When op-eds go horribly wrong

Campbell professor goes off on a poorly-researched tangent:

Governments own and run most of our schools and therefore do not operate in competitive environments similar to those that brought us, among many other things, vast improvements in technology and telecommunications, higher quality foods at lower prices, bigger and cheaper HDTVs, and ever-cheaper means of transportation.

We run our schools much like the socialist-run factories of the last century: a top-down command and control system with a one-size-fits-all mentality.

Like most free-market fundies, Steckbeck feels the need to serve his tripe with a dash of fear-inducing "Socialism!" Maybe hoping to hide the fact he's just peddling an opinion, and not something that stands up under close scrutiny. HDTV was invented by Korean Woo Paik (product of public schools), and developed/introduced by Japan's public television network. And then a consortium of US-based electronics companies pooled their resources and developed standards which would (among other things) allow them to monopolize the technology and keep pesky entrepreneurs from joining the fun. I'm not through with him yet:

Friday News: TA's are PO'd edition

ruchohearswhathewants.jpg

Teacher assistants criticize NC lawmakers for budget delays (AP) — Teacher assistants are unhappy with North Carolina lawmakers for failing to pass a state budget and they are worried about their jobs a little more than a week before school goes back into session.
http://www.greensboro.com/news/north_carolina_ap/teacher-assistants-criticize-nc-lawmakers-for-budge...

DENR tries to block coal ash cleanup agreement

"It wasn't our idea, so we won't support it":

North Carolina's environmental officials moved Wednesday to stop an agreement that would commit Duke Energy to scooping out and moving coal ash from three more unlined and leaking pits.

Duke and a coalition of environmental groups last month agreed that, if a judge approved, the energy giant would commit itself to excavating the coal ash from three additional power plants: Cape Fear in Moncure, H.F Lee in Goldsboro and Weatherspoon near Lumberton.

And what's even crazier, one of the stated reasons DENR is trying to legally intervene is to avoid future legal interventions. Isn't that like smacking somebody so other people will feel sorry for that person and less likely to smack them? Here's more from the SELC:

Starting today

We continually tweak BlueNC with the goal of improving the experience for readers and encouraging engagement. With that in mind, we made a small tweak to the site today: Community members can now publish directly to the front page. We're thinking of this as an experiment, with no commitment to permanence. If it works, great. If it doesn't, we'll find out soon enough. As always, we reserve the absolute right to delete any posts that are inappropriate or intolerably obnoxious. Enjoy.

Oregon millionaire behind NC's public school takeover scheme

Everything is for sale, if you fill out the check properly:

John Bryan has underwritten the creation of ten charter schools across North Carolina, and now thanks to his political efforts he’s also behind a secret plan modeled after similar controversial initiatives in Tennessee, New Orleans and elsewhere to allow charter operators to fire an entire school’s staff and start from scratch in an attempt to catapult a public school into the top 25 percent of the state.

According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, since 2010 John Bryan has given well over $100,000 to candidates who have a record of pushing school privatization efforts, including House Speaker Tim Moore, Rep. Jason Saine, former Guilford Rep. Marcus Brandon, Rep. Paul Stam, and Sen. Ralph Hise.

It brings the term "sellout" to a whole new level, doesn't it? Remember this: The state (for the most part) doesn't fund the construction of public schools, the counties do. In effect, this legislation has all the earmarks of Conservatives' supposed great nemesis "Eminent Domain," but in reverse. They're handing over something local taxpayers built and giving it to an out-of-state political crony. And they're handing over our children, too, which is even more outrageous, if that's possible. These bills shouldn't even be parked in committee, much less brought to the floor for a vote. They should be ceremoniously burned.

Thursday News: Divide and conquer redux

Rural officials rally, but controversial sales tax bill may die in NC House (Charlotte Observer) -- As more than 200 rural officials lobbied for a shift in sales tax revenues on Wednesday, one Mecklenburg County lawmaker said he believes the House will defeat the proposal that more than any has split urban and rural legislators.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article30954234.html

Triangle cities, chambers of commerce come out against sales tax plan (Triangle Business Journal) -- Several Triangle cities and chambers of commerce are among those calling on the General Assembly to avoid passing a plan to change how sales tax revenues are distributed.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2015/08/12/raleigh-durham-chambers-of-commerce-sales-tax-pl...

GOP oxy Morons: Two week "continuing resolution"

Like a toddler crying because he doesn't want to go to bed:

With a deadline looming on Friday, state legislators still don’t have a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. On Tuesday, they rolled out another extension to keep government running through Aug. 31.

The temporary budget bill, known as a “continuing resolution,” continues last fiscal year’s budget allocations for another two weeks while the House and Senate try to reach a deal. Before the fiscal year ended June 30, legislators approved a 45-day continuing resolution that runs out Friday.

With the right shoes, I could walk to Devonshire in a fortnight, and still have time to peddle my wares. But the GOP will probably f**k this one up, too.

Holly Jones is running for lieutenant governor of North Carolina

A campaign is born.

I'm running for Lt. Governor of North Carolina because we need new leaders who will stand up to the misguided policies of the legislature. I've spent 14 years in local government--seven on the Asheville City Council and seven on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners--and I've seen the damage that's been done by their heavy-handed tactics. From redistricting local boards to seizing local assets, they've hurt local government and local residents.

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