scharrison's blog

NC AG Josh Stein fighting NCUC coal ash cleanup decision

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Customers should not have to pay for Duke Energy's negligence:

State utilities regulators late last month decided that both North Carolina divisions of the country’s No. 2 power company could charge ratepayers the first $778 million chunk of a cleanup projected to cost about $5 billion.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said he’s going to court to try stopping Duke Energy from passing along its costs to excavate some ash pits and cover others. Corporate mismanagement increased costs that shareholders should also be forced to bear, he said in an interview. Duke Energy said that it followed industry practices and applicable regulations. “This case will ultimately be decided by the North Carolina Supreme Court,” Stein said.

Bolding mine, because that's a big reason Republicans have been putting so much money and effort into stacking said Court. It's not just to shield them from consequences of passing unconstitutional laws, although that is a factor. Providing legal cover for big business to take advantage of NC citizens will ensure those maximum campaign donations keep flowing in. But one of the most frustrating things about these Utilities Commission rulings is their grossly imbalanced effort to appear balanced:

NC needs laws to better address sexual harassment in the workplace

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Because the lack of concern speaks volumes:

"If you have the terrible misfortune to be sexually harassed in North Carolina at an employer that has less than 15 employees, you literally have no claim in North Carolina," Noble said. "You don't have a federal claim, and you don't have a state law claim. And that's wrong."

If a victim works at a larger employer, they can file a claim under federal statute, Noble said. But that's more difficult, more complicated and more expensive. As a result, many people don't follow through. In the meantime, Noble said calls to her office about sexual harassment have increased 500 percent since coverage of the stories began appearing in the news media last fall.

Even that increase in wanting to "take action" represents just a tip of the iceberg. And when it comes to behavior such as this, men are more than happy to emulate other men who appear to be getting away with it. No doubt Republicans would say it should be left up to the civil courts to handle it and not an "authoritarian government." But in their next breath they will whine about too many lawsuits and the need for "tort reform." Don't look for any relief coming from that direction, because most of these folks live in a 1950's bubble. Which may explain why half of working women have been harassed in the workplace:

Tarheel Founding Fathers: Richard Caswell

We'll start this year's chapter out by correcting some bad history:

Richard Caswell acted as the colony’s surveyor for only a brief time before he decided to pursue law. From 1752-54, Richard Caswell clerked for the court of Orange County, while simultaneously studying law. In 1754 he was admitted to the bar and immediately set up a law practice in Hillsboro, North Carolina. Richard Caswell gained popularity and respect during his public tenure as the deputy surveyor, he was chosen to serve his colony again when asked to participate in the North Carolina Colonial Assembly in 1754. In that assembly, he served for twenty years. In the early years of his political career, Caswell was loyal to the King of England and aligned himself with royal Governor William Tryon and later Josiah Martin.

However, by 1771, when Caswell retired from the Colonial Assembly, his political views had taken a drastic turn and Caswell viewed King George’s rule as unjust in North Carolina. Upon his retirement from the Colonial Assembly he became an active member in the colonial militia, fighting in the Battle of Alamance, on May 16, 1771. Caswell later returned to the colonial militia...

Caswell fought for the Crown in the Battle of Alamance. The author of this sad excuse for a historical accounting (published by the John Locke Foundation) apparently didn't understand that "Colonial" referred to the Crown Colony under the rule of "Governor" Tryon. And Caswell was not just an "active member" of said Militia, he was a Colonel who led around a third of the force that brutally put down the Regulators fighting against the Crown at the Battle of Alamance:

Families Belong Together rally in Raleigh today

Stand up for the children and parents being ripped apart:

Donald Trump and his administration are cruelly separating children from their families. But we won’t allow it to continue. On June 30, we’re rallying in Washington, D.C., and around the country to tell Donald Trump and his administration to stop separating kids from their parents! Join us on June 30 to send a clear message to Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress: Families Belong Together!

Join concerned North Carolinians as we march against the trump administration’s cruel and unusual punishment of families fleeing their homes for better lives. We’ll show the country and the world that North Carolina stands on the side of decency and humanity, not the callous tearing apart of families. Join us! Directions: March starts at 10 a.m. City Plaza, downtown Raleigh, located at 400 Fayetteville St. Raleigh 27601 and will end at Halifax Mall, 16 W. Jones St.

Doctor Steve says drink a lot of water and don't forget to use sunscreen. I'm...not really a doctor, but do that stuff anyway. :) **Update: Some Twitter pics below:

Annapolis newspaper shooting reveals the dark side of Facebook

Sometimes a blast from the past is the last thing you need:

In what a judge called "rather bizarre" behavior, Ramos used Facebook to contact a woman he knew in high school and then sent her threatening emails, called her vulgar names and told her to kill herself, court documents and the article say. "If you're on Facebook, you've probably gotten a friend request or message from an old high school classmate you didn't quite remember," the article begins. "For one woman, that experience turned into a yearlong nightmare."

The article says Ramos contacted the woman and thanked her for being kind to him in high school. She wrote back, and they emailed. She suggested he see a counselor. Then, he lashed out at her. She "lived in fear for her safety for months," the article says.

I recently told a small group of people if they really wanted to use social media to advocate for a cause, they needed to let down their drawbridges. Make their posts public, so they can be shared and/or found in searches. And we discussed the positive and negative aspects of increased exposure. At one point I told them that "stranger danger" is a virtually non-existent threat, because most Internet trolls are basically cowards at heart, and stifling your advocacy is their main goal. This horrible incident does not change my views on that. She knew this guy from high school, he did not fit the classic definition of "stranger." And after he got in trouble over harassing her, he transferred his rage to the newspaper that told everybody else about his obsession:

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