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How Republicans Have Derailed the New South’s Emergence

North Carolina’s Research Triangle and the Charlotte/Cary area are hotspots for tech an other development. The US Government supplies over $1.5 billion a year in research grants to the state’s public universities, money that has helped drive the growth of the Universities in the state from decidedly mediocre to competitive powerhouses. This has spurred massive growth, as the combination of a realistic cost of living, easy access to recreational activities in the mountains and shore, as well a good school systems have individualized both corporations and employees to flock to the state.

Unfortunately, like Virginia, the back woods redneck religious bigots haven’t quite dissipated yet, and with the election of a Republican majority in the state house – pushing extremist social conservatism which is an anathema to the high-tech and banking industries.That growth roll may be in for a screeching halt.

You want to keep that growing Gov McCrory, you need to cut the “Culture War” bullshit fast.

The fact is, major corporations don’t give a shit about Republican tax breaks, they do about being able to attract the best and brightest as employees, and having a stable government  which isn’t going to do something stupid to hurt their business. They need good schools, which are producing students in the fields that relate to their businesses, who are willing to stay in-state after they graduate. (As an example, the collapse of what was once referred to as “Silicon Valley East” here in northern Virginia, was in good part due to the major University in the area being taken over by conservative donors. The school produces Economists and right wing Federalist Lawyers – but not STEM Graduates needed by the local industries to grow, or to establish the sort of incubators which create the next Google. Instead we have the Antonin Scalia Law School, which is fornicating useless, both as the symbol of higher education in the fields in demand, as well as in attracting students that want to be in a top program in the Sciences, Engineering, or technology.)

They want to be able to attract experienced workers and executives. To get those people, the potential employees need to feel comfortable moving their families into the State. The sort of “Culture Wars” and racism being promulgated by the right, destroys that.

This isn’t just an issue about Transgender people, it is an issue about the future viability of the State as a business center.

Back during the South Carolina confederate flag imbroglio, one of my clients was a foreign auto company looking to put a plant there. Took one of the Senior Staff folks down there behind the proverbial woodshed, and explained to him that foreign companies, unlike their US counterparts are not willing to go into an environment where discrimination and harassment lawsuits chew up 10-15% of their profits. And as such, were looking for a place which supported a harmonious workforce, over cheap rent. The differential between labor costs between Detroit and Charleston disappears really fast paying lawyers at $500/hr over racial bullshit. They got that message apparently from more than one prospective company. American companies have finally started to get a clue about this as well.

Too bad the white winger Tea Baggers haven’t.

This isn’t just an issue about Transgender people, it is an issue about the future viability of the State as a business center.

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS AND THE END OF THE NEW SOUTH

Monday, two North Carolinians squared off over the state’s controversial House Bill 2, which requires transgender people to use the bathroom matching their “biological sex” in public schools and government buildings and invalidates local laws protecting transgender people from discrimination. Both Pat McCrory, the governor of North Carolina, and Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney General, grew up partly in Greensboro, a site of anti-segregation sit-ins in 1960, and Lynch recalled that history by comparing H.B. 2 to Jim Crow laws. “Let us reflect on the obvious but often neglected lesson that state-sanctioned discrimination never looks good in hindsight,” she said, as she announced that the Department of Justice is suing North Carolina, claiming that H.B. 2 violates federal laws forbidding sex discrimination.

Earlier that day, McCrory’s office had filed its own federal lawsuit, which attempted to protect the state from federal anti-discrimination action against H.B. 2. “North Carolina does not treat transgender employees differently,” according to the lawsuit. “All state employees are required to use the bathroom and changing facilities assigned to persons of their same biological sex, regardless of gender identity, or transgendered status.” Such bland assertions of neutrality have an infamous place in the law. Before the Supreme Court established a right to same-sex marriage, in 2015, North Carolina forbade gay and straight alike to wed members of the same sex. Before the Court invalidated laws against racial intermarriage, in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, the state forbade both black and white people to marry someone of the other race. All these laws were defended on the grounds that they treated everyone alike. So, for that matter, were the original Jim Crow segregation laws. In 1896, upholding separate-but-equal accommodations, the Supreme Court held that, if “the enforced separation of the races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority,” this was “solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction on it.”

