Berger: Protect the children by abandoning them

The scary thing is, he may actually believe this tripe:

“The best way to protect North Carolina’s children and their future is to keep our budget balanced, protect our AAA credit rating, and resist the urge to recklessly spend money we don’t have,” said Berger (R-Rockingham).

These kids aren't at risk at some future date somewhere down the road, they're at risk right now. But those aren't the children you're interested in protecting anyway, are they? And by the way, the single most reckless act I've seen our state government engage in is the cutting of hundreds of millions in revenues at a time when these children need that money the most. You own that one, Phil, and the voters won't be allowed to forget.

Exhaustive analysis of the redistricting ramifications

An hour or so ago, a great diary analyzing the NC Redistricting and it ramifications was posted at Daily Kos. I won't attempt to copy any of it here; simply follow the link and check it out for yourself. This is the most exhaustive treatment of this topic I've seen yet, heavy with numerical facts, with a bit of reasoned analytical opinion added. Very enlightening.

A word of advice: if you click the link, make sure you have a few hours of free time ahead of you! There's more information there than can be assimilated in just a cursory look, and the information is addictive if you're a cartographic and dataset junkie like I am.

The bottom line is that after studying that diary for a while, I was a little less depressed by the 2012 electoral prospects for our state...but just a little. We've got a huge battle ahead of us in North Carolina.

Harm Reduction and Law Enforcement

One in three law enforcement officers in areas without harm reduction programs can expect to be pricked by a potentially infectious needle during their tenure. With the risks that officers run every day to protect our communities from harm, it’s important that community members also do their part to protect the officers, for example, through the implementation of harm reduction programs. Syringe exchange programs (SEPs) that help keep dirty needles off our streets and parks are shown to reduce the risk of needle pricks for officers by 66%.

Corporal D.A. Jackson has served in law enforcement for over 26 years, 18 in the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department. She has seen firsthand the need for effective harm reduction programs in North Carolina and the benefits of these programs to law enforcement.

Microbes R Us

Sorry Governor Perry, but not only are corporations not people, people aren't even people. So much for the dominionists.

As they look beyond the genome, cancer researchers are also awakening to the fact that some 90 percent of the protein-encoding cells in our body are microbes. We evolved with them in a symbiotic relationship, which raises the question of just who is occupying whom.

Tea Party leader: "We're not on the fringe!"

Methinks he doth protest too much:

“One of the biggest problems the Tea Party is facing right now is messaging. The Tea Party is not on the fringe; the Tea Party is on the right side of the spectrum but we're not on the fringe,” said Tea Party member Judson Phillips.

Riiight. So I guess limiting the right to vote to only property owners is also not fringe-worthy:

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