scharrison's blog

Tarheel Founding Fathers: John Williams

Williams began his revolutionary career as a Lieutenant Colonel of Orange County Minutemen:

British Colonel Donald McLeod began marching 1,600 Loyalists from Cross Creek, North Carolina, toward the coast, where they were supposed to rendezvous with other Loyalists and Redcoats at Brunswick, North Carolina. When Commander Richard Caswell (1729-89) and some 1,000 Patriots arrived at Moores Creek Bridge, near present-day Wilmington, ahead of the British Loyalists, Caswell positioned his troops in the woods on either side of the bridge, awaiting the British with cannons and muskets at the ready.

The British learned of the Patriot troops at Moores Creek in advance, but, expecting only a small force, decided to advance across the bridge to attack. The British Loyalists shouted, “King George and Broadswords!” as they moved across the bridge; they were swiftly cut down by a barrage of Patriot musket and cannon fire.

This was a critical victory, which effectively broke the Crown's control and influence in North Carolina. It also sent a strong message to those still "undecided" about which side to fight on. But even though the various district Minutemen thrashed the loyalists (including the much-feared Scots), they were deemed too expensive and disbanded in favor of local militias. Shortly thereafter Williams was commissioned as a full Colonel and commanded the 9th North Carolina Regiment in the Continental Army. They fought and froze through the Winter of 1777 in Valley Forge, and were disbanded in 1778. Later that year, as he was serving as a delegate to the Continental Congress, he wrote this letter to Robert Burton:

Internet platforms are (finally) cracking down on hate speech

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The Wild Wild Web ain't so wild anymore:

Within a 48-hour period this week, many of the world’s internet giants took steps that would have been unthinkable for them even months earlier. Reddit, which spent most of its life as a lawless free-for-all, banned thousands of forums for hate speech, including the largest pro-Trump forum on the internet.

Twitch — an Amazon-owned video-gaming platform not known for its political courage — suspended President Trump’s official account for “hateful conduct,” while YouTube purged a handful of notorious racists and punished a popular creator with a history of problematic videos. Facebook, under pressure from a growing advertiser boycott, took down a network of violent anti-government insurrectionists who had set up shop on its platform.

I'm sure the Covidiot-In-Chief will have some choice Tweets over this development, but it's been a long time coming. People who have limited their online experience to only Facebook and Twitter haven't felt the full force of racist and antisemitic trolls. Gamers in particular can be a nasty bunch, using intimidation and nastiness to help them win a stupid fricking game. And sometimes it gets genuinely frightening:

The Green New Deal is not dead, it's just adapting

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House Democrats have very aggressive climate proposals:

The 538-page report sets a range of targets including ensuring that every new car sold by 2035 emits no greenhouse gases, eliminating overall emissions from the power sector by 2040, and all but eliminating the country’s total emissions by 2050.

The package also approaches climate change as a matter of racial injustice. The report cites the police killing of George Floyd in its opening paragraph and goes on to argue that communities of color are also more at risk from the effects of climate change. The report says the government should prioritize minority communities for new spending on energy and infrastructure.

I have been somewhat skeptical of the GND since it was first introduced. Not because of the cost so much, but because of the scope and interlinked priorities. You try to do too many things at once, don't be surprised if none of those things happen. But if you're going to make investments in infrastructure that generate economic opportunities, you should place/target them where they're needed the most. And that is (without a doubt) in minority communities:

Oklahoma expands Medicaid; now it's North Carolina's turn

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It's not a radical progressive plot, it's just common sense:

With all precincts reporting Tuesday, State Question 802, which asked voters to expand Medicaid, passed by 6,488 votes. The question will enshrine Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma’s constitution — effectively preventing Oklahoma’s GOP-controlled Legislature and Republican governor from limiting or undoing the expansion.

The campaign for SQ 802 was launched after years of legislative inaction on Medicaid expansion. The Yes on 802 campaign turned in a record number of signatures to qualify the question for the ballot. But the majority of Oklahoma's counties opposed the expansion Tuesday. A mere seven of the state's 77 counties, including Oklahoma and Tulsa, approved the question.

With NC's record on ballot initiatives, I'm not sure I'd want to go this route even if we could (NC doesn't allow grass roots movements to populate ballots). But we don't have to amend the NC Constitution to expand Medicaid, a simple majority vote in both houses of the Legislature would do it (it's possible I might be wrong about that, but I don't think so). It will save lives, not to mention stop the death knell of rural hospitals, and that should be more than enough.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

When you get caught with your hand in the video recording jar:

Dandy has apparently taken this ad down, but cue the RW nutters complaining about "Liberal" media not allowing conservatives to steal their intellectual property...

Mark Meadows definitely knew about Russian bounties on U.S. troops

Even if Trump didn't know (unlikely), his Chief of Staff most assuredly did:

A former American official said the national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, and the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, would have been involved in any decision to brief Mr. Trump on Russia’s activities, as would have the intelligence analyst who briefs the president. The director of the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, might have also weighed in, the former official said.

Ms. McEnany cited those three senior officials in her statement saying the president had not been briefed.

The most likely scenario is that Trump was (verbally) briefed on the issue, as well as having it included in his daily intelligence packets (which he probably didn't read). But whether Trump knew or not, his current position of, "I don't believe it, it's not credible," is a direct assault on the integrity of our intelligence community and Special Operations who put themselves in harm's way to uncover this deadly plot:

Overt racism is increasing in the Trump era

And that includes joking about lynching:

The owner of a North Carolina racetrack advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale in a social media marketplace days after NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, who is Black, announced a noose had been found in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Mike Fulp, the owner of the half-mile (0.8 km) 311 Speedway in Stokes County, made the pitch Wednesday on Facebook Marketplace: “Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great.’’

This idiot started out by posting a picture of a regular pull-rope (with one knot) on his garage door, implying Bubba Wallace had been overreacting. But the rope in Bubba's garage was a full-on noose, with 9-10 loops tied. This is just one of many instances of overt racism recently, coming on the footsteps of 3 Wilmington Police being fired for their violently racist conversations. But now it looks like 2 of those 3 had been in trouble before:

Art Pope, defender of the Ku Klux Klan

When your idol is David Duke, you may have taken a wrong turn somewhere:

Despite attempts from University Officials, Student Body President Marcus Williams, and even Duke himself, the students refused to leave or to be silent until David Duke left the building and his podium and microphone were removed from stage. They disrupted his speech. But one freshman from Raleigh was especially perturbed. So much so, that he decided to sue the then President of the Black Student Movement, Algenon Marbley, in undergraduate honor court for “disruption”, a charge that could’ve led to Marbley being expelled from school.

The freshman from Raleigh who brought the suit, who tried to get the BSM President kicked out of school for disrupting a speech on campus by the KKK, was Arthur “Art” Pope UNC ’78.

You'd have to be an exceptionally privileged white prick (PWP) to attack a black student leader for protesting the Klan. Granted, this was 45 years ago, and Pope may have changed quite a bit since then. But it would take a Saul-to-Paul, road to Damascus conversion to overcome that level of racist dumfuckery. I mean, what was he thinking? Was he thinking similar thoughts decades later when he tried to get a "school" dedicated to Western Civilization installed on the UNC-CH campus? Is he still angry at some of the faculty for shutting that effort down? These are questions that need to be asked in the NCGA Committee hearing, and Art needs to answer those questions. Clear the air.

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