McCrory’s suit looks more like political theatre than a serious attempt to preserve H.B. 2. On April 19th, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes North Carolina, adopted the Obama Administration’s interpretation of federal sex-discrimination law to invalidate a local school-board policy that assigned students to bathrooms by “biological genders.” The court accepted the federal government’s argument that the prohibition on sex discrimination in Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and that “biological” bathroom assignments are just this sort of discrimination. (The Fourth Circuit reported that, in public hearings on school-bathroom assignments, the plaintiff in the case, a transgender boy, had been called a “freak” and “compared to a person who thinks he is a ‘dog’ and wants to urinate on fire hydrants.”)

That McCrory would seek out this wrong-side-of-history position reveals a lot about the fractured and desperate state of the Republican Party. The governor took office in 2013 as the consummate country-club Republican. He had spent fourteen years as the mayor of Charlotte, a banking capital, where he presided over robust growth and—unusual in the South—the construction of a light-rail system. He was a candidate in the “New South” tradition, a political manner that is also a development strategy. In the sixties, as other parts of the white South dug in against desegregation, North Carolina’s politicians found a different formula: accept the national consensus on civil rights and attract employers with low wages, weak unions, and business-friendly laws. The state’s population more than doubled between 1960 and 2010, as a formerly rural, agricultural state developed national centers of technology and finance. The previous New South governors were Democrats, but many saw McCrory as their natural successor in a state that narrowly supported Barack Obama in 2008 but in 2010 handed control of the legislature to Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction.

Since taking office, McCrory has mostly been back on his heels as a Tea Party legislature, installed with decisive support from the activist donor Art Pope (whom Jane Mayer wrote about in 2011), has set the state’s agenda. McCrory has signed laws restricting abortion access, cutting back on early voting and requiring voter identification, slashing unemployment benefits, and repealing the state’s Racial Justice Act, which commuted the death penalty for people sentenced in racially inequitable jurisdictions. North Carolina is one of nineteen states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (and the fourth-largest, after Texas, Florida, and Georgia). The advocacy group Families USA estimates that 593,000 North Carolina residents lack health insurance because of the state’s refusal.

The Tea Party has shared McCrory’s deregulatory, tax-cutting economic agenda, but it has led with culture-war issues. The year McCrory won the governorship, the legislature put forward a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which passed with sixty per cent of the vote. This blend of tactics defined most state-level Republican parties in the Obama years, when the Republicans took power in statehouses across the country, and McCrory seems to have made his peace with it. Polls showed him lagging in a tight reëlection race when he called North Carolina’s part-time legislature into emergency session in late March. Both houses passed H.B. 2 on March 23rd, and McCrory signed it that night. The only local anti-discrimination statute that it overrode was one passed a month before in Charlotte, where McCrory had served seven terms as mayor.

Now the New South elements of McCrory’s governing style are falling to pieces. H.B. 2 may have seemed an ordinary measure of culture-war politics when the governor signed it, but the consensus position on L.G.B.T.Q. rights has changed so fast that it may secure his place as the Orval Faubus of public bathrooms. McCrory’s Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper, the state’s attorney general, who has announced that his office will not defend H.B. 2 against legal challenge, has led McCrory in every poll since the law was passed. Since H.B. 2 became law, PayPal and Deutsche Bank have scrapped expansion plans for North Carolina, the N.B.A. and N.C.A.A. have suggested that they may not hold future events in the state, and a caravan of entertainers have cancelled shows, including Bruce Springsteen and Cirque du Soleil. New South governors measure themselves by the investments they attract. When the cultural divisiveness of Tea Party politics drives out business and entertainment, it becomes New South kryptonite….More Here
 

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Alabama Chief Justice Suspended

The 10 Commandments Judge is at it again! Now, he says he rejects same sex marriage as legal. Since that is already decided Federal Law, in the Supreme Court…

Judge is out of work. It is being decided whether that will be permanent and he will be dismissed from the Alabama Supreme Court entirely.

Alabama Chief Justice Moore suspended for rejecting legalization of same-sex marriage

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended on Friday for defying the legalization of marriage equality, AL.com reported.

Moore was suspended after the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed ethics charges against him. Moore will now be tried by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary, and could be removed from the bench if found guilty.

The commission’s move was spurred by complaints by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which released a statement saying Moore had “disgraced” his position.

