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What's Going On

This is just plain wrong. It's impossible to say whether the minor arson attack at Orange County Commissioner Margaret Brown's house was political or random. The fact that she believes it was intentionally directed at her makes me seriously concerned about the state of political discourse in our community.

"I've been getting a lot of e-mails," she said. "They're very aggressive with a lot of emotion behind them."

The e-mails have been mostly about school merger, Brown said. They have said things like, "You'd better not do this or you'd better think before you do this," Brown said.

Who would think this was an appropriate (or effective) form of expression?

This leads me to two major thoughts about OrangePoltics.org:

Town Council: "No" to the PATRIOT Act and to Sprinklers in Hell

Although I was at the Chapel Hill Town Council meeting in person tonight to present the Horace Williams Commitee's report, I dashed home to watch the exciting conclusion from the comfort of my sofa rather than wait it out in the Council Chamber which was filling up with hard-drinkin' lovers of civil liberties. And a TV camera! Did anyone see channel 17?

I think at least a dozen local residents spoke to the Council against this proposal to require expensive sprinkler systems in just three bars in town... which are not coincidentally in the same building downtown on East Rosemary Street. This proposal was made in the name of safety after the tragic fire at a club in Rhode Island. What the requirements fail to do is protect us from pyrotechnics and blocked fire exits, which were two of the main causes of the fatal fire.

Please Leave Ms. Coulter Alone

So, Ann Coulter is speaking at Carolina tonight, and I'm already getting the hives imagining the news coverage: the protesters, the earnest critics with their well-researched and relevant questions who will be brushed aside, the outraged haranguers lobbing their accusations only to have them turned into punchlines. Is there anything about Ann Coulter that should prompt anyone with any knowledge of history (or of patriotism, or of good manners, or of treason) to go out and see her speak?

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