Words out of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s mouth are good litmus tests to be very cautious about any issue she supports or rejects.
AOC has called the Supreme Court’s next monumental decision, scheduled in October 2022, “a judicial coup in progress.”
“If the President and Congress do not restrain the Court now, the Court is signaling they will come for the Presidential election next,” AOC, a radical leftist New York Democrat tweeted. “All our leaders — regardless of party — must recognize this Constitutional crisis for what it is.”
AOC is concerned about a North Carolina case, Moore vs. Harper because it could halt some significant election cheating.
One of the most important decisions to be made is regarding “independent state doctrine” theory. It also concerns gerrymandering and voting districts.
Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch dissented in the SCOTUS denial to GOP state legislatures’ February emergency appeal to halt North Carolina’s state courts ordering a redrawing of the voting map.
In their dissent, the three justices wrote that the independent state legislature doctrine was an important question for the court to resolve.
Justice Gorsuch described, in a 2020 concurring opinion in a case concerning the deadline for casting mail-in ballots in Wisconsin, “the Constitution provides that state legislatures — not federal judges, not state judges, not state governors, not other state officials — bear primary responsibility for setting election rules.”
The case originated when a group of George Soros-related non-profit organizations, including far left Democratic Party-affiliated voters challenged the voter map in state court. They alleged that the new map was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution.
On February 14, 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the state could not use the map in the 2022 elections and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings. The trial court adopted a new congressional map drawn by their own three court-appointed “experts.”
On a related case, Timothy K. Moore, the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, filed for a writ of certiorari — a request that the Supreme Court review the case. This could overturn the state court’s earlier decision.
The review was granted on June 30 with the case to also be heard in the Supreme Court session this October.
The “independent state legislature doctrine,” suggests that, under the Constitution’s election clause, “only the legislature has the power to regulate federal elections, without interference from state courts.”
A woke Wake County North Carolina preschool teacher has been caught using LGBTQ flash cards, including one featuring a pregnant man, to teach the young children their colors.
State Rep. Erin Paré (R), who was notified by email about the flash cards by a concerned parent, contacted the principal at Ballentine Elementary School.
“The principal found the stack of cards in a preschool classroom and verified with the teacher that they had been used by the teacher in the classroom to teach colors. The principal confirmed that the flash cards were not part of approved curriculum and that she was unaware that they were being used,” North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore said in a statement.
“The principal immediately took possession of the cards, contacted the WCPSS area superintendent, and engaged human resources,” Moore continued. “The principal expressed appreciation for the constituent’s information via Rep. Paré, as she would not have known about the flash cards otherwise.”
The playing cards are made by a now-defunct company known as ByUs Box, which additionally made units of flash playing cards showcasing non-binary and transgender animals, gender impartial nursery rhymes and a ‘Blackness Collection.’
The cards “clearly do not meet the standard for a pre-school classroom,” Paré noted. “Schools should only be using age-appropriate materials, and these flashcards clearly do not meet that standard for a pre-school classroom. I hope schools across Wake County and the State of North Carolina will follow the example of Ballentine and respond swiftly when a parent expresses concern and ensure that materials like this are not being used to teach young students.”
Moore’s office revealed that in a poll released in May, 2022, North Carolina voters (57%) overwhelmingly supported passing legislation that would “make parents the primary decision-makers regarding their child’s health and medical decisions and provide parents with opt-out options regarding controversial surveys or age-inappropriate classroom materials.”
“The members of the North Carolina General Assembly are currently reviewing legislation to address this very concern. Parents deserve to know exactly what and how their children are being taught,” Moore said.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) released their analysis of the voter roll proving that 7,933 North Carolinians were still registered to vote long after death in 2020. Some of these deceased registrants have been on the voter rolls for decades.
Since 2020, there have been dozens of arrests in the state for falsely claiming U.S. citizenship to register to vote, actual unlawful voting with false claims of citizenship, naturalization fraud and the misuse of immigration visas and other documents.
Many charged were from Mexico and several central American countries, as well as from France, Yemen, Iraq and Nigeria and other countries.
Highlights of Findings
🔹The state’s voter rolls are currently filled with tens of thousands of duplicate registrations.
🔹The Foundation found 42,984 North Carolinians were registered in another state before the 2020 election.
🔹Additionally, 13,525 North Carolinians were able to be registered twice under variations of their name.
“This is extremely concerning as the state moves toward expanding vote by mail because these registrants would receive multiple ballots,” the release from the Foundation noted.
🔹One deceased registrant Hoyle Helms, a World War II vet, died in 1997 when Clinton was President. Following his death, he remained on the voter rolls for nearly 25 years.
🔹Another deceased registrant, Mary Coleman, died in 2003 and remained active on the state’s voter rolls for nearly 2 decades.
“North Carolina officials need to use the time they still have to prepare voter rolls for the midterm elections,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams. “Time is running out. Silly, obvious errors in the voter roll can create opportunities for voter fraud and chaos in a close election. Correcting deceased and duplicate records now will help to preemptively address those risks.”
NC Voter Fraud is Worse Than Previous Two Elections
A total of 16,700 duplicate votes were cast in the 2016 and 2018 elections, according to an audit by the watchdog group based on public records.
