scharrison's blog

Republican Superintendent pushing trades instead of college

And misleading students in the process:

He said business leaders want schools to start letting kids know their options at a younger age, including vocational professions. Johnson said that any student who wants to go to college can, but they need to know there are other options.

For instance, he said that a student should know that he or she could become a lineman for a power company after high school, and within a few years he or she could be making more than $100,000. Or a student could graduate and work as a welder at a steel fabrication company and potentially be making $70,000.

Bolding mine, because the dude at the top of the education pyramid in NC should at least understand that a "few" years is 2-3, not the 10-15 years it would take to achieve journeyman status. And the top journeyman lineworkers make around $39 per hour, which is $83,120 before overtime. Entry level pay is about $16 per hour ($33,280 per year), and telling kids they can make $100,000 within a few years is astoundingly irresponsible. And considering that Duke Energy Carolinas is about 250 linemen short, the negatives likely outweigh the positives by a metric ton:

NC's Hall of Shame: Wealthy Trump donors

An oligarchy of hypocrisy:

President Donald Trump may have had a tumultuous first two weeks, but that doesn’t bother Louis DeJoy. “He’s doing great,” said the Greensboro investor. “So far he’s doing what he said he was going to do.” DeJoy was one of Trump’s biggest N.C. donors and fundraisers. Records show he gave $111,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, a joint committee that split money between the campaign and party groups. He gave the Republican National Committee another $273,000 to help elect Trump.

DeJoy wasn’t the president’s only top N.C. contributor. Fred Eshelman, a former pharmaceutical executive from Wilmington, gave Trump Victory $200,000. Doug Lebda, CEO of Charlotte-based Lending Tree, gave $102,615 to the Great America PAC, which spent millions on Trump’s behalf. David Schamens of Davie County, CEO of TradeStream Analytics, gave Trump Victory $42,000 and, according to an FEC report, a net $157,000 to America Comes First PAC.

I hardly need to say it, but I'm going to say it: If you do business with any of these idiotas, please stop. Disassociate, divest, deprive them of your commerce, deny them access to your inner circle, and direct your investments and support to their rivals. Promoting Fascism should never (again) be a profitable enterprise, so exercise your option as an enlightened Capitalist and make these social parasites regret dashing off those checks. As for the smaller donors:

USDA under Trump scrubs animal welfare information from website

If you want to know, you'll have to file a FOIA:

It just became nearly impossible to know what's happening to animals in zoos, puppy mills and research laboratories.

Information about the roughly 9,000 facilities related to animals protected under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — including SeaWorld, dog breeders and puppy mills, zoos, circuses (including Ringling Bros.) and taxpayer-funded animal testing labs, among others — was removed from the USDA website on Friday.

I've been blogging here for going on ten years, and very often my search for reliable and up-to-date information leads me to one or more of the Federal agencies. More than just informative, their websites serve as a repository for related research, much of it done by institutions outside of government. But it appears that goldmine of information may be about to play out, as Trump's tiny hands dig deeper into the soil of these departments. This need to control information flow is frightening, and (again) closely resembles actions taken by tyrants in the not-free world. Pay attention, or there may be nothing left to pay attention to.

OWASA crisis: Fluoridation mishap or water main break?

Better get your bottled water now, before the rioting and looting in Chapel Hill begins:

Do Not Drink Order: Due to low pressure in the OWASA service area we are not sure if the water is safe for consumption. Until testing has been completed, the Orange County Health Department is issuing a Do Not Drink order. Boiling water is not recommended. Only bottled water is recommended.

Do Not Use Order: Because of the water main break and the subsequent shortage, we are also issuing a Do Not Use order. Bottled water should be used for all water needs including flushing toilets, washing hands, cooking, etc…

Restaurants: All restaurants served by OWASA are being ordered closed by the Orange County Health Director.

