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Apr
04

Clock In

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The following is a cross-post from NeverNesters, a blog on local politics, Asheville real estate and what to expect when you’re not. 

 

Between classes on dramatic structure and narrative poetry while working toward my MFA, I’d sometimes attend an unfriendly Garden City bar for a pint. One day, in 2008, events external to ESPN had become so compelling that even those cold provincial pubsters switched one TV (a little one) to CNN. My memory’s hazy–was it the floor of the House or the New York Stock Exchange? was it mostly the ticker I watched or the muted heads, their panic unspooled across the screen in tortured, Close Caption’d grammar?–but the thrust is clear: the economy was blowing up. The Dow was down 600, 650, 700. I sipped my beer, then returned to Adelphi just in time for a playwriting workshop. This is my preferred anecdote to explain how I acquired such a satisfying and ornamental piece of debt.

Within a couple hours of finishing my last class, Arielle and I were beating a retreat back to Asheville; and three years after graduating from UNCA we were renting a tiny apartment in Kennilworth, she waiting tables and I languishing among the unemployed–only now with a Master’s. When we had fifty bucks to spend we bought whisky and smokes because, what else do you do with fifty bucks? It was basically impossible, then, to imagine ever playing a serious role in things. Read More→

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Apr
04

Friday Open Thread

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shapeimage_4Terry Van Duyn replaces Martin Nesbitt in the NC Senate. Buncombe Democrats also selected her to replace him on the fall ballot last night.

What else significant happened this week?

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Apr
03

The Union Business

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“The union business”. Americans Against the Tea Party put a Target corporate video up online that purports to help their employees protect themselves from the wolves of main street, those nasty union business guys. In it, unions are portrayed as just another business. One that is intent on stealing your money, taking your job, and ruining your prospects for employment. In exchange for your casual signature on a perfectly innocent-looking form. The trouble is that most people already believe this crap. Read More→

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Mar
31

Go Read This

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At the risk of doing so without asking his permission first, like I would ask anybody’s permission first who wasn’t two strings and a b-cup shy of naked, I am forwarding this little nugget for you in case you missed it on the Book of Faces. LINKAGEUMONGUS.

We can discuss the implications in the comment section, if you are so inclined.

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Tuesday’s blogger conference call with Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Moral Mondays leader and North Carolina’s NAACP president, covered a lot of ground and no small amount of history. It’s purpose was to rally support for the February 8 march in Raleigh. Isaiah Poole, with Campaign for America’s Future, has this:

The organizer of a February 8 “moral march” on Raleigh, N.C. says he wants the largest mass demonstration in the South since Athe 1965ASelma to Montgomery, Ala., civil right march to be a loud rebuke against Tea-Party extremism in state legislatures around the country.

“What we hope this march will do is send a signal around the country that if these legislatures in other Southern states start this extremism, this is what they will face in their state,” said the Rev. William Barber II, the head of the North Carolina NAACP and the leader of “Moral Monday” marches against the North Carolina legislature last year.

Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) has been an annual People’s Assembly in Raleigh since 2007. Since last January when Gov. Pat McCrory and the tea-party legislature began passing a raft of radical legislation that includes the most radical voter suppression legislation in the country, this year’s HKonJ has taken on national significance. Barber says,

In order to change America, you have to change the South, and in order to change the South, you have to change state by state. What we need now is an indigenous, deeply moral, deeply constitutional, broad-based, agenda-driven, fusion-based model [for] taking on the actions of these extremist and regressive people.

Busses are planned from across North Carolina and multiple states will be represented. These links will help you learn more and register to join the march.

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Dec
26

Tim Muppet

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(Creative Commons/Wikimedia, P199)

Some years ago, Johnny Carson was interviewing a NASA astronaut on The Tonight Show. Carson asked him what he thought of the bestselling book about alien visitations to Earth written by Erich von Daniken, titled “Chariots of the Gods.”

The NASA guy paused, took a breath and said, “Whenever Dr. von Daniken looks around the world and encounters something he doesn’t understand, he sees evidence of flying saucers. And since there is a lot in this world that Dr. von Daniken doesn’t understand, he sees evidence for them everywhere.”

Carson rolled his eyes for a laugh.

People who believe in widespread voter fraud are like that too, aren’t they? From the Washington Post, a study looks at a link between claims of voter fraud and alien abduction:

One of the findings of a new working paper by John Ahlquist, Kenneth R. Mayer and Simon Jackman is that “the lower bound on the population reporting voter impersonation is nearly identical with the proportion of the population reporting abduction by extraterrestrials.” Roughly 2.5 percent of the population effectively admit to one or the other.

The researchers use a clever set of survey questions in which subjects have only to admit to how many of the actions on a given list they have engaged in, without admitting to specific actions. The difference between the control and the subject groups is that the latter lists included the addition of vote fraud. But some people report to having engaged in all actions on the lists. To check for simple carelessness in reporting, another list adds being abducted by aliens. What they find again is people admitting to committing fraud and to being abducted in similar proportion.

The implication here is that if one accepts that 2.5% is a valid lower bound for the prevalence of voter impersonation in the 2012 election then one must also accept that about 2.5% of the adult U.S. population – about 6 million people – believe that they were abducted by extra-terrestrials in the last year. If this were true then voter impersonation would be the least of our worries.

Which is why photo identity cards are insufficient for preventing voter fraud. They might stop undocumented aliens, but not space aliens. GOP governors should be insisting on DNA testing for all voters.

Just where is Hans von Spakovsky from? I mean, really?

(Cross-posted from Crooks and Liars.)

Oct
28

Wednesday Fun Time Opportunity!

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This Wednesday, Oct 30, from 4-8pm, at The French Broad Brewery The good folks of the 9th precinct invite you out to a meet and greet super happy fun time, with beer!

In addition to  an opportunity to hob your knob with  your favorite/least favorite City Council candidates, there will be raffling off a bunch of goodies (including a BBQ gift card, Brews Cruise tickets, and much much more!), polite conversation, burgers and dogs (the hot variety) will be available to satiate your appetite , and tasty tasty beer. Come meet your 9th precinct officers (That’s you Oakley). Beer, free stuff and political activism, what could go wrong? Nothing! Did I mention beer? Beer!

Proceeds from this event will go toward the establishment of 9er Notes, a local newsletter billed as an insurgency against powerlessness, and cynicism, and the infiltration of our bodily fluids.

 

More info: here

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Sep
15

Sunday Morning Music

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Big Love Festival today, Sunday, September 15th from 1pm-8pm at Roger McGuire Green and Pack Place.

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Sep
08

Collateral Spray

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Collateral Spray2

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