“He’s such a religious zealot, such an egomaniac that he thinks he doesn’t have to follow federal court rulings he disagrees with,” said the group’s president, Richard Cohen. “For the good of the state, he should be kicked out of office.”

Moore, who stated last year he would “not be bound” by the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriages because they change the “organic law” of God, was dismissive of the accusations against him.

“The Judicial Inquiry Commission has no authority over the administrative orders of the chief justice of Alabama or the legal injunctions of the Alabama Supreme Court prohibiting probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses,” he said. “The Judicial Inquiry Commission has chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations that support their agenda.”

The SPLC’s accusations, in part, concerned Moore’s February 2015 order instructing state probate judges not to follow the high court’s decision, as well as what it described as an undermining of public confidence in his office by doing so.

Moore also faced possible removal from his office in 2003, following his move to install a Ten Commandments monument inside the in the state judicial building. He later refused to follow a federal court order to remove it.

 

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Bible Thumping School Board Gets Slammed

Had a boss one time that would call his staff together to pray over our business proposals. Never quite figured out how somehow God had any reason to favor us over the other 10 of 15 companies making proposals, because at least some of those companies were made up of some folks who went to church too. Needless to say, it didn’t improve our win percentage.

One of the biggest problems with the far right is not understanding, and trampling all over the basic rules of our Constitution, and the rights of everyone who believes differently than they do. My personal philosophy always has been that if someone feels the need to pray to whatever Deity they believe in, then I owe them the common human decency to let them go about their personal business. That decency doesn’t extend to being forced to pray with them. Respect for other people seems to be the first thing the zealots lose, whether christians or any of the world’s other religions.

This Bible-thumping school board just learned the cost of willfully defying the US Constitution

Members of a California school board who heavily used prayer during public meetings are being ordered to pay more than $200,000 in lawyers fees, theSan Bernardino Sun reports.

On February 18, U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal ordered the Chino Valley Unified School Board to stop a years-long practice of “reciting prayers, Bible readings and proselytizing at board meetings,” the Sun reports.

On Thursday, the judge ordered board president Andrew Cruz, along with board members James Na and Sylvio Orzco to pay out  $202,971.70 to the Freedom From Religion Foundation in association with their November 2014 lawsuit.

In the suit, the FFRF claimed that Na “often injects religion into his comments” at meeting conclusions while Cruz regularly concluded with a Bible reading. Prayers were also used to open the public meetings. But it didn’t stop there. Regular attendees complained the board members often stopped business to make long professions of their faith, according to the Sun.

Na at one meeting either mentioned or discussed Jesus 10 times.

“Our plaintiffs told us the board proceedings were more like a church service than a school board meeting,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in February, according to American School and University. “So my reaction to the ruling is, ‘Hallelujah!’”

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Georgia Parents Ban Yoga “Religion”

Apparently sitting on a Yoga mat and going Ommmmmm is the newest threat to christianity in the South. Must be that if you go down that path to self discovery then the last place you will ever want to be is in one of those ultra-evangelical control freak churches.

Yoga – Learning the ability to balance on one foot while simultaneously chewing gum could destroy the lowercase versions of christianity!

Ga. parents offended by the ‘Far East religion’ of yoga, get ‘Namaste’ banned from school

“We need to direct our attention inward and connect to the breath,” yoga instructor Rachel Brathen writes in her New York Times best-selling bookabout the practice. “Focusing on our breath keeps us present, calms the mind, and allows us to develop the awareness of the body we need to practice with care and compassion.”

Since the ancient discipline with roots in Hinduism and Buddhism became a popular exercise in the West, yogis have inundated popular culture with their pursuit of that elusive “calm” in a rapidly spinning world.

“Mindfulness,” the meditative state associated with yoga, has likewise been adopted as a way to clear the mind.

So when administrators at Bullard Elementary School in Kennesaw, Ga., implemented yoga and other mindfulness practices in the classroom to reduce students’ stress, they likely envisioned peace and relaxation in their future.

Instead, they received a flurry of complaints — from parents who felt yoga represented the encroachment of non-Christian beliefs.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bullard principal Patrice Moore sent parents an email last week announcing changes to its yoga program.

“I am truly sorry that the mindfulness/ de-stressing practices here at Bullard caused many misconceptions that in turn created a distraction in our school and community,” Moore wrote. “While we have been practicing de-stressing techniques in many classrooms for years, there have been some recent practices associated with mindfulness that are offensive to some.”

