Feb 102007
 

The following list is complied from a quick search of popular phrases or sayings that include the word ‘pig’:
When Pigs Fly

  • It’ll happen when pigs fly
  • As happy as a dead pig in the sunshine
  • As pig headed as a mule
  • Happy as a pig in slop
  • Hard to hold as a greased pig
  • In a pigs eye
  • Muddier that a pig sty
  • Silk purse out of pigs ear
  • Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered
  • Selling a pig in a poke
  • Squeal like a stuck pig
  • The road is going to be as greasy as a greased pig in the sunshine
  • This place looks like a pig’s sty
  • Even the blind pig finds the corn sometimes
  • Don’t ever try to teach a pig to sing, it irritates the pig and wastes your time.
  • Sweating like a pig.
  • Do you blame the pig or the man that feeds it?
  • Saving my bacon.
  • A Pork project

All very colorful uses of the word ‘pig’ in a phrase that imparts a visual image to make a point. Some of these quaint metaphors have been used for hundreds of years and are part of our everyday lexicon.

The metaphor I used in the last post was the expression “You can put lipstick on a pig — but it’s still a pig”. To illustrate the phrase, I used clip-art of a pig with lipstick in the post.

It is a very main stream expression, especially in political circles. Here are is example, during the 2004 Presidential Election, Vice President Dick Cheney used the expression:

“As we say in Wyoming, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” quipped Vice President Dick Cheney in a stump speech yesterday, with reference to John Kerry’s claims he would be a credible war president. It’s part of the VP’s daily refresher course in the presidential wannabe’s all-talk-no-action lack of decisiveness [the Girlie-Man Syndrome].

Last year, Torie Clark, the former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, wrote a book called ‘Lipstick on a Pig’ A Washington Insider Takes A Spin On ‘Spin’.

I ask you “What is Spin?”, but the attempt to lessen the impact of an unpopular decision or statement.

Removing the picture

I removed the pig clip-art and phrase from the preceding post for one reason; Mrs. Snyder took offense. I would have changed it sooner, had she called or emailed. I didn’t need to use clip-art or phrase to make my point, as it never was about who they hired, but how and why Commissioners Pressley, Mills and Baucom hired an ‘Image Consultant’, with no prior discussion with the Board minority (you know, the other ‘Republicans’) or made a public announcement of an open position.

After reading the EJ article this morning, it became apparent the GOP leadership was trying to deflect criticism by highlighting my post. The EJ story alludes as much.

Please view the original post. Union County Commissioner majority hires public relations ‘Spin-Meister’ You decide.

Looking at the furor stirred up since the post was published, it evidently presented some a terrific opportunity to reverse spin and attack.

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 Posted by at 1:24 pm

  24 Responses to “Pigs fly, squeal, sweat and find corn.”

  1. Two steps forward and one step back gets you there. I feel sorry for the lady more than anything else.

  2. What concerns me the most about the whole pig in lipstick thing (and by the way…the phrase was used about Wal-Mart in Waxhaw, too…and we never got a call from Mrs. Walton) is the fact that THE PERSON who was “retained” to help the Board present a positive public image is the very person who took offense to a picture that had nothing to do with her personally…but was solely about the concept of having to hire anyone in the first place. This is the person who is supposed to teach our Commissioners how to present positive images, play nice, get along and maintain a united front? Seems to me that an image consultant should be a little less personally involved, a lot more objective and open, and much more thick-skinned.

    She reacted exactly how the Commissioners are apparently not supposed to act…at $75 per hour, this is going to be an expensive lesson…(was she on the clock during her tantrum?)

  3. Ok, I had some fun in the last post. But, from my teen years here is a little lesson. Brother Dave Gardner, a comedian who we adored then because of his irreverence had this little ditty.

    “Sir, why are you wearing the suit? Are you a business man?”
    “No, I am a Volkswagen mechanic”
    “You mean that you wear cloths like that when you work on cars?”
    “No, I repair cars in the nude.”
    “Isn’t that immoral?”
    “No. If we were all moral, we could all go nude.”

    Somewhere in the depths of our beings, there either is or is not that fundamental goodness which allows us to meet the world as we are, as it is, and with no quarter asked nor given. If we have it, then all the spin doctors in the world could not make us look better. If we do not have it, all the spin doctors in the world can not give it to us.
    It is a void of the soul that makes such people employable. In business, it is a statement of an unwillingness to stand on our own feet. In religion, it is a disbelief of the power of God. In government, it is a perversion of government of, by, and for the people, to make it of, by, and for those who govern.
    Thirty pieces of silver or $33,000, it is all the same. Welcome to our brave new world. ZIP ZIP ZIP.

