First in extremism: NC's role in domestic terrorism

It may be a hard pill to swallow, but the truth often is:

Another terrorist attack. Another grim tally of the dead and wounded. Another killer full of hate, from a land that breeds such men. Like millions of migrants before him, the perpetrator crossed the border unchallenged. And like others, he struck our country without warning.

Our politicians say they’ll stop these killers. They talk about building walls and vetting refugees. If we were serious, we would do it. We would seal our borders against North Carolina.

I had a very similar conversation over the weekend, in which I listed a half-dozen or so North Carolina-bred terrorists. And (of course) mental illness was mentioned more than once, which has become our default rationalization. It's not a corollary or cause & effect formula, they both exist independent of each other: We don't dedicate enough resources to treat the mentally ill, *and* we have developed a society that views (Christian) religious extremists as "very faithful" instead of dangerous. And when they cross the line, we don't blame the pastor who pushed them over the line with his teachings, we say he wasn't wired right. Unless he attacks an abortion clinic, which way too many of our citizens view as justifiable:

NC Pre-K floundering: Time for Leandro III lawsuit

Where's the bond to strengthen our human infrastructure?

That’s of concern. But what’s even more concerning is that, as of last month, there’s a waiting list, 500 or 600 deep in Forsyth County alone, of parents who want their children to be in Head Start or N.C. Pre-K, and it can’t go unsaid that the reason they’re not enrolled is the cuts to these programs enacted by the state legislature.

Here are children who want to learn, and parents who want their children to learn. Here’s a state that is traditionally dedicated to quality education for all. And here’s a state legislature that’s more interested in giving raises to UNC chancellors than providing preschool for 4-year-olds in working families. These priorities are skewed.

Their priorities are skewed, and as they've proven numerous times in the past, the GOP leadership will not follow the law unless and until a court decision requires them to. Republicans have made several legal arguments over the last few years in an effort to abandon these children, but the core requirements of Leandro are still in place:

Monday News: Great place to start edition


REPORT URGES NC CITIES, COUNTIES TO LEAD CHARGE ON RAISING WAGES (Public News Service) -- It's a costly time of year for North Carolina families as they pay higher heating bills and prepare for the expenses of the holidays. The stress is extra hard for people making less than a living wage and a report from the Workers' Rights Project, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center, suggests the state's cities and counties should raise wages for their employees and in turn boost the state's economy.

Gene Nichol on the UNC athletics scandal

A public relations nightmare, or wet dream, depending on your perspective:

Over $5 million went to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. The folks at Skadden, Arps got a couple million more. We paid $1.3 million to Bond, Schoeneck & King; another million to Baker, Tilly. Almost double that amount went to Edelman, a giant PR outfit, offering expertise on “corporate reputation management.” FleishmanHillard raked in almost $400,000. You’d think the Old Well had relocated to Madison Avenue.

High-dollar outside investigators were reportedly necessary because, after years of stonewalling and false assurance, no one would believe an analysis conducted by the administration.

This article will likely not endear Professor Nichol to the wig-wearing muckety mucks (they don't wear wigs here, that was an Oxford reference) administering UNC's flagship Universiity, but they should pay attention, nevertheless. You let your house get dirty, you clean it up yourself, so you can fully understand how the mess happened. And I have a feeling this particular mess was money-related in the first place:

Sunday News: The fruits of right-wing propaganda edition


OFFICIAL SAYS GUNMAN MADE 'NO MORE BABY PARTS' COMMENT (AP) — The man who police say staged a deadly shooting attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic that offers abortion services said "no more baby parts" after his arrest, a law enforcement official said Saturday.

ANTIABORTION SENTIMENT MAY BE MOTIVE FOR COLORADO SHOOTING (Wall Street Journal) -- After a bloody standoff at a Planned Parenthood clinic that left three people dead, the alleged suspect told authorities “no more baby parts.”

Growing list of coastal municipalities oppose offshore drilling


Swansboro joins in the dissenting opinion:

Commissioners voted 3-1 at the board’s Tuesday night meeting to adopt a resolution opposing offshore oil and gas development and drilling and related seismic blasting activities off the North Carolina coast.

Commissioner Jim Allen said he wasn’t comfortable taking a stand against an issue that state leaders are working on with the federal government. Gov. Pat McCrory serves as chairman of the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition. “I don’t think we need to be putting up roadblocks in their way,” Allen said.

If that pro-drilling group were composed entirely of government officials, there *might* be a sliver of credibility in Jim Allen's concern. But those Governors have allowed themselves to become nothing more than oil & gas industry mouthpieces:

Saturday News: NC exports terrorism edition

N.C. MAN ARRESTED IN COLORADO SPRINGS SHOOTING SPREE (AP) –Law enforcement officials identified the gunman at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic shooting as Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina. Dear was arrested following an hours-long standoff that killed three people – including a police officer -- and wounded nine others.

3 DEAD IN COLORADO SPRINGS SHOOTOUT AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD CENTER (New York Times) -- A gun battle erupted inside a Planned Parenthood center here on Friday when a man, identified as Robert Lewis Dear, 57, armed with an assault-style rifle opened fire and began shooting at officers as they rushed to the scene. The authorities reported that three people were killed, a police officer and two civilians, and nine were wounded before the suspect finally surrendered more than five hours after the first shots were fired.

Big surprise, Republican boondoggle doesn't work


Which guarantees an extension of the project:

“These preliminary results indicate that nutrient related water quality conditions did not significantly improve in areas of the lake where SolarBees were deployed,” said the report by the state Division of Water Quality, which was sent to the General Assembly on Oct. 1.

“We’ve made a significant investment that pales in comparison to the hundreds of millions of dollars that existing Jordan Lake rules would cost municipalities,” Gunn said. “I think, while we did not see movement yet, one summer is not long enough to see if there’s a positive trend. I certainly would have loved to see something more optimistic. But I remain optimistic.”

Yeah, you remain optimistic the Solar Bee distraction will give you a few more election cycles to rake in campaign contributions from your developer buddies and profit from your own real estate sales. We're supposed to believe you give a shit about municipalities in your District? Then why did you vote (twice) to take sales taxes away from Burlington, Graham, Elon, Gibsonville, etc., amounting to over $1.3 million per year? The only thing you care about is flipping properties while preserving your bottom line.

Friday News: David & Goliath edition


GREENSBORO CHURCH AT FOREFRONT OF SOLAR POWER DEBATE (Greensboro News & Record) -- A petition involving a Greensboro church has emerged as the last, best hope this year for advocates of solar power to ease the financial burden for building owners who want to tap the sun on a tight budget. The church and the NC Warn energy-advocacy group want the state Utilities Commission to bless their deal, in which the Durham-based nonprofit owns the equipment and is gradually selling it to the local church by charging for electricity generated each month by the rooftop panels. The arrangement pushes against the boundary of North Carolina laws that generally ban such so-called “third-party” sales where the seller, in effect, becomes a mini-utility.


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