🔹The audit found that in the 2016 presidential election in North Carolina, about 9,700 voters were credited with voting twice. Of these cases, about half—or 5,000—were mail-in ballots.
🔹Two years later, during the 2018 midterm election, about 7,000 voters were credited with voting twice. Of those, 2,900 were mail-in votes, the audit says.
Parents and citizens in multiple states around the country have taken to filing complaints against their local school boards through Surety bonds and other insurance policies in order to see changes in masking, Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other school materials policies.
Despite mainstream media attempts to label the strategy with propaganda buzz such as “paper terrorism,” “sham legal claims” and “baseless,” parents are winning.
🔹In October, 2021, Steve Socha in Ohio told the Indian Creek school board he intended to file a claim against their bonds unless they lifted their mask mandate for students.
“Either stand down or I personally assure you I’m going to (take action),” Socha said according to the Herald Star. “The wheels of justice will be brought before you. Many of you could be in violation under the laws and statutes. This ends tonight.”
At its next meeting in November, the Indian Creek board dropped the mask policy.
🔹On Jan. 27, 2022 all 10 members of the school board in Scottsdale, Arizona, were served with 10 Notices of Intent each for practicing medicine without a license, child abuse, and inappropriate sexual material in school libraries. Each claim has a liability value of up to $100,000.
🔹In Alaska, the Anchorage School Board is facing similar actions.
🔹Recently, parents in North Carolina have taken notice of the bond complaint strategy. School boards in some districts have been served with complaints, including Catawba, Dare, Iredell, Johnston and Wake counties.
Of those districts, only Wake County has resisted changing to a mask-optional policy.
Notices of Intent were filed against Wake County School Board members in January with a main demand that the district remove “all enforcement of policies that require universal masking/masking without parental consent.”
More parents across the country are planning to file similar measures against their school boards, especially those facing elections.
Iredell’s school board was served at the conclusion of its meeting on Feb. 7 demanding an end to masking, quarantining exclusion rules, and pornographic materials in the district’s schools. On Feb. 14, the board voted to make masks optional on the recommendation of their superintendent.
In Dare County, the school board was served at its Feb. 8 meeting with 28 Notices of Intent against the district’s Linebacker Errors & Omissions liability policy by the Dare County Citizens for Constitutional Rights (DCCR). At that same meeting, the Dare Board voted six to one to make masks optional effective immediately.
Facing complaints to be filed by citizens, the Johnston County School board voted 6-1 on Feb. 8 to make masks optional. That happened on Feb. 14.
What are Surety bonds?
Surety Bonds are financial guarantees that bondholders will uphold terms of contracts specified in the bond agreement. All elected officials are required to be bonded and the idea behind these bonds is to protect the public from malpractice or fraud by the officials covered by the bond.
Some states have statutory requirements that local boards of education members must have a Surety bond.
Other states allows local boards of education to hold liability insurance, and therefore waive its governmental immunity, to cover damages caused by certain actions of agents or employees of the local board.
A website called “Bonds for the Win” outlines the Surety process, including state codes and violations that can be used in complaints.
There are three parties involved in a Surety Bond:
1. the principal–the organization or person purchasing the bond and accepting the obligation to adhere to the terms. If the principal fails to adhere to the terms, the Surety can be held contractually liable.
2. the company offering the bond, and
3. the obligee–the person or entity covered by the bond. In most cases, the obligee is a local, state or public official, but it can also be companies or their officials, unions and even contractors.
To file a Surety bond complaint, a Notice of Intent to file a complaint which includes specific violation claims is sent to the bondholder. Typically, the notice gives a short timeframe for a response.
If the entity served with the notice doesn’t correct the violations within the specified response time, the next step can be filing a “Color of Law” violation notice. The federal Color of Law statute Title 42, U.S.C., Section 14141 is designed to defend the civil rights of citizens and to keep any authority from using its power to willfully deprive a person of their constitutionally protected rights and privileges.
Once the claim against the Surety bond is filed, the company that issued the bond investigates. If the claim is found valid, the official the claim is filed against can submit a defense or they can provide a solution to the issues raised that includes financial compensation to the claim filer.
Filing 10 or more separate complaints against the bondholders can result in bond cancellation and make getting a new bond harder. For some elected officials, being unable to obtain a new bond can mean removal from office.
“If we cannot summon the will and the wherewithal to stand up for the children in our lives, we have little hope of standing up for the rest of society.“
On Sept. 17, a three-judge panel of the Wake County Superior Court ruled 2-1 that North Carolina’s voter ID law violates the state constitution.
The law remains not in force.
In early 2020, the same court ordered an injunction on the law pending its final ruling. Supporters of the law have indicated they will appeal this decision.
This is the latest in a series of legal challenges concerning North Carolina’s voter ID law. Here’s a brief history.
June 29, 2018: The North Carolina State Senate voted 33-12 to place House Bill 1092 (HB 1092) on the November ballot, which, if passed, would amend the state constitution to require voter identification at the polls under rules established by the legislature.
