scharrison's blog

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.

Ethical Problems on NC's Supreme Court

A few weeks ago, Connie posted some information here at BlueNC that sent me off on a digging expedition, and I subsequently posted my meager findings on an NC Policy Watch diary that dealt with the same subject matter. Being that I'm not a lawyer and don't even play one on TV, I decided to wait and see if anyone smarter than me (big crowd) would take the ball and run with it. But since I haven't seen any movement yet, plus the fact that I have the patience of a toddler, I decided to blog about what I see as a major issue with our State's highest court.

The Anatomy Of Corporate Propaganda

Before I begin, I must admit to being a little frustrated with our lack of critical thinking and our readiness to accept information and analysis if it's packaged in a way that pleases us. This character flaw is not limited to one political party or the other, and I believe it's partially an artifact of decades of consumerism and self-indulgence. There are simply not enough people asking the hard questions these days, and that is one of the heralds of a civilization in decline.

North Carolina's Precious Wetlands At Risk

You may have already seen this piece over at The Dome regarding efforts by Camden and Currituck counties to block the Navy's construction of an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) on the basis of distressed and endangered species that inhabit the local wetlands. While I have my fingers crossed that this approach will work, I've seen much evidence that protecting our North Carolina wetlands and the myriad species that inhabit them is of little concern to those we have granted the authority to decide these things.

Mercury Primer For Moms

Yes, I'm going to (once again) talk about Mercury, and even though this diary is dedicated to mothers, the rest of you are not excused, so don't even think about skipping this one. For you moms, the pressure of following sound prenatal behaviors is intense, and the list of things you shouldn't do or eat seems to outpace the list of things you can. If Mercury isn't already on your list of shouldn'ts, it should be, and I'm going to try to explain a) where it comes from, b) how it makes its way into your system, and c) what it does when it gets there.


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