Morning Yadda

Thank you to everyone for my wonderful birthday wishes and for rallying to help Facing South and the Institute for Southern Studies reach their fundraising goal. We all benefit from the work they do.

This week I will start on a bit of a new schedule as I try to get my gardening work completed before the sun gets too hot. I'll try to have an open thread/Morning Yadda ready each morning so you will have somewhere to park yourselves and chat, but anyone can start a new forum or a new thread if you don't find one already on the site. It's beautiful out there and I can't wait to go get dirt under my fingernails. Gardening gloves are for divas! (Okay...so I wear them to pull out stinging nettle and to mess with my blackberries.)

Here's what grabbed my attention this morning:

    Cary Allred's Last Sponsored Bill Before Retirement

    H1984

    A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

    AN ACT TO MAKE IT UNLAWFUL TO USE DARK-COLORED GLASSES AND/OR EVIL THOUGHTS WHEN DESCRIBING THE BEHAVIOR OF A FELLOW LEGISLATOR

    SECTION 1. Definitions:

    1) Dark-Colored Glasses: For the purposes of this bill, dark-colored glasses are any glasses which make things look bad, when they're really not bad.

    2) Evil Thoughts: Any thought where the thinker sees something innocent (probably using dark-colored glasses) and allows his or her mind to descend into the gutter, and begins to think about things that are unthinkable.

    SECTION 2. Penalties:

    Any legislator found to be in violation of this Act shall be subject to one or more of the following:

    a) Tarred and feathered, and subsequently rode out of town on a rail.

    b) Drawn and quartered.

    c) Forced to run a gauntlet.

    Schofield: Show us the way, Joe

    Right now, the man on the hot seat is House Speaker Joe Hackney. For better or worse and through no fault of his own, the timing of the budget process has placed the buck squarely on the desk of the veteran Orange County lawmaker at the most critical moment. Today, one month before the end of the state fiscal year, at a point at which all the bad revenue numbers are in and the Governor and Senate have already taken their shots, circumstances have conspired to give this one man more power than any other official in the state over an issue of historic importance.

    Give my birthday gift to Facing South - Only $37 Away from Goal

    The Institute for Southern Studies and I celebrate our birthdays at the same time. Last night I found out that they have a fundraising goal of $1500 and if they meet that goal today it will be matched with another $1500. Yesterday, many of you wished me a happy birthday on Facebook and I can't tell you how it felt to have a new birthday greeting every time I turned around. Thank you so much for helping make my birthday a great day. Now, I know none of you had planned on giving me a gift, but today I'm asking for one and I'd like you to give it to Facing South and The Institute for Southern Studies. You can go here to make your donation.

    It will only take 10 of us making a $25 donation to put them over the top.

    The Governor's Focus: an Update

    As I mentioned in a previous diary, I've been attending the monthly meetings of The Governor's Focus on Returning Combat Veterans and their Families for the past several months, and after Wednesday's meeting, I figured it was time to give you a brief update on some of the issues at which we've been looking.

    In a nutshell, the Governor's Focus is tasked with making sure veterans and their families have ready and easy access to existing mental health programs and services, and to identify real or potential gaps in these services and develop solutions for such.

    To give you an idea of the sheer scope of this venture:

    Lyme disease and how doctors who treat it are treated

    There is a new documentary film that will be released in June called UNDER OUR SKIN There is no treatment for a person like you.

    A suspenseful tale of microbes, medicine & money UNDER OUR SKIN investigates the untold story of Lyme disease, an emerging epidemic with staggering ramifications. Each year thousands go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, told that their symptoms are "all in their head." Following the stories of patients and physicians fighting the disease, the film brings into focus a haunting picture of our health care system and its inability to cope with a silent and growing terror, and of a medical establishment all too willing to put profits ahead of patients.

    http://www.underourskin.com/film.html

    Meeting the Needs of Our Servicemembers, Veterans and Military Families

    By Jason Forrester

    In 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama worked with VFA to introduce and pass Senate Bill 1271, which mandated a study on the readjustment needs of members of our military. Veterans For America is working with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on the completion of this study that seeks to find out more about the mental and physical health of veterans and active duty members serving in Iraq, as well as their families.

    The IOM's Committee to Assess the Readjustment Needs of Military Personnel, Veterans, and their Families will hold public town-hall meetings from 7 to 9 PM on Tuesday, June 2 in both Jacksonville, NC and Fayetteville, NC.

    The town hall meetings will be held at the American Legion Post 202, 84 Ramsey Street in Fayetteville (MAP), and at American Legion Post 265, 146 Broadhurst Road in Jacksonville (MAP).

    Morning Yadda

    For those of you who are new to BlueNC, welcome to our sloooow months. May and June are traditionally slow months at BlueNC. Those of us who write more frequently need a bit of time to recharge and it is simply a natural time to step away. There's no need to worry, though. We will still be here watching for diaries to promote, leaving comments and promoting candidates who step up during these months.

    This is a great time to link to your other favorite blogs. When things are moving at a slower pace, we're more likely to have time to visit new sites and learn from them/promote them here. It's also a great time for those who don't typically write a lot to step up and fill in the gaps. If anyone is serious about providing content on a regular basis, please let us know. We will continue promoting new front page writers every six months to help bring new voices into the mix.

    On Torture And War Crimes, Part One, Or, I Interview Dr. Addicott

    I can’t tell you the number of times I began a story with a plan for where it would go, only to discover that the plan isn’t going to work. The stories sometimes seem to write themselves…but other times, the research seems to do the writing instead; this being one of those times.

    When the production of this story began it was with the intention of trying to explain what should be the “controlling authority” in terms of defining torture, a precedent set by the European Court of Human Rights, or Title 18 of the United States Code.

    Having reviewed both statute law and numerous judgments in law courts worldwide as well as the recent Senate Judiciary Committee testimony of Professor Jeffrey Addicott, and having conducted an interview with Dr. Addicott personally, I’ve come to two rather surprising conclusions: It may not really matter whether waterboarding is torture…and although neither I nor Dr. Addicott might have seen it coming, it’s starting to appear that he and I might agree on one thing:

    Waterboarding, whether it’s torture or not, is a war crime.

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