Dec. 6, 2018: To comply with the amendment, the General Assembly of North Carolina voted to approve Senate Bill 824 (SB 824), which established the laws governing the state’s voter ID requirements.
Dec. 14, 2018: Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed SB 824.
Dec. 19, 2018: The North Carolina House of Representatives overrode Cooper’s veto. The first lawsuits against SB 824 were filed soon after.
July 19, 2019: The Wake County Superior Court declined the plaintiffs’ motion for an injunction to halt SB 824. Plaintiffs appealed.
Feb. 18, 2020: A three-judge panel on the North Carolina Court of Appeals ordered the Wake County Superior Court to grant the plaintiffs’ motion for an injunction, which it did, pending its final decision.
Sept. 17, 2021: The Wake County Superior Court ruled SB 824 as unconstitutional.
Under North Carolina’s SB 824, voters would be given a list of specific photo identifications they could present at the polls, including items like a driver’s license, passport, or tribal ID.
SB 824 does not provide for a non-photo ID alternative like an affidavit or signature matching. If a voter cannot present one of the required IDs at the polls, he or she would be able to cast a provisional ballot but would have to return to the county board of elections with a proper form of identification before the votes are canvassed.
The Wake County Superior court panel found that “the evidence at trial [is] sufficient to show that the enactment of [SB 824] was motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional intent to target African American voters.”
Judges Michael O’Foghludha (D) and Vince Rozier Jr. (D) formed the majority. Judge Nathaniel Poovey (R) dissented. All three judges were last elected in 2018 after running unopposed in partisan elections to serve eight-year terms.
Sam Hayes, general counsel for House Speaker Tim Moore (R), said Moore would appeal the ruling. If he does, the case would go before a panel of judges from the North Carolina Court of Appeals, on which Republicans currently hold a nine-seat majority. Democrats hold five seats with one judge’s partisan affiliation unknown.
Sunday night, on his fifth rally of the day, President Donald J. Trump said this about Joe Biden:
“25 years ago he was not considered smart. Now he’s considered half of that.”
The enthusiastic crowd of thousands cheered.
“Wow! Not too loud. We don’t want to wake Sleepy Joe up.”
In conservative Wyoming, businesses are not boarding up. Instead patriotic Americans are peacefully out in force to be heard (with lines around the courthouse block, above). Meanwhile, in liberal cities, businesses are forced batten down the hatches because of Election Day.
Based on the freshest data through most of the evening and Monday morning, I can conclude the media is wrong and most Americans are right.
Here are my final projections for Tuesday’s outcome in the 2020 Presidential Election.
I came very close to placing Nevada in the leaning for Trump category. In my heart of hearts, I believe he will take Nevada, but I’m just too concerned about the corruption in Clark County (Las Vegas) when it comes to voter fraud.
With any state, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey especially, Trump has to have enough votes Tuesday to overcome the cheats. Trump said Sunday, they will have lawyers ready.
Eric Holder, the Obama-Soros-Biden Attorney General, is helping head up the 650+ attorneys scattered across the country ready to overburden the courts with Democrat motions.
Some analysis suggests New Mexico is close enough to be a toss up. I’m thinking if it was that close, Trump would have held a rally there. Plus, I don’t know anything about the ground game and support in that state. They are historically Democrat.
Maricopa County as of Sunday afternoon shows the Combined Early Vote:
Democracy Institute State Poll: Trump 49% Biden 45%
Today there are 300k+ more Republicans in Florida today than in 2016. Without those, he was still able to beat Hillary. As of Sunday night, about 560k Florida Republicans have not voted. Of that group, 276k are super voters (they always vote).
Democrats only have about 104k super voters left for Tuesday.
Miami Herald endorsed Trump.
Opa-locka Rally: 14,254 signups 23.9% did not vote in 2016
Rome Rally: 42,067 signups 31.4% NOT Republican
Dubuque Rally: 62.2% have not voted yet in 2020
Trump 48% Biden 46%
Macomb, Michigan Trump rally: 11,194 signups 48.2% NOT Republican 32.2% didn’t vote in 2016 74.1% have yet voted in 2020
Democracy Institute State Poll: Trump 48% Biden 46%
Democracy Institute State Poll: Trump 47% Biden 43%
Biden only garnered 8% of the Democratic vote in the New Hampshire primary this year. Trump received 85% of the Republican vote in their primary in this state.
Hickory Rally: 22,166 signups 32.0% not Republican
President Trump will be holding an Election Eve rally in Biden’s hometown of Scranton.
Trump won Pennsylvania by 45,000 votes in 2016.
The counties to watch are Luzerne, Lackawanna, Erie and North Hampton.
Trump 49% (+2) Biden 47% Jorgensen 1%
Postal Inspectors in Butler and Westmoreland Counties are trying to determine why only half of the requested ballots mailed out have returned. This is very unusual for more than 25,000 to be missing in these heavily Trump counties.
Texas is not even purple except in liberal run cities. Houston and Harris County are notoriously corrupt.
Bexar County (San Antonio) will stay blue because the liberal machine will manufacture more votes as needed. But this election is different in that an increase in court battles have been fought and more fraudsters have been–or will be-arrested.
Going into Election Day, here’s a quick status update across the nation.
