Amnesty is not a Dirty Word

This rant has been coming on for some time. I started getting angry when Republicans began to co-opt words and phrases for their own use, usually giving them a negative twist. I became even angrier when the rest of us stood by and let it happen. What has finally set me off is the negative reaction I get when I use the word "amnesty" during discussions about undocumented workers and other people in this country illegally.

Amnesty is not a dirty word, however there are quite a few others used during this debate.

Xenophobe, protectionist, illegal, bigot, alien......and the list goes on.

An invitation to debate

The lieutenant governor’s race is starting to get some attention. Unfortunately, some newspapers and political observers have picked up not on the substantive issues in the race that have begun to be thoroughly explored here at BlueNC, but an inter-candidate spat that reveals little about who is best equipped to lead North Carolina.

Frontpaged with pleasure ... and with a strong endorsement of this idea. A.

The Lieutenant Governors' race in the Independent Weekly

Four Democrats Line up for the Lieutenant Governor Bob Geary for the Independent Weekly

Nice focus on the showdown for the Progressive Democrats endorsement next weekend...

And if you're wondering, "Does anybody care who wins the Democratic nomination?" the answer is yes. The Progressive Democrats of North Carolina care a lot, says Pete MacDowell, the group's president. "The lieutenant governor's race has the potential to be one in which the candidates voice progressive ideas on a wide range of issue across the state," he says.

Whereas, MacDowell adds, the Democratic gubernatorial primary between Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and State Treasurer Richard Moore "looks like it's between two ho-hum party insiders."

The PDNC has designated the lieutenant governor primary as the race in which it will try to exercise some influence. Thus, when the organization holds its annual meeting Dec. 7-8 in Chapel Hill, it will feature not the gubernatorial candidates but a lite-gov forum instead. Immediately afterward, the group will vote on whether to endorse one of the four contenders and, assuming the answer is yes, which one.

As a human being

Over the past three days, an extremist Republican wedge appears to have been driven into the heart and soul of the Old North State. In response to the (gasp) horror of allowing children of illegal immigrants to attend community colleges in North Carolina, we have witnessed a stunning level of political expediency among five of the six people who consider themselves worthy of holding our state's highest elected office - plus the one already holding it.

The debacle started predictably enough with the two richest Republican candidates, Fred Smith and Bill Graham. Smith has made his fortunes on the backs of working class people who have shoveled his dirt and poured his concrete with no need for education whatsoever. Graham's future is even more tightly tied to sustaining ignorance among a permanent underclass that will buy his never-ending stream of anti-government rhetoric. There's no surprise with these two, none at all.

Then Bob Orr joined the party, quickly followed by Richard Moore, and this morning by Beverly Perdue. Along the way, Governor Mike Easley himself joined the debate, sort of, saying he wouldn't comment on the policy.

Is North Carolina beating Wal-Mart?

As some of you may know, Wal-Mart is trying to sneak its way out of paying $30 million in North Carolina taxes. Well, taxpayers won a small (but important) victory yesterday when a Wake County judge ruled that Wal-Mart had to make public thousands of pages of documents. That means internal memos and strategy papers will come out of the shadows. (More after the jump)

Frontpaged by A. Thanks for catching this one for us.

Please Navy Review History - and Your OLF Statements

Floating flight deck

“You can make it as big as you want,” Khachaturian said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “If what the Navy needs is 2,000 acres, there is no question that is a possibility.”

The proposal may be cost prohibitive. The acre-sized components cost from $20 million to $30 million each, depending on how much weight they are designed to support. Two thousand such components would therefore run the Navy from about $40 billion to $60 billion.

The estimated cost to acquire land and construct the facilities needed for an OLF on land is $231 million, according to the Navy’s draft environmental impact statement released in February.

Once built, the platform could be moored to the sea bed with cables. Computers could be used to position the platform or move it to different locations, Khachaturian said. The system floats optimally in water 1,000 feet deep or more, Khachaturian said.

Frontpaged and embellished (with the photograph) by Anglico. This image is from the company Versabuoy that produces floating platforms. It's very cool stuff. Check out their site.

Open Shred: Profiles in Courage

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Amidst all the hullabaloo surrounding immigrants who are subsidizing NC citizens in our community college system, it's reassuring to know that the Gov has weighed in with a clear position on the dispute.

Easley, a Democrat, tried to distance himself from the rising controversy over the community college system's order that all 58 campuses must admit undocumented applicants who meet admissions requirements. He refused to say whether or not he supported the new policy.


While Easley said the community college officials misread the 1997 letter, he refused to stake out a position on the admissions mandate. Asked if the state government should do anything to change the practice, he suggested that the state's current attorney general, Roy Cooper, be asked for an opinion. Cooper's office on Wednesday refused to offer an opinion, saying community colleges had not asked for one.

I wonder, does it count if We the People ask for one? Probably not.


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