  4. Asked to explain the ZIP ZIP ZIP, it comes from Huxley,s book, “Brave New World.” Children were mass produced without mother’s wombs and children were taught early to engage in sex, and adults were encouraged to use it as mere recreation. There was no sin, no negative connotations to doing anyone you wanted any time you wanted. All clothes had only zippers and, well, you get it. ZIP ZIP ZIP. How interesting that we voted for traditional values in Union County and got Madison Avenue. ZIP ZIP ZIP.

  5. The new image consultant’s comments in the Saturday EJ are already working on me. I found this Blog! The consultant’s inaugural act of attacking Mr. Mark DiBiasio’s blog posting is very telling. More on that subject later. I wonder how she will spin the EJ’s “OUR VIEW” quote:

    “Chairman Kevin Pressley has redefined sleaze with the firing of County Attorney Don Perry”.

    The following is a shareholder’s observations of management at Union Inc.

    Recently, favor seeking supply contractors financially funded fellow supply contractors to take over Union Inc., to the shocking surprise of this shareholder. The new contractor controlled board majority of Union Inc. is dubbed “The New Regime” by a contractor gloating he expects a multi-million deal. CEO Kevin Pressley, COO Allen Baucom and CFO Parker Mills have earned the name “The Regime Team”. They took control of this company an abruptly fired the veteran manager without a single reason and cost the company shareholders 600,000 dollars, abolished two other company advisor boards to stack it with contractors and friends that will make multi-million dollar rezoning recommendations for fellow contractors, added a new advisor board stacked with contractors to advise on multi-million dollar infrastructure deals, illegally voted to change a major company building policy for contractors that will strain company infrastructure without the required shareholder public hearing, illegally violated Wesley Inc. jurisdiction according to state corporate statutes and are currently making critical decisions for shareholders on the advise of an undisclosed attorney. The Regime Trio has refused to disclose the name of this unknown attorney to the shareholders. In addition, the Regime Trio had an illegal closed session company meeting with the Trio’s personal attorney. Then they orchestrated the firing of a veteran company attorney to hire their personal attorney to represent, get this, Union Inc. The truth about this firing was gaveled down during an open board meeting and the Regime Trio proceeded to make- up an illusionary story of events. CEO Kevin Pressley resorted to having an undisclosed person contact the fired veteran attorney to firm up this vile gaveling illusion, but failed.
    A recommendation to hire an independent infrastructure consultant to give cost effective and unbiased recommendations of where and what multi-million dollar infrastructure is needed for Union Inc. was dismissed by the Regime Team. Instead, the Trio boys voted to spend 33,600 dollars a year from shareholder funds for a 75 dollar per hour image political consultant.
    Returning to the consultant’s inaugural act: The campaign reports demonstrate that the Regime Team are experts at having others pay for political consultants. First the developers gave mega dollars. Now the Regime Team has recycled the name to image consultant to collect thousand of dollars from the shareholders. The result can be seen in the Saturday EJ. The political consultant attacks a vocal shareholder’s blog and CEO Kevin Pressley is advised to start crying about, get this, that a bogeyman is orchestrating all of this bad press. You know, the bogeyman that tries to gavel the facts away.

  6. Welcome, JJ! Glad you found the Scribe.

    Thank you for the excellent post. It is a very accurate depiction of business at Union, Inc. This behavior is from the “regime” whose members ran on the platform of “running Union County like a business”.

    A business. Yeah. Enron.

  7. Wesley Chapel to get a Target superstore:

    [Story Link]

    Oh darn, now people will have somewhere to shop. How evil!

  8. Yes Mr. Raines, Target is coming to Wesley Chapel, bringing with it 12,000 cars per day, all to serve on single lane roads, with a smattering of turn lanes.

    The 3rd shopping center on the opposing corner is breaking ground for a Walgreens, later to be followed by a Lowes Food, a McDonalds and so on.

    All told, over 550,000 sq. feet of shopping and office space, all on a single lane roads.

  9. Wesley Chapel to get a Target superstore:

    [Story link]

    Oh darn, now people will have somewhere to shop. How evil!

    If this had been a Wal-Mart, the torches and pitch forks would be out.

