scharrison's blog

Tuesday News: Love wins over Hate

GREENSBORO COLLEGE STUDENTS STAND AGAINST WESTBORO BAPTIST BIGOTS: Three Westboro Baptist protesters stood with signs at South Josephine Boyd Street and Spring Garden Street, on the sidewalk in front of a Walgreens drug store and across from the UNCG campus. A crowd of several hundred UNCG students and other counterprotesters occupied the other three corners. University and Greensboro police were on all four. Police surrounded the Westboro protesters, who weren’t approached during their vigil. Counterprotesters waved rainbow-colored signs and umbrellas and passed out rainbow-colored stickers. They sang "Let it Shine" and "We Shall Overcome," accompanied by a UNCG student on a four-string hybrid instrument known as a banjolele. An ad-hoc brass band of about a dozen students warmed up with scales, then launched into "Let's Go Band" ("Bum bum bum bun-um ..."), "Jingle Bells" and snippets of other pop and pep band tones. The crowd, which grew as the counterprotest continued, clapped and cheered every few minutes whenever a passing motorist honked.
https://www.greensboro.com/news/local_news/rabid-hate-group-westboro-baptist-came-to-greensboro-so-d...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

It's always something with these guys;

Just like Trump, make the deal and then refuse to pay your bills until some court makes you do it.

Two-Faced Tillis and the desperate love affair with Trump

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His post-op recovery after having his spine removed is not going well:

Take Trump’s suggestion to investigate Joe Biden in a phone call with the Ukrainian president. Some GOP senators call it inappropriate but not impeachable; other at-risk incumbents have struggled with the query. It’s the central question of Trump’s impeachment inquiry.

Tillis sides firmly with Trump: “Would I have done it? I don’t know because I’m not the president, and I haven’t been pursued relentlessly for three years.”

He can't even say that he wouldn't pull the same stunt as Trump. That stunt being misusing his power to bribe a foreign leader into helping him dig up dirt on a political opponent. Withholding military funding that was approved and directed by Congress, no less, merely for personal gain. And Tillis can't (or won't) say that he wouldn't do that himself. File that away for next year's General Election, just in case Tillis does survive the GOP Primary:

Filing begins for 2020 Legislative races in two weeks

Last year Democrats broke the GOP's supermajority in both houses of the General Assembly, and Democrats also fielded candidates in all 170 contests. How much the latter contributed to the former might be a subject for debate, but we would be foolish to write it off as a coincidence. Having a full slate of candidates changed the dynamic, and it also served to provide every Democrat in the state with General Assembly candidates to vote for. It was a monumental task, to be sure, but we can do it again. Follow this link to a WRAL story of the new Legislative districts, where you will find interactive maps for both the House and the Senate. p.s. I would recommend an "outside in" approach to candidate recruitment, putting effort into finding good candidates in the hard-to-find, mostly rural districts first.

Does Gannett merger signal the death of local journalism?

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Being a little fish in a big pond usually means you get eaten:

The deal would combine the country’s two largest newspaper chains, with more than 260 daily papers, and hundreds more websites and community and weekly papers in 47 states. The new company, to be called Gannett even though New Media is the acquirer, would have a daily print circulation of 8.7 million, dwarfing the next largest chain, McClatchy, with daily circulation of 1.7 million. McClatchy owns The News & Observer of Raleigh and The Charlotte Observer.

The companies say the advantages of size and reach will attract more digital advertisers and save expenses by eliminating operations deemed redundant or expendable, helping to offset a two-decade slide in revenue from print advertising and subscriptions, which has imperiled the industry.

Bolding mine, because I'm pretty sure that's the exact same wording Berkshire Hathaway used just before cutting the Greensboro News & Record staff down to a skeleton crew. Admittedly, it's real easy for people like me to grouse about the erosion of investigative journalism, since I don't have to solve the financial problems that brought this about. But I am currently subscribing (paying) for 4 different news outlets, so I'm kinda doing my part. Needless to say, the journalists' unions are not happy about this:

NC National Guard now protecting Syrian oilfields

Right in the crosshairs of ISIS, and anybody else who wants that oil:

The mechanized National Guard brigade combat team that is tasked with protecting infrastructure has been in Syria for a little over a week now, a key part of the U.S. military's repositioning of forces. While Pentagon officials will not put an exact figure on the number of troops expected to remain in Syria, they have said it is likely to be a few hundred fewer than the roughly 1,000 troops deployed there before October.

The policy changes have shaken up an already volatile region and severely tested the relationship between the U.S. and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, one of Washington's closest allies in the fight against ISIS.

The 30th Brigade Combat Team had recently deployed to Kuwait to replace a previous unit, and I had hoped their tenure would be uneventful. But when I saw reports of Trump wanting to move in some tanks and other armored vehicles to "provide security" for the oilfields in Syria, I got a sinking feeling. And with them being deployed after a monumental clusterfuck by Trump, I'm even more concerned:

Native American charter school blocked by JLF Director

My culture Trumps your culture all day long:

A proposed charter school geared toward American Indian students will not be allowed to open next year after a state charter school board found the school's curriculum was "divisive instead of bringing unity." During a meeting Tuesday, some CSAB members said they had a change of heart after learning more about the school's proposed "red pedagogy" and focus on Indigenous students.

"I did not find one thing in the book that talked about the greatness of America," she said. "Now let me make it perfectly clear – America has sins. There are things I wished we had never done, slavery included – bad marks on our country. But we learned from them and we’re changed and we’re not what we used to be."

It's all about "choice," except if you're a Native American parent or student. Aside from the fact Lindalyn Kakadelis is a Director at the John Locke Foundation, she's also a consultant hired by the Roger Bacon Academy, which just so happens to have a school just North of Whiteville, drawing students from Robeson County. Not sure how many of the 650 or so students are Lumbee or other Native American tribes, but I am sure that Kakadelis should have recused herself from voting and criticizing this proposed school.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

I'm proud I voted for him:

His actions since taking office have reflected a mindset of righting wrongs, and protecting the physical and economic health of North Carolinians. And we need him to continue doing that after 2020.

If it keeps on raining, the levee's going to break

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And when the levee breaks, I'll have no place to stay:

North Carolina carries a little-understood risk of flooding as climate change makes rainstorms more intense — the state has the country's second-largest collection of dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition built in places where a failure could kill people.

An investigation by The Associated Press identified 168 high-hazard dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition in North Carolina. That trailed only Georgia among the 44 states and Puerto Rico that provided full information in response to the AP's public records requests. Nationally, the AP found at least 1,680 high hazard dams that are rated in poor or unsatisfactory condition.

Ten percent. One in ten of the nation's high hazard dams are located in North Carolina. And when you look at the profile of Atlantic Coast states, NC is a natural target of hurricanes moving up that coast. Flooding is going to be the single biggest threat to our communities in the coming decades, and we must begin addressing that now.

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