North Carolina

Amendment: One. Human Rights: Zero.

Last month, I discussed the utter pointlessness of late-in-the-game Presidential Primaries, namely North Carolina’s primary on Tuesday, May 8th. But the big story on May 8th isn’t who political-minded North Carolinians are voting for. It’s what we are (or are not) voting for that has the lame-stream all a-buzz.

There has been a great deal of talk all across the USA regarding North Carolina’s Amendment One – aka “The Marriage Amendment” – vote. Amendment One is only a single sentence long, but it’s one of the most controversial sentences in recent memory (right up there with “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” and “Casey Anthony is innocent!”).

Read the whole article at Political

NC Harm Reduction Coalition's Law Enforcement Safety Training Program Saving Drug User and Law Enforcement Lives


North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition Law Enforcement Safety Training Program

The relationship between law enforcement and drug users is not always positive, but fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) is working to bring drug users and law enforcement together by educating both groups on public health initiatives to protect each other from blood borne disease such as hepatitis C and HIV.

What do Zambia, Ecuador, India, Mexico and North Carolina have in common?

What we have in common is such a high level of poverty among children that Children International operates centers in all these countries to help alleviate the nutritional, educational and health care problems stemming from extreme poverty. (Actually, there are a few more places where Children International operates: Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala and the Philippines.)

I was motivated to write this after hearing NC GOP legislator George Cleveland's recent remark that there is no such thing as "extreme poverty" in North Carolina" as the GOP pushed to further reduce funding for early childhood programs in NC.

Why do people become sex workers?

Following is an interview with April, a Durham sex worker. This is her story.

When I was growing up Mom nodded off all the time [on opiate pills] and in the morning I’d find her lying on the floor or wherever she’d passed out high the night before… My father was drunk all the time, my mother high on pills, so my brother and I raised ourselves. I learned to cook for myself when I was three and got myself up to get ready for school at age five. [My brother and I] were abused mentally a lot, and my Dad abused us physically too. We terrorized the neighborhood. We played with knives and ripped the shingles off houses.

Connect with Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin on Facebook and Twitter

From a news release linked here:

It is an exciting time for North Carolina politics! As the 2012 campaign season heats up, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is ramping up his efforts to reach out to voters, colleagues and supporters.

Goodwin’s website has been redesigned to make it easy to find the latest news about his service to North Carolina, watch video messages on YouTube, or follow his updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Goodwin has made transparent and open government a cornerstone of his efforts in the office of Insurance Commissioner. Creating a clear and open dialogue with citizens is equally important in his campaign.

“I love to talk to North Carolinians about the issues that are most important to them,” Goodwin said. "North Carolina is a big state, but social media can bring us together almost instantly."

Learn more at and/or follow on Twitter @WayneGoodwinNC.

North Carolina in the 1980s: a Congressional history lesson

I originally posted this diary at DailyKos, but James asked me to cross-post here, and I'm more than happy to comply. I just purged a few errors from the diary that DailyKos users pointed out.

Let's start with a short discussion of how North Carolina Politics worked: Then as now, both Republicans and Democrats had a strong presence in the state. Throughout the 80s, Republicans carried the state on a Presidential level, although Jimmy Carter came close in his national landslide loss to Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Arrested for Carrying Condoms?

There is a disturbing trend happening across the country,and we can now add one more casualty to the list of Things-That-Shouldn’t-Be-Illegal-But-Are: condoms. Though condoms themselves are not illegal,in many cities they can be used as the basis for police harassment and arrest or as evidence of prostitution in court. In New York City, Washington DC and San Francisco, police are using the number of condoms women are carrying to justify profiling them as prostitutes, and even to bolster an arrest on charges of sexual solicitation.

RACING against five simple words

With five simple words, Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James revealed the true purpose for a constitutional amendment filed in North Carolina’s legislature in 2011 that would ban all relationship recognitions for same-gender couples.

“We don’t want them here.”

The “them” the amendment proponent referred to with the Raleigh News & Observer was easy to identify.

The “them” was me.

What Every Cop Should Know...

Jeff Riorden has enjoyed quite a few interesting career paths, including police officer, paramedic, and a health practitioner in the U.S. Navy before deciding to study at the Duke School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina. All these careers have one thing in common – concern for public health and safety – which is why Jeff is also a supporter of harm reduction programs that reduce the spread of disease in our communities.

Along with many of his fellow nursing students, Jeff has come out to volunteer with the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition on our outreach trips through drug user and sex worker neighborhoods in Durham where we provide education and testing for HIV and hepatitis C. On these trips, he’s spoken about his experience as a former police officer and how law enforcement could benefit from a better understanding of harm reduction programs. Programs such as syringe exchange are shown to reduce the incidence of needle-sticks to officers by 66%.

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