Among the elements of the program that will be eliminated: the Sanskrit greeting “Namaste,” placing hands “to heart center” and coloring pages with the symbol of the Mandala (a spiritual symbol in Indian religions representing the cosmos).

Moore noted that a rumor had also spread about using or teaching “about crystals having healing powers.”

“We will ensure that nothing resembling this will be done in the future,” she said.

 

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Second Company Threatens to Leave Over Georgia KKK Bill

I call the Georgia bill, the misnomer “First Amendment Defense Act” the “KKK Bill” because besides supporting LBGT discrimination it provides cover for christian identity (white supremacist groups) to discriminate based on race or ethnicity. Not that a law supporting Jim Crow against LBGT people isn’t offensive enough solely by itself. Here is a background of discrimination racist zealots have tried to promote in the name of religion for the past 100 years. In Employment Division v. Smith the Supreme Court decided that religious exemptions did not trump civil law, and again in Loving v. Virginia. So the Georgia law is on shaky Constitutional ground, and with the fortuitous death of Scalia, the ability for the far right racists to reenact this foundation of New Jim Crow Law is kaput providing another racist doesn’t get appointed to the court.

Salesforce CEO Is Going To War In Georgia Over New Anti-LGBT Bill

Marc Benioff led the charge to strike down Indiana’s anti-gay law last year. Now he’s taking on a similar bill in Georgia.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is strapping on his boxing gloves again.

Nearly a year after the cloud-computing giant led the charge to topple a law in Indiana that legalized discrimination against LGBT people in the name of religious freedom, Benioff says he is gearing up for a fresh fight against a similar bill in Georgia.

“Nobody wants a discrimination law in America today,” Benioff told The Huffington Post in a phone interview on Friday. “But there are still bigots out there fighting for people to be discriminated against.”

The bill, passed by the Georgia Senate in a 38-14 vote last Friday, allows religiously affiliated groups to refuse to “rent, lease, or otherwise grant permission for property to be used by another person for an event which is objectionable to such religious organization.” Dubbed the First Amendment Defense Act, the legislation actually takes Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act a step further, barring government authorities from bringing civil cases against organizations accused of discrimination.

“The law that was adopted in Indiana was a balancing act, where at least the government had the chance to go to court and make an argument that they should be able to penalize someone for discrimination,” Sarah Warbelow, legal director at the LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, told HuffPost. “With the FADA, there’s an absolute right to discriminate, and that right is based on your view that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

The law in Indiana was amended last year to include protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people after Benioff launched a scorched-earth media campaign, rallying some of the country’s most powerful executives behind him. Salesforce — the largest tech employer in Indiana — vowed to pay to move any employees at risk of discrimination out of the state. Benioff also threatened to scale back the company’s operations in Indiana unless the law was altered to protect LGBT people.

Salesforce may only have about 1,000 workers in Georgia, but in May it is scheduled to host its annual Connections conference in Atlanta. The event draws about 15,000 Salesforce clients each year for three days. On Friday, Benioff posted a poll on Twitter, asking if he should change the event’s location if the FADA bill becomes law. By early evening, 75 percent of the roughly 2,500 voters supported the move.

“We will bring economic consequences,” Benioff told HuffPost. “We will deliver a rolling thunder of economic sanctions against the state, in this case Georgia, which is waging a war against LGBT people.”

Benioff said he already contacted the chief executives of Home Depot, Coca-Cola, email marketing service MailChimp and shipping giant UPS about the issue. Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes said in an email that “we’ve been clear for some time now that we won’t support anything that discriminates.” The other three companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But Benioff plans to bring other corporations into the battle, too.

“Look, this is about providing an environment for our employees and our customers that’s nondiscriminatory, that’s all,” Benioff said. “Come out and say you want equality for all, and we’ll get off your case.”…Read More Here

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Clueless Pastor

Rule 101 – If you stepped into a nest of Vipers… It ain’t going to be the one you can see in front of you which is going to kill your dumb ass.

When assessing the character of an individual – is seeing who that individual chooses to surround him/her self with. If all of a person’s friends are crooks, there is a better than even chance said person is also a crook. If most of the people a guy chooses to surround himself with are reading Mein Kampf every morning with their Cheerios – there is a good chance that those sorts of people will be nominated to the thousands of positions in the government if he/she is elected. Remember George W. Bushit? “Smiling faces”…Indeed.

