scharrison's blog

Burr's money, part two: The Charlotte Leadership Dinner Committee

A rather harmless sounding name, isn't it? Evoking images of country-club couples thrilled to be part of the dinner party circuit, painstakingly groomed and coiffed in an effort to avoid being grist for the gossip mill, the clink of fine China and crystal and the low hum of conversation eventually silenced so the cause du jour can be addressed. That may sound like a cynical assessment, but it's not. Philanthropy of this nature has brought relief to millions in this world, and we need more of it. But that formula can also be used to manipulate the outcome of elections, leaving us with a government that represents a much smaller percent of the population.

The responsibilities of being a progressive

As the year 2009 draws to a close, and idealism appears to be suffocating under the combined weights of pragmatism and corporate greed, I find myself pondering what might have gone wrong and trying to figure out ways to reverse this sad and alarming situation. This, to me, is the heart and soul of Progressivism. To face an unfortunate (or inconvenient) truth, and try to change it for the better. Join me, and I promise you won't regret it.

Gen IV nukes: Another piece of the puzzle

In an effort to give us all a break from the "much wailing and gnashing of teeth" associated with pending Federal health care legislation, I decided to work through a subject that has been on my mind recently: That being the much needed, and hopefully soon mandated, drastic reduction of carbon emissions worldwide. As we all know, weaning ourselves from the combustion of coal is not going to be easy or cheap, but the puzzle is coming together, piece by piece.

Statutory Reminder for NC Officials

In the midst of all the rhetoric and half-baked excuses our State government likes to employ when ignoring environmental nightmares like Titan Cement, Cliffside and PCS Phosphates, I figured it was time to remind them of decades-old (but still gold) laws that have been passed that provide both guidance and requirements for our officials to follow. Follow me down below the fold and get ready to take notes:

Easley Legacy Continues

As some of you are probably aware, the battle over Titan Cement's new facility in Hanover County is still raging. Dozens of (medical) doctors have joined to voice their concern, as well as hundreds of citizens and a few of my favorite environmental orgs. Most recently, these groups pleaded with the NC Department of Administration to generate a formal review of Titan's application/permit, and the answer was, in a word, stupefying.

Why The Public Option Is So Important

In the various battles on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, working out the details of health care reform, many compromises have already been made. During this time, the most critical part of health care reform, the public option, has been teetering on the chopping block. I believe that many Democrats view the public option as a "nice to have" thing, but are prepared to toss it away like some kind of trump card if it will seal the deal. But if we throw this card down, we lose the game, period.

A New Chapter Begins

As I mentioned before, it appears my factory management days are over. I've been unemployed now for over a year, with all of the dashed hopes and personal doubts that go along with that. A few months ago I decided to take a step that would (hopefully) put me in a position where I would be able to not only get back to work, but also be able to find a new job quickly if that one didn't work out. God willing and the creeks don't rise, the plan seems to be working.

Open Thread: Gender Humor Version

Okay, my sister forwarded me an e-mail that originated from my niece, which has put them both on my "mediocre Christmas gift" list, which...probably won't make any difference, since I'm such a mediocre shopper...whatever, here's a few jewels:

(they don't have enough time)

Hello? It's called "energy efficiency", which is a huge part of a sustainable future. We never get credit for stuff like this...

(they don't stop to ask directions)

Okay, let me explain it one more time: Traveling successfully from Point A to Point B is a test. A test of your navigation skills, memory recall, psychic abilities, etc. Asking directions is not only cheating on said test, it's the equivalent of saying, "Can you help me find my mommy?" Losing an hour or two is a small price to pay for retaining your dignity.

God, Guns, and Cannibal Dictators

The 2010 election season is shaping up to be a surreal journey into the nightmare world of the Twilight Zone, where nothing is what it seems to be and evil lurks right around the corner. The aura of Socialism! hasn't been so ever-present in our political debate since the days of McCarthyism, and the sheer number of citizens who are prone to this fear-mongering is much more frightening than that which they fear.

A Perfect Storm

Being motivated by the discussion on this thread, as well as some recent radio commentary I've heard, I decided to talk about something I'm not really qualified to talk about, that being the recent collapse of our economy thanks to the financial industry and its Congressional collaborators. I understand that health care reform is on the minds of many, but there are some equally important issues our government has chose to shelve until some later date, which I believe is placing our economic recovery at great risk, and could undermine the success of whatever other reforms our government attempts.


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