  10. The story from Wesley Chapel about Target has been anticipated for two years. The story here is, as MarkD has noted, the total square footage of space that was oked for that intersection of two roads, both two lane. That is significant because of the traffic problems that it will bring. Weddington’s indecision on the Rae Road extension compounds those problems.
    But, the real story is that the granting of all that shopping space led to a change in the political face of our town that will have an impact county wide in the next few years. We are all aware of the ETJ situation and the fact that our town is willing to go to court with the county if that is what is necessary. We have good people in our town government and they are willing to do whatever is necessary to get control of local development so that something like this never happens again.
    I wrote, when the election was over, that all those people who were for the last shopping center could go home and play with their grandkids and find a hobby because neither they nor their children nor their grandchildren would ever serve on the town council again. It was a costly act for the long-time residents and I hate it. I felt then, and I feel now that our government should represent all the people. But, when the old timers were in office, they wanted nothing to do with the newer residents. Now, they will pay the price for that.
    The same thing is now happening on the county level. Call it the last hurrah or whatever you want, but the direction of the present commission is a coward’s way of going down. A little courage would lead them to understand that they need to represent all the people and temper their ways. But, that is not the Union County way. It has always been all or nothing and there is no way on God’s green earth that they can win in the long run. A little elementary arithmetic is all the crystal ball you need.

  11. MarkD, 550,000 sq. ft. of retail at one intersection does not sound plausible on 2 lane roads. Are you sure you have your facts correct? Does anyone know the sq. footage of the two Target retail centers on Rae Road? There are 4 lanes, or more, and the shopping centers are near 485.

    I spent several hours reading the blog over the past few days but I do not recall any information about the distance from Wesley Chapel’s shopping center to the promised Dean Harrell rezoning by the “New Regime”. Does anyone know the distance?

  12. JJ,

    The Wesley Chapel Target is will be a 128,000 sq. ft. and is not a Super Target (no groceries).

    The 550,000 sq ft number is drawn from combining the vendor projected size of the existing Harris Teeter shopping center, what was authorized for Village Commons II and finally the 3rd (Plyler) Shopping Center.

    The final size configuration is largely dependent on the ultimate application. TJ Max and Circuit City are two tenants being sought/considered. There is room for 3 anchors with a varied space requirement.

    The total size included office space as well.

    The commerical project size presented by Beulah Church Road Partners, LLP for Waxhaw-Indian Trail Road and Beulah Church is 350,000 sq ft and is about 1.2 miles from Wesley Chapel’s Super Centers.

    The Rea Road extension, when and if it is actually built as a 4 lane road, year 2030, is currently projected to stop at NC84 and Waxhaw-Indian Trail. NCDOT Plans for Providence Road expansion call for 4 lanes (ONLY) to Rea Road.

    People south of Rea and east of Waxhaw-Indian Trail are being left out of the picture.

  13. The oldtimers in this county need to understand that their ability to control the politics is slipping fast. This soil, these trees, these rocks do not give a hoot for either group and so the whole hold on politics is etheral. I read in the writings of a lot of them that they are stuck with the old concept of land ownership giving some sort of “right to govern.” This is the old Southern way and I understand it, but it is changing so fast that you can feel it.
    As much as some of us dislike the politics of the ruling majority today, they are the best friends of change. Within two years, land ownership will hold little sway in this county. The power is already in those sub-divisions and they only need a cause to exert that power. Pressley and all are supplying that cause, just as Butch Plyler and company did in Wesley Chapel.
    The economy is also on the side of those seeking change. The demand for housing has dropped significantly and we have an election coming. The Democrat Party stands poised to take over and investors are going to hold onto their money. This also bodes bad for Union County roads. As the most Republican county in North Carolina and in the western part of the state, it will beg for every little penny it gets.

  14. Aubrey,

    So nice of you to finally show your true colors. You despise and envy anyone who owns land, and you just came right out and said “your property rights are going to be taken away because subdivision dwellers outnumber the farmers and can vote to take your property.”

    Wow, I never thought you’d actually come out and admit it.

    By the way, I suppose you’ll also try to vote to make invalid the US constitution that states no land or property may be taken without just compensation? Because you’ve stated time and time again you have no intention of actually PAYING for all this open space you want, but rather you intend to pass laws giving it to you for free.

    You do realize you’re espousing communism- how far to the left are you, anyway?

    The most ironic part is that your dream goal of stopping all development is based on the voting power of subdivision residents- which i’m pretty sure counts as development.

  15. Aubrey,

    One last thing- you said in the minutes of a February 1999 Wesley Chapel Village Council meeting, which can be found here:

    …1999_Minutes/CM_02_February_08_1999

    “Between Item #2 and Item #3, Mr. Aubrey Moore spoke to us about zoning as it relates to the Town of Weddington. He stated that he did not think we should let Weddington have anything to do with our zoning. He thinks we should keep the farm lands as they are and that we should plan to build parks.”

