TarGator's blog

Pathetic Attempt at Something Conservative at UNC Law

Given the dominance of conservative groups at schools, I was somewhat worried about a group that claimed to be starting a Conservative Law Journal at UNC Law School. Boy was I worried over nothing!

First some background. UNC Law, much like other Law Schools, has a number of accredited academic journals. These journals publish a combination of professional and student pieces on discrete points of law. The journals range in breadth of the subjects they cover from the Law Review, which covers any issue, to issue specific journals such as the First Amendment Law Review. Substantively these articles are very intense studies on discreet, timely legal issues. The pieces are heavily edited, heavily footnoted, and well respected. In fact, these journals serve as the main method of communication between law professors, are well circulated, and do a great deal to advance the law in many areas.

Easley's Roadless Plan

In addition to his objection of the sale of our national forests, Easley has filed with the USDA for some of our forest to be classified as roadless and thus protected against industrial activity. There is a great post on this issue at the North Carolina Conservation Network.

Update: Check the comments to see where Lance beat me to the story. Also, check out our Take Action! center advertised on the right.

Road Maintenance, Another Huge Cost of Our Reliance on the Automobile

For the battle cry of high costs levied against the proposed Triangle Rail Line, there is counterpoint being conveniently ignored: Roads cost a ton of money themselves. In fact, the cost of building roads is artificially lowered by not considering the long term costs to maintain the roads. Those of us in the Triangle have seen the results of those costs being ignored with a plethora of potholes, which increase wear and tear on a car, reduce traffic speed, and are a general hassle.

Potholes are caused by neglect of road surfaces over years. The best way to get rid of them is repaving the road. But repavement costs money to perform, wastes productivity by increasing traffic jams, and creates a hassle for every commuter. For a visual effect, I have pasted a list of repaving projects scheduled for this year in just Durham, Wake, and Franklin counties (from Crosstown Traffic):

Dole Checks Polls and Then Opposes Land Sale

After weeks of nothing from Dole on the proposed land sale, apparently she sees just enough opposition to the sale to talk against it. The Wilmington-Star quotes Dole as saying:

However, I do not believe it is a wise investment to sell our public lands in return for short-term funding of a program that deserves full funding on its own – especially when the lands have been selected without the input of local communities and park rangers.

Bring Markos and Jerome to North Carolina

The Book Tour for Jerome Armstrong of MyDD and Markos of DailyKos is getting organized. However, North Carolina is not on their schedule. They are asking for recommendations on where to go at their website above, and I sent them an e-mail about coming to the Triangle. They are asking that when people send them suggestions on destinations that they include a specific event, so I am putting it to our readers to:
1) Come up with some event that Markos and Jerome can come speak at;
2) Leave a comment here telling us your idea; and

Fayetteville Online Joins the Chorus Calling for Black to Resign

Jim Black's scandals have been racking up so fast that I have not had to time to even read all of them. The latest one is that Black broke contribution limits by giving over the $4,000 cap to five candidates. This, along with the other myriad of corruption scandals, has lead the Fayetteville Online to call on Black to give up his leadership post:

So what we have here is a speaker whose lawyer tentatively concedes that payments were made in excess of what the law allows, and suggests that everything can be put right by taking some of the money back.

While North Carolina Cannot Connect Durham and Raleigh, China Builds Train to go 260 MPH

I have been watching the debate and negative response to the TTA's proposed 18 mile diesel train route between Raleigh and Durham, and before they can even get anything together, China announces that they are building a train to travel over 1,300 kilometers at over 350 km/hr. The train will use magnetic levitation technology to reduce friction.

So, the supposedly tech-rich Triangle cannot get a diesel train going while China can build a super-advanced high-speed train. This is just one more example of America losing its competitive edge. Of course, we cannot produce engineers to supply large companies when we do not provide the funding that projects that would encourage advances in engineering. I am sure that we will be the world's leader in building roads (a technology as old as history) but we need some imagination, vision, and commitment to progressing toward a better society.

Execution Tonight

North Carolina has been executing prisoners so quickly this year that I cannot keep up with them. It looks like there will be one more tonight. Dent has a good roundup of the goings on here.

I think that I have said all I could against executions before, so I will not repeat it here. But every time I go to sleep on an execution night, something in my just shudders at the thought that our society cannot move past this method of punishment.

Lack of Interest in North Carolina Legislature

The Daily News (Jacksonville, NC) has an interesting article detailing the lack of interest in running for the North Carolina Legislature. Their reasons for half of the races for the legislature only having one candidate are: time commitment, small pay, gerrymandered districts, and the expense of modern campaigns.

Regardless of the reasons, it is a shame that 50% of the races are unopposed (we have a list of races with only one candidate here). If we are going to get any traction for progressive reforms in the legislature we need new blood and heated campaigns to get the ideas off the ground. As we move through this campaign cycle, I am starting a challenge to get our readers interested in advancing progressive causes to find out who is running in your district, and if there is no Democrat, consider running yourself.

Lindy Brown Responds on Educating Wake County (Even the Hispanics)

A couple of days ago, I posted about Phil Jeffreys not wanting to spend money on education because he felt it all went to illegal Hispanics. I sent the post to his opponent in the Wake County Commissioner Race, Lindy Brown. Here is her response to me (via e-mail):

As your County Commissioner, I will advocate for adequate funding to build new and expand existing schools in Wake County. This year alone, Wake County School System had to provide education to seven thousand + new students. We are mandated by our federal and state governments to provide equal educational opportunities to all children.

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