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It costs $200 just to exist

This post is part of an evolving campaign to stop corporations from having the same rights as people. It is also about keeping them from having any say in anything to do with government.

Every year, as the owner of BlueNC, I have to file a meaningless notice about my company's existence to the Department of State. It takes about 30 seconds (at least they take credit cards online) and requires ticking a few boxes before hitting submit. Then BlueNC is magically authorized to exist for another year, and no one hunts me down to make me pay a delinquent bill.

There are probably good reasons why this whole system developed, but I can't figure it. From where I sit, it seems like baloney. Two hundred bucks for permission to operate? Seriously?

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Letting the data speak: Conservative ideology invites misery and illness

If you ever wanted a simple picture of the high human costs of conservative ideology, take a look at the three charts on this website.

So much for all their "pro life" happy talk. Republican extremists are killers, pure and simple.

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Silver lining?

Every morning I read the news summary you know as Daily Dose. It is depressing as hell. But it does have a silver lining.

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North Carolina @ Crossroads

Have you ever taken a wrong turn and ended up in a dark alley?

Playing nice versus playing smart

Lifted from another thread.

I'd agree with you about the anger over feeling like a doormat being run over by a steam roller, but I think you're only looking at the surface issue here.

If you can find enough money, it's no problem to hire and bus in protestors for rallies like the funders of the Tea Bagger movement have done (or the advocates of Amendment One). It's just responding to bullying with more bullying.

What's harder is to not play nice "behind the scenes", where it counts.

I look to the example of Fred Karger. Here's a guy that worked for several top Republican campaigns and is now a strong advocate for gay rights. If you do some reading about his strategy, it's very simple - he's using the same methods to combat homophobic bullstank that he used when working for the Republicans.

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Loud and clear

I've gotten a lot of feedback lately (not just from you, Martha) asking for a kinder, gentler BlueNC. Without going into all the reasons for and against those requests, I am taking them to heart. The requests align with my mission to Do Good, Be Nice, and Have Fun, which is admittedly a difficult balancing act.

This has nothing to do with my insurgent campaign for governor, which will be kicking into higher gear later this month. I'm old enough not to really care what people think about me personally. But it does have to do with my urgent desire to influence more people to think more critically about more issues, which seems somewhat undermined by shouting.

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Born again, again

Greetings friends and foes. I'm writing from an apartment overlooking a lake in Queenstown, New Zealand, having spent the past two weeks on a grand South Island adventure. The highlight of my trip so far happened yesterday, when I had a chance to fill my water bottle from a stream without fear of ingesting poisons, pesticides, fertilizer, or sewage. As I savored that fresh, natural water, I found myself being born again, again.

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Poll: Hugo Chavez was...

Expect more of this after sequestration

Miles of rope

It has been said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but that it bends toward justice. I'm not convinced that's true, but for the sake of optimism, let's pretend it is ... and examine North Carolina's unique position on that never-ending arc.

By any honest measure, the moral foundation of our state is slipping south faster than shit through a goose. King Arthur III has extended his sovereign reign to control a puppet legislature, a hapless governor, and a corrupt court system ... with stunning effectiveness and discipline. Operating at light speed, their medieval agenda has made North Carolina a laughingstock throughout the nation and the world, undermining our economy, our public infrastructure, our schools, our environment, and the heart and soul of our middle class. These are the facts on the ground, made all the more daunting by illegal gerrymandering.

In the face of this perfect storm, BlueNC readers have had several occasions to offer ideas for action. One specific poll asked what Democratic members of the General Assembly should be doing. Only 38% said those members should work hard and do their best under difficult circumstances. Sixty-two percent, on the other hand, called for blowing shit up, walking out or doing something else. One of the "something else" comments was especially intriguing.

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