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:

Friday News: 31 flavors of hate

N.C. RANKS 11TH WITH 31 HATE GROUPS (Route Fifty) -- California had the most hate groups of any U.S. state with 79 in 2016 while North Carolina ranked 11th with 31, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual census of extremist organizations. The Montgomery, Alabama-based nonprofit defines hate groups as those with “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people.” “2016 was an unprecedented year for hate,” Mark Potok, senior fellow and editor of SPLC’s Intelligence Report, said in a statement. “The country saw a resurgence of white nationalism that imperils the racial progress we’ve made, along with the rise of a president whose policies reflect the values of white nationalists. In Steve Bannon, these extremists think they finally have an ally who has the president's ear.”
http://www.routefifty.com/2017/02/state-hate-group-numbers/135525/

Koch Brothers' tentacles reaching into NC county Solar farm ban

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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:

Thursday News: A Day Without Immigrants

SOME BUSINESSES CLOSE FOR ‘DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS’(Raleigh News & Observer) -- The three Compare Foods grocery stores in Durham will close their doors on Thursday as part of “A Day Without Immigrants,” a movement that has grown out of a reaction to a recent uptick in deportations and raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “A Day Without Immigrants” calls for Hispanics and their supporters to boycott stores, avoid restaurants and not send their children to schools on Thursday. A rally is also planned for Moore Square in downtown Raleigh at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, according to Que Pasa.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/durham-news/article132937604.html

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:

Wednesday News: Christian ethics?

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COACH ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLING NEARLY $400,000 FROM SCHOOL (AP) -- State officials say the basketball coach and athletic director at Trinity Christian, a Fayetteville Christian school is accused of embezzling nearly $400,000 from the religious organization. The school has the largest number of students receiving state-funded vouchers – 164 – and received $342,294 this year. Heath Curtis Vandevender is accused of embezzling and converting to his own use state withholding taxes totaling $388,422 while he was vice president at Truth Outreach Center from 2008 to 2015. The center also is known as Trinity Community Services in Fayetteville.
http://www.wral.com/coach-accused-of-embezzling-nearly-400-000-from-school/16528933/

Tuesday News: Beyond the pale

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BERGER AND MOORE'S STATEMENT THREATENED COURT, NC BAR SHOULD REVIEW (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- It is one thing to disagree with a judicial ruling, but quite another to accuse judges of acting outside the law. Even more outrageous, lawyers like Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore threatened the judges - and the entire judicial branch of government - with retaliation. Specific rules govern the conduct of public officials who are also lawyers and we have no doubt that Berger and Moore are well aware of these prohibitions against using their position to influence judges; making reckless statements concerning the integrity of judges; or threatening, bullying or harassing judges with the intent to intimidate them. The N.C. Bar should review the legislators' conduct.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-berger-and-moore-statement-threatened-court-n-c-bar-should-review/1652...

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.

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