidential politics. There was never any hate in these discussions, but there were debates and disagreements. This is what we need to get back to even if it is in the banter board of a local news outlet. Let's talk to each other as if we are sitting next to one another drinking a soda. I think the discussions would be much more meaningful to everyone.
Riley Evans Riley Evans from Clarkton wrote on 02/18/2021 at 9:48 pm:
How is that only 2 weeks to flatten the curve going for you?
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin, NC wrote on 02/18/2021 at 6:53 am:
The Governor just toured the area of the devastating Brunswick County tornado. The main takeaway according to news reports is that the Governor wants to focus on improving our early warning system. This is a talking point on tornado disasters from 20 years ago and means little in protecting against future unpredictable storms.

The fact is that the tornado that hit was not a survivable storm at certain times. You could have given people an hour or a day, but if they were in those houses where it was the most destructive they would still have perished. The only way to survive those types of storms is through better building materials. Unlike in the Midwest, if you dig a hole in the ground for a basement in Eastern NC, you have in fact created yourself a new swimming pool or fishing pond. Therefore, the option of a basement or storm cellar is out. New construction methods, such as ICF (insulated concrete form) above ground will add much more protection in these kinds of storms. Many people now build entire homes like this, but even if the cost is too much you can build a pantry or closet in the interior of your home using this method. With a few hundred bucks more new homes could be built to give people a chance in these kinds of storms.

If the Governor wants to truly help people, he could give a tax credit to people who put these types of advancements in their homes to offset the costs. This is how we help people in our community in the future. Not some 20 year old talking point that is not realistic.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/17/2021 at 1:48 pm:
Billy, Billy Billy. Having been raised in the Zion Hill Baptist Church, I'm sure you learned their is no god except God. It is true that people can create gods, but no one created God. Go back to the first verse of the Bible, "In the beginning God"; see Billy, God was already present in the beginning. A person could be a god, a political party could be a god, anything and everything could be a god; however, only God can be God. Donald Trump is a man not a God; more than that he is a man that loves this country and has already served as president of this great country just like all presidents before. You got better sense, or at least I hope you do, than to believe that Hey Joe Biden is your God; he may be your god but he is not God.

There you go again Billy, living in the past What has the Federal law of 1870 have to do with anything? that is the reason No news media has mentioned it, although the liberal progressive news media has alluded to it. You, along with your democrat cronies in Washington, are a day late and a dollar short on trying to convict President Trump of anything. He is guilty of one thing, he is guilty of being the only President in American history that the people yelled out in unison at his rallies, "We love your President Trump". The democrats thought they were winning while attacking the 45 President of the United States; however, they came up the losers. The final say so on that matter will come in the elections of 2022 and 2024.

It is a miracle, it is a miracle. Billy Butler has stated that President Trump did some good. The Tories must have had some good people in their ranks along with the Whigs. Sound familiar Billy? Good people on both sides!!!!! There is still hope for you Billy, but it may be a limited window in which you have to look through. When all your friends that are Tories hear you have classified them as "Racists and Seditionists"; your window of opportunity may have shrunk beyond repair. By the way, Billy, you do know who gave America the KKK organization, don't you?; the same crowd that gave us that Burning, Looting, and Murdering organization that your current VP BAILED out of jail-the DEMOCRATS. Billy, If you are going to worship; worship God. It will improve you chances of going to heaven 100%. By the way, Sally Salter, did not sell rotten eggs, she gave them to the Whigs.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte/Bladenboro wrote on 02/17/2021 at 12:00 pm:
GC, Your God Trump is going to be too busy defending himself from the Federal KKK law of 1870. Your extreme right wing News sources probably haven't mentioned it. One good thing he has done is clearly exposing the Tories among us. Turns out that the Tories, Racists and Seditionists led by the Liar Trump that you worship all fit in one rottenbasket.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/13/2021 at 9:58 pm:
Billy, Billy, Billy Your parties House Manager Team has done their "worst" to "impeachyment" President Donald J Trump. It failed. Could have been because of the insanity of the House Manager Team, but more likely it was because of inane individuals who drew up the article of impeachment. If the House can not send a better impeachment team over to the Senate in the future; all the democrat members of the House should resign and let the governors of the various states select new members to represent the various states. Let's face it, the last two House Impeachment Teams have not done a very good job. Look at the record 0-2. Maybe next time, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Water, etc. can serve on the team.

Mike Pence has done a great job at being Vice President. You, me nor President Trump determine what kind of job he has done. Go back and look at the various times President Trump talked about the nations Vice President. I don't ever recall of him saying that Vice President did not do a good job.