Republican approval rate for President Donald Trump is at 96%. This is an all time high in history.
In 2016, around 87% of registered voters cast a ballot. Indications are 2020 will be a record breaker.
North Carolina Battleground
The media consistently says North Carolina will be won by Democrats. Here are indicators that they are wrong:
Never in North Carolina history have Republican voters led a single a day in early voting over Unaffiliated and Democrat voters.
In 2020, Republican voters have led eight of the last nine days. Trump is running about 45,000 votes ahead of 2016 pace in North Carolina when he won the state by nearly 4 points.
The latest (9:45 a.m. today) update shows Early Vote and Votes By Mail (VBM) tallies for North Carolina as 261,459 ballots cast (23,779 VBM and 237,680 in person):
Republicans: 1,378,537 (31.7% vs 31.5% prior day). Democrats: 1,633,774 (37.6% vs 38.1% prior day). Unaffiliated: 1,310,505 (30.2% vs 29.9% prior day).
The Republicans won the total vote yesterday 92,029 to 77,291.
Votes by Mail results will continue to come in for days after the election. This is a big question mark.
New Hampshire Battleground
New Hampshire’s under-30 share of the early vote to date is less than 4% of the total vote.
Texas is Red
No matter what the Media or Democrats tell you, Texas will remain Red–even after all the Blue harvested ballots come in.
As in-person early voting concluded in Texas, Republicans, per TargetSmart, closed out the period with a 17-point lead in all pre-Election Day ballot-casting.
Out of 254 counties in Texas, early voting shows 204 of them were Trump by 30+%. Virtually none of those are changing demographics.
The 20+% Trump counties have already voted at 103% of what they did in 2016 so there is enthusiasm. Plus those counties tend to vote mostly Election Day.
“Just to clarify, this is the greatest lead which TX-GOPers have had this entire election cycle,” Cotto Gottfried said. “It is a titanic accomplishment, needless to say. Cheers to all TX-GOP voters who made this happen!”
In Florida, there are now 5.30 million registered Democrats and 5.17 million registered Republicans in the state – an edge of about 134,000 voters in favor of the Democrats. But the size of that margin has fallen from 327,000 in 2016 and 658,000 in 2008.
Republican voters has risen by about 619,000, compared with an increase of 426,000 voters among Democrats. However, the biggest increase during since 2016 has been among those who are registered with no party (+663,000).
Pay attention to Miami-Dade County Mayor election: Esteban Bovo Jr. and Daniella Levine Cava are running for Miami-Dade County’s open mayoral office. Although the race is officially nonpartisan, organizations associated with the Republican Party have backed Bovo and organizations associated with the Democratic Party have backed Levine Cava. No Democratic-associated candidate has won election as Miami-Dade county mayor since 2004.
According to Pew Research, “around eight-in-ten Republican registered voters (79%) are Christians, compared with about half (52%) of Democratic voters.”
Out of our 7,383 state legislatures, 52.7% are Republican. Democrats sit at 46.80%.
Nationally, the state legislatures include 1,972 state senators and 5,411 state representatives.
Republican count: 3,844 state legislature seats; 1,084 state Senate seats, 2,760 House seats.
Democrat count: 3,455 state legislature seats; 875 state Senate seats; 2,580 House seats.
Independent or third-party legislators hold 34 seats, of which 30 are state House seats and four state.
Two other local battleground elections to pay close attention to:
Mayor of Portland, Oregon: Incumbent Ted Wheeler, who supported the riots in and held back police, faces challenger Sarah Iannarone and write-in challenger Teressa Raiford in a nonpartisan election for mayor of Portland. In the May 19 primary, Wheeler won 49.1% of the vote, falling short of the 50% needed to win outright. Wheeler’s endorsers include United for Portland, a group that includes the Service Employees International Union, the Portland Business Alliance, and the Portland NAACP. Iannarone’s include Our Revolution and the Oregon Progressive Party.
Los Angeles County District Attorney: Incumbent Jackie Lacey faces challenger George Gascón in a nonpartisan election to run the nation’s largest prosecutorial office. Lacey and Gascón received 48.7% and 28.2% of the vote in the top-two primary, respectively. Gascón served two terms as San Francisco’s district attorney, having first been elected in 2011.
Thirty-three states have statewide orders requiring individuals to wear masks in indoor or outdoor public spaces. All 24 states with a Democratic governor have statewide mask orders, while nine out of 26 Republican states require face coverings.
President Trump delivered his long-awaited speech on health care yesterday in Charlotte, NC, outlining both his administration’s accomplishments—an impressive list—and his plans for future actions.
His America First Health Plan is organized around the theme of “Empowering Americans to choose what coverage works best for them and their families, not what bureaucrats force them into.”
Many of the accomplishments he described were developed under the guidance of Galen Senior Fellow Brian Blase when he served as one of the president’s top health policy advisers in the White House—especially rules around price transparency, association health plans, short-term policies, and potentially-transformative Health Reimbursement Arrangements.
HRAs create a next-generation option for employer health benefits, making them more like 401Ks for health benefits and are “projected by the Department of the Treasury to reach 800,000 businesses and over 11 million employees and to expand coverage to more than 800,000 individuals who would otherwise be uninsured,” the Executive Order says.
