scharrison's blog

Don't forget to vote

And don't remember to vote, but then decide it's a waste of time, or you don't feel strongly enough about either one to make a choice, or you're disgusted about some of the tactics, or whatever other reason that might keep you home. You need to vote today because your voice needs to be heard.

As Progressives in North Carolina, we have far too many examples and indicators that we are in a distinct minority. But even with that seemingly insurmountable barrier, many of our ideas have found wider acceptance and have been implemented. Partially because they're good ideas, but also because of the energy with which they're presented. And taking an active role in the political process, which includes voting, helps sustain that energy that is so critical.

Gun totin' tea baggers

What are you starin' at?

Randy Dye will sometimes carry a gun on his hip, right out in the open, no jacket pulled over it, no inside-the-belt holster. It draws funny looks, and Dye doesn't much care.

One time, Dye explains, he was standing in line for a money order when the guy behind him asked, "Are you a police officer?" Dye said no, and the guy kept staring, so Dye stared back. "We good?" Dye asked, and the conversation stopped.

"I wasn't trying to intimidate," says Dye, a retired trauma nurse in Chatham County. "He approached me. If you don't understand your constitutional rights, you need to go read them."

Father's Day thoughts

First off, I'd like to say "thank you" for the nice cards. Even if I don't possess all of the admirable traits listed therein, pulling something other than junk mail and bills out of the mailbox is a pretty sweet deal all by itself.

But while thanking you, I'd also like to take this time to make a few simple suggestions about how you can improve the "quality of life" of fathers worldwide. This is in addition to the cards. You still need to send those.

Those thirsty nuke plants

They may be relatively clean, but are they sustainable?

In addition to the high cost and risks, new reactors create another problem, one that is rarely mentioned: they put enormous pressure on water resources. Nuclear reactors require huge amounts of cooling water to operate; without adequate water, they cannot produce electricity.

Scientists say that warmer temperatures from climate change will mean a less dependable supply of water. This should be of special concern to residents of the southeastern United States, which is seeing its energy demand grow - and its water resources become increasingly stressed.

NC's ethically-challenged Republicans

Sen. Eddie Goodall tries to earn his keep:

But in January, Goodall became president of the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools, which wants to increase the number of charter schools allowed in the state, among other goals.

Goodall raised eyebrows in the Senate chamber Thursday when he tried to run an amendment to an education and jobs bill that would lift the cap. Goodall’s proposals were shot down.

It should have raised a lot more than eyebrows. It should have triggered an ethics probe.

Corporate tax-dodgers get help from NC Senate

Those poor little multi-state corporations need protection from the mean old tax collectors:

The state Senate and the business lobby want to take away a big stick that the state's tax collector says it needs to punish big businesses that dodge their taxes.

The issue is up for debate in budget negotiations under way between the state House and Senate. The Senate's version includes a provision that would prevent the N.C. Department of Revenue from assessing a penalty on businesses it thinks are hiding income.

Charges may be refiled against Blackwater (Xe)

The Justice Department is still seeking justice for innocent victims of the Nisour Square massacre:

There was more than enough untainted evidence to justify a trial for five Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad, the Justice Department told a federal appeals court.

In court papers seeking to reinstate criminal charges, the department asserted that some of the evidence tainted by immunized statements in the case was harmless and did not justify scuttling the manslaughter charges against the guards.

Republican idiocy: Obama planned oil spill

And I thought Reeves was prone to paranoid delusions:

Republican Congressional candidate William "Bill" Randall is suggesting that the Obama Administration and BP conspired to intentionally spill oil in the Gulf, resulting in 11 deaths and the worst environmental disaster in the nation's history.

Randall, who has aligned himself with the Tea Party movement, readily admits that he has no evidence that what he says is true. But that is not stopping him from from making the claim as he campaigns for in the June 22 GOP runoff to face incumbent Democratic Rep. Brad Miller on the November ballot.

Susie goes to Raleigh

And gets some justice for herself and her friends:

Susie is a 1-year-old pit bull-German Shepherd mix whose body still has the scars the horrific assault she endured. When she was eight-weeks old, Susie was burned beaten and left for dead.

The man who assaulted her was sentenced to probation. The law named after Susie would make such abuse a felony and give judges the option of jail time.

Criminal negligence: NC's underfunded mental health system

When there aren't enough beds, people die:

Chapman was the Charlotte man who sought psychiatric help at Carolinas Medical Center-Randolph, at one point telling staff he wanted to "kill his wife," but was released with medication for depression and instructions to call back for an appointment. Hours later, police say he had killed his wife, one child and a stepchild.

A government that spends hundreds of millions for capital projects and economic incentives, yet sends suicidal or homicidal patients back on the streets, can no longer lay claim to the title "Public Servant".

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