Why They Should Still Teach Geography In School

On April 1, The New York Post posted an article some changes in the population of Florida.

The headline reads:

Florida transplants fleeing in droves over relentless heat, damaging hurricanes

What did they expect? Come to North Carolina, we also have relentless heat and damaging hurricanes, but we don’t have blizzards or severe winters.

The article notes:

Thousands of Florida transplants who moved to the Sunshine State during the pandemic are packing up to move elsewhere, complaining of the relentless heat, damaging hurricanes and dangerous wildlife.

More than 700,000 people drawn by the promise of sunny weather, no income tax and lower costs moved to Florida in 2022 — including 90,000 from New York state, according to census data cited by NBC News.

But nearly 500,000 gave up on Florida and left in 2022, according to NBC News, which interviewed several disillusioned transplants who decided to head back north.

One of them was New Yorker Louis Rotkowitz, who lasted two years in the state.

“Like every good New Yorker, this is where you want to go,” the physician told NBC News by phone while driving to his new home in Charlotte, North Carolina. “It’s a complete fallacy.”

The article tells the story of a number of people who decided that Florida was too expensive, too hot, and too full of destructive and dangerous critters. Florida may be more expensive day to day than New York and other northern states, but how much do you pay in taxes in the northern states? The difference may well be the fact that you don’t really see the money taken away from your paycheck in taxes–you see the money you spend on housing and groceries. However, inflation has hit all fifty states–not just Florida. I wonder if the people leaving will be happy with what they find when they get back home.

When You Know You Have Made An Impact

Republican candidate for superintendent of the state’s schools, Michele Morrow is running for superintendent of the state’s schools in North Carolina. Michele Morrow is a ‘mama bear’ who wants to step up to the plate and protect the children of North Carolina from the indoctrination and socially unacceptable material that is currently in our schools. I have met Michele on numerous occasions and am confident that she would do an awesome job as superintendent of the state’s schools. She must have impressed a lot of people because the mainstream national media is working very hard to destroy her.

On Wednesday, Breitbart posted an article about some of the recent attacks on Candidate Morrow.

The article reports:

On Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) stated that the Republican candidate for superintendent of the state’s schools, Michele Morrow, is part of an “extreme” group of Republican candidates running statewide in the State of North Carolina and one example of Morrow’s extremism is the fact that she homeschools all of her children.

Cooper said that the Republicans are “going for power, and they’re not paying attention to the real issues that are facing the people of North Carolina and the people across this country. So, we’re going to work very hard. I think the road to the presidency runs through North Carolina. 

There is a concerted effort to turn North Carolina purple this year. Obviously, I hope it fails miserably. I also expect to see Governor Cooper’s name on the 2028 Democrat primary ballot for President.

Cleaning House At The Republican National Committee

It has become obvious in recent years that the people we are electing as our ‘representatives’ don’t always represent us. They seem to have their own little power clique that generally ignores the will of the people. This is true in both parties with a few exceptions. Part of the appeal of President Trump is that despite being unbelievably wealthy, he seems to be able to relate to the common man. As he takes over the Republican National Committee and cleans house, hopefully he will fill the Committee with people who represent those of us who have to live under the rules put in place by our government.

On Saturday, American Greatness reported the following:

Sixty (former) Republican National Committee (RNC) staffers received their walking papers this week, just days after new pro-Trump leadership took over at the committee.

The RNC voted on March 8 to replace Ronna McDaniel with new Chairman Michael Whatley and Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara, as co-chair.

…The firings are a clear sign that the Trump campaign is focused on aligning the Republican Party with the campaign after months of feckless leadership at the RNC.

Whatley, the former chair of the North Carolina GOP, said in his acceptance speech that the RNC “will be focused like a laser on getting out the vote and protecting the ballot” and “will work hand in glove with President Trump’s campaign.”

Former Trump White House adviser, who is set to become the RNC’s new chief operating officer, Sean Cairncross, reportedly sent an email that said a full evaluation of RNC staffing was being done “to ensure the building is aligned with his vision of how to win in November.”

…The changes appear to having an immediate impact.

Lara Trump announced the RNC had the “largest digital fundraising weekend since 2020.”

Trump also told Fox News that she “personally had $2.7 MILLION pledged to her on her first weekend as RNC co-chair”:

Let’s hope that at least one of the political parties will make an effort to listen to the voters.

 

‘Free’ gambling money, a costly gift for players

The following editorial is taken from Carolina Coast Online:

“Bewre of Greeks bearing gifts” is a famous phrase from the “Aeneid,” the epic poem about the fall of the ancient city of Troy. It certainly applies today as gambling companies begin their onslaught of promotions offering “free money” to begin online sports betting. But gamblers beware, there is more at play.

As anyone with an ounce of common sense knows, there’s nothing free in life, especially money. There is a cost and in this case, as new North Carolina gamblers line up to play with the “house money,” the cost is the gambler’s personal profile along with enticements to gamble again and again, with the possibility of addiction.

Under the headline, “Place Your Bets. Sports betting officially becomes legal in NC” the AP announced that “Anyone 21 or older holding an account with a licensed operator can use their phone or electronic device to place sports wagers starting at noon on March 11.” What the AP story failed to explain, a fact that does warrant concern, is how do the gambling companies know the age of the user. Can the computer or phone really determine the gambler’s age?

Ads are running in TV sports programs, major news outlets and particularly college campuses, home of the industry’s primary target- college-age men, offering upwards to $1,000 of “free money” to place bets on a variety of games to include in-state college sports.

Steve Wiseman, sports reporter for the Durham Herald Sun, opined that the allowance of betting on in-state college sports will create greater pressures and even vitriol for the athletes. He explained that “lawmakers opted not to include any restrictions on college sports…(which) makes financial sense given the popularity of college athletics in the state that’s long been the ACC’s home base. But it means that schools are tasked with doing all they can to protect their athletes from physical and mental health standpoints, and prevent any betting scandals from engulfing their teams.”

At the same time Wiseman’s story appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer, Luke DeCock, sports columnist, offered advice to would-be gamblers on how to use the “free” money in a frontpage article. He described himself as an “experienced” gambler, explaining that he doesn’t bet on sports for professional and ethical reasons, but that he has dabbled in betting on horses, golf, craps, and blackjack. He also acknowledged, but again only briefly, the potential addictive nature of gambling.

“As any competent heroin dealer knows, the whole point of these bonus offers is to get people hooked – imagine if it was legal to hand out free booze and cigarettes- but that is the compromise we’ve become willing to accept in this state, because this gambling was happening anyway, in darker shadows, and we might as well benefit from it.”