    So tell me, Aubrey, when a farmer in this area decides it’s time to retire (and for most farmers that means 70 or or 80 years old) what do you propose they do if their children don’t want to keep running the farm? Should these “old timers” as you put it keep raising cattle and chickens until the day they die, barely making a living? With land prices approaching 100,000 dollars an acre, no NEW farmers will ever buy that land, since even the US Department of Agriculture states that any land in the united states with an assessed value of over 5,000 an acre is NOT counted as farmland in national figures because there is no legal crop or domestic animal that can be grown/raised profitably once land goes beyond that price.

    So you’ve got all the “old timers” in the area wanting to retire, and there’s no possibility of any new farmers buying the land to continue farming, and many if not most of their children don’t want to keep farming, yet you’ve stated that you’re going to do whatever you can to keep those farms just like they are. How do you intend to do this, exactly? Do you have any plan whatsoever or is it just wishful thinking?

  16. I just viewed the last Union County Commissions meeting. The audio is very clear. The consultant sure has a lot of work to do. My Lord, how will she detangled the spinning web of deceit. Reading the paper was bad ,but watching and hearing, you could feel the deceit. I really do feel bad for the staff. Dick Black looked like he was on pins and needles as he jumped through hoops. The staff must be having some restless nights.

    How do you know when Kevin Pressley is in the act of a “really good” lie with his 2 buddies?

    A) When he bangs his gavel and gives a poker face act.

    B) When he accuses fellow debaters of being paranoid and states “not
    all people are liars, greedy and dishonest; at some point you have to
    trust”

    C) When he adds special interest items to the agenda the night of the
    meeting and votes on them with as little discussion as possible.

    D) All of the above

    Yes you’re right, D is the correct answer. You must have watched the same meeting(s).

    I hate to point out Mr. Pressley’s acting problems without a fix. For the really “good lies” have Mr. Pressley look straight into the camera, don’t blink, speak with authority and have him waves his finger at the camera.

    Time to practice the one-liners using the above strategies:

    I did not have anything to do with the firing of that attorney.
    We need a communication consultant for that entire board.
    I’m working for all the people that are in the Union County.
    We need to abolish that advisory board(s) for the new advisory boards that will protect property rights.
    We fired that manager but we did not know how lucrative or the details of that contract.
    My voting buddies are not influenced by that thousands of dollars that they received from that developer(s).

    Ok, you’re ready to tell some good ones at your next meeting. Where do I send my invoice?

  17. Mr. Anderson,

    It is my understanding that the three majority members of the current board are already quite wealthy. To think they would be influenced by a couple thousand dollar contribution from some developer is absurd- and remember the board chairman, Mr. Pressley, did not accept a dime of developer money, unless you count money he spent out of his own pocket.

    If there’s any self-interest on the board, it is that I’m guessing some of them own developable land in the county and as such would benefit by having property rights not trampled on by overzealous towns trying to ETJ every square inch of the county to stop development of any kind in its tracks. Some measly contributions during the campaign are pretty unlikely to “blind them with greed” when land is going for 100k an acre around here.

    However, frankly, I think putting union county back on the track of protecting property rights is good for EVERYONE, even if some of the members own land themselves. If the president of the US lowers taxes on every citizen, including himself, does that make him corrupt?

    Now if any of them start using county money to have roads extended to some plot of land they own in the middle of nowhere, then you’ll have an axe to grind. But until then, the talk of these guys being “paid off” and “puppets” is just absurd.

    Try again in two years. This dog ain’t gonna hunt for a while.

  18. That property rights mumbo is a bunch of hooey – great, so you can own land…what a thought! I suspect what is meant by property rights is profitability rights. No one, no thing says anything about maximizing profit in the sale of land. By protecting property rights as defined by the big landowners, it does nothing for my property rights, contrary to what Mr. Raines said in his posting. Quite the opposite, actually, as the highest land value will come from highest density residential or commercial and that will do nothing but raise taxes and produce more road congestion, overcrowded schools and higher crime rates.

    I recommend before knee-jerking to property rights, look at the value of zoning ordinances. If you want to maximize value for the greatest number of people, then the county should enforce its zoning ordinances and develop stricter ones. Some government is good when the absence therewith only creates suburban sprawl and profit for a very small group. A good Land Use Plan would be a good start, something that has some vision, and then enforcement of that, which several former commissioners and members of Boards of Adjustment and Planning Boards refused to do.

