Robot Pat McCrory to unspool software tapes on wiring the mountains at Moogfest

Governor McCrory will have an opportunity to look remarkably unhip and out of touch when he kicks off this year's Moogfest in Asheville.

No, this isn't a joke.

Moogfest, a multi-day festival that includes workshops and panels on experimental electronic music and concerts by headliners such as Kraftwerk and the Pet Shop Boys, will kick off April 23rd with a panel discussion on "Wiring Silicon Mountain: Nurturing Innovation Through Technology in Western North Carolina". The panelists will include McCrory, Asheville mayor Esther Mannheimer, Hickory mayor Rudy White and others.

I'm not sure what McCrory will offer besides his usual platitudes and the usual Republican talking points about private businesses being the best way to get encourage high tech.

By coincidence, a consortium of Triad and Triangle universities, working with local governments, has announced their preferred vendor for offering high-speed next generation Internet in those areas. If you'll notice the map in the linked article and this information on the consortium's board, you'll notice that this high speed network will basically create to large islands of ultra-fast Internet in the state, with the rural areas in between and surrounding them still poking along on virtual dirt roads in an information desert.

Private companies haven't been stepping up to the table to wire rural areas of North Carolina. What Internet access is available in rural areas of the state, particularly in the mountain region, is spotty and expensive. While some have argued that state and Federal governments should step up to the plate to encourage coops for Internet access in rural areas, similar to the rural electrification efforts that transformed rural America and Appalachia throughout the 30s, 40s and 50s, Republicans like McCrory are deaf to such talk. The Bush administration put us decades behind other developed nations in Internet access and the gridlock in DC hasn't done any more for the effort during the Obama years.

I can't imagine why McCrory's even showing up at Moogfest. Perhaps another well known political robot wasn't available or getting his software updated.

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Incentives for Moogfest

A followup note - In February, there was some controversy when Asheville's city council voted to give the Moogfest $90,000 in incentives, but one council member objected because it was throwing support to an event not open to the public, with tickets selling for $200 to $300.

You can skip the panel discussion

Here's what Pat will say:

We need to do a better job of preparing our students for jobs. I suppose there's some place for liberal arts, but our universities waste too much money. I'm sorry to have to say that, but it's true. The purpose of an education is to get a job. We need to partner with the great corporations in North Carolina and make sure that our colleges are turning out people who are trained to fill the jobs those corporations need. Universities need to adjust their curricula [oh, wait, he wouldn't actually say "curricula"; make that "stuff that they teach"] so that we're focusing on getting people trained for jobs and not wasting time teaching stuff that doesn't matter.

And that's why I have just announced that we are going to take the tens of millions of dollars of savings that our Community Colleges have recently achieved [yes, he is actually portraying his starving community colleges of funding as "savings"] and invest that back into programs that will train people for jobs right here in North Carolina. We need to do a better job of preparing our students for jobs.

Did I mention we need to do a better job of preparing our students for jobs?

Where I live, in Mr. Pope's Neighborhood, the purpose of colleges and universities is to churn out unthinking, unquestioning robot laborers who can satisfy the needs of corporations and work on the cheap. That's why I'm working so hard to ensure that corporations control our education system, along with everything else, of course.

Oh shit, I wasn't supposed to say that last part out loud, was I Mr. Pope?

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014