GOP strips retirement health care from future teachers, other state government workers

Because 30 to 40 years of service means nothing to Republicans:

A few short lines in the 2015-17 Senate budget would eliminate state-paid health retirement benefits for teachers and state employees hired after January 1, 2016.

“This will negatively impact the state’s ability to recruit good, qualified folks,” said Richard Rogers, executive director of the North Carolina Retired Governmental Employees’ Association. “In the future, I don’t see folks sticking with state government for the long term or for a career.

They don't want "good, qualified folks," working for the people, because that would make it harder to tear down government agencies and institutions. Better to fill the ranks with mediocre, unqualified folks, because it will condition the populace to not be dependent on a functioning public service machine, and make it much less controversial when that machine is finally switched off for good.

Alone and Adrift in a Sea of Right-Wing Hate

Is anyone still surprised that mass shootings continue to occur? Sure, we're still horrified at the loss of life and the sheer depravity of the act, but let's not kid ourselves. Mass shootings have become a part of the American experience. We have come to expect them. We don't know when they'll happen or where, but we now have a reasonable expectation that somewhere in America, at some time in the not too distant future, someone will walk into a school, a mall, or a church and open fire. People will die, families will grieve, and those with the power to do something about it will continue to do nothing. Yes... we will all be outraged, demand action, and go for the throat on Twitter and Facebook... for a while. After a short time, we all ease back into the complacency of our lives and hope it's over... but we know it isn't. Here we dwell, in this place of denial and fear, until we are again forced to watch the horror... and we are again momentarily outraged... momentarily.

My freedoms are more important than your child's safety

Because if I can't dump bloody offal into the water to attract ocean-going predators like sharks, even if it means swimming children have their arms bitten off, then the Socialists behind Agenda 21 have won the war, and we'll be forced into reeducation camps where they make you eat kale and read Noam Chomsky.

Daily dose: Homegrown terrorism edition

Dylann Roof, Suspect in Charleston Shooting, Flew the Flags of White Power (New York Times) -- — The Facebook profile picture chosen by Dylann Storm Roof in May is thick with symbolism. It shows Mr. Roof, a scowling young white man, wearing a black jacket adorned with two flags — one from apartheid-era South Africa, the other from white-ruled Rhodesia — that have been adopted as emblems by modern-day white supremacists. Mr. Roof, 21, was arrested Thursday in North Carolina after law enforcement officers identified him as the suspect in the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday night.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/us/on-facebook-dylann-roof-charleston-suspect-wears-symbols-of-whi...

Friend says church shooting suspect ranted about race (AP) — In recent weeks, Dylann Storm Roof reconnected with a childhood buddy he hadn't seen in five years and started railing about the Trayvon Martin case, about black people "taking over the world" and about the need for someone to do something about it for the sake of "the white race," the friend said Thursday.
http://www.greensboro.com/news/us_world_ap/friend-says-church-shooting-suspect-ranted-about-race/art...

"Piñata Politics" is an apt description

The vendetta against Gene Nichol is childish and destructive:

A last-minute amendment by Senate leaders Wednesday docked the University of North Carolina School of Law budget by $3 million. Democrats say it's political payback for the school's employment of legislative critic Gene Nichol. Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham, questioned whether the "capricious" cut would force reductions in financial aid or public service programs at the school. "This feels like the Gene Nichol transfer amendment," Woodard added.

Apodaca did not immediately respond to an inquiry from WRAL News about the timing and rationale for his amendment, but he said nothing to dispute Democrats' accusations during the floor debate.

When vicious attempts by Civitas to uncover wrongdoing on Professor Nichols' part didn't pan out, the next step was to close the Poverty Center. But that still wasn't enough, was it? Because the end goal is to get the outspoken Professor fired, or to force him to resign. Totalitarian regimes are notorious for silencing voices of opposition, and colleges are usually the first places they clamp down.

Daily dose: Fletcher's very bad day edition

bluenccup-1[1].jpg

Elections board: NC senator may have misspent campaign money (AP) — North Carolina elections officials decided Wednesday to send state prosecutors the findings of their two-year investigation into a powerful state senator's use of campaign contributions from political supporters on personal expenses from speeding tickets to shoe repairs.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/elections-board-nc-senator-may-have-misspent-campaign-money-2911621

Message to NC Bar: Drop your complaint against Mumma

Her behavior pales in comparison to the gross injustice she helped expose and reverse:

The North Carolina State Bar last month filed a complaint against Christine Mumma, the executive director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, alleging that she unethically obtained a DNA sample while investigating the case of Joseph Sledge.

State authorities hadn't collected any DNA from other possible suspects in the case and were pressing for a hearing that could end Sledge's bid to have his conviction overturned.

Seems pretty clear to me. The man was wrongfully convicted forty years ago, and the state was intent upon continuing that "unethical" behavior by refusing to pursue the truth. Does the Bar want attorneys to be advocates for their clients, or just avatars of an adversarial system that doesn't really exist? To give you an idea of just how screwed up the original conviction was and the recent lack of concern from authorities, here's a comment from another, related article:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Restoring the Dan River

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Mitigation planners are seeking public input for projects:

A state-federal team is seeking public comment on its plan to assess natural resource damage from Duke Energy’s 2014 spill of coal ash into the Dan River.

Federal law lets state and federal agencies pursue claims against Duke to restore, replace or acquire natural resources equal to those that were damaged, and to seek cash compensation.

Trustees have already determined the types of projects that should be considered (see page 27 of the Plan large pdf), which includes conservation acquisitions, buffer zones, and recreational (boating & swimming) access. The public has until July 17 to submit input to: Sara Ward, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 33726, Raleigh 27636-3726, or Sara_Ward@fws.gov.

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