By the way Billy, this evening I learned who are the guilty people to blame for the Capital being overrun. Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat Speaker of the House and the Mayor of Washington DC; both of these individuals refused help from the National Guard in the days leading up to Jan. 6. And this was after they learned the crowd on Jan 6 could get out of hand. Wonder if they will be impeached? Nancy Pelosi can serve on the House Impeachment Team if she hurries up and gets those articles together. Maybe another first, a person voting to impeach their own self.

One last thing Billy. You are throwing out some very serious accusations. And remember, after today's last day of the impeachment; you and I do not have the same protections for freedom of speech rights as an elected government official. You have stated, that Donald J Trump "tried to have Pence Killed". Even the House Impeachment did not go that far and they have more freedom of speech rights than you do. Better "clean up" that political speech Billy, you are not an elected official.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 02/13/2021 at 8:28 pm:
GC, Trump demanded total loyalty and Mike Pence gave him TOTAL loyalty and He tried to have Pence killed. No same human will accept his VP position. You should have no competition.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/13/2021 at 8:13 pm:
If he decides to run for President in 2024, it will be interesting to see who he will select as his running mate. One thing is for sure, it would be a shocker if he selected one of the Senators that voted against his acquittal.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 02/13/2021 at 5:52 pm:
GC, maybe Trump will select you for his Vice President if gets elected again.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/13/2021 at 4:18 pm:
Now, a RINO, Mitch McConnell, so weak minded that he is on the floor of the Senate CONDEMING his own self. WHY? Because he is putting his own self down and the other 42 Senators who voted to acquit President Donald J Trump.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/13/2021 at 4:03 pm:
Ckuck "Snake"Schumer is on the floor of the United States putting down his fellow Senators for acquitting President Donald J Trump. Real statemenship. Vote him out of office New York and may God have mercy on his soul. God conitnue to bless America.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/13/2021 at 3:25 pm:
To put it in Billy's history of Tories and Whigs; he would have the current American people to believe that their Senators should be "hung by the neck until dead" and be declared Tories forever.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 02/13/2021 at 12:55 pm:
Trump is a Liar, is Evil and is an Enemy of America . ANY Senator who votes to acquit him is handcuffing themselves to a rapidly sinking ship.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/12/2021 at 1:49 pm:
There is one thing that Donald J Trump IS NOT. He is NOT STUPID. He is too smart to start a third party movement. He knows the history of third party tries. They are not good as far as success is concerned. When the invalid things of the 2020 election are weeded out, 70 or 75 million votes will be just fine to get him elected in 2024. Why do you think the hatred of the democrat party for Donald J Trump has the US Senate in the midst of a second "impeachyment"? If you think it is for inciting a riot, you are wrong; it is simply a waste of tax payer money to see if they can bar him from running for President in 2024.

The President's lawyers are tearing those retread lawyers from the House from House
out of the frame. Wouldn't surprise me if the Senators don't get several rails and run the House Managers out of Washington on them. Still can't get over the fact that the "would be Chief Justice is sitting at judge, jury, and will also vote whether to acquit or not. How about that Herb; hear you graduated from from Duke; pretty prestigious university. Reckon that would go over as being legitimate up there in Durham?.

Your post does prove my point about present day political parties versus parties of 10, 15, 20, etc, years ago. People best keep up with their party and what it stands for. Hard to beat small government and low taxes. I would prefer The Trump Party if it were to happen. Take care of yourself over on the other side of the river.
Herb P McIntyre Herb P McIntyre from Garland wrote on 02/12/2021 at 1:10 pm:
GC... I am always surprised at anyone who feels that Donald J. Trump is a Republican. He certainly does not share the same values as Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, or Bush 2. I suspect the Republican Party will rid itself of him before 2024 election, leaving him to form a true Trumplican Party.
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/12/2021 at 11:49 am:
Billy, THE William Butler lived his life and left his legacy, which was a good one in every account of his life that I have heard. You are William Bitler II or Jr. Your life and your legacy is in your hands of only you. Some of the language you have used on this site and ideas you have put forth are not your Dad's but yours. Think about that as you continue to use words and Ideas that William Butler Sr. would never have used in public or in private.

You had wonderful parents and their reputation was to raise good law abiding children of which you are one. Don't know much about the Butler side of your family but I know quiet a bit about your maternal grand parents. They would have taken you out to the wood shed if you used the kind of language in front of them that you have used on this site.. What your legacy will turn out to be is your full control; make it a good one as your maternal grand parents, your Dad, and your Mother have made theirs.

I will say this, just because my Daddy was a Democrat by no means says I should be a democrat. In fact, if my Dad was alive today on this earth, one of the first stops he would make after checking out the political climate would be at the local board of elections to switch his party affiliation to Republican because they are the party that closely represent the party of which he use to be a member. Knowing my Daddy as I did, I believe he would be ashamed of the democrat party and what it stands for today. Just where do you think all the UNAFFILIATED voters and increases in the REPUBLICAN ranks have come from Billy? They use to be deocracts and finally saw the light. People such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff, Gerald Nader, the faux Judge sitting over the current debacle going on in Washington, etc. has caused them to reflect upon what the current democrat party stands for and they don't like what they see.

