scharrison's blog

Fascism Watch: Anti-Muslim extremists talk openly about killing

Coming soon to a conference room near you:

“Do you have any recommendations as to how we could stop this?” asked Frank del Valle, a Winston-Salem resident whose Facebook page identifies him as a retired federal employee and native of Cuba, near the end of the hour-long presentation. “Because my only recommendation is to start killing the hell out them.”

Robert Goodwill, who identified himself as a member of the national security advocacy group Act for America, took an optimistic tack with the recent election of Donald Trump, adding, “We’re on our way.” Another man, who did not identify himself, said, “I want to start doing something instead of talking about it all the time.” He added, “I’m in a group. I’m not going to tell you what group I’m in.”

Right, because you know law enforcement would consider you more of a terrorist threat than the local Muslim population, and rightly so. These zealots aren't really concerned with *actual* Islamic terrorists, they believe moderate Muslims are part of a coordinated attempt to take over the United States. In other words, if they do start actively looking for targets for their anger and rage, soft targets (innocents) may be at the top of their list. They even discussed Keith Ellison's brother, who is a local Democratic Party activist:

Environmental Injustice: Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Give us your land, you poor, huddled masses:

In North Carolina, from a compressor station, built somewhere in these woods of Pleasant Hill, the 36-inch diameter pipeline would continue underground. It would braid itself around I-95, cutting through wetlands, rivers and valuable farmland — even near homes — in seven more counties in eastern North Carolina: Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland and Robeson. Through communities of color, including former routes of the Underground Railroad, and Native American tribal lands. Through some of the poorest areas in the state.

Bolding mine, because we continue to engage in the same mistakes of 50-60 years ago, by pushing our dirty industrial operations into the poorest of areas. North Carolina is already in trouble with the Federal government (or was until the Dingus-in-Chief took over) for endangering poor African-American communities with CAFOs, but the toxins and catastrophic fire threats associated with NatGas transmission can turn deadly, in the blink of an eye. While economic factors might make this pipeline route the "path of least resistance," that's when government is supposed to step in and balance the scale for these folks. When we abdicate that most simple of responsibilities, we become (much) less of a democracy and more a corporatocracy. And FERC appears to be irreversibly contaminated with that mentality:

Koch Brothers' tentacles reaching into NC county Solar farm ban

KochBrothers.jpg

Backtracking the circuitous path of industry-funded pseudo-science:

Five of the planning board’s nine members present for Tuesday’s meeting voted unanimously to recommend the county’s unified development ordinance be amended to remove solar arrays as a permitted use.

The Planning Board’s recommendation comes in the wake of commissioners’ decision last month to impose a 60-day moratorium on consideration of any more solar farms in the county. Currituck Planning Director Ben Woody cited a number of reasons Tuesday for commissioners’ decision to impose the moratorium. One was a report by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality expressing concern about the loss of agricultural land and jobs in the state, as well as the loss of wildlife habitats.

And here is the first (of many) misleading statements or observations. The report cited did not come from DEQ researchers, it was compiled by the Energy Policy Council, a hodgepodge of business and industry people led by (believe it or not) Lt. Gov. Dan Forest:

Bogus assault on Michael Regan's potential conflicts

Talk about grabbing at straws:

In a letter obtained by the ABC11 I-Team, the State Ethics Commission confirms it found "the potential for a conflict of interest" pertaining to Michael Regan, the newly-appointed Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality.

Specifically, the letter notes Regan worked for a law firm that provided environmental consulting and that he was directly involved with the Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental advocacy non-profit.