    Property rights has little to do with developing a community. And don’t get into that nonsense….gee, community sounds like communism. Communities are valued by good capitalists, whether they realize it or not, because it creates value for members of the community – what do we do to develop that?

  19. Jeff,

    You’ve missed my point entirely. I am not arguing for upzoning of anyone’s land to higher density- especially my own. I am simply saying that if the local government decides to take the current zoning (1 house per acre) and tomorrow say you can only have 1 house per twenty acres, then someone has to pay.

    That is a direct economic loss to the landowner. Your argument seems to be that if the community wants to take a farmer’s land and zone him to one house per thousand acres, it would be perfectly legal and moral because nobody is “entitled” to a profit on their land.

    It’s like saying since nobody is “entitled” to a profit in the stock market, that the local government should have the power to take, say, 40% of your Duke Power shares you’ve held for 20 years. After all, there is no guarantee of profit in any investment except US treasury bonds, so local governments should feel free to steal from everyone without any consequence!

    Is that your position? Let’s just get it out in the open and I’ll await your answer.

    I know this is a very difficult issue to debate, because there are probably less that 100 large landowners left in the entire county. Everyone else lives in subdivisions or owns less than a couple acres of land. Since these landowners can’t outvote even the population of one medium-sized subdivision of residents, they have to rely on something we like to refer to as the Constitution of the United States of America, specifically the Fifth Amendment. You can read about it on Wikipedia:

    Fifth Amendment

    notice the last sentence:

    “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    Translation- you want something? You have to pay for it. End of story.

  20. Your argument seems to be that if the community wants to take a farmer’s land and zone him to one house per thousand acres, it would be perfectly legal and moral because nobody is “entitled” to a profit on their land.

    Sorry Mr. Raines I think you’re the one who missed the point entirely. Nothing in Mr. Kravis’ post remotely suggests what you state above. Having a good land use plan and stricter zoning laws does not in any stretch of the imagination imply one house per hundred acres or one house per thousand acres.

  21. Good morning Mr. Mark Raines,

    When responding to a person’s posting please keep on topic. I understand you’re at a huge disadvantage when you know everyone picked answer “D”. But, for heaven’s sake, just folding-up your tent was disappointing. You would be fired at the next commissioners meeting for not jumping through hoops to defend the new regime’s consultant.

    I modified your posting, changed some names, inserted two round dollar figures and used your adjectives to demonstrate how absurd the posting sounds.

    It is my understanding that Speaker Jim Black and Michael Decker are already quite wealthy. To think they would be influenced by a couple thousand dollar contribution is absurd- and remember that story teller developer Kevin Pressley, did not report accepting a dime of developer money. Mr. Pressley has no reason to lie about anything.

    Some measly contributions of 80,000 plus dollars during the campaign, with additional dollars still pouring in after the campaign, is pretty unlikely to “blind them with greed”. (I’m sure they could see a little bit out of one eye to count the money). I’m not sure why they did not just take that measly amount out of their own pocket and pay that 80,000 dollar bill. You would think someone could take exotic vacations on the other side of the world with that measly money. The new regime motioned to hire the first and only political consultant without bids or discussion for a micro-measly 33,000 dollars in tax money. Because, you know, 80 thousand dollars is so measly to the wealthy regime politicians.

    I’ll stop there. Your postings are always laced with transparent disingenuous statements. It is not worth continuing. How can anyone comment on your road funding statement when you know counties are not permitted to build roads according to state law. I wonder why counties can not fund roads! Anyone watching the commissioner’s meetings or reading a subdued local newspaper article can see that power, greed and deceit are now working for the greedy. No consultant can cover-up this current factual path.

  22. I consider the 33k spent on an image consultant pocket change compared to the 600k golden parachute given to our esteemed ex-county manager just days before the previous board was voted out of power.

  23. Mr. Raines; Again your lack of knowledge about N.C. is showing. All roads in N.C. are owned, built and maintained by the state. The only way the county could do anything about roads is if the Legislature passed a law allowing them to do it. This has benn the law in N.C. since the depression and, although there have been a few request for such a law, none has been granted. Perhaps the only exception is certain larger municipalities have been allowed to maintain the roads isid of their city limits that are not numbered highways, bue even that is with DOT funds.

  24. John,

    I am well aware that roads are paid for by the state. I was replying to the earlier implication that the “pro-developer” county commission was somehow responsible for getting roads built to remote land owned by their campaign contributors, which is absurd.

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