I’m surprised to report that I enjoyed watching the Democratic candidates debate last night. Well I enjoyed two of them anyway. I was only able to access the video stream on CNN.com about half the time but Twitter kept me looped in without missing a moment. I collected my favorite tweets below. I was surprised […]
All of the comics in The Village Voice‘s “The 10 Most Subversive Comics at New York Comic Con” look great, but I most appreciated the shout out to John Lewis’ new book March (which I just read) as well as the Fellowship of Reconciliation‘s 1957 comic explaining nonviolent direct action. I originally discovered The Montgomery Story when I […]
A recent column by Kirk Ross in the Chapel Hill News makes very clear how increasingly relevant the N.C. General Assembly’s shenanigans are to us here at the local level. In the past, many have debated the utility of municipal and county governments weighing in with symbolic resoluitions about state and national issues. Well pardon my French, but sh*t just gotreal in Raleigh this summer.
Kirk calls on candidates to make clear what they would do to deal with many draconian budget cuts that will be painfully trickling down to us in months and years to come. This also points to why we need local officials to stand up and lead by fighting back against Art Pope, ALEC, and the other forces that want to drag down our entire state. I may be biased, but my friends the five Orange County elected officals that got arrested at Moral Monday are a great example of this. If you didn’t see it, please watch this video (embedded below) of Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton clearly explaining his constutional rights while being arested by the Capitol Police.
Izzy and me at the N.C. legislature at Moral Monday. http://flic.kr/u/e1dhiFX/aHsjFXpFcz
I don’t think I could sit through the canned B.S. that are American political debates without the deep insight and cutting snark of my friends on Twitter.
So I Storified my favorite bits: http://storify.com/rubyji/debate-fun
The Chancellor’s position has become untenable now because of athletic boosters and anti-intellectuals like Art Pope pounding the drums of “scandal.” These people are not concerned with the quality of education available to North Carolinians. Of course the Kupec/Hansbrough thing was a big mistake, but it doesn’t make Thorp unfit to do all the many things required of a good university chancellor. Let’s don’t blame Thorp for having to clean up the mess left by decades of athletic corruption and mismanagement.
A few weeks ago as many of us were patriotically wishing a happy birthday to the United States of America, a coalition of organizations including the ACLU and EFF launched a Declaration of Internet Freedom. I love how simple they kept it, while also encouraging engagement with the statement in a variety of online communities. The declaration is below, in text as well as the obligatory infographic format.
Local politics can be difficult to follow, given the minimal media coverage and (fortunate) lack of political party involvement. Friends often ask me for my advice about how to vote in sleepy local elections such as this year’s Orange County Commissioners race. I can’t in good conscience endorse any of the incumbents. The current board seems to have invented a new form of government in which the staff sets policies, and then elected officials occasionally have misinformed or irrelevant discussions about them after the manager has already implemented his decision.
I strongly endorse Mark Dorosin and Penny Rich in District 1. Both will bring good ideas and real leadership to the Board of Orange County Commissioners. In District 2, I support Renee Price who will be
a better advocate for progressive policies than the incumbent. If you live in Hillsborough or rural Orange County, you will also be selecting 3 school board members. I recommend giving a vote to Lawrence Sanders who will bring thoughtful enthusiasm to the job. And there can be no doubt that Valerie Foushee is the best choice for NC House in every way. I’m happy to say that The Independent Weekly agrees, and endorsed all of these candidates as well.
A blog post I wrote for work at http://hastac.org/blogs/ruby-sinreich/2012/01/17/stop-censorship-stop-pipasopa HASTAC is joining with others around the U.S. and globally on the Internet to protest the outrageous SOPA/PIPA bill that – yes – is still making its way through Congress right now. Major organizations such Wikipedia,Mozilla, and many others are participating in a one-day black out, while others including Google, are using their […]
I just sent the following letter to the Mayor and Town Council of Chapel Hill and cross-posted at orangepolitics.org/2011/11/guns-over-franklin
I was extremely disappointed to see the Town handle the anarchist break-in at the Yates Building so poorly after working so well with the activists at Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro for the past month. What happened last weekend played into every simplistic anarcho-fantasy about jack-booted thugs violently protecting the wealthy. That’s not the Chapel Hill we know, but there is a vocal group of residents that now may never believe otherwise.
I’m undecided about Jim Neal’s specific proposal for an independent commission to study the events of last weekend. Do we really have to empanel a committee to tell us what almost everyone knows (at least in retrospect), which is that the police action was unnecessarily forceful and overly broad? However, I very much want and need some clearer answers from the Town of Chapel Hill.
I understand that the police’s action was taken out of fear of violence, which was rationally based on the (limited) information they had at the time. But it was hardly the only tactic available to the Town. The range of options available could have included sending a plainclothes officer or civilian staffer to communicate with the group, possibly to negotiate or just to give them a deadline to leave. It’s not as if Riddle was being deprived of his non-use of the property, so there should have been time to consult the Mayor and maybe even other community leaders who would have provided valuable insight into the real risks involved (or not involved) before endangering the public by brandishing assault rifles on West Franklin Street and detaining people guilty of nothing but standing on a public sidewalk.
The people of Chapel Hill are owed an explanation and an obligation to try to avoid any further such actions. Below are my suggestions for how the Town can work to make amends and rebuild trust…