On the grid vs off the grid: A successful Solar revolution includes both

In the last few years, I've had numerous conversations with various people on renewable energy generation. And most of them, even those with much more technical savvy than I have, were missing some critical pieces of the puzzle in their understanding of the rapid growth of Solar in North Carolina and elsewhere. In example, here's a paraphrased conversation from a few months ago:

Thursday News: Betting on a losing horse


HB2 IS MCCRORY'S ALBATROSS WHILE OBAMA'S JOB APPROVAL SEES AN UPTICK (Capitol Broadcasting Company) -- Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016: A diverse set of North Carolinians don't like HB2 and even more say it hurts the state. At the same time, President Obama's sees an improvement in his job approval. The Monmouth University Poll revealed that nearly across the board – independents, men, women, whites, non-whites, college degree, no-college degree, lower, moderate and upper income – disapprove of HB2. Only those who identify as Republicans and conservatives have majorities backing the legislation.

Wednesday News: The Duke Energy bully steps forward


DUKE ASKS FEDERAL JUDGE TO DETERMINE AP REPORTER'S SOURCE (WBTV) - Attorneys for Duke Energy have asked a federal judge to hold a hearing to determine who provided an Associated Press reporter with the deposition transcript for Dr. Ken Rudo. Rudo is a toxicologist with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services at the center of a debate over the state’s standard for hexavalent chromium in well water near Duke coal ash ponds.

The media's hit-and-miss coverage of GOP voter suppression

False equivalencies and fear of conspiracy theories:

For corporate media, it’s safer to stay within the comfy template of false balance: Trump and the R’s say voter fraud is rampant; the D’s say it’s not. It is an improvement that some journalists are stating the obvious fact that voter fraud is a myth. But the debate seldom digs deeper. Doing so would require dealing with thorny issues that Americans tend to avoid in most public settings, namely the racism and inequality wrapped up in voter suppression. The “voter fraud—yes or no” conflict papers over all that.

While media outlets do (usually) acknowledge that voter fraud is a rare occurrence, they rarely point out the obvious follow-up point: That Republicans are using the myth to enact unnecessary laws that are targeted at minorities and college students. Read the whole thing. It's a harsh analysis, but it does provide some insight into the public's apparent lack of understanding on this important issue.

Tuesday News: The battle for equality continues


TEXAS RULING COMPLICATES COURT FIGHT OVER HB2 (Charlotte Observer) -- A federal judge in Texas potentially has deepened the legal fight over House Bill 2 by blocking an Obama administration order that would give transgender students in public schools access to bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor deals a second setback to the government’s argument that Title IX anti-discrimination protections apply to transgender students. It also moves the battle over transgender rights one procedural step closer to a showdown in the Supreme Court.

Monday News: Making children cry a new religious pastime

Pride & Prejudice in Charlotte: Christina Woodruff of Huntersville is only 10 years old, but she learned a very grown-up lesson about bigotry this weekend at the Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade in uptown. “I was just standing there and a man told me that I was a child of the Devil,” said Christina, who is parented by a same sex couple. “I wanted to punch him, but my mom stopped me. I cried instead.” Conservative religious groups have long provided sideline heckling at Charlotte’s annual gay pride celebration, including a group this year that tried to drown out Mayor Jennifer Roberts during the opening ceremony Saturday.

The ABC's of Kenny West's sexual harassment

Registering a 9.5 on the Creep Scale:

By the time B started working in Meadows' office in early 2014, West already had a reputation for inappropriate behavior toward women, she said. "I was told, 'Hey, by the way, you probably don't want to wear your hair in a ponytail when Kenny's in town, because he really likes to play with girls' hair when it's in a ponytail for some reason, and he seems to touch girls' hair a lot,' " she said.

West "would make comments and remarks that made me feel uncomfortable and also (was) very touchy," Witness C said. "He would place his hand on my shoulder and on my back." She said comments were "nothing explicit or anything blatant, just things that didn't feel appropriate."

As disgusting as it is to contemplate, physical contact of this sort is a form of "grooming." Predators often do this to gauge the reaction of the individual, to determine if that person is submissive enough to escalate. And this (admittedly hearsay) account is suggestive that such escalation did occur on at least one occasion:


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