I suppose it's possible somebody tipped the fluoride bottle too heavily (That's not really how they do it) first, and then the water main decided it was time to break, but that sounds more like a bad made-for-TV movie than real life. So this is not only a "learning experience" about not taking potable water for granted, there's also a "messaging" lesson to be learned...

Moore has second thoughts about Amazon Wind Farm

Score one more for common sense:

Asked about his reaction to a tour he attended last week of Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East, Moore’s office shared a statement that contrasted sharply with the January letter’s demands to either shut down or drastically modify the 104-turbine farm near Elizabeth City.

“The Amazon Wind Farm is new to North Carolina and takes advantage of a valuable natural resource our state has to offer,” Moore said in the statement. “Based on the information I have gathered today and over the past several weeks, it appears the initial concerns raised by the military are being addressed.”

Just to be clear, the "initial concerns" raised by the military were addressed long before this letter was dreamed up by Harry Brown and his fellow fossil-fuel-loving dinosaurs. Which Moore should have known before adding his signature. But some others seem to be too stubborn to let go of their fictional narrative:

Before the cock crows: Senate holds DeVos vote at 6:30 a.m.

Pre-coffee decisions are not wise:

The Senate voted early Friday to advance President Donald Trump's education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos to a final confirmation vote, which is expected Monday. The vote was 52 to 48 along party lines.

Senators convened at the unusual, early hour -- 6:30 a.m. ET -- because of Democratic stalling tactics that reflect their unhappiness with Trump's cabinet picks and the overall confirmation process.

Of course Burr and Tillis voted for her, and they will do so again on Monday. And although two other Republican Senators have promised to oppose her, Pence will merely slide in and cast the tie-breaking vote. Classic bait-and-switch, and you have to wonder if this is merely a distraction. A distraction that could be concealing the preparations for war:

Race for DNC Chair heats up

And brings out the inner stupid in some people:

“His being a Muslim is precisely why DNC voters should not vote for him,” Tolliver wrote. “Muslims discriminate against gays. Islamic law is clear on the subject, and being gay is a direct violation of it. In some Muslim countries, being gay is a crime punishable by death.”

“Clearly, Mr. Ellison is not the person to lead the DNC or any other organization committed to not discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation,” Tolliver continued. “I'm shocked [the Human Rights Campaign] has been silent on the issue. A vote for Representative Ellison by any member of the DNC would be divisive and unconscionable, not to mention counterproductive to the immediate and necessary steps of rebuilding the Democratic Party.”

And before you ask, Mr. Tolliver is no longer on the list of approved candidates for DNC Chair, and rightly so. Do I need to list all of the reasons attacking someone's religious affiliation is wrong and inherently un-American? Or that it is a quintessential ad hominem attack, not worthy of even being debated? I didn't think so. But this idiocy is bleeding into NC political circles, so be very careful which groups you associate with and/or encourage friends to associate with:

Koch Brothers' astroturf "veterans" org all-in for Gorsuch

Put on your hip-waders, the shit is getting deep:

As with many of these shadowy groups, their goals are almost the exact opposite of what they claim:

Marking the 57th Anniversary of the Greensboro Sit-In

Civil rights were not a gift, they had to be secured:

It’s a testament to what they achieved, in a way, that so many today have no knowledge of the Sit In Movement. It’s what happens when you achieve something so good, so transformative, that in a couple of generations the young people can’t comprehend a time when it was vastly different.

That four young men decided that they would walk in to the Woolworth’s on Elm Street in Greensboro on Feb. 1, 1960 and simply ask to be served at the lunch counter did, in fact, change America. Similar protests spread within days across the state, and across the Deep South within a week. Though the department store owners held firm that winter and into the spring, by late summer they realized that arc of history was bending toward justice.

When I think of what these four brave men endured at the hands of their white oppressors, it makes me feel ashamed of my race. But that's good, it makes us learn. We will never again just stand by while bigots attack, we will stand between them and speak truth to evil intent.

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