Bigotry in Char-O's op-ed pages

Stirring the prejudicial pot:

Argument four is the most troubling. Our society is increasingly moving from common sense accommodation of differences to a push for radical acceptance and approval of lifestyles that the vast majority of people do not condone.

It is not hateful to say a male should use a designated male bathroom because he is male, any more than it is hateful to say a horse is a horse. This is science. It is fact.

Often when linking to an article we encourage readers to click through and read the whole thing. In this case, I recommend you don't. If the Charlotte Observer ranks their content on how many "hits" they draw in, it could encourage more of this offensive and small-minded tripe. I don't give a shit if she (or anybody else) "condones" the lifestyle of other citizens, and I don't care if the pain and distress of discrimination only touches a small percentage of the overall population. Arguments like those are resulting in the slaughter of innocents in other countries, and have no place in our society.

Wednesday News: Criminal negligence remembered

coalashhand2.png

2-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF DAN RIVER COAL ASH SPILL (TWCN-TV) -- Two years ago on Tuesday, Duke Energy announced that tens of thousands of tons of coal ash had spilled into the Dan River.
http://www.twcnews.com/nc/triad/news/2016/02/2/today-marks-2-year-anniversary-of-coal-ash-spill.html

N.C. COAL ASH SPILL CLEAN UP CONTINUES 2 YEARS LATER (WNCN-TV) -- It’s been two years since North Carolina faced one of the biggest environmental disasters in our state’s history.
http://wncn.com/2016/02/02/nc-coal-ash-spill-clean-up-continues-2-years-later/

Wake County Commissioners tackle pay inequality for women

Hopefully other county governments are watching:

Members of the Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday said they want to find a way that the government and community can help ensure that women achieve the same academic and professional success as their male counterparts. Their comments came after hearing a report that the income gap in Wake County is worse than the national average.

Wake women on average earn 69 percent of what men make, according to Jackie Terry Hughes, an attorney who helped author the report presented to commissioners. Nationally, women earn 79 percent of what men make.

Just a historical note: The Equal Rights Amendment was originally crafted back in 1923, but it finally made its way out of Congress in 1972. It fell just three states short of ratification (35 ratified, needed 38), and of course North Carolina was one of the holdouts. Opponents who didn't want people to see their misogynistic underwear have always claimed the ERA was not necessary, that society would solve the problem by itself without Constitutional force. But here we are in 2016, and the pay gap is still there, forcing women to struggle when their male counterparts don't have to. Or don't have to struggle as desperately. And if they dare to have children outside of the patriarchal formula, their struggles are made epic:

Tuesday News: Ominous portends for 2016

LAYOFF HEAVY NEW YEAR IN N.C. (Triangle Business Journal) -- It’s been a pink-slip-heavy New Year in North Carolina, as layoffs reported to the state thus far in 2016 potentially impact more than double the combined January totals from 2014 and 2015. Eleven companies have reported mass layoffs to the state, impacting up to 2,749 workers.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/techflash/2016/02/by-the-numbers-a-layoff-heavy-new-year-in...

STATE TO END FOOD ASSISTANCE WAIVERS TO UNEMPLOYED (Sanford Herald) -- Hundreds of people in Lee County and thousands more across the state face losing food stamp benefits later this year after the state legislature voted to remove waivers for certain unemployed individuals.
http://www.sanfordherald.com/news/state-to-end-food-assistance-waivers-to-unemployed/article_5f7193c...

Next on the GOP's chopping block: Health care for state employees

Your family members need not apply:

State employees could lose access to a popular health insurance option and see costs for other options rise under changes the North Carolina State Health Plan board of trustees is due to vote on Friday.

Executives who run the health plan, which covers state workers, teachers and retirees, have also recommended that the board consider eliminating coverage for spouses, likely sending most of them to shop for coverage on Affordable Care Act exchanges.

The wording in the Budget that forced this horrible idea should be considered a precursor of a Taxpayer's Bill Of Rights (TABOR) if that poison pill is ever put before the voters. And I have little confidence the voters would be able to see past the hype and pseudo-patriotic language to understand how damaging it would be.

Duke Energy-funded "advisory board" recommends they not spend billions relocating coal ash

How can you afford advisory boards if you spend all that money?

An advisory board created by Duke Energy says all of the company’s coal ash ponds in North Carolina can safely be capped in place.

When asked by the Charlotte Business Journal about possible criticism that the Advisory Board is “bought and paid for” by Duke Energy, Daniels said: “All these reports have been submitted, signed and sealed by professional engineers and scientists… They are professionals, and that matters more than who they are working for.”

The first thing that popped into my head reading that declaration of professionalism was the Bush quote "Tribal sovereignty means that; it's sovereign. I mean, you're a -- you've been given sovereignty, and you're viewed as a sovereign entity." Just because you're a professional it doesn't mean you're not prone to bias or withholding information that could be damaging to your clients. Lawyers are professionals too, and "who they are working for" is a consideration that eclipses all others, including the truth.

Monday News: Let them eat Salisbury steak

SORRY, NC TEACHERS, YOUR RAISES WENT ELSEWHERE (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Speaker Tim Moore said that a 10 percent raise would not happen and that pay hikes were more likely going to be about 2 percent, if the Senate agrees. Republicans, even in a time of economic recovery, work on a tight budget because their priority is giving tax breaks to business and wealthy individuals, and they’re steering the state toward reliance on more sales and services taxes, which hit those of low and moderate incomes hardest. Too bad for teachers. And too bad for North Carolina families when a teacher shortage hits.
http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article57628468.html

Racist propaganda prompted McCrory's Syrian refugee stance

Drinking deeply from a poisoned well of information:

In interviews, McCrory administration officials say there were ongoing discussions that weekend about a potential response. But when Steen dashed off a message to McCrory's personal email account, it was the first written note by one of his senior advisers urging the governor to consider action, according emails provided in response to a public records request.

"I think you should consider coming out in opposition to any more Syrian refugees coming here to the US or N. Carolina because the FBI says they cannot vet the Syrian refugees," Steen wrote, linking to a story in World Net Daily critical of U.S. refugee policy. Early the next morning, McCrory forwarded that email – adding only "FYI" – from his iPhone to his chief of staff, Thomas Stith.

And it doesn't appear that any of these "leaders" questioned the value of relying on a World Net Daily article to guide their policy decisions, a source that is easily in the top five least reliable outlets for credible information. The article itself is mostly a hit-piece against Lindsay Graham, and the author relies heavily on drivel provided by an extremely questionable "professor" using a borderline fraudulent resume:

Sunday News: GOP tough love edition

FOOD STAMP CHANGE CONCERNS ADVOCATES FOR POOR IN N. C. (AP) — Advocates for the poor are concerned about rule changes threatening food stamp benefits for 110,000 people in North Carolina if they don't meet work requirements.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/food-stamp-change-concerns-advocates-poor-n-carolina-3124989

110,000 N.C. RESIDENTS COULD LOSE FOOD AID OVER WORK REQUIREMENTS (AP) — More than 1 million low-income residents in 21 states could soon lose their government food stamps if they fail to meet work requirements that began kicking in this month.
http://www.greensboro.com/news/n-c-residents-could-lose-food-aid-over-work-requirements/article_0e94...

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