Dissent Is Allowed

There's not much that pisses me off more than the wingnuts' cry that "criticizing the President = high treason and murdering Americans!" There's an editorial in the Observer by a State Representative (Republican-Meck) that sings this same old tune. Here's the response I sent to the Opinion Editor:

Republican State Representative Doug Vinson's opinion piece ("Stop helping our enemies") reprises a now familiar refrain of the far-right: we mustn't criticize the President or his handling of the war in Iraq or the terrorists will think that we are weak. You can be sure that when you hear this tune it is coming from someone who fundamentally misunderstands America's values.

Charlotte Observer Ranks NC's Top Ten Environmental Challenges

EDIT:The same paper's top 10 list of environmental success stories in NC is here.

The Charlotte Observer's editorial staff has put together a list of the top ten problems facing NC's environment going forward, and number one on the list is climate change. According to the Observer:

The list changes each year as new problems arise and old ones ameliorate. This year, air quality drops out of the top 10 problems because there were fewer bad air days than in years.

Charlotte Observer | 12/11/2005 | State of the environment

Taylor: NAFTA is the Cause of Job Loss (Do Not Mind My Vote For CAFTA)

At his annual year-end fundraiser, Charles Taylor NC-11 was hit with a question on job loss (the area has lost 6,100 jobs since January 2003), His response was to point to 100 jobs being sent to Mexico and blaming NAFTA. From the Citizen-Times:

Taylor and Allen met with media representatives prior to the start of the dinner. When asked about the region’s future now that another 100 jobs will be lost after last week’s announcement that Asheville’s Cardinal Health plant is relocating to Mexico, Taylor blamed the North American Free Trade Agreement.

With House Races Heating Up, Taylor Already Avoiding Bush

The Charlotte Observer has a piece about the early virulence of the Democratic challenges in NC-8 and NC-11. The piece features Shuler and his fundraising advantage and Dunn and Kissell in the 11th.

The piece points out that the main issue in the 8th has been trade and Taylor's vote in favor of CAFTA. Dunn has made a big deal out of the vote, and Kissell has even named a goat (picture at http://www.larrykissell.com) after CAFTA. Given this, is it any surprise that Taylor did not show up when Bush was here promoting CAFTA last week?

Hayes has played up his ties to the president in the past, but choose to meet with workers at a yarn mill this week when Bush visited a construction equipment plant in Kernersville.

Racist Billboard Coming to Raleigh

This billboard is being set to be launched in Raleigh soon.
Billboard.bmp
The "terrorists" are set against the background of the winding mountain road with Arab script above their heads. The group claims to have a gripe against the security of North Carolina driver's licenses; however, as Lance has posted earlier, none of the 9/11 terrorists had North Carolina driver's licenses, despite claims by North Carolina representatives that they did.

I Want Some of What the Bush Conservatives Are Snorting

RedState.org, around Halloween:

All in all, the economy is booming at a rate comparable to the late 1990s. And yet the media continues to report it as if we are about to fall off a cliff and that things are getting worse by the day. That is poor reporting and it is affecting how the public perceives the overall state of the economy.

|| RedState.org

Meanwhile, in the reality-based community:

Let the Lawsuits Begin: State Sued Over Illegal Certification of Diebold

In an earlier post, I talked about the State certifying Diebold voting machines despite the fact that Diebold would not disclose their source code as required by North Carolina law. Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation has sued the Board of Elections to make them follow the law, which was passed to ensure the security of votes cast on electronic voting machines. From EFF:

"This is about the rule of law," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "The Board of Elections has simply ignored its mandatory obligations under North Carolina election law. This statute was enacted to require election officials to investigate the quality and security of voting systems before approval, and only approve those that are safe and secure. By certifying without a full review of all relevant code, the Board of Elections has now opened the door for North Carolina counties to purchase untested and potentially insecure voting equipment."

(EFF's press release is here)
I am going to watch this closely. But it is sad that an outside group has to sue to get the Board of Elections to follow the law.

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