There is so much to unpack with DeCock’s opening remarks that it defies the space allotted. But we’ll try, taking the points from the bottom up starting with the benefit of taxing gambling.

That’s not necessarily a bad idea as it applies to an age-old concept of taxing the vices and incentivizing the virtues. And this is what the legislature and Governor Cooper, who signed H.B. 347, are interested in doing. But they have done so with very little control over the marketing of the gaming industry, to include allowing sports betting on in-state college sports, which is prohibited in other states that have endorsed online sports gambling.

As for taking betting out of the shadows, DeCock obviously supports removing the stigma of doing something that is at the very least questionable, if not outright illegal. Social stigma is not a bad thing. It promotes a reason to pause before making stupid and most likely dangerous decisions. As has been proven, addictive gambling, particularly now that it is conveniently available online, can result in harmful behavior, especially when gambling debts become unmanageable.

Allison Drain, a coordinator with the NC Problem Gambling Program told NC Health News that younger college-age males are among the population expected to show an uptick in problem gambling despite many of them being younger than 21. Noting that gambling disorder is similar to substance abuse disorder, Drain also stated, “the earlier that you engage in the activity, the greater the chances are of you becoming addicted to it later in life because it deals with that brain structure and development.”

The concept of giving a product or service away, including money, to build habits and dependence is not new. The cigarette manufacturers proved this in both World Wars. In both wars the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines on the front lines were issued three or four cigarettes with their rations, with the purpose of providing a calming activity in the midst of terrible circumstances.

There is good reason to believe the nicotine in these free cigarettes provided a calming effect, but they also strengthened the habit of cigarette smoking, which they continued once the wars ended. Faced with the growing evidence of the negative health impacts of smoking, the Department of Defense in 1976 finally halted the distribution of Camel, Chesterfield, Old Gold and Lucky Strike cigarettes in military ration kits.

In 1971, recognizing the health risks of cigarette smoking, the federal government banned the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio or in magazine publications focused on audiences under age 21. The restrictions on advertising also included universities, colleges and schools that produce theatrical or sports events.

The addictive nature of gambling, as with smoking, should also be a concern for the state and its policy makers. Just as with cigarettes, it is impossible to outlaw an activity that mature adults wish to engage in, no matter that it is harmful to the user. That is a personal choice made by adults.

The same argument holds true for gambling. It is a natural human activity, some would say weakness, but mankind is by nature a risk-taker. That proclivity to take risks and dares is why mankind continues to progress. But at the same time caution is needed in developing and honing that risk nature which can best be done by tailoring the messages, and in some instances prohibiting promotions, in cases where they can do the most harm.

The nation took action to address the addictive nature of cigarettes, so too the state should reassess its responsibilities with the potential of gambling addiction as well.

Standing Up to the Climate Hoax

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

It is becoming increasing apparent that not only is there no scientific evidence that manmade CO2 emissions are causing climate change, but that this hoax is being used by the Democrat Marxists to control us and limit our freedoms. It is also being used to enrich the elite at the expense the taxpayers and to raise energy bills dramatically higher.

A recent article in the Epoch Times revealed that the United Nation’s Convention on Climate Change deliberately altered their report so that any observed climate change would be falsely blamed on mankind’s burning of fossil fuels. Several scientists who objected to this unsubstantiated claim were ostracized and removed from the committee. World renowned physicist, Frederick Seitz, wrote in an article that he had never in his extensive career, including as President of the National Academy of Sciences, ever seen such corruption in the scientific review process and that no study to date has demonstrated that climate change is due to mankind’s use of fossil fuels. Recent reports by qualified experts have reported that rising CO2 levels are offset by increased plant growth and that CO2 levels do not increate warming, but rather the opposite. That is, rising climate temperature cycles caused by factors such as solar activity, produce an increase in CO2 and not the reverse.

So where does all this bring us? The only rational conclusion (in spite of what the environmental extremists and those making a huge profit from solar and wind farms) is that there is absolutely no need to restrict the use of fossil fuels. It is estimated that that the current effort to replace fossil fuels is costing the average American over $2,000 per year and rising. This will devastate our economy for absolutely no valid reason.

Here in North Carolina, we can fight back against this leftist agenda in at least two ways. First, repeal HB 951 passed into law in 2021 that requires electricity generating power plants to reduce their carbon emissions by 70% by 2030 and achieve carbon emission neutrality by 2050. Second, pass a law prohibiting the construction of offshore wind farms near Kitty Hawk and Bald Head Island that is being pushed by Governor Cooper. It should be noted, that solar and wind farm components are obtained from China while they continue to construct coal burning plants at an alarming rate.

The Republican controlled General Assembly needs to step up to the plate and stop this disastrous program before it is too late. Any candidate for office who does not recognize the danger posed by the Left’s extremist environmental program and is not willing to stand up against it does not deserve our support.

What Our College Students Are Studying

On Sunday, The American Thinker reported that the University of North Carolina has decided to cut many areas of their curriculum.

The article reports:

One of the schools in the UNC system, UNC-Greensboro, is in the news these days because of a decision by Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam Jr. to cut undergraduate and/or graduate programs in physics, mathematics, computer science, anthropology and nursing, citing “university direction, enrollment patterns, prioritizing faculty time and expertise, and growth opportunities.”

Reaction to the decision to cancel STEM was swift.

Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Charles Bolton resigned in protest of the cuts and the way Gilliam handled communication.

Slated for elimination are undergraduate programs in

    • Geography (just Google everything, right?),
    • Anthropology (that’s about, you know, old stuff), and
    • Physics (Newton and Einstein are dead white males),

as well as graduate programs in:

    • Nursing (hospitals and doctors might disagree),
    • Geography (of course),
    • Mathematics (WaPo’s Travis Meier is applauding this one), and
    • Computational mathematics (calculators from Walmart will do the trick.)

Some of the courses that remain:

  • African-American and African Diaspora Studies (cutting them would lead to “mostly peaceful” Antifa/BLM demonstrations),
  • Media Studies (better to help Democrats win elections),
  • Communication Studies (“failure to communicate” caused problems in Cool Hand Luke),
  • Peace and Conflict Studies (to help Hamas, Hezbollah … um, negotiate),
  • Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies (of course), and, your favorite and mine,
  • Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Tuition at UNC Chapel Hill is $8,989 for North Carolina residents and $37,550 for out-of-state students. Admittedly that’s a deal if you are a North Carolina resident, but do you really want to pay that much for a degree that probably isn’t marketable?

Us or Them?