AND to top it all off, Chuck Schumer has seen the handwriting on the wall and is already saying they will go after President Trump again when the second debacle ends in AQUITTED. By the way Billy, how would you like to be on trial and the Judge was not only the judge, but also a witness, and serving on the jury. Only the democrat party could go along with such anti-American judicial proceedings.
Brad Dowless Brad Dowless from Dublin, NC wrote on 02/12/2021 at 11:09 am:
Labor shortage with higher than normal unemployment

We have a problem in Southeastern NC that is the same almost everywhere in the country. We have higher than usual unemployment and an abundance of job openings. It seems weird, but it is a common theme for manufacturers.

I first heard about a lack of workforce in manufacturing about 6 years ago at a manufacturing facility in Minnesota. They were looking to invest in warehouse automation because they simply couldn't find people who wanted to work there. Today, I hear this at pretty much every manufacturing facility in Eastern NC from Halifax County to Brunswick County. Looking on Indeed.com, a job search site, I found several companies in and around Bladen County who were looking for help. Some offering up to $1000 if the employee stayed on for a certain amount of time. Hiring is an expensive proposition for companies because they invest training time and materials to get an employee ready to work. If that employee leaves quickly it is big waste of resources.

So how did we get to this point? My parent's generation and the ones before them flocked to good paying manufacturing jobs and the trade industry. The jobs are not always the easiest, cleanest, or in a moderate climate, but it put food on the table, paid the bills, and setup my generation for a better life. So why did that change? I think, based on my experience and from what my kid's experienced, that there is a stigma given to us at a young age that these jobs are not for successful people. These jobs are looked down upon, and we should all go to college if we want to be successful. My kid's told me they would never work in a factory and now most of them do or are about to. They started out of high school in food service while staying at home. Food service is wonderful if that is your passion, but it can be tough to pay all of the bills in that industry. So that lasted a while before Mom and I decided that having a kid at home when they are 30 would not be an exciting prospect so we started charging rent. We put that money in a savings account for them as launching money for their own place. Eventually, the message took hold and the need to find a higher paying job became necessity. Today, my kids are working in the automation world as I did in factories. In fact two are flying to Eastern NC today, one from Utah and the other from Canada. Neither have much if any college education, but they put themselves out there and worked hard to be where they are.

So how do we reverse this trend? We have to stop looking at our plumber when he or she comes to fix our toilet as a person who couldn't make it. What you don't see is after they leave from working on toilets Monday thru Friday, they go spend the weekends relaxing at their beach house or go fishing in their expensive boat. We need to start looking at manufacturing and trade jobs as a way up and not a way down. Becoming a doctor, lawyer, etc. is just not in the cards for everyone. It doesn't mean that you can't make really good money doing something different. You just have to put yourself out there, take a chance, and work hard. I love the work that I do in manufacturing, and I love the people I meet in manufacturing. I hope to meet you some day helping to make the products that we all love.
William Butler William Butler from Charlotte wrote on 02/12/2021 at 12:38 am:
GC, why do you think you know how my Parents raised me? My Daddy and Momma taught me about people like you. Seems that they have encountered people like you . Daddy told me to stand for what I feel is right. He told me to pick my fights with knowledge. I am following his honorable guidance. In his early years he saw America attacked by the Japanese and Germans. Thank God he never witnessed Our ENTIRE Democrat way of life being attacked from within, especially by a New York fraud.

That's where I step in !!!
G C Bryan G C Bryan from Bladenboro wrote on 02/11/2021 at 10:07 pm:
Billy, more evidence you have left what you were taught in Bladen county; your post once again betrays you. One only gets INVITED to Mar Lago; all other are prosecuted. By the way, I expect that the secret service agents are already set up down there to keep people like you out. By the way, after he serves his second term as President he will be just like any other President. Billy, he is not a king. If Trump supporters are duped, then you must be oxygen deprived brain damaged. You are no Jean Dixon; you don't read the horoscope every day, do you Billy? The oath does include "foreign or domestic"; foreign (the leader of China who Hey Joe said he had spent two hours on the phone with recently) and domestic(that was what was on on the American end of the "two hour conversation on this end". If you believe Hey Joe spent two hours on the phone with the leader of China then their is some ocean front property in Bladen county you can get real cheap. Check that, with Hey Joe's condition, that may be possible.. NOT GUILTY, NOT GUILTY, NOT GUILTY. One last thing Billy, have not heard Hey Joe say the first time that he loves this nation.

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