Thurman's blog

NC Republicans are in deep doodoo.

You know the heat is rising in the GOP kitchen when local papers like the Lexington Dispatch, which serves one of the reddest counties in the state, begin pointing fingers at the governor they helped elect.

...the promotions and raises given in this instance puts McCrory on the kind of path traveled by predecessors like Democrat Mike Easley. It also puts McCrory seemingly in conflict with the austere spending principles that were the cornerstones of his campaign for governor.

Seemingly? Really?

Poverty is the symptom, our economic system is the problem.

Moral Monday is on the road again this week, this time gathering voices in Manteo, Burnsville, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

The focus in Charlotte will be poverty, and if you don't believe poverty is a problem in your city or town, think again. As noted in this piece from the Observer, things are tough all over.

In this city of bankers and others of affluence, 64,000 people live on an income that’s roughly $11,500 a year for a family of four. That’s considered extreme poverty. In all, more than 140,000 Mecklenburg County residents – 15.6 percent of the county’s population – live in poverty.

Worse, a good chunk of the poor are children. Twenty-two percent of Mecklenburg’s children live in poverty, and an astounding 40 percent of its children of color are poor.

Yet another reason why industrial hemp is right for North Carolina

North Carolina currently holds the distinction of having the fifth highest unemployment rate in the nation. That statistic could change soon, since people who aren't able to draw unemployment benefits no longer count, but sweeping a problem under the rug helps no one.

Cutting unemployment benefits might seem like a smart move to Tea Party legislators in Raleigh, but it's of little use to the thousands of North Carolinians now facing the choice between starvation or working in one of Art Pope or the Walton family's retail sweat shops. There is simply no good reason for our state, once a leader in manufacturing and agriculture, to be in such dire straits.

A New Toast for a New Carolina

My lovely wife did this while I was out working today. She's a bit shy about it, but IMHO it's so damn spot on it demands to be shared with the BlueNC community. You saw it here first!

A New Toast for a New Carolina
By Diane Foust Hubbard (With apologies to Leonora Martin and Mary Burke Kerr)

Here’s to the land of the capitalist swine.
To the hopelessness of the unemployment line
Where the rich grow richer, and the poor garner hate.
Here’s to “Good Ol’ Boys”, in The Old North State.

Senator Austin Allran is at it again

Senator Allran, the rocket surgeon representing Alexander and Catawba counties is at it again, this time sticking his nose where it truly doesn't belong: your marriage, or more precisely, your divorce.

The “Healthy Marriage Act” would change the way couples in North Carolina get a divorce. Instead of requiring that they live apart for one-year, Allran’s new legislation would have them file an intent to divorce, then wait two years before their split is official.

The couple could live together or apart during those two years, according to the bill.

The couple would have to complete courses on improving communication skills and conflict resolutions, something that isn’t required currently.

And if they have kids, the couple would have to take a four-hour course on how divorce affects children. (News & Record)

Why aren’t our legislators scrambling to get NC a piece of the hemp action?

Hemp is cannabis; it's the same species as the plant called marijuana, but thanks to selective breeding and different cultivation techniques hemp contains little or no psychoactive elements sought by medicinal or recreational consumers.

Hemp has numerous industrial uses, by some accounts upward of 2,500, perhaps the oldest as a textile. Cannabis fiber has three times the tensile strength of cotton and was cultivated up to 8,000 years ago or more by the Chinese. Cannabis is a hollow fiber, more breathable than cotton, and that translates to more comfort for the wearer, and clothing made from hemp far outlasts its cotton competition. What's not to love about that?

HB-84 North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act Twitter campaign

House Bill 84, the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act, would be a great first step toward sanity in North Carolina. The bill has several co-sponsors and now faces its first logistical hurdle - the rules committee.

Eighteen states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington and the District of Columbia — have enacted laws protecting medical marijuana patients from state prosecution. Patients in these states enjoy legal protections to use medicinal marijuana under a doctor’s supervision. Seriously ill citizens of North Carolina deserve nothing less.

North Carolina voters strongly support this change in law. According to a January 2013 Public Policy Polling statewide survey, 58 percent of North Carolinians favor allowing doctors to authorize specified amounts of marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses.

Viable alternatives to fracking do exist

Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, has been in the news a lot lately. It's now widely accepted that the increase in seismic activity (earthquakes), especially from in the eastern U.S. is caused by fracking. Drinking water in places close to fracking operations has been documented over and over again as contaminated with carcinogens, even to the point of water from household taps being ignited (yes, water on fire).

Now the state of North Carolina want to join the chorus of drill-baby-drill and get on the fracking bandwagon.

Keep in mind that the very politicians who want to do this are mostly Republicans (though our Democratic Governor ha come out in favor as well, proving that both parties are corrupt as Hell). These same politicians who say fracking, if properly regulated, are the same ones who repeatedly and at every opportunity vote to deregulate and cut funding to regulatory agencies. Does anyone else see a major problem looming up on our horizon?

Sales tax on services in North Carolina is a bad idea

The idea of a sales tax on services in North Carolina has been rearing it's ugly head again lately, and while I can see why some people would support such an idea, I can't.

You see, I happen own a tiny service business that would be adversely affected by such a tax. My business is a one-man operation totally dependent on my labor. After expenses, whatever is left is my personal income, on which I pay taxes like any other citizen. A sales tax on my services would amount to double taxation of my earnings. That's not fair by anyone's standard, especially in light of the fact that so many huge corporations today (some of them my direct competitors) avoid paying their fair share of our collective tax burden.


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