Author: R. Alan Haarrop, Ph.D

George Washington warned us to avoid getting involved in foreign wars. Like most concerns of the Founding Fathers, his warning was right on target. We are fast approaching the two year anniversary of the war between Russia and Ukraine. It appears to be at a stalemate. The spending bill recently passed by the Senate (with the support of North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis) would provide another $60 billion in addition to the $ 75 billion already authorized and spent. This is the most amount of U.S. foreign aid to a European country since the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after WWII during the Truman administration. Of course, this is borrowed money which will only add to the current national debt of over $34.3 trillion and counting (see U.D. National Debt Clock). Thanks to the Biden regime, the interest payments on the national debt are now more than the entire military budget.

The question we must ask is, “What is the endgame of our involvement in Ukraine?” Biden’s comment that we are committed to funding Ukraine  “ …As long as it takes” is just not acceptable. We cannot afford to fund endless wars! In addition to the monetary cost, there is real danger of a widening war with Russia which could lead to a nuclear conflict. As history has shown on many occasions, so-called limited wars readily escalate into total war where there are no restrictions or limits. This is especially dangerous in the age of nuclear weapons. It should be noted that this is the closest we have come to a direct war against Russia which has a nuclear arsenal equal to ours.

So what should we do about this omnibus foreign aid bill that actually totals $95 billion? First, the Biden regime must be required to tell us what their endgame objective is. Second, no more aid to Ukraine without a strict accounting for all expenditures. For example, we are being told that some of the aid money will pay for the pensions of Ukrainian government employees. Third, Ukraine should be required to enter into negotiations to end the war, or no more funds from us.

The other disturbing aspect of the $95 billion bill passed by the Senate is the $10 billion slated to go to Hamas. They start a war with one of our allies with a brutal, savage attack against defenseless civilians and we are going to give them money? This would be the equivalent of us sending money to Japan right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Unbelievable. The Palestinians voted for Hamas as I recall.

Finally, there is no funding in this bill to seal our southern border or to begin deporting the millions of illegals who have entered this country under the Biden regime. Our country’s security should always come first, as George Washington advised.

Tell Us Something Without Actually Telling Us Something

Recently WWAYTV3 in Wilmington, North Carolina, reported that Hertz is cutting back on its rental of electric vehicles.

The article reports:

Hertz, which has made a big push into electric vehicles in recent years, has decided it’s time to cut back. The company will sell off a third of its electric fleet, totaling roughly 20,000 vehicles, and use the money they bring to purchase more gasoline powered vehicles.

Electric vehicles have been hurting Hertz’s financials, executives have said, because, despite costing less to maintain, they have higher damage-repair costs and, also, higher depreciation.

“[C]ollision and damage repairs on an EV can often run about twice that associated with a comparable combustion engine vehicle,” Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr said in a recent analyst call.

And EV price declines in the new car market have pushed down the resale value of Hertz’s used EV rental cars.

“The MSRP declines in EVs over the course of 2023, driven primarily by Tesla, have driven the fair market value of our EVs lower as compared to last year, such that a salvage creates a larger loss and, therefore, greater burden,” Scherr said.

Simply put, people are generally willing to pay a certain amount less for a used car than for a new one. As the price of new car goes down, that also pushes down what people are willing to pay to buy a used one.

As of now, electric cars are not the answer to green energy. There are serious ethical questions about the mining of the lithium that is used to make the batteries, and there are safety issues–don’t try to evacuate from a hurricane in an electric car if the puddles you are driving through contain salt water–that can cause the car to ignite. Iceland successfully uses hydrogen as fuel for its busses. There are other options for cutting pollution than electric cars.

Good News In North Carolina

On Wednesday, The Daily Haymaker posted a list of some of the bills that had been vetoed by Governor Cooper that had those vetoes overridden by the North Carolina legislature. The vetoes were overturned as a result of public pressure on the legislators. This is a reminder of the importance of making your voice heard.

The article reports:

Raleigh insiders tell me the real story from today’s veto override bonanza was the intense public pressure.  Several of the vetoed bills, including:

were slated for legislative euthanasia, but were revived by intense public pressure.  Plenty of folks with votes on the floor got one hell of an earful.  If not for the public pressure, these bills would have stayed vetoed.  

The article concludes:

Far too many people believe that having the right letter (R or D) next to your name means you can be trusted to do the “right thing.”  WRONG.  Far too often, deep-pocketed special interests overrule our interests on some very important state policy decisions.  Far too often, all that cash wins the day.  These people are supposed to be OUR representatives.  Not the “representative” of their favorite well-paying lobbyist. 

The lesson here?  Stay on these people like you stay behind your own children.  We — and several others in the blogosphere and other parts of social media — do our best to keep you informed on key issues.  Stay informed, talk to your friends, and especially talk to the folks who show up on your ballot every two years purportedly to represent you.

It’s truly a shame that common sense stuff like this takes so much work to get done.

Pat yourselves on the back, folks.  Job well done.  But it’s far from over.  There is a lot of work left to do to save our state and our country.  

Please get involved. Your country needs you.

The Challenge Of Passing A Common-Sense Bill In The North Carolina Legislature

In North Carolina, we all remember Covid–the lockdowns, the school closings, the church closings, the vaccine mandates, etc., but we need also to remember that a lot of those things were the result of Executive Orders by Governor Roy Cooper. Unfortunately there was no check on those Executive Orders and they never seemed to expire. There is an effort to change that–House Bill 169.

House Bill 169 states:

In plain English, this bill reins in the powers of the Governor, brings the Council of State into the process, and limits the time an Executive Order can be in place unless the General Assembly concurs.

This is a good bill. Unfortunately, according to ncleg.gov, the bill has been in committee since February:

Ref to the Com on Judiciary 1, if favorable, State Government, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House on 2/23/2023

It’s time to call your Representative and get this bill moved out of committee and voted on.

 

Conservatism vs Marxism: Who is Winning?

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D 

The fight to save our country is essentially a struggle between Conservatism and Marxism.  However, many of our elected officials either do not agree or fail to understand the threat.   Conservatism entails individual freedom, small government and fiscal responsibility.  Marxism entails government control, ever expanding government and indebtedness.  Another key essential difference is that of individual responsibility.   Conservatism requires each person to be responsible for themselves whereas in Marxism taxpayers are required to pay for services for others.    

