Saturday News: Culture of disrespect

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TWO HIGH-LEVEL DPI STAFFERS SQUEEZED OUT BY MARK JOHNSON: Adam Levinson was made CFO by the State Board of Education in March 2017 following former CFO Philip Price’s departure back in February of 2017. State Superintendent Mark Johnson was opposed to his hiring, according to an affidavit filed as part of a now-resolved lawsuit between the State Board and Johnson. Stacey Wilson-Norman, who previously worked as deputy superintendent of academics at Durham Public Schools, was made chief academic officer of DPI in September of 2017. At the time of her hiring, Johnson opposed the Board making any new high-level hires until the lawsuit between he and the Board was resolved. Both Wilson-Norman and Levinson were effectively demoted as part of Johnson’s recent reorganization, with Levinson retaining his role but with less authority and Wilson-Norman being reassigned to the lower-level role of division director of curriculum and instruction.
https://www.wral.com/two-high-level-dpi-staffers-out-third-state-board-of-education-member-resigns/1...

Victims rights amendment: A wolf in sheep's clothing

Of all the "blank check" amendments that will be on the ballot, the one that causes the most consternation among liberals is the so-called victims rights amendment. It sounds good, right? Why not extend special rights to crime victims? Who could be against that? In fact, a number of victims rights advocates have been criticizing the VOTE AGAINST campaign because, they argue, victims are special. I don't dispute that.

Trump blames California wildfires on government regulations, not Climate Change

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The sheer ignorance of this man is mind-boggling:

Sunday night, Trump, in his first comments on the wildfires that have raged for weeks, said the fires had been “made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount[s] of readily available water to be properly utilized.” A second tweet, on Monday, complained that water needed for fighting the fires was being “diverted into the Pacific Ocean.” In neither tweet was there mention of lives lost, the nearly 600,000 acres of woodland so far consumed and the 1,100 and counting homes destroyed.

Dumbfounded state officials dismissed the president’s remarks as nonsense. Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director of Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency, said “we have plenty of water to fight these wildfires.”

Rivers eventually flow into the ocean. That's what they do, and that's what they have done for probably a couple billion years. Even elementary schoolchildren know this, but apparently Trump missed that somewhere between kindergarten naps and academy bone spurs. And in fact, California already has some 1,400 dams forming lakes, and would be hard-pressed to construct many more. But again, well over our President's head. It's no wonder he simply can't grasp the concept of Climate Change:

Friday News: Adding injury to insult

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MATH TEST KNOCKING OUT HUNDREDS OF NEW NC TEACHERS, EXACERBATING SHORTAGES: Pearson provides teacher license exams for 24 states, including others that have had controversy over low pass rates on math. But only one, Massachusetts, uses exactly the same math exam, company officials told the Observer Tuesday. And that state reported results similar to North Carolina’s, with 52.2 percent of first-time test takers passing in 2016-17. When repeat test-takers were factored in, the Massachusetts rate rose to 64.2 percent. North Carolina’s pass rate on the math exam was 54.5 percent in 2016-17, including 987 who didn’t try again after failing. Changes in the way North Carolina licenses its teachers came about after the state approved Common Core academic standards for students. Officials wanted to make sure teachers’ skills were adequate for the rigorous demands being placed on students, and that includes preparing children to master high-level math in middle and high school, Oxendine said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article216246840.html

Open letter to David Rouzer

Dear Congressman Rouzer.

We read on your website that you consider yourself an advocate for working people. You even say you are concerned about public health crises, like the opioid epidemic. So I'm writing to ask, "Why the hell are you supporting a president who will literally kill hundreds of thousands of people by allowing asbestos back into US consumer products?"

David Wheeler pays visit to Word of Faith cult

After being invited to tour the (cult) church, Ralph Hise's Democratic opponent for NC Senate received a less than warm reception, probably due to multiple cameras. As has now been reported by the Washington Post, the next day trespassing charges were filed:

Thursday News: Voter Suppression Project

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NC COUNTY ELECTION BOARDS ILLEGALLY PURGED THOUSANDS OF VOTERS IN 2016: Elections officials in Cumberland, Moore and Beaufort counties illegally canceled the registrations of thousands of voters before the 2016 election and are prohibited from similarly purging their voter rolls in the future based on challenges by activists, a federal judge has ruled. In the weeks leading up to the November 2016 election, one Cumberland County resident representing the Voter Integrity Project of NC challenged 4,000 voters and a voter representing the Moore Voter Integrity Project challenged almost 500 Moore County voters. Four people in Beaufort County challenged about 140 voters there. The three county elections board sustained the challenges in most cases, canceling the registrations of about 3,900 voters.
https://www.wral.com/judge-orders-nc-to-comply-with-federal-law-on-purging-voters/17756090/

Above the law: Tiger Swan mercenaries get free pass from North Dakota judge

Blurring the lines between public and private law enforcement:

A North Dakota judge has refused to reopen a lawsuit that state regulators filed against a North Carolina-based private security firm accused of using heavy-handed tactics against people protesting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline. Judge John Grinsteiner's decision Monday ends the yearlong dispute in state district court, but doesn't resolve a disagreement over whether TigerSwan was conducting work that required a license in North Dakota.

North Dakota's Private Investigative and Security Board plans to appeal the case's dismissal to the state Supreme Court, attorney Monte Rogneby said. Should that fail, the board can still pursue tens of thousands of dollars in fines against TigerSwan through an administrative process.

Before we proceed, just a side-note: This North Dakota government regulatory board is exactly the kind of organization groups like Civitas want to abolish, because they exert control over private businesses by requiring licenses and permits and such. But in the case of Tiger Swan, they not only ignore such boards, they infiltrate and influence the operations of legitimate law enforcement agencies:

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