God don’t help stupid. One of the basic tenets of Christianity is free choice. Including punching your own one way ticket to hell.

Being pissed off because the Democrats don’t want to join your freak show Sunday mornings is not reason to kiss the Devil’s ass. Providing 35% of the vote to get them elected means they should be kissing yours – providing you did some thinking beforehand about what you ask for. Electing those “third generation fourth rate progeny and inheritors of the Civil Rights Generation” as a certain poster here is wont to say….Ain’t going to get you there.

Why some African-American evangelicals are playing the Trump card

Pastor Mark Burns recalled how he walked into his first face-to-face meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in October 2015 “full of apprehension:”

“Several other African-American pastors were scheduled to come but they backed out last minute due to heat from their congregation,” said Burns, who preaches in his hometown of Easley, South Carolina, at The Harvest Praise & Worship Center. He also runs a Christian TV network he founded four years ago – the NOW Television Network -with the help of his wife and six children. “I was not for Mr. Trump at the time, [but] I really wanted to hear the man’s heart.”Although he ended up one of the few African-American evangelical leaders in attendance at what was supposed to be a private meeting of “who’s who of Christian TV evangelicals,” Burns said the discussion was nonetheless dominated by concerns about Trump connecting with African-American voters through the African-American church.

“For those of us who are evangelical leaders and pastors, we are led by listening to the spirit of an individual, and we also believe that through the Holy Spirit, [it] will reveal to us whether someone is truthful or not,” said Burns. “All of us, especially after that first meeting, and especially us in the African-American evangelical community, [we] came out believing that this person is legit.”

Many supporters are convinced that his consistent popularity (in New Hampshirehe garnered 35 percent of Republican votes, with runner-up Ohio. Gov. John Kasich at 16 percent) will carry him to another victory in South Carolina’s upcoming primary. As the billionaire’s campaign fights in earnest for the evangelical vote, national polls place him solidly in the lead. Yet the issue of race will loom large, particularly in a general election: 72 percent of black Protestant churchgoers identify as evangelical or born-again, yet 82 percent of black Protestants – like blacks more generally – lean Democratic compared with just 11 percent who align with the Republican Party.

“As an African-American, I’m absolutely put on the defensive for being a Donald Trump supporter,” Burns told CBS News the morning of Trump’s first South Carolina rally after New Hampshire. He was getting ready for the drive to Clemson University where he was scheduled to speak at a Trump campaign event. He described how he sees it as his “calling,” and the calling of other African-American evangelicals, to turn black voters on to Trump.

“One of reasons why I believe I’ve been called to do this – to bring right where there is wrong [is that] I know that he is not at all how many African-Americans view him.”

Burns’ congregation is divided on the Trump issue. While some members, including African-Americans, echo their pastor’s praise, others maintain that Trump is a “bully” and are critical of his lack of political experience or correctness.

“It’s unprofessional,”said Danielle Sloane, a 38-year-old member of Burns’ Harvest Praise & Worship Center congregation, describing the real-estate magnate’s conduct and persona. “He is not a man of the people. He never has to worry about losing a job or his son being shot by police.”

Burns joked how, although he had yet to convince all members of his church, he believed that people simply needed to “look at the facts” and read about Trump’s policies to make the right decision: “It’s an uphill battle, but we have influenced thousands of others to take a second look, and make decisions not off of feelings.”

Burns has met with Trump several times over the past few months, and publicly endorsed him last November. Around that time, an open letter from more than 100 black religious leaders and scholars on Ebony.com, addressed “to the African-American ministers scheduled to meet with Donald Trump,” expressed disdain for their decision to back him, stating that Trump’s rhetoric was routinely racist and divisive. A November Public Policy Polling survey found that 75 percent of African-Americans had an unfavorable opinion on Trump, versus 9 percent with favorable views.

“Personally, it was a challenge at first – to be called an Uncle Tom … as if I’m submitting myself to the white man’s authority,” said Burns. “But eventually I understood somebody has to do it.

 

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Nice of You to Build This For Me!

By some sights. cats have taken over the internet. This kitty has decided to reach higher…

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2015 in Nawwwwww!

 

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