Clearly, the Democrat Party is moving us dramatically towards Marxism, and just as disturbingly, there are some Republican Party elected officials who are not reliably true conservatives.   We would not be in the current crisis in which we find ourselves if this was not the case.  The recent approval of Medicaid expansion in North Carolina is a perfect example.   After years of opposition to Medicaid expansion, many Republicans led by Phil Berger and Tim Moore voted to approve this Marxist action.   Of course, they did not bother to determine what their constituents wanted (a limited poll in Craven county was overwhelmingly against expanding Medicaid) and came up with a justification, essentially about federal funding, and ignored the fact that this program is a Marxist program expansion that makes an estimated 600,000 additional people dependent on the government and forces other taxpayers to pay for it.   By the way, there is no requirement in the state or federal constitution requiring taxpayers to pay for medical services for others. 

Another example is House Bill DRH30118-TC-21A that supposedly will prevent students from harm in our public schools.  What the bill does is expand the responsibility of teachers to socialize our children instead of focusing on their true mission of teaching traditional academic subjects.   While preventing student harm is a laudable goal, this bill is Marxist to the extent that it shifts the responsibility for socializing and disciplining our children from the parents to the government run schools.  Marxism always attempts to weaken the role  and authority of the parents/family and take over that role by the government.   Remember the old saying that the road to h—- is paved with good intentions.   The public schools in North Carolina in many cases are failing to teach academics adequately, and this situation will not be helped by adding additional burdens on the teachers that rightfully belong to parents.     Another worrisome factor is that once the schools assume the role of parents, the content of what they teach can be anything the school officials decide.  Not good. 

The bottom line is we need to support elected officials who reliably put conservative principles first and vote the will of their constituents.  Otherwise, the slide to Marxism is assured. 

When Parents Fight For Their Rights As Parents

On Friday, The Patriot Journal (quoting Fox News) reported the following:

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Florida’s parental rights bill…

U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor, a judge in Tallahassee, Florida, ruled on Wednesday that students, parents, and teachers didn’t prove that they have legal standing in challenging the law after filing a revised lawsuit.

The article at The Patriot Journal notes:

This is actually the second attempt by leftists; the judge tossed the earlier version last September. Another lawsuit, alleging something similar, was filed in Orlando and also dismissed by the court.

Judge Winsor said the plaintiffs couldn’t show they suffered any harm from the law, and said their claims of harm “are from the law’s existence versus its enforcement.”

The North Carolina Senate has recently passed a Parents’ Bill of Rights. It passed the Senate in a party-line vote–Democrats voted no and Republicans voted yes. It now will go to the North Carolina House.

Parents should be in control of the content of their children’s education. If a child commits a crime, the parents are held responsible. When schools teach children that they are victims and are entitled, bad things happen. When schools sexualize young children, bad things happen. Schools and parents should work together to train the next generation of citizens to have moral values, patriotism and a work ethic. That would go a long way into cleaning up the mess our country currently is in.

 

Green Energy Is A Problem In Really Cold Weather

On Saturday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the Christmas season energy brownouts in North and South Carolina.

The article reports:

Duke Energy customers in North and South Carolina experienced rolling blackouts over Christmas. Duke is appropriately contrite, but its explanation of its own failure is revealing:

Duke Energy executives repeatedly apologized and owned up to the situation that caused thousands in North and South Carolina to be without power during a bitter cold snap leading up to the Christmas holiday weekend. The admissions came during a hearing Tuesday before the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

According to testimony before the NCUC, high winds had already left 300,000 without power during the day of Dec. 23 before a severe cold snap later that night and into Dec. 24.

The linked story does not explain why high winds left 300,000 people without power. This may be a failure of wind turbines, as they must be shut down if the wind blows too hard.

“I want to express how sorry we are for what our customers experienced,” said Julie Janson, executive vice president, and CEO, of Duke Energy Carolinas. “Winter storm Elliott was an extremely powerful event with a unique confluence of high winds, extreme temperature drops, and other conditions that forced us to curtail power as a last resort.

“Curtailing power” means imposing rolling blackouts on Duke’s customers. A rolling blackout is when a utility intentionally cuts power to a particular area in order to prevent the entire grid from collapsing.

The article concludes:

Duke Energy’s “nuclear fleet” was reliable, but solar generation was unable to meet peak demand because it occurred before sunrise.

Imagine that! It’s always coldest before the dawn, or something like that. The uselessness of solar energy is blindingly obvious, but utilities are happy to invest billions in solar panels and reap guaranteed profits at the expense of their customers.

Rolling blackouts are starting to become common, and they will only increase as long as our country continues its insane commitment to unreliable “green” energy.

The constant emphasis on green energy by the Biden administration is going to turn America into a third-world country. We have the capability to keep everyone warm in winter if we are willing to use our God-given natural resources to do it.

Does North Carolina Need Medical Marijuana

In the past, my objection to medical marijuana has been based on the abuses I have seen in other states. Before California legalized recreational use of marijuana and after California legalized medical marijuana, the last four or five pages on the newspapers in California were filled with advertisements from doctors who were willing to prescribe marijuana for pretty much anything from dandruff to a hangnail. The medical marijuana clinics were simply supporting the recreational uses by placing a very thin veneer over the recreational use of the drug. Now, some other problems with marijuana are coming to light. Even as we learn that marijuana has some valid medical uses, we need to look at the downside of legalizing medical marijuana.

On Wednesday, The Carolina Journal posted an article that contained some warnings about legalizing medical marijuana.

The article reports:

Dr. Christian Thurstone, director of behavioral health at Denver Health and professor of psychiatry at University of Colorado, held a media event in October warning North Carolinians not to repeat Colorado’s mistakes surrounding medical marijuana. He was invited to speak by the Triangle Christian Medical and Dental Associations in reaction to N.C. Senate Bill 711, the N.C. Compassionate Care Act.

The bill passed the state Senate 36-7 on third reading in June but did not move in the state House before session ended. A similar bill is likely to be introduced next session and could be considered in 2023.

Thurstone spoke for about 45 minutes and then gave those attending a chance to ask questions.

Thurstone’s main criticisms were that SB 711 allows marijuana in any form for patients, including powerful food products; allows marijuana as a treatment for too many conditions; allows for more than one caregiver to handle the drug; spreads distribution throughout the state, so counties don’t have the option of opting out like they do in Colorado; permits distributors to own more than one center, which led to commercialization of the marijuana business elsewhere; and allows those under 18 to receive marijuana if they have a signature from guardian without specifying safeguards to prevent forgery of signatures.

He said, “This bill is about creating an industry,” and is less about creating a compassionate new form of treatment available.

…Thurstone went through a number of slides showing data about the immediate but temporary bump in those under 18 using marijuana after their bill passed and the more sustained increase of those 18-25 using marijuana (which is now at 32% compared to 23% in the U.S. overall).