Other accomplishments that get little coverage: Expanding health savings accounts. Improving the accessibility and availability of telehealth services. Improving the physical and communications healthcare infrastructure available to rural Americans. And more.
There is a big difference between the approach the president is taking that that of the left, explaining some of the criticism of his plan.
Trump’s agenda is mostly organized around identifying problems and targeting solutions—focusing on opioid abuse, making insulin more affordable for diabetics, and keeping premiums for Medicare plans and Part D drug coverage low.
The administration’s actions also have led to a decrease in benchmark premiums for individual insurance in the ACA exchanges in 2019 after they more than doubled under the Obama administration.
All of this favors choice, competition, consumer empowerment, and innovation.
Perhaps the campaign can quicken around the contrast between the visions of the candidates. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s reform plan would lead to massive changes in the individual health insurance market, making it difficult or impossible for private plans to compete against his proposed government-run and taxpayer-funded health plan, the “public option.”
The president also focused on prescription drug prices, signaling it continues to be a top concern of voters as they head to the polls.
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Our faith in America’s sense of humor was restored during the pandemic summer of 2020.
We escaped from the onslaught of negative news and propaganda by just getting away. Our travels through 14 states and Washington D.C. for over a month thoroughly offered a lighter side of truth and experiences.
Besides counting the number of Trump (159) and Biden (0) flags and banners along the way, we got a kick from some of the names and places we saw. Uranus, Missouri, Santa Claus, Indiana and Hot Coffee, Mississippi were three favorites that come to mind.
To pass some of the highway mile time away, we researched and gathered humorous and fun town names from all 50 states. Here’s are list:
Screamer, an unincorporated community in southeastern Alabama, may have come from 19th century Native Americans who screamed and heckled white train travelers as they passed by what was then a reservation. Smut Eye, Alabama is doozie too.
Unalaska has over 4,500 residents, making it the largest city in the Aleutian Islands. Originally, Unangan residents named it Agunalaksh, a word that means “near the peninsula.” Eek, Alaska is noteworthy.
Why a call a town?” Yes, that’s right “Why” is a small community near the U.S.-Mexico border namhed after the Y-shaped intersection of two nearby highways. But because of an Arizona law requiring place names have at least three letters, “Y” became the much more pragmatic “Why.”
Smackover, a town of 1800 people in southern Arkansas, was once a major oil producer. Settled by French trappers in the early 19th century, “Smackover” may have derived from the French name for a local creek, Chemin Couvert, which means “covered way”—and “sumac couvert” means a covering of sumac trees, a local plant. Goobertown is another fun one
Rough and Ready, California, is named after an old mining company with that same label. It was the first to secede from the Union and become its own “republic” in 1850 as a protest against mining taxes, prohibition mandates, and laws that weren’t enforced. They rejoined the United States three months later.
Colorado has No Name. When government official first marked a newly constructed exit off I-70 with a sign reading “No Name” as a placeholder, it stuck.
Hazardville, Connecticut, was an 1800s industrial village that made gunpowder. The town was named after Colonel Augustus George Hazard, who purchased and expanded the gunpowder company in 1837.
Corner Ketch is an unincorporated community in New Castle County, Delaware. A rough-and-tumble local bar was known for warning strangers that if they didn’t get you in there, “They’ll ketch ye at the corner.”
Two Egg, Florida, got its name during the Great Depression. When bartering transactions occurred with two eggs traded, almost like currency, for goods.
Climax, Georgia sits at the highest point on the railroad between Savannah and the Chattahoochee River.
Volcano, Hawaii sits near the Hilo Volcano and several volcanic hot spots.
Slickpoo, near Culdesac, Idaho, was once a bustling village and site of a Catholic mission. Landowner Josiah Slickpoo donated acreage to the missionaries. Dickshooter, Idaho made us laugh too.
Sandwich got its name from Sandwich, New Hampshire.
Santa Claus, Indiana celebrates the spirit of Christmas every day, but especially at the Post Office in December. Gnaw Bone is an interesting name too.
What cheer Iowa has in What Cheer, Iowa. It was derived from an old English greeting.
Gas, Kansas is the butt of many jokes. “You just passed Gas.” “Gas Kan.” “Get Gas!” Natural gas was discovered in the area in 1898.
Bugtussle is a tiny spot on the Kentucky-Tennessee border is an homage to doodlebugs. Personally, I think Kentucky has some of the best town names with Knob Lick, Bald Knob, Chicken Bristle, Fearsville, Hippo, Krypton, Mud Lick, Monkeys Eyebrow, Pig, and Raccoon.
Bald Knob (guess they licked it too much?), Chicken Bristle, Fearsville, Hippo, Krypton (say hi to Superman’s parents for us!), Mud Lick, Monkeys Eyebrow, Pig, and Raccoon.
Uneedus is the settlement site of the Lake Superior Piling Company. Their corporate slogan was “You need us.” Residents founded another farm community nearby and called it Weneedu.
Burnt Porcupine is an island off the coast of Maine. Located near Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, Burnt Porcupine has nearby sister islands with equally intriguing names: Bald Porcupine, Long Porcupine, and Sheep Porcupine.
