Religious Freedom or Religious Dictatorship?

Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho and Indiana.

What do these states have in common? The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, legalizing discrimination.

The American religious theocracy is on the march. When will those who value freedom of religion stand up together and say, No!

The hazards of being a Latino construction worker

Making it home for dinner each day is a victory in itself:

As it has for decades, the industry also is relying ever more on Latino workers, and labor advocates say these men and women don’t always get the training and safety equipment they need on the job, which could explain why Latinos suffer a higher fatality rate in construction than non-Latinos even as the industry as a whole is becoming less deadly.

All four workers in Tuesday’s collapse at the Charter Square building on Fayetteville Street were Hispanic men. Anderson Antones de Almeida, 33, and Jose Erasmo Hernandez, 41, both of Durham, died in the accident, as did Jose Luis Lopez-Ramirez, 33, of Clinton. Elmer Guevara, 53, of Durham was severely injured.

When the first reports of this horrific accident were mentioned on TWC News, the thought went through my mind, "I bet some of those guys were Hispanic." Sometimes I hate being right. Not that I would prefer white workers had died in their place, but you have to ask yourself if that would have made any difference in whether or not new and better safety measures would have resulted. While you're pondering that, consider why the Elevator Queen and her Department only get a passing mention in this article, and it's not a positive note:

Daily dose: GOP's war on cities edition

Bid to redistribute NC sales tax money praised, panned (AP) — A legislative proposal for the state to take away the local portion of sales taxes highlighted two undercurrents in Raleigh — the increased clout of rural Republicans and their conflicts with Gov. Pat McCrory, a fellow Republican who was formerly Charlotte's mayor.

Locals oppose tax bill (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- A plan to shift millions of dollars in sales tax revenue from urban to rural counties has gained little support from lawmakers representing northeastern North Carolina, even though it was an intended beneficiary.

When North Carolina economics and Indiana discrimination collide

The antics of heavy handed discrimination regarding others is by now, getting very tiresome. Whether on a state or national level, Republicans frequently interject their self-righteousness and indignation among those they were elected to serve. While this isn’t a new phenomenon, the amount of laws (by percentage) as a part of all laws either sponsored, voted on or passed; and which specifically denounces the interests and views of citizens today, is remarkable.

Anonymous complaints filed against Racial Justice Act attorneys

When saving a human life gets you into trouble with the Bar:

Gretchen Engel, director of the Durham-based Center for Death Penalty Litigation, and Cassandra Stubbs, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project, were among a team of attorneys who used the short-lived law to convert a North Carolina death row inmate’s sentence in 2012 to life without possibility for parole.

Now the attorneys face possible punishment from the N.C. State Bar. Some legal analysts have characterized the allegations of wrongdoing as so minor and “questionable” that they think politics could be at play. It is unclear who filed the complaints against the attorneys. That’s not part of the public record.

Since this isn't a criminal probe, I realize the 6th Amendment doesn't apply. But an accusation that can ruin somebody's career deserves more disclosure than this. There's also a huge dose of irony accompanying these complaints: Not only were African-Americans disproportionately removed from the juries, the mystery complainants are angry the rejected black jury candidates were allowed to speak about it:

Daily dose: Clown Car Conference edition

GOP Gathers in N.C. for Leadership Conference (TWCN-TV) -- The 2015 Pope Civitas' Conservative Leadership Conference kicked off in Cary on Friday. The two day event provides a chance to meet big names in the Republican Party and discuss current issues. It is also an opportunity for delegates to gauge who they see fit to run in the 2016 presidential race. "We're actually evaluating all the candidates and talking to them all. We're doing a lot of briefings with them because some who are running never been in foreign policy," said Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation.

Open Letter to President Obama on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Dear Mr. President:

Please either terminate U.S. involvement in the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership or, at the very least, tell Michael Froman to thoroughly renegotiate the TPP’s current chapter on investment, especially the sections on investor-state dispute settlements. As the New York Times shows in its recent article “Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S.” the TPP in its current form would let corporations “sue” governments to obtain TAXPAYER COMPENSATION for losses of “expected future profits.”

NC GOP's relentless attack on college professor

Apparently shutting down the Center is not enough punishment for speaking out:

Pretty sure this effort is mostly to distract from the embarrassing antics of the GOP Clown Car that skidded into town:


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