Later he spoke about the boom in new powerful products like gummies and drinks that were legally available and advertised. Many of these products and strains have 20-30% THC, which is 10 times stronger than traditional marijuana which had 2% or 3% THC.

The “concerns” section of the speech was subtitled “cars and kids,” as those were the two main areas he said N.C. should keep in mind. For cars, he mentioned a spike in traffic accidents where the driver tested positive for marijuana, rising from 9% in 2009 to 21% in 2019 in Colorado. And despite jokes that high drivers are better because they drive slower, he said the evidence shows they have twice the risk of car accidents, due to difficulty staying in lane, slower reaction times, more weaving, and worse attention and distractibility scores.

Medical marijuana is not compassionate. It creates more problems than it solves. The explosion of vape shops in the state in recent years has as much to do with the increase in vaping as it does the idea that when marijuana becomes legal for medical use (and then for recreational use, which will follow), the shops will already be in place.

Make no mistake–medical marijuana will follow a path very similar to Oxycontin–it may begin well, but it will not end well.

Follow The Money

Abortion may become the cigarette smoking issue of the 2020’s (see article here). Obviously, Planned Parenthood will do everything possible to prevent that from happening–abortion is where they make their money. On Thursday, The Conservative Review posted an article about one of Planned Parenthood’s moves to protect their income source.

The article reports:

On Thursday, Planned Parenthood announced its plan to invest $5 million in the North Carolina midterm elections to back pro-abortion Democrat nominees.

Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina aim to use the funds for ads, mailings, phone banks, and canvassing in 14 legislative swing districts.

Deputy director of Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina Emily Thompson stressed that the organization’s goal is to prevent a Republican supermajority in the general assembly. She said that the campaign is focusing recourses on five Senate races.

“If we don’t elect reproductive rights champions in five key state Senate races, an anti-abortion supermajority will have the votes to ban abortion in North Carolina,” Thompson stated. “And if we don’t defend two critical North Carolina Supreme Court seats, we will lose our last line of defense against restrictive state laws designed to rob us of our right to make our own health care decisions.”

The wording here is important. No one is robbing anyone of the right to make their own health care decisions. If you don’t want to have a child, don’t engage in the activities that cause pregnancy. It’s that simple. No one is forcing you to get pregnant. What the limits on abortions are doing is protecting the life of the unborn. When abortion was made legal in January 1973, medical science did not have the knowledge of unborn development that they have now. Now it is possible to keep a baby born months early alive with minimal negative consequences. In 1973, an early birth often resulted in permanent negative health issues.

I have seen the ads for the Supreme Court seats on television. The ads promote the fear of losing women’s rights to health care. What about the baby’s right to health care? It is time to look at the scientific advancements made regarding unborn babies and base our decisions on current information. It is a child from the time it is conceived, so the question is, “Do we want to be a culture that says it is okay to kill a child?”

An Interesting Turn Of Events

North Carolina residents have voted for some form of voter ID twice. Both times the courts have overturned the will of the people. The second time we voted for voter ID, the vote was for an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would require voter ID. The court struck that amendment down as unconstitutional. Wow. Well, on Tuesday there was some good news about the citizens of North Carolina’s quest for voter ID.

On Tuesday, The Carolina Journal reported the following:

North Carolina’s 2018 voter ID law complies with the state constitution and should survive a legal challenge. That’s according to briefs submitted in the N.C. Supreme Court from state legislative leaders and the N.C. Justice Department.

Both briefs urge the Supreme Court to reverse a trial court’s 2-1 ruling from September 2021 in the case titled Holmes v. Moore. Two Democratic judges overruled a Republican colleague in deciding that the law, originally Senate Bill 824, violated the N.C. Constitution.

“Election legislation in North Carolina is often contentious,” wrote attorney Nicole Moss, representing Republican state legislative leaders. “In the fall of 2018, the People of North Carolina — by a 55.49% to 44.51% margin — adopted a constitutional amendment requiring photo voter ID and directing the General Assembly to enact implementing legislation.”

“The General Assembly at that time could have enacted a voter-ID law without any Democratic votes or any Democratic input whatsoever,” wrote Moss, referencing Republicans’ veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly in 2018. “But that is not what the General Assembly did with S.B. 824. Instead, the Republican supermajority worked closely with Senator Joel Ford, an African American Democrat, who co-sponsored the bill; adopted the majority of amendments offered by Democrats; obtained several Democratic votes for the bill; and otherwise engaged with Democrats every step of the way, garnering thanks even from the bill’s opponents.”

The article notes:

The state’s brief also criticizes the trial court. “Contrary to what Plaintiffs contend in their brief, throughout the trial court majority’s analysis in this case, it shifted the burden of proof to Defendants and failed to adhere to the presumption of legislative good faith,” Steed wrote.

Nothing presented during a trial showed that the ID law would block any eligible votes. “Plaintiffs failed to establish any of the Plaintiffs would be unable to vote under S.B. 824, and in fact, the evidence at trial showed they would have multiple ways to vote under S.B. 824,” Steed added. “Even more telling, … they have never identified a form of ID, or any combination of IDs for that matter, which would create a lesser disparate impact than S.B. 824.”

“In Plaintiff’s view, no form of a voter ID law, no matter how ameliorative, would ever be acceptable to them. This evinces a fundamental flaw with Plaintiffs’ position, given the legislature is under a constitutional mandate to pass a voter-ID law.”

Voter ID will not solve all of our voter integrity problems, but it is a step in the right direction.

When The Courts Play Politics

We need to remember that the U.S. Constitution gives the responsibility of setting the manner of holding congressional elections to the state legislators. That responsibility includes redistricting based on the census. In North Carolina the courts decided that the map of the districts provided by the Republican-led legislature were not acceptable. Then the court appointed three “special masters” to inspect the map and make corrections. That in itself is questionable, but they did it. The redrawn maps do not reflect the political demographic of the state–they represent a serious effort to gerrymander the districts in favor of the Democrats.

The Carolina Journal reported the following on Friday:

Gerrymanders are not always apparent when looking at a map, but the special masters’ gerrymander is clearest when looking at two parts of the state. The first and most obvious is that they cleaved Charlotte in half, grafting one-half of the city to suburbs in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties and the other half to Gaston County. That move violated two basic redistricting principles by not creating a congressional district that is wholly contained in Mecklenburg County and by dividing clear communities of interest.

The special masters could have easily preserved communities of interest by drawing central Charlotte in one districting and linking suburban communities of Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, and Gaston Counties. In doing so, they would have created one safe Democratic district and one relatively competitive Democratic-leaning district. Instead, they made two safe Democratic districts by unnecessarily grafting urban and suburban areas in both districts.