Boring, Maryland. Enough said.
Belchertown wasn’t named for the aftermath of a particularly gassy meal. It’s named after Jonathan Belcher, a colonial governor of Massachusetts.
Hell is 15 miles northwest of Ann Arbor. In the 1830s, the town settler, George Reeves, traded homemade whiskey to local farmers for grain. The farmer’s wives said “He’s gone to hell again.”
Nimrod, Minnesota is full of nimrods. In the book of Genesis, Nimrod is described as “a mighty hunter before the Lord” and is credited with overseeing the construction of the Tower of Babel.
Hot Coffee is marked as the midpoint between Natchez, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama. A late 1800s inn was erected and capitalized on the spring water, molasses and New Orleans beans used to make hot coffee for weary travelers.
Although Uranus was our favorite spot in Missouri, Tightwad has a cool name too. There’s also a Cooter and a Licking.
Pray, Montana. And they do. But the town of Pray, Montana, was named for then-state representative Charles Nelson Pray in 1907.
Magnet, Nebraska was named by settler B.E. Smith in 1893.
Jiggs, Nevada is about 30 miles south of Elko. It’s named after a top hat-wearing, cigar smoking Irish-American protagonist from an old comic strip Bringing Up Father. A women’s organization in town dubbed itself Maggie’s Club after the character’s wife.
Sandwich is named after The Fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montague, who actually invented the sandwich. In 1763, he chartered the town between the Lakes Region and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Loveladies, New Jersey, was named from a nearby island owned by Thomas Lovelady, a local hunter and sportsman.
Candy Kitchen lies between Zuni and Navajo reservations in western New Mexico. A local moonshine distiller needed a front to hide his illicit operations during Prohibition. To secure the sugar necessary to concoct barrels of hooch, the moonshiner established a confectionery that produced pinion nut candy on the side. Just 85 miles away is Pie Town.
Neversink, New York is currently sunk under about 175 feet of water. Named for the Neversink River, the longest tributary of the Delaware River, the city of 2000 was a Catskill towns flooded in the 1950s to create reservoirs that would provide water to New York City. It relocated afterwards. But another town, Bittersweet, remains underwater. On land, are towns called Coxsackie and Butternuts.
Why not Why Not? That’s the named settled upon when the post office was established in 1860. If not, try Lizard Lick, NC.
Cannon Ball, North Dakota gets its name from geological curiosities called concretions. There’s also Zap.
Knockemstiff, Ohio. Bar brawls and street fights during moonshine days, prompted the advice from a preacher. When asked by a woman on how to keep her cheating husband home and faithful, the preacher responded simply: “Knock ‘em stiff.” Take that advice however you want.
Gene Autry, Oklahoma was named after the singing cowboy who purchased a 1200-acre ranch nearby that he would turn into the headquarters of his Flying A Ranch Rodeo. On November 16, 1941, the town of Berwyn officially became Gene Autry, Oklahoma. It’s home to a museum and film festival in his honor.
Zigzag, Oregon, in the middle of Mount Hood National Forest, is named after the Zigzag River, which drains from the Zigzag Glacier. Notable is
Intercourse is in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. “It’s okay, you can giggle!” the village’s website says. “We’re happy with our name. It’s the perfect conversation starter.” About 20 minutes away is the town Blue Ball, named after an 1850s inn.
Woonsocket is the sixth largest city in Rhode Island ands was originally known as la ville la plus française aux États-Unis, which translates to “the most French city in the United States.” Historians believe the name is an evolved variation of a word from a Native American language.
Ketchuptown got its name from a country store built by Herbert Small in 1927 were locals went to “catch up” on news and gossip.
Mud Butte was named for a nearby barren butte. In 1981, archeologists digging around unearthed the sixth Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered, after a local rancher finally got around to calling a museum about the dinosaur bones he’d seen digging out of a cliff on his property for years.
Difficult, Tennessee isn’t too hard to remember.
Muleshoe, Happy, Dime Box, Gun Barrel City, Cut and Shoot, Telephone, Jot ’em Down, Loco, and Comfort were among my favorite town names in Texas until I came upon Ding Dong. Located in Bell County, the community was named after its founders, the Bell family.
Mexican Hat, Utah, has a 60-foot-wide, sombrero-shaped rock formation on the northeast side of town.
Satans Kingdom, Vermont is not the only state with that town name. Massachusetts and Connecticut does too. The land was said to be rocky and void of fertile soil.
Bumpass, Virginia is pronounced “bump-iss.”
Humptulips was a major logging center. The name comes from a local Native American word meaning “hard to pole.” Native Americans used to canoe by propelling themselves along with poles.
Lick Fork, Virginia is basically known for photo opportunities with signs bearing that name. There’s more in Booger Hole.
Bosstown, Wisconsin takes its name from a William Henry Dosch, a storeowner nicknamed Boss. Wow! There’s also a Spread Eagle.
