First they came

First they came for the Anarchists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not an anarchist.

Then they came for Muslims, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not muslim.

Then they came for Black Lives Matter, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not black.

Then they came for the journalists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a journalist.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Nonviolence is still a radical notion

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 […]

Local officials need to respond to state politics

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.

An open letter to the UNC community

univ_day_10_171The 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.

I stand for a free and open Internet.

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.

My 2012 primary endorsements for Orange County, NC

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.

Stop censorship. Stop PIPA/SOPA.

A blog post I wrote for work at  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 […]