State Senator Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg) has already expressed interest in running in the new safely Democratic 14th District. Bob Orr, the so-called “unaffiliated” special master appointed by the trial court in the redistricting case, is a fan of Jackson’s. According to Federal Election Commission records, he donated to Jackson’s campaign committee in 2021. In recent years, the “unaffiliated” special master has also donated to other Democratic candidates such as Joe Biden and Dan McCready.

The special masters also gerrymandered the Wake County districts. They split southeastern Raleigh from the rest of the city to put it in the 13th District. Splitting was unnecessary; the special masters could have easily kept Raleigh whole by adding rural and suburban eastern Wake County to the 13th.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Unfortunately, this is what happens when a partisan court oversteps its bounds. When we lived in Massachusetts, our voting district was shaped like a sea horse in order to dilute the Republican votes of a conservative area. Gerrymandering, unfortunately, is a way of life in America. However, it should not be done by supposedly neutral courts.

Robin Sage

On Saturday, The Western Journal posted an article about a military training exercise planned for later this month in North and South Carolina. There are some aspects of this exercise that are troubling to me and possibly troubling to other Americans.

The article reports:

Residents of 28 counties in North and South Carolina will be hearing a lot of gunfire later this month as the army plans a major training exercise.

The Robin Sage training exercise is a final test for those wanting to join America’s Special Forces, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer published online by MSN.

From Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, the soldiers wanting to join the Special Forces will be fighting against so-called freedom fighters.

The exercise covers privately owned land in the North Carolina counties of Alamance, Anson, Bladen, Brunswick, Cabarrus, Chatham, Columbus, Cumberland, Davidson, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, New Hanover, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rowan, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Union, and Wake. Chesterfield, Dillon, and Marlboro counties in South Carolina are also part of the battle for control of a fictional place called Pineland.

…“These military members act as realistic opposing forces and guerrilla freedom fighters, also known as Pineland resistance movement,” the center (the Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, based at Fort Bragg) said.

“To add realism … civilian volunteers throughout the state act as role players. Participation by these volunteers is crucial to the success of this training, and past trainees attest to the realism they add to the exercise,” the center said.

Our military is training on American soil to interact with American freedom fighters. There are a lot of things wrong with this picture.

A New Level Of Insanity

On Thursday, the NC Family Policy Council website reported the following:

Lambda Legal, a national LGBTQ activist organization, is suing the State of North Carolina over what it characterizes as a “discriminatory policy” relating to birth certificates. Consistent with biology, history, and longstanding policy, current state law requires birth certificates in North Carolina to identify a child as either “male” or “female.” In 1975, the state modified the law to allow an individual to change the sex designation on his or her birth certificate if they file a written request with the State Registrar and provide a notarized statement from a licensed physician that they have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

In its complaint, Lambda Legal asks the federal district court to throw out the 1975 accommodation as unconstitutional, and simply allow transgender identifying persons to change the sex designations on their birth certificates upon request.

…In its complaint, Lambda Legal asks the federal district court to throw out the 1975 accommodation as unconstitutional, and simply allow transgender identifying persons to change the sex designations on their birth certificates upon request.

The UCLA Williams Institute School of Law reports:

In 2011, Gary J. Gates utilized two state-level population-based surveys that collected data from 2003 in California and from 2007 and 2009 in Massachusetts to estimate that 0.3% of the U.S. adult population, roughly 700,000 adults, identified as transgender.2 Since then, more state-level data sources have emerged that allow us to utilize an estimation procedure that would not have been possible with the limited data available in 2011. Compared to the data used in Gates’ study, these new data sources provide more recent data (2014), larger sample sizes, and more detailed information about respondents. This allows for the development of more recent, detailed, and statistically robust estimates of the percentage and number of adults in the United States who identify as transgender.

This report utilizes data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to estimate the percentage and number of adults who identify as transgender nationally and in all 50 states.3 We find that 0.6% of U.S. adults identify as transgender. This figure is double the estimate that utilized data from roughly a decade ago and implies that an estimated 1.4 million adults in the U.S. identify as transgender.4 State-level estimates of adults who identify as transgender range from 0.3% in North Dakota to 0.8% in Hawaii.5 In addition, due to current state-level policy debates that specifically target and affect transgender students, we provide estimates of the number of adults who identify as transgender by age. The youngest age group, 18 to 24 year olds, is more likely than older age groups to identify as transgender.

Transgender is being pushed on many of our children in school almost from kindergarten. Social media has a lot to do with its increase among teenagers and young adults. There are very few social media posts by people who have regretted transgender surgery or hormone treatments. Generally they are not posted. The social media posts seem to imply that changing your sex will solve all of your teenage problems. Obviously,  many of the teenagers who attempt this solution promptly find out that it is not the answer to their problems. Unfortunately many of the steps taken by the time a teenager realizes their mistake are irreversible. I don’t think it is unreasonable to require at least a letter of request to change the gender on your birth certificate.

Working Hard To Ignore The Will Of The Voters

On September 8th, The Carolina Journal posted an article about some recent shenanigans in the North Carolina Supreme Court. In 2018, North Carolina voters passed a referendum to require voter ID. Logically that should have been the end of it–the voters have spoken, the people in charge need to listen. Well, it wasn’t the end of it. Later that year, the North Carolina legislature passed (and overrode a governor’s veto) another voter ID law. The law passed by the legislature was struck down in 2019 by a District Court. In 2020, the federal appeals court overrode the lower court’s decision allowing voter ID in North Carolina. As things stand now, the 2022 elections will require voter ID. Actually voter ID was used in one North Carolina primary election while the legal maneuvering was going on. That election showed increased voter turnout (disproving the argument that voter ID laws decrease turnout), and made the job of the people handing out ballots much easier. Voter ID made the election run much more smoothly. So where are we now?

The Carolina Journal reports:

In an astonishing and unprecedented power grab that will overturn 200 years of case law and prior precedents, Democrats on the state Supreme Court are preparing to disqualify and remove two duly-elected Republican Supreme Court justices from a case so they can nullify voters’ decision to amend the Constitution.

The case is NAACP v. Moore and the state Supreme Court’s Democrats are trying to remove two Republican members from the bench, so a new temporary four-to-one Democrat majority can erase two constitutional amendments – the cap on income tax, and the voter I.D. requirement – which were overwhelmingly passed by more than four million votes.

In a plan already underway, Democrats Anita Earls, Robin Hudson, and Mike Morgan would conspire to remove the justices while allowing Associate Justice Jimmy Ervin to vote AGAINST the move because he is the one Democrat currently on the court who will face re-election in 2022.