Really? You're all-of-a-sudden concerned about law firms, when at least 1/3 of the sitting lawmakers in the NCGA are employed at such before/during/after their terms? Michael Regan spent 10 years at the EPA and 8 years with EDF, neither of which involved "profit margins" or any other monetary considerations, other than securing funding for needed projects or advocacy. One of his predecessors (John Skvarla), however, was a totally different story. Skvarla was the CEO of a private company whose only revenues came from mitigating environmental damage. Do I need to repeat that? It was in the best interests of Restoration Systems that water quality *not* improve, and that wetlands continue to be plowed under by developers, so the company could get contracts to "restore" them. Like they did a few months after John Skvarla took the helm at NC DENR:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Why elections to the NC Supreme Court matter:

Aside from the obvious usurpation of Roy Cooper's powers as Governor, the Ethics Board doesn't just look at campaign finance irregularities, they look at personal conflicts of interest, like filing bills that help lawmakers enrich themselves via investment portfolio holdings. Mixing the two would merely dilute both efforts, opening the door for corruption. Bad idea.

Moribund McCrory whines about paid protesters

NBC is scraping the bottom of the barrel:

EUGENE ROBINSON: Well, look, but the party is going to the left. I mean, that's, you know, you see what's happening out there. You see these protests every week. It has really sort of energized the Democratic sort of coalition in the way that, frankly--in the way that the Tea Party did on the right.

FMR. GOV. PAT MCCRORY: Follow the money. Follow the money. You know, Senator Sanders mentioned the money going to the Tea Party. The money is going to the Bernie Sanders wing. Do you think all these protests are not being paid?

Follow the money! He actually said that. We've been following Myers Park Pat's various money trails since before NC screwed up and made him Governor, and he's damn lucky he didn't end up in jail like Patrick Cannon did. I guarantee you if the FBI had attempted even the most obvious of stings, they would have caught that particular dumbass fish. As to the "paid protests," Greta fried his little theory:

Fascism Watch: Rounding up the immigrants

Leaving devastated families in their wake:

A U.S. immigration official says agents arrested fewer than 200 people last week in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and targeted people in the country illegally and convicted of crimes.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regional spokesman Bryan Cox said Saturday that the agency's enforcement activities die down over the weekend, but couldn't say none were being carried out.

"Fewer than 200" is surprisingly similar to the rationalizations used for the recent Muslim ban enforcement actions. Actually, it's not surprising at all. That's what brutal tyrants do, they try to play down the numbers of people persecuted by various "programs" instituted to solve problems that don't exist, problems that were created to instill fear and anger in the populace, so the knight in shining armor can ride in and save them. Make no mistake, what we're seeing isn't some new behavior, it's incredibly ancient in origins. And it almost always works, leaving the citizens entrenched in a totalitarian state before the bulk of them realize it's happened.

HKonJ and Moral March happening right now

Once again, taking to the streets for justice:

The North Carolina NAACP’s biggest march of the year returns Saturday amid a bitter political climate that’s resulted in large protests almost weekly. The Moral March on Raleigh and HKonJ People’s Assembly is now in its 11th year, and if the crowds at the recent Women’s March and other events are any indication, it could draw a record crowd.

On the agenda: Rallying support for the Affordable Care Act amid Republican efforts to repeal the health law known as Obamacare, as well as opposition to President Donald Trump’s plans to build a Mexican border wall and his immigration order – which the president of the state NAACP, the Rev. William Barber II, says is “nothing more than a Muslim ban.”

It's unfortunate (and by "unfortunate" I mean piss-poor planning) the NCDP SEC meeting and HKonJ were scheduled to coincide, because fusion simply can't happen when elements are separated from each other. Not to put too fine a point on it, but timing is an integral facet of strategic thinking, and opportunities lost are just that. Lost. Sermon over, here's some pictures:

Extensive primer on various anti-Trump movements

You're bound to fit in somewhere here:

Movement Match- In November, a group of friends–most of them longtime activists–got together to console one another in aftermath of the election. “We started talking about what keeps us going in the face of hard realities. We realized that what gives us hope and energy to keep going with our work is the fact that we are members of activist groups,” says Talia Cooper, who co-founded the project with Pippi Kessler, Sonia Alexander, and David Mahfouda. “We realized that a lot of people got activated since the election, and some of them say that they’re not sure what to do. So we’re working to direct people who are new to the movement to organizations led by experienced activists and seasoned organizers.”

That group appears to be a good place to start, if you're not sure where you'd be best utilized. And here's another good one, if you're really feeling froggy:

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