scharrison's blog

Nine years of fear and reprisal

What went through my mind that morning nine years ago probably mirrored what most of my fellow Americans felt. Confusion. Fear. Helplessness. Outrage. Fury. The incident inspired a primal reaction in me I had not felt since I was a child learning how to cope with life's hard lessons. But ever so slowly, those destabilizing emotions faded and I was able to place those events in their proper context. Others, however, have held onto those feelings like a favorite shirt that is tattered beyond repair, but they've worn it so long they can't bear to part with it.

The attacks of 9/11 demanded a response. Someone had to pay, and pay dearly. Since then, we've conquered and occupied two countries, bringing about the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the destruction of cities, towns and villages. And we've sacrificed thousands more American lives and hundreds of billions in wealth squandered. But when will the debt of anger be stamped "paid in full"?

Sign NCCN's coal ash petition

We need your help to urge the EPA to adopt the strongest possible public health protections from toxic coal ash sludge. Coal ash is less strictly regulated than household garbage. It is a bi-product of burning coal and contains toxins such as mercury and arsenic that can contaminate our groundwater.

Big polluters are lobbying the EPA to enact weaker rules on coal ash, so it’s critical that we show strong public support for common sense action. We need strong enforceable standards, not weak rules that allow polluters to put our communities at risk.

Go here to sign the petition, and don't forget to follow the NC Conservation Network's activities via their Facebook page.

Another domestic terrorist arrested in NC

Concord man used Facebook page to promote violence:

A Concord man was charged with describing how to make explosives to bomb a clinic where abortions are performed, after FBI agents found instructions on the man's Facebook page, officials said Thursday.

Justin Carl Moose, 26, describes himself as the "Christian counterpart of Osama bin Laden," according to an affidavit filed by FBI agents.

Moose's Facebook page, which was still public Thursday, contained posts expressing anger at doctors who perform abortions, President Barack Obama's health care plan, and plans to build a mosque near ground zero in New York City. It also included expressions of support for those who have killed abortion providers.

Luddy to build more (private) schools

Choosy parents choose Luddy(TM) brand schools:

At an event today in Apex, Luddy will offer details of a technology and science concentration - to be called the Luddy Institute of Technology - to be featured at his planned high schools. Land has already been purchased in Apex and Rolesville for the new schools, which will serve grades 6-12, and the existing schools will educate children from kindergarten through fifth grade, Luddy said.

Um, didn't Wake County just purchase land in Rolesville for a new high school? Future breaking story: "School board votes to suspend plans for new school in Rolesville, citing lack of demand."

Thoughts on power and pragmatism

This diary is partially in response to a discussion/debate brewing on another thread and partially a reflection of a conversation I had with my older son the other day (he actually does exist, and is not some imaginary companion or rhetorical vehicle I've invented to facilitate my ramblings ;)).

For the purposes of this discussion, we'll look at power. Power to make your voice heard, power to change the way people think about issues, power to exert influence over those who craft public policy, etc. Does squeezing into the big tent of the Democratic Party give you more power than standing outside? (I was going to add "in the rain", but that might be deemed prejudicial). Does compromise really achieve anything, or does it merely serve to erode whatever power you (could have) had?

The Puppetmaster responds to Ford article

Reaffirming the Foundation's policy of misdirection:

Now is the time for a robust, open, public policy debate on how to reform and improve state government. Instead, N&O editorial page editor Steve Ford, in his Sept. 5 column "Money and rhetoric from the right," complained bitterly and maligned businessmen, such as myself, for supporting nonpartisan independent public policy organizations such as the Civitas Institute and the John Locke Foundation, and citizen groups such as Americans for Prosperity. One of the nicer things Ford said about AFP's over 50,000 volunteer activists in North Carolina was that they were a "rough crowd," that attempts to stoke fear and loathing.

I guess "open public policy debate" means sending fliers to people's homes that tell lies about the votes of legislators.

Burr funded by Texas scam artists

Talk about adding insult to injury:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott charged TaxMasters and Chief Executive officer Patrick Cox with violating the state's consumer protections law, after receiving more than 1,000 complaints from customers who said they had been deceived or lost money.

Cox and Alex Clamon, the company's vice president, both donated $4,800 to Burr's re-election campaign during a Houston fundraiser in February, reports Rob Christensen. They have also contributed to many other Republican candidates.

Screwed twice with nary a hug to show for it...

Raleigh's high-speed rail imbroglio

Raleigh's leaders likely squirming in their seats today:

The city council in North Carolina's capital could soon make its feelings known on proposals for high-speed rail in town.

The council could decide at a Tuesday meeting whether to endorse one of two proposed routes for high-speed passenger trains, or to urge more study.

Five bucks says "urge more study" wins the day. ;)

p.s. Sorry about the use of the word "imbroglio", but it popped into my head and demanded recognition.

Alamance GOP confused about "non-partisan" definition

Newsletter contains detailed technical descriptions about judicial candidates:

“Judge Wayne Abernathy is the only conservative candidate in the race. Please consider voting for Judge Wayne Abernathy and Judge Wayne Abernathy only,” Simpson wrote in an August newsletter to party faithful. “There’s not a dime worth of difference between the two Obama Democrats, but Judge Wayne Abernathy is the conservative choice that I hope you will consider voting for.”

It's "dime's worth", Robert. If you're going to use quaint vernacular to beef up your redneck creds, at least get it right.

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