This is not just an inside-baseball rumor. It is in motion. On July 23, 2021, lawyers for the NAACP filed a motion to have two Republican members, Justice Tamara Barringer and Justice Phil Berger, Jr., both sitting members of the state Supreme Court, removed in the case.

The lawyers argue that they have a conflict of interest because Berger is the son of Senate Leader Phil Berger and Barringer was a lawmaker during the time these constitutional amendments passed the legislature by a 3/5ths majority.

After a while you have to wonder why Democrats are so threatened by voter ID. Picture identification is required for a lot of activities not related to voting–cashing a check, boarding a plane, entering a federal or state building, opening a bank account, buying a car, etc. There are very few people among us that do not have some sort of picture identification. Also, I believe that the voter ID law makes photo ID’s available at no cost. The only reason to oppose voter ID laws is that they make it more difficult to cheat. Do the Democrats think we are too stupid to figure that out?

Getting Past The CON Laws

According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, as of 2016, 35 states have Certificate of Need (CON) Laws.

The website notes:

This means that 35 states and the District of Columbia currently prohibit entry or expansion of healthcare facilities through CON programs.

North Carolina is one of those states with CON programs. The Carolina Journal posted an article about how those programs impact medical care in those states.

The Carolina Journal states:

It’s especially bad when government encourages health care providers to act more like bullies than healers. But that’s exactly what can happen with North Carolina’s certificate-of-need regime.

A recent court case highlights the problem. On July 6, a unanimous three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals agreed to grant a certificate of need to InSight Health Corp. The ruling affirmed earlier decisions from state regulators and an administrative law judge. In that sense, the ruling was unremarkable.

But details of the case, spelled out in Judge John Tyson’s 17-page opinion, highlight CON’s unsavory impact on N.C. health care.

The certificate of need is a government permission slip. Without it, health care providers are banned from opening new facilities, adding beds to existing hospitals, or even purchasing larger pieces of medical equipment. A government-appointed board working with state bureaucrats decides when and where to issue a CON.

One piece of equipment subject to a state CON is the positron emission tomography, or PET, scanner. It offers images that show how patients’ tissues and organs are functioning. In 2018 state government decreed that N.C. health consumers needed exactly one new mobile PET scanner across the state.

Without CON restrictions, health care providers would have been free to make their own decisions about adding new PET scanners. One or more providers might have put new scanners into operation in 2018, giving patients more options.

Instead the state forced interested providers to compete for a single CON. The certificate would grant the winner the exclusive right to purchase a new PET scanner. The winner would reap all financial benefits from additional scans.

The article explains that when the winner was named, one of the other competitors filed a complaint.

The article notes:

Now, three years after the state decided to offer a CON and two years after awarding it, there’s still no new PET scanner. All we have is a ruling from North Carolina’s second-highest court. It’s not even clear that the legal fight is over.

Bureaucratic and legal delays would be bad enough. But Tyson’s opinion highlighted evidence of behavior no one should expect from organizations devoted to boosting people’s health.

The article concludes:

InSight was able to secure supporting documents from hospitals in Caldwell and Jackson counties. But Mobile Imaging later approached leaders of both hospitals. Mobile’s team had drafted letters that would rescind support for InSight’s application. One hospital official signed the letter, leaving InSight with a single hospital willing to go on record supporting its CON application.

Despite having signed the letter, the hospital president who went along with Mobile Imaging’s scheme later testified that she still would have considered working with InSight if it won the CON.

In other words, the only objection to InSight’s bid was active opposition from a competitor with an “effective monopoly” on existing services. Tyson noted “ample evidence” of Mobile Imaging’s “anti-competitive behavior.”

Nothing looks good about Mobile Imaging Partners’ actions in this case. Its behind-the-scenes maneuvers look especially bad when one considers the CON’s purported goal: increased access to health care. You’ll search in vain to find bullying and scare tactics among the skills taught to health care professionals.

This entire problem (including the court case) could be settled by ending the CON Laws in North Carolina. There has been a bill brought up in the North Carolina legislature to end CON Laws in at least one recent session The problem is that the bill has been traditionally sent to a committee where it dies. CON laws cost consumers and health insurance complanies money. CON Laws need to end.

Why Elections Matter

Yesterday The Carolina Journal posted an article about North Carolina spending policies in recent years.

The article reports:

At $6 trillion, President Joe Biden’s first budget calls for an unprecedented level of federal spending. Republican members of Congress who criticize the president’s plan are understandably reminded by Democrats that the GOP did not do much to resist—and even contributed to—excessive government spending during President Donald Trump’s time in office. During those four years, rampant spending led to nearly $8 trillion in more federal debt, though this included pandemic-related funding approved with bipartisan support. Still, this represents a 40% jump in mortgaging the future of ourselves, our kids, and our grandkids. It’s time for responsible budgeting at every level of government.

Republicans in Washington don’t have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing the profligacy of congressional Democrats and the Biden administration. But Republicans in many state capitals across the country, however, do. That’s because Republican governors and lawmakers in several states are getting government spending under control by passing conservative budgets which remain below population growth plus inflation. North Carolina is among the most prominent examples of this phenomenon—but is not the only one.

Since Republicans took control of the North Carolina General Assembly for the first time in a century a decade ago, they have kept growth in state spending on a conservative budget trajectory that keeps government growth within the average taxpayer’s ability to fund it. Since 2013, North Carolina state spending has grown by an average of 2.24% annually, which is below the population growth plus inflation rate of 2.58%.

These fiscal policies in North Carolina have resulted in budget surpluses and the lowering of the state income tax.

The article notes:

North Carolina lawmakers are now working to enact a new conservative budget that provides further tax relief. Those who want to continue the sustainable budgeting of recent years received good news in early June as legislative leaders from both chambers of the General Assembly announced a consensus spending figure that, if the new budget does not exceed it, would have state spending continue to grow slower than the combined rate of population growth plus inflation. More recently, the North Carolina Senate unveiled its version of the budget, which, in addition to spending less than the figure agreed to with the House in early June, cuts the personal income tax rate from 5.25% to 3.99% while phasing out the corporate income tax by 2028. That budget was approved with a bipartisan, veto-proof majority in the North Carolina Senate on June 24.

“We are pleased to see that the fiscal restraint the General Assembly has shown over the last ten years will continue,” said Brian Balfour, senior vice president of research at the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh-based think tank. “It’s a strategy we would like to see added to the state constitution in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.”

