scharrison's blog

Behold, waters shall rise up...

It ain't just a theory, it's happening now:

Water is rising three times faster on the N.C. coast than it did a century ago as warming oceans expand and land ice melts, recent research has found. It's the beginning of what a N.C. science panel expects will be a 1-meter increase by 2100.

Storms, Young said, are "the hammer" of rising seas. As storm surges pound ashore on a higher base of water, their damage multiplies. The Outer Banks, some scientists predict, could disintegrate into a string of high spots - Avon, Buxton, Ocracoke - reachable only by boat.

And almost completely ignored by the media is the continued warming of the 21st Century:

Puppets on parade: Privatize UNC-Chapel Hill

And the bad ideas keep coming:

Reducing Chapel Hill's $297.6 million annual appropriation could account for much of the UNC system's share of budget cuts. In return, Chapel Hill will gain the kind of autonomy likely to improve its standing in the world of academia.

Plus, it might make the school desperate enough for funding that it would finally acquiesce to the creation of a school of White Supremacy Western Civilization to combat all that cultural diversity stuff.

Binker drills into fracking issue

And gets some substantial results:

Gillespie said the thought of a new source of natural gas may be tantalizing at a time when the state is trying to move toward cleaner-burning, home-grown fuels. However, he cautioned, potential water-and air-contamination issues that come along with drilling should give everyone pause.

Yes, it should. And when industry "experts" submit their reports on how "clean and sustainable" their operations are, the source of that information should give you pause as well.

NCGOP arrogance and hypocrisy

A former mouthpiece for the NCGOP has been tapped as counsel for Senate redistricting. And if you're curious about what said counseling will entail, this Tweet from shortly after the election should set you straight:

Funny, I don't remember all this support for an independent redistricting commission over the last decade. #winnersgettogovern.

Brent, I know you guys love to rewrite history, but I simply can't let you do that on this one. You may have to play with this a little to make it work, and I can't guarantee the link will remain active once it's discovered, but here's a press conference from 2009:

Strong words, but if they're not backed up by strong character, it's just more air pollution.

New name for school vouchers: "Scholarships"

The ghost of Milton Friedman haunts the N&O:

Essentially the plan calls for per-pupil reductions in public school funding to be diverted to scholarships for students who wish to attend private schools.

the Passport program injects competition into the educational market. Currently, schooling in North Carolina is a near monopoly, with the public school system as the dominant "firm" in the market.

Actually, if the State wanted to save money the smart way, it would stop paying the salaries of community college instructors who promote idiotic ideas like this...

On platforms and policy

To begin this discussion, I'd like to throw a little Latin your way: Esse Quam Videri. It's a pretty simple concept, that could and should be adopted by all, but many who inhabit the world of politics find it uncomfortably restrictive. It's an admirable yet quaint stricture, to be casually discarded when form becomes more profitable than substance; a frequent and self-perpetuating phenomenon, unfortunately.

With that admonition out of the way, let's take a look at the importance of being rather than seeming.

Dangers of fracking explored

This Indy article is a good starting point for learning about NC's newest environmental threat:

With Americans getting half of their drinking water from underground sources, it's no wonder that people are concerned about the risks of fracking—especially since 2005 when George W. Bush exempted oil and gas companies from federal regulations designed to protect our drinking water. Meanwhile, most state oil and gas regulatory agencies don't require companies to report the volumes or names of chemicals being used in extraction (benzene, chloride, toluene and sulfates are among them).

Art Pope, 21st Century segregationist

Reanimating the "Separate But Equal" argument:

Pope, who is a former state legislator, said he would back extra funding for such schools.

"If we end up with a concentration of students underperforming academically, it may be easier to reach out to them," he said. "Hypothetically, we should consider that as well."

Hat tip to Rob over at the Pulse.

DOT accused of fraud in rockslide cleanup

No wonder it took so long:

The N.C. Department of Transportation has launched an internal investigation into allegations of fraud involving the department and contractors paid to handle maintenance at the Interstate 40 rock slide site. The letter alleges that contractors were paid for idled equipment, that trucks hauled away asphalt scraps for use on private jobs and that state-issued credit cards were used improperly.

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