The dangers of mixing religion and politics

In the early days of the Moral Monday movement, a good friend of mine expressed both confusion and concern about the religious overtones present. She (my friend, an avowed Atheist) found this approach disconcerting, because she had witnessed countless instances where religious intervention in affairs of the state had negative implications for one group or another. I tried to explain to her that many had misinterpreted the Bible, very often to back up their own misguided prejudices, and a religious "counterpoint" may be the only way to combat that effect. And also, Conservatives had for years dominated the religious conversation, and had successfully captured the votes of many religious folks who might have made other choices in the absence of such domination. In retrospect, I don't have as much confidence in my argument as I once did. Keeping religion out of the debate may be more important than winning it. In order to make my point, I'm going to criticize an ally in the fight against HB2, something I would normally prefer not to do:

Civitas polling guilty of blatant misinformation

When the truth just won't do, make shit up:

Tim Moore, the speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives, said it’s an overwhelming consensus. "The one thing where we’ve seen nearly unanimous – well, nothing’s unanimous – but 80 percent support out there is the concept that men should not be in women’s restrooms, changing rooms, bathrooms, et cetera – that that shouldn’t happen," Moore said in a May 5 discussion with reporters.

The (Civitas) poll asked: "Do you agree or disagree with a Virginia federal court ruling ordering girls and boys in public middle schools to share locker room, bathroom and shower facilities?"

Bolding mine. That doesn't even resemble what the court ruling actually said. Civitas would have people believe the court ruled there would no longer be separate facilities, and boys and girls would *all* be forced to share a single unisex space for changing, showering, waste excretion, etc. That goes beyond mere hyperbole, and was designed to achieve two goals: A super-high percentage (80%) that could be quoted by idiots like Speaker Moore, and to spread misinformation, starting with the 600 people "polled." If it's possible you could go from zero credibility into negative numbers, Civitas has just crossed that threshold.

Sunday News: Political hypocrisy edition


LAWMAKERS SHOULD DO MORE TO TRULY PROTECT N.C.'S CHILDREN (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- North Carolina’s Republican leaders say the negative publicity and economic losses brought on by House Bill 2 are justified by the need to protect children from sexual predators. But when they were asked last year to do more to help children who’ve suffered from sexual abuse and to prevent more children from falling prey to it, they showed little interest. That request came in February 2015 when the North Carolina Coalition for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse delivered the findings of a study requested by the legislature “to identify statewide goals to prevent child sexual abuse.”

The myth of Andrew Jackson "the hero"

The rewriting of the rewriting of history:

Now that the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury has decided to remove the mug of Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill, we ought to kick Jackson’s fanny off the bronze horse that has stood at the east entrance to the N.C. Capitol for three score and eight years.

In all the annals of American history, no one is more culpable for the criminal malice, including genocide and mass murder, done to Native Americans than slave owner and Indian fighter Andrew Jackson. Even before he was leading an army to drive them from their ancestral homes, he was stealing their land as an up and coming Tennessee lawyer and entrepreneur. Jackson’s name was prominent in the Glasgow Scandal that brought down a North Carolina secretary of state.

I have never understood the desire of (many of) my fellow NC Democrats to continually honor this man, whose only historical significance should be listed alongside Pol Pot and Adolph Hitler as mass murderers.

Saturday News: McCrory's non-stop political campaign


MCCRORY CLAIMS 'POLITICAL LEFT' FED EMERGENCE OF TRANSGENDER ISSUES (NPR) -- Republican Gov. Pat McCrory defended HB2, the state's so-called bathroom bill, and said the "political left" fed the emergence of transgender issues in politics. "Most people had never heard of this issue five months ago, until the political left started saying, 'We need bathroom rules and policies,' not just for government facilities and schools but also for the private sector," McCrory said in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered.

Keep an eye on RSLC spending in NC's Supreme Court race

It's bound to be at the top of their list of priorities:

The RSLC is funded almost entirely by corporations, including West Virginia Coal Association members Alliance Coal of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which gave $70,000 between 2010 and 2012; Alpha Natural Resources of Abingdon, Virginia, which gave $54,000 since 2012, including $10,000 in June of last year; and Consol Energy of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, which has given $315,000 since 2010.

According to state campaign finance records, the RLSC spent more than $2.6 million either supporting Walker or attacking her opponents. The RSLC spent $3.4 million on state supreme court races in four states and a local court contest in another during the 2013-14 election cycle, and it has already matched that amount this cycle.

If this process was taking place in almost anywhere other than an election, it would be ripe for a RICO investigation. If the mention of the RSLC seems to ring a bell, it should. They are the same group that spent $1.3 million supporting both of Robin Hudson's opponents, while also attacking her:

HB2 triggers nationwide directive on transgender student rights

Dog help me, I do love this President:

“A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so,” according to the letter, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times.

A school’s obligation under federal law “to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex requires schools to provide transgender students equal access to educational programs and activities even in circumstances in which other students, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns,” the letter states. “As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.”

And that is exactly the role for the Executive envisioned by the founders. To make sure both the US Constitution and established Statute (Civil Rights Act) are being followed in the several states. These legal structures were not put in place to protect majority desires, they were put in place for the exact opposite reason:

Friday News: Duke Energy's water pressure edition

STATE TOXICOLOGIST: DUKE ENERGY LOBBIED TO REVERSE 'DO NOT DRINK' ORDER (WBTV) -- Officials with Duke Energy lobbied state health and environmental officials to reverse a ‘do not drink’ order sent to residents with water wells near coal-powered plants, according to the a top state health official. State Epidemiologist Megan Davies made the revelation in a deposition last week. Davies was being deposed by an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, who is involved in a lawsuit filed against the company over its storage of coal ash.

Tough talk on failed charter schools

But will they put those words into actions?

The draft policy also calls for imposing civil penalties on individual board members when the charter fails to turn over student records to the family’s new school. A penalty of $100 could be issued for each day. The state has had issues with some charter schools turning over student records when they closed.

When PACE Academy in Carrboro was closed by the state in 2015 due to financial issues, parents were clamoring for their children’s records. Adam Levinson, interim director of the state Office of Charter Schools, said the records were only recovered when the landlord for PACE called the state asking about what to do with the abandoned documents.

Here's a radical concept: You use taxpayer funding for your operation, then you should be held accountable when you screw up. And if you're on a board (be it non-profit) that pays you a salary, the taxpayers should be able to recoup some of that money if you fail in your duties to manage the defunct charter school. All that said, the school privateers in the General Assembly will not allow much more than a rap on the knuckles for their heroes, so the state Advisory Board better find a happy medium or risk a Legislative firing squad.


Subscribe to Front page feed