These policies have had the following results (reported in Global Trade):

NORTH CAROLINA

The second-largest food and beverage manufacturing state and the overall fifth-largest manufacturing state in America, North Carolina is home to the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast. The manufacturing industry employs 460,000 skilled workers in North Carolina–nearly 11 percent of the state’s workforce. North Carolina manufacturing makes up about 20 percent of the state’s gross state product, to the tune of $102.48 billion in 2017 and $31.06 billion in exports in 2018. North Carolina has experienced tremendous growth in manufacturing goods in recent years, with a nearly 35 percent increase in exports from 2010 to 2018. North Carolina’s pro-business climate and expert workforce make it an ideal state for manufacturers.

North Carolina has set an example Washington, D.C. needs to follow.

Following The Science?

On Tuesday, the John Locke website posted an article about North Carolina’s response to the coronavirus.

The article includes the following information:

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending May 17:

    • As of May 17, there were 963,539 North Carolinians presumed to be recovered from COVID-19
    • Active cases comprised just 1.6% of NC’s total case count (note: a case of COVID isn’t a permanent infection, and only someone with an active case of the virus can conceivably transmit it to you)
    • Active cases represented over 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
    • Now 34 out of every 35 (97.1%) of NC’s total cases were recovered, meaning they are no longer infectious
    • Only just over 0.1% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death)
    • About 90.6% people in NC had never had a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, despite the PCR test cycle threshold set so high as to produce a large amount of false positives (note: this proportion will always decline, but we have been living with this virus since February 2020, as far as testing is concerned)
    • All things considered, nearly 99.9% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone — a virus most had never had and the rest had recovered from (note: this proportion will fluctuate based on relative growth in lab-confirmed cases vs. recoveries, and it is likely understand because it does not account for vaccinations)

The title of the article asks the question, “The NC Threat-Free Index for the Week Ending May 17 — and Why Are We Still Under a “State of Emergency”?”  That is a very good question.

Limiting Voting To Legal Voters

The idea of only American citizens being allowed to vote in American elections is pretty basic. You wouldn’t think there would be a lot of room for discussion (or lawsuits). You would be wrong.

Yesterday Breitbart reported that the Fourth Circuit federal appeals court has ruled against the North Carolina State Board of Elections, vacating a lower court’s decision blocking the inspection of the state’s voter rolls for non-citizen registrations and voting.

The article reports:

“North Carolina had tried to prevent the public from inspecting records related to noncitizens registering and voting in our elections,” PILF (Public Interest Legal Foundation) President J. Christian Adams said in a statement.

“Federal law presumes that election records are public,” Adams said. “The Fourth Circuit vacated the lower court’s dismissal of the case. This is an important win because it means that the public’s right to know about election vulnerabilities has been vindicated.”

The Richmond-based appeals court concluded “that the Board’s efforts in the present case to identify non-citizen registrants qualify as a ‘program’ or ‘activity’ to ensure an accurate list of eligible voters.”

In June 2019, PILF filed the lawsuit against North Carolina election officials after they failed to disclose voter roll records showing non-citizen registrations and voting. A lower court, though, dismissed PILF’s lawsuit claiming such records could not be disclosed to the public.

The article concludes:

While PILF will now go back to court to negotiate over the records, this is the third win for PILF on protecting the right to inspect state voter rolls for non-citizen registrations and voting since 2019.

In March 2019, a Texas court ruled that PILF could move forward with seeking non-citizen voting records in Harris County, Texas. Then, in December 2019, a federal court similarly ruled that PILF could continue seeking non-citizen voting records in Pennsylvania.

North Carolina has a history of concealing non-citizen voting. In November 2019, for instance, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed legislation that would have purged self-admitted non-citizen voters from the state’s voter rolls ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

The case is Public Interest Legal Foundation v. North Carolina State Board of Elections19-2265 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Every American should support the idea of only legal voters voting. Every illegal vote cancels out the vote of a legal voter.

Watchdogs In Education In North Carolina

On Monday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article reporting some good news about education in North Carolina.

The article reports:

A North Carolina education advocacy group launched a website this week to help whistleblowers expose radicalism in K-12 schools.

Education First Alliance launched its Schoolhouse Shock watchdog site on Monday to help parents and teachers call attention to radicalism in the classroom. Users can anonymously upload videos, photos, and documents from their child’s class to catalog critical race theory-based lessons being taught in schools.

“Our new statewide whistleblower program, Schoolhouse Shock, will add to our toolbox in the fight against the onslaught of racially inflammatory and sexualized curriculums that children are being immersed in all over North Carolina,” Sloan Rachmuth, Education First Alliance president, said in a statement.

The North Carolina Board of Education in February adopted radical curriculum standards built around critical race theory—the idea that American economic and political systems are inherently racist. Critics including the Education First Alliance and North Carolina lieutenant governor Mark Robinson (R.) say the politically charged standards undermine students’ education.

Rachmuth, an investigative reporter, established Education First Alliance in January. The nonprofit opposes the use of anti-American ideologies like critical race theory and antiracism in classrooms and pushes “for the equality of dignity and of opportunity for all K-12 students.”

Although remote learning has been a problem for many children, in many cases it has allowed parents to pay closer attention to what their children are being taught. I believe that the Education First Alliance provides a way for parents to put their concerns into action.

The article notes:

Education First Alliance charts the rise of critical race theory in education on its blog. The group reported on a nine-week-long “Culturally Responsive Teaching” training that instructed teachers to “disrupt” the education system with critical race theory. The group also documented a series of tweets in which James Ford—a North Carolina state education board member who was hand-selected by Democratic governor Roy Cooper—lauded anti-Semitic preacher Jeremiah Wright.

The organization uncovered documents that instructed North Carolina public school teachers to ask students about their sexual orientations and more. Middle school students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district were asked about their sexual preferences. Sixth graders at Innovation Academy, a school south of Raleigh, were given a survey that asked students to count the number of genders and sexual orientations they believe exist, as well as whether they believe the gay community deserves rights.

Grassroots opposition to leftist indoctrination is on the rise. In North Carolina, Robinson in March created the F.A.C.T.S. Task Force, which provides parents another way to share radical education materials and other examples of “indoctrination” in schools. The national, nonpartisan Parents Defending Education launched in March to provide resources—including a tip-line and instructions for filing public records requests—to parents who want to protect their child’s education from “activists promoting harmful agendas.”

North Carolina’s education board began revising the state’s K-12 history curriculum in 2019. Early drafts of the standards called for teaching students as young as kindergarten terms like “systemic racism” and “gender identity.”

What we teach out children about America will determine the future of America. Parents need to be paying attention.