NCGA

Counterpoint: LGBTQ-friendly companies should *not* boycott states like North Carolina

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Locating here might be just what the doctor ordered:

In my late 20s, I followed a Sapphic North Star to Seattle, one of the nation’s most progressive cities. There, I met my wife at a coffee shop in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, where we would later share our first home together. We were represented by a gay mayor and two gay state legislators, while benefiting from robust statewide nondiscrimination protections—a lucky situation we only occasionally thought about.

Safeguards like these are far too rare for far too many. Only 44 percent of all LGBTQ people nationwide have these same guarantees today, and none of them live in the South—where we now live, in North Carolina. Here, we and all LGBTQ people are keenly aware of the potential vulnerabilities we face in the eyes of employers, landlords, and others. With the differing experiences of Washington and North Carolina in mind, it’s clear what is and is not useful in advancing equality nationwide—and ill-considered corporate relocation boycotts are definitely in the latter category.

I recently got into a pointless argument with somebody who basically said, "If you're a straight white male you should STFU and let marginalized people lead the discussion." And I get most of that. But I also know if I don't speak out in certain venues and media (like this one), the issues won't be addressed at all, or at best very infrequently. With that said, the opinion expressed above has been on my mind for some time also. The thing about boycotts is, they "isolate." The intention to isolate a state as punishment for discriminatory practices, in order to generate a loss of commerce, seems like a valid approach. Hurt 'em in their wallets, as it were. But that isolation comes at a cost to the LGBTQ folks who could have found employment and solidarity working at these companies. And those opportunities are desperately needed here in the South:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Apparently the fix was in:

I genuinely hope this doesn't turn tragic, but after a couple more years of Trumpism, 2020 could be one of the ugliest years in American history. It won't be a garden party, that's for sure.

Struggling in the Gap: NC GOP's refusal to expand Medicaid is a health crisis

The march of the walking wounded:

In the spring of 2017, a tractor trailer side-swiped the car Hendell Curtis was driving not far from his North Raleigh home. His longtime lack of health insurance made getting needed medical care afterwards a physcial and financial minefield.

The crash left Curtis requiring surgery to install a metal plate to stabilize weakened vertebrate in his lower back. A settlement from the truck driver’s auto insurance will cover the surgery, but only AFTER it is complete.

Get that? The accident was not his fault, but he is the one living with a broken back because of it. Let down by the system, let down by the ideologues running the General Assembly. And (of course) if he'd had enough money to hire a fancy lawyer, the settlement from the insurance company would have paid for everything upfront, with enough left over to live on for the rest of his life. But that's another world, one that he and many others can only read about. Here's more about the Gap:

School uniforms required after forced privatization of Ashpole Elementary

Because apparently "choice" is only an option for parents and not students:

Eric Hall, Superintendent for the ISD, added, “In addition to fostering a sense of community and school spirit, student uniforms will help make mornings easier for families by eliminating discussions about what to wear from morning routines; relieve school staff from administering school dress codes, reduce the potential for teasing with regards to a student’s attire, and they’re economical.”

Wait, I thought charter schools were supposed to be an incubator for creative thought, a radical shift away from the "conformity" of the factory-styled public school model, a monument to freedom of thought, a paradigmatic shift...You're right, I'm being facetious. The school choice movement has nothing to do with innovation, and everything to do with social engineering and money-making. Expecting them to operate in the way they've promised in order to sell their destructive policies is an exercise in futility. Also, we'll see how "economical" those uniforms are going down the road. Parents will be buying replacements before Halloween rolls around.

Residents with GenX-tainted wells not happy with carbon filtration fix

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They say Chemours needs to connect them with city water instead:

Two residents participating in a pilot study that is testing whether water filter systems can remove GenX and similar contaminants say they prefer municipal water lines. The residents — Mike Watters and Fran Minshew — said they made the decision after seeing test results Chemours sent to the state Department of Environmental Quality. Their homes are among six with the granular-activated carbon filtration systems.

Chemours has offered to install the filter systems at homes with wells that have GenX levels above the state’s provisional health goal for the compound. Thus far, the state has said the filters would not be approved as a long-term solution.

This is (of course) typical of how most private corporations approach remedial actions when they contaminate water wells. Trying to avoid the expense of running water lines to these people, they use these on-site "fixes" as a test program, and they get to run the tests. When have you ever heard one of these companies say, "Oh, this is not working like we'd hoped."? Exactly, never. And these folks are also worried about continued support from Chemours going down the road, because apparently the filtration systems need a lot of maintenance:

Hog farm rally *not* held at actual hog farm site

Because who wants to smell that shit anyway:

Most recently, a jury awarded more than $25 million last week to Duplin County residents Elvis and Vonnie Williams, neighbors of the 4,700-hog farm of Joey Carter, a former Beulaville police chief. That was where Republican legislators and other elected officials brought supporters Tuesday for a rally and news conference criticizing the lawsuits and touting a new state farm law that limits when and how hog-farm neighbors can file nuisance suits.

“You work hard every single day to make ends meet, you know the daily struggles of what it’s like to grow pigs or turkeys or chickens or to grow your row crops, and you do that without complaining and the government comes in and passes regulation after regulation,” Lt. Gov. Dan Forest told farmers.

I don't want to be that guy that says "fake news," but this is simply not correct. The spot where this "rally" was held is approximately 3/5 of a mile away from the hogs & lagoon featured in the lawsuit, with a substantial strand of forest separating them. But see, they couldn't invite all those outraged white people to the *real* site, because it's literally a horror show:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The Kakistocracy marches on:

The slow disintegration of rights is about to begin:

Constitutional crisis: 5 of 6 GOP Amendments dangerously ambiguous

The phrase "Pig in a poke" actually dates back to mid-16th Century:

6 – number of proposed constitutional amendments placed on the November ballot by GOP legislative majorities during the final five days of the 2018 legislative session.

5 – of the six amendments passed by lawmakers in 2018, the number that lack implementing language that would allow voters to know precisely what they are voting on (the sixth – which simply lowers the cap on the state income tax requires no such language) (Gerry Cohen, Director of Legislative Drafting at the General Assembly for 30 years in an interview last week with Policy Watch reporter Joe Killian).

The reason I threw that little historical reference in there is because even before our nation was born, and even before Oliver Cromwell rose up against the Crown, people were smart enough to avoid being deceived by somebody selling them a mysterious bag of goods. But apparently rank and file Republicans in the General Assembly aren't that smart, or they simply don't care if the NC Constitution is used and abused for partisan reasons. No x 6.

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