Chugwater, Wyoming was home of the Mandan tribe, whose chief was reportedly injured during a buffalo hunt and sent his son to lead the hunting party in his place. According to Chugwater’s website, the son determined that the easiest way to kill the buffalo was to drive them off the local chalk cliffs. “The word ‘chug,’” the town’s website notes, “is said to describe the noise that the buffalo or the falling chalk made when it hit the ground or fell into the water under the bluff, depending on which version of the legend you wish to believe. Indians began to call the area ‘water at the place where the buffalo chug.’”
We have just returned from a 32-day, 4500 mile roadtrip (June 19-July 21) from the Texas Hill Country through much of the South, Washington D.C. for July 4th, to part of the Midwest and back.
Our preconceived ideas from news and the continually changing regulations around COVID-19 were blown away with the reality we experienced. It actually restored our faith in the goodness of America.
People of all ages, creeds, races and sexes were friendly, polite and eager to be traveling. By far, they agreed that what news outlets portray and what is actually happening are not in sync. We met scores of campers and travelers who indicated they had no problems with getting reservations and lodging.
We found our routes and destinations were open to travelers, including campers with self-contained RVs.
Most restaurants and stores were open with COVID-19 restrictions varying by state, city and location.
Our plans were modified only twice because of not feeling welcomed due to tourist closures.
1. We bypassed Nashville because the Grand Old Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame and Johnny Cash Museum were closed. Nearby Murfreesboro was welcoming for an overnight stay.
2. We left St. Louis immediately after driving to the Gateway Arch and seeing seedy characters in garbage, urine and feces infested tent encampments throughout the area. Wildwood, about 20 miles southwest on Historic Route 66, was awesome.
Here are some of the most notable routes we enjoyed and recommend.
Blue Ridge Parkway
A road trip gem, left Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg areas towards the Blue Ridge Parkway. This scenic byway traverses the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains across Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. We especially enjoyed Appalachian towns like North Carolina’s Asheville and Mt. Airy (Andy Griffith Museum).
RVers should be aware some roads have tunnel height restrictions. Check the tunnel restrictions for your planned route. The most restricting tunnels have a maximum height of 18 feet. Cell phone reception could be an issue depending on your carrier (we had no problems with Cricket). There were very few gas stations and other amenities limited. We remained anticipatory and planned ahead just in case.
Highway 61, known as the “blues highway,” is rich with the history of musicians in the Mississippi Delta area. It’s the birthplace of the blues and the roots of much of American music.
The original route went from New Orleans to Minnesota, but most of the history of the blues is embedded in Mississippi.
We started in Vicksburg, Mississippi, a great spot to understand some of the roots of the blues. In 1863 Vicksburg was under siege from the Union Army. General John Pemberton (Confederate) surrendered Vicksburg to General Grant (Union) after sustaining huge losses and facing a catastrophic defeat by an army that greatly outnumbered his abled soldiers.
The Blues developed from slaves toiling on the cotton plantations in Mississippi. The war was over and slavery was officially abolished. Opportunities slowly merged forward toward Memphis, St. Louis and Chicago. The music permeated across the Mississippi Delta.
Some say Clarksdale, Mississippi is the birthplace of the blues. While most of the old Juke Joints have perished, we stopped by Ground Zero Blues Club (co-owned by Morgan Freeman). It’s a great place to see talented musicians perform and enjoy local food favorites including fried green tomatoes, Mississippi tamales and catfish.
At the Highway 61/49 intersection is a famous location known as The Crossroads. It’s where Robert Johnson was fabled to have sold his soul to the Devil to be the King of Delta Blues. Robert Johnson was born in 1911 and died just 27 years later.
Highway 61 leads to Memphis, the land of Elvis Presley, SUN Studio, Beale Street and Graceland. The Graceland RV Park is conveniently located next to the Elvis Memphis complex and museums.
Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is an excellent route to see the southern United States by RV. We loved it because no commercial trucking or 18-wheelers are allowed.
Although it’s over 440 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, we started in Tupelo, Mississippi after visiting Elvis Presley’s Birthplace. We stopped often to see waterfalls, prehistoric mounds, and other historical landmarks.
Like the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, there are maximum RV restrictions. The maximum length is 55 feet (including a tow vehicle) and a 14 feet height restriction.
Long before our current national interstate highway system, federal highways, like U.S. Route 66, were main thoroughfares. On historic Route 66, you can explore America’s Heartland and other enchanting pockets of the United States from Chicago to Los Angeles.
We did join Route 66 again later in Oklahoma City. Continuing West, we could have carved out time to visit Grand Canyon National Park, but elected to return back to Texas after four weeks on the road.
New Travel Resources
U.S. State Department’s Traveler Checklist. Read more
The TripIt app has a relative new feature that shows safety scores from 1 to 100 for neighborhoods around the world, representing low to high risk. These scores cover a variety of categories, such as women’s safety, access to health and medical services, and political freedoms. Travelers will find safety scores for their lodging, restaurant and activity locations there.
Those of us old enough to remember the 1960s know it was a decade marked by assassinations, civil rights battles, the sexual revolution, an increase in drug experimentation, and the Vietnam War.
There was much turmoil, but millions of us found solace by tuning in to one of three available TV channels to watch The Andy Griffith Show.
