Cabal of bigotry: Secret meeting for proposed religious discrimination law

How do you know when you're doing something wrong? When you try to hide what you're doing:

The N.C. Values Coalition has invited state legislators to attend a briefing on “religious freedom” Wednesday afternoon as the General Assembly returns. The group’s executive director, Tami Fitzgerald, declined to provide further specifics on the topic of the meeting, scheduled for 4 p.m. at the N.C. Museum of History. She said the talk will be open to legislators only – reporters and the public won’t be allowed inside.

“It’s just about religious freedom in general,” she said. The group describes itself as an advocate of “pro-family” values, and says it is working to ensure that private business owners have the right to refuse service to customers on the basis of their religious faith.

Our Legislature should be continuing the decades-long battle of eradicating discrimination wherever it rears its ugly head, not crafting laws that will solidify it into statute. This bill, however it is written, should be ceremoniously burned when it reaches the floor of the NCGA, and Tami Fitzgerald should be unceremoniously escorted off the premises. It's the "people's" House, not "some of the people's" House.

License to discriminate

Daily dose: I can haz Google Fiber?

Google Fiber Is Coming To North Carolina (WUNC-FM) -- Google Fiber 'Triangle' van parked in downtown Raleigh (WUNC-FM) -- The next cities to benefit from ultra-high-speed internet service will be in the southern United States. Google Fiber announced yesterday it is bringing its super-fast access to Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte and to the Raleigh-Durham area in the Triangle. There have been rumors for weeks Google was about to make a big announcement. Michael Slinger, Director of Business Operations for Google Fiber made it official.

THE WHOLE STORY http://wunc.org/post/no-more-rumors-google-fiber-coming-north-carolina

Coal Ash Wednesday: Eden has a pep rally

Someone should tell these folks: Denial is a river in Egypt:

It's been nearly a year since thousands of tons of coal ash was dumped into the Dan River from a retired Duke Energy steam station. Since then, Eden officials have fought a public relations nightmare. On Tuesday, those same officials stood before members of the media and proclaimed, "Our rivers are thriving."

“The fishing is as good now as it was when I was a child,” says Scott Dalton, the owner of Mayodan Outdoor Sports. Dalton spoke at Tuesday’s news conference promoting the Dan River’s safety.

I don't doubt that last part. It wasn't until the late 1970's that the EPA really cracked down on industrial wastes flowing directly into rivers, so the Dan River is right now probably of a similar quality. And I don't fault the leaders of Eden for whistling past the graveyard, since a whole lot of people's livelihood is at stake. But every time they make this pitch, they're excusing Duke Energy for leaving over 90% of the spilled coal ash in the river.

Looks like the Puppetmaster pissed off a few people

with his vast left-wing conspiracy map. From the Camel City Dispatch:

The time for treating Art Pope just like another concerned citizen has passed. He is swine whose only mission is to see just how many people he can bully in his quest for self-validation through the spending of vast sums of his daddy’s money. Treating Art Pope and the trash that work for him at Civitas with civility may have been possible in the past, but this limp attempt at public bullying is a last straw. Screw ‘em. They aren’t part of the solution - they are the problem.

Daily dose: Little Lord Fauntleroy falls into deep, dark hole

Former Powerful GOP State Rep. LaRoque Confesses to Theft From Non-Profit (FBI News Release) – Former Republican state Rep. Stephen A. LaRoque of Kinston, pleaded guilty to the theft of $150,000 from a federally-funded nonprofit organization in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666, U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced today Monday. LaRoque also agreed to pay $300,000.00 in full restitution to East Carolina Development Company, which is a nonprofit organization based in Kinston. The non-profit was originally created to provide loans to small rural businesses using federal funds provided to East Carolina Development by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Rural Development Division’s Intermediary Relending Program.

THE WHOLE STORY http://twitter.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=adaa6913dd17b7097368c9ba6&id=93820e6d63&e=ec3b99815a

Tuesday Twitter roundup

There's always one in every group:

Right, because giving the shaft to people who have already dedicated half their working years to a job and aren't likely to quit is such great management. Hopefully pursuing a Master's in English Literature will help this essayist better understand the definition of injustice. p.s. N&O, the word is "myopic."

How many innocents must be released before we end the death penalty?

Columbus County, NC: On Friday, Joseph Sledge was the 8th man freed by the N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission. Sledge's case, like so many we've seen in recent months, followed a disturbing trend: innocent men and women exonerated after decades in prison or on death row, with only the thinnest of evidence.

With so many cases of innocence in NC, how much longer will NC continue to tinker with the death penalty? Click here to read more

NC's offshore wind energy moving forward

With some nudging from President Obama:

The North Carolina lease is part of the Obama Administration’s Smart from the Start offshore wind energy initiative, which aims at coordinating and streamlining development of designated Wind Energy Areas (WEAs).

The WEAs for North Carolina were designated last summer pending a final environmental assessment. For those of you keeping score at home, the total comes to more than 300,000 acres divided among three parcels: Kitty Hawk (122,405 acres), Wilmington West (51,595 acres), and Wilmington East (about 133,590 acres).

North Carolina is currently ranked #4 for new Solar PV installation, but we could (very easily) also be ranked #1 for offshore wind in the very near future. But we can expect some pushback from the fossil fuel industry, which has its hands way up the skirt of our General Assembly. Be ready to march. And when the doubters start turning up their noses, tell them this:

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