Week after week, Americans tuned in to a place where folks genuinely loved and looked after each other. Mayberry may have been a fictional town, but for many, it was the place they longed to call home.
Growing up, I often asked myself what would Sheriff Andy Taylor do when faced with challenges. It helped immensely and I give the program plenty credit for helping me through life by setting some key examples.
I’ve been aching for simpler times. In many ways I see similarities in those turbulent 60s and today. But it appears we are living in a world that’s filled with a lot more anger and bitterness and hate.
People seem willing to go to court or to start a fight whenever anyone even makes the slightest mistake or doesn’t agree with their lifestyle demands.
Congress has become so polarized on both sides that they can’t get anything done without first playing their game of “political chicken” to see how close to the edge they can take us before we go over the ledge.
Issues like racism, abortion and the same-sex marriage debate continue to divide the American people. The mainstream media can’t be trusted and seem to want to divide us. But we could learn a thing or two about living in Mayberry, and maybe find some peace with others and within ourselves along the way.
I climbed a great career ladder with an admirable company by modeling many of my thoughts after Sheriff Taylor. Even today, I still ask “what would Andy do?”
With that in mind, Dodie and I decided to head out to Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mt. Airy, North Carolina while on our month long roadtrip. Many say, and the city itself claims, that Mt. Airy was the inspiration for Mayberry.
We learned much more than I thought we would.
According to George Lindsay, who played Goober in the series, “One of the incredible things about every single episode is that Andy insisted each show have a moral point – something good, lofty and moral. It’s a shame current shows on TV don’t adopt that high road.”
Here are some key things I’ve learned along the way that was underlined by visiting Andy Griffith’s childhood home, his museum, Floyd’s Barbershop, Wally’s Garage and Main Street.
1. Lead by Example. It’s important to remember that others see you and can be influenced by your lifestyle. It’s important to model the Mayberry mindset consistently if you want others to see its value and start living it for themselves.
Early in my leadership career at H-E-B Food/Drugs, my vice president Ralph Mehringer told me to “always be aware that people are watching, learning and ‘being’ from you. The example you set will be reflected in your organization.”
I took his wisdom to heart.
2. Value Other People. This means putting the needs and feelings of others ahead of your own and learning to be humble.
For me, it was delivering pizzas to night staff, including janitors and maintenance technicians, surprising them at 3 a.m. Remembering birthdays, anniversaries, or their spouses and children’s names (and activities: sports, art, hobbies, etc.). Visiting their family members in hospitals, attending weddings and funerals across Texas was a leadership quality I learned and practiced from H-E-B.
I suppose I’ve hired and terminated hundreds of people over the years. The concept of valuing them, even when letting them go, was rewarding.
Look how Andy treated the town drunk, Otis. Always with respect.
3. Seek Peace With People. This goes hand-in-hand with the first two and emphasizes the importance of love, patience, and the ability to let things go. It means accepting people who are different from you, and it means looking for non-violent or non-confrontational ways to resolve conflicts as often as possible.
My current post retirement job is being a golf marshal at two beautiful courses at Fair Oaks Golf and Country Club in the foothills of the Texas Hill Country. Conflict comes with the job throughout each day. But I can truly say that 99% of anyone I’ve had conflict with eventually turned out to be a friend. I respect them.
4. Live With Grace. This includes things like tolerance, forgiveness, trust, helping each other, and just generally treating people with the same kind of respect you expect from them. Andy was a master.
5. Slow Down. Getting enough rest is a value that seems to be under-appreciated in today’s society. From cars to computers and cell phones, technology seems great because we imagine all the ways it can make our work easier so we can have more leisure time. But the reality is that now we live in a world where everybody’s moving in hyper-speed – go, go, go all the time!
In Mayberry, everything seemed to move at an easier pace. People stayed active, yes, but they were never too busy to sit on the porch in the evening or to go out on a date to the duck pond. (“Barney, why do you want to go to the duck pond at night? You won’t be able to see the ducks!”)
Folks in Mayberry knew the value of a hard day’s work, but they also realized the importance of leaving work at work, taking time to enjoy the company of friends and family, and enjoying the simple things in life.
I’ve been particularly disenchanted with naysayers, socialist driven politicians and political correctness police going after businesses that close on Sundays so their employees could benefit.
The whole “closed on Sundays” thing was a lot more common in the 1960s than it is today, but the truth is that, for thousands of years, people have generally made a point of resting one day a week – it’s only really been in the last couple decades that this value has become more and more lost.
The idea of a day of rest began because people wanted to honor the Ten Commandments found in the Bible, where God instructed his people to honor the Sabbath. (The word “Sabbath” literally means to cease working.)
The point of slowing down, then, for many people including the citizens of Mayberry, was and is often not just to clear the mind, but also to reconnect with God and seek spiritual rejuvenation.
Maybe for you, you choose to live by this code because it ties in with your religious beliefs. It’s possible to link all five of these keys to Biblical teachings, and in fact, I’m sure that’s one major reason why the folks in Mayberry live this way. While they rarely quoted Scripture, there are several episodes that feature hymns and church – we know these things are on their minds.
If you don’t choose to live this way for religious reasons, maybe you just do it because you know it’s the right thing to do.