North Carolina paysone individual $333,938 a year to coach college basketball.
North Carolina may pay individuals who were forcibly sterilized against their will a one-time payment of $50,000.
Who said there were more important things in life than Carolina basketball?
N.C. panel: Pay eugenics victims $50,000 - A governor’s task force voted Tuesday to recommend paying $50,000 each to survivors who were sterilized under North Carolina’s eugenics program. The legislature will have to approve any payments.
In the past 24 hours I have visited four medical practitioners: 1. an optometrist, 2. an optician, 3. a hygienist, and 4. a dentist.
As required by the new health care “reform” legislation, signed into law by President Obama, I have purchased mandatory health insurance. The insurance is provided by Aetna (77th on the Fortune 500 with over $34 billion in revenue in 2010) through the Columbia University Health Plan.
As a part of their “We want you to know” campaign, Aetna asked me to inform you that “the joke is on us – the American people.”
Although we spend more resources on health care than any other country in the world – the money doesn’t actually go towards rendered medical services. Instead, health insurance company executives use the dirty money to market consumers a bill of damaged goods. It is the classic bait-and-switch sales tactic.
With a health insurance plan that “covers” vision and dental – my out of pocket expenses were over $1500 for the four visits. Aetna just wants you to know – they covered $0.
But that’s not all… Commissioners get an assistant, health care, state pension, and junkets paid for by fees collected from the regulated utilities. By the way those fees are passed directly to the consumer.
The Commission is where old political stooges go to rot. Take for example former State Senator Howard Lee of Orange County.
Lee lost re-election, then was miraculously and subsequently appointed to the Utilities Commission and as the chair of the State Board of Education.
Lee was a member of the elite political ruiling class. Their days in this State are numbered.
His family owns and operates Variety Wholesalers Inc., a company incorporated in North Carolina. That company might not sound too familiar, but I’m sure you’ve seen “Roses,” “MaxWay” and “Super Dollar” around NC (and throughout the Southeast). These retail locations offer incredibly cheap household goods (i.e. MADE IN CHINA, MADE IN TAIWAN, et cetera), and are usually located in lower-income areas within second or third generation shopping centers. That’s not a coincidence actually, the “Real Estate” section of their website has these requirements:
We look primarily for locations in second and third generation shopping centers. In addition, we will consider free-standing sites, and store front locations in large urban cities. Site criteria include:Grocery anchored shopping center preferred.
Minimum population of 2,500 within 1 mile of the site.
Minimum 25% African-American population within 5 miles.
Median household income of $40,000 or less.
It’s safe to conclude that there are only a limited number of locations in the Southeast that have the sort of low-income population density that a VWI retailer requires. An inevitable outcome is that the only way to build more stores is to increase the areas that fit this criteria.
One sure-fire way to swell the ranks of the financially malnourished is to have a hand in the direction of public policy. To achieve that these days, that hand had better be woven from cold hard cash. Mr. Pope contributes millions per year to the John Locke Foundation, the John William Pope Civitas Institute and Civitas Action (more on these in the future), all of which are Raleigh-based right-wing organizations. He is also a major contributor to and Director of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch Brothers group that achieved a bit of fame this year by funding the anti-union activities in Wisconsin. They are also known for floating around the country in a hot air (get it?) balloon, holding events to combat global warming “alarmism.”
I’ll stop here, because this is obviously becoming an Art Pope smear article. You can find them all over the place. Personally, I think he deserves it; but I don’t actually know the guy. It could be that his lifelong dream is to provide low-cost goods for the fiscally downtrodden. Hell, there are a bunch of families out there who rely on the prices at Roses to feed and clothe their children. Just keep an eye on him, OK? Politicians and ambitious businessmen stereotypically desire an increase in their power base. Art Pope’s power base is comprised of the low-income families across our fair state.
I feel some trepidation posting this video for two reasons. First, you’re required to watch a 30 second commercial (usually). Second, it links to a segment of the Rachel Maddow Show.
Obviously, Ms. Maddow has a left-leaning bias. While that bias is largely my own, we at HonestNC do not want to become a sounding board for propaganda, no matter the side. That said, Rachel logically breaks down a plot recently published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in the first half of this video, and then does the same to a chart created by Ezra Klein (Washington Post). The data goes a long way towards explaining the basis for the Occupy Wall St. movement. No matter your views on the validity of the cause for which people are camping on streets nation-wide, these numbers are real and non-partisan. This trend represents a fundamental problem with America today.
Take a look if you have 5 minutes (+ 30 seconds) to spare. If you choose to watch the entire segment, the last half does get a little Democrats v Republicans. Take it as you will.
MotherJones.com maintains an updated, interactive map of all the Occupy movements across the world. Take a peek at NC. Your eyes do not deceive you; those dots represent lots of people in nine different cities across the State standing in solidarity with Occupy Wall St. in Manhattan. To wit, it’s Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Wilmington, Greenville (!), Winston Salem, Greensboro, Asheville and Charlotte. The one in the Queen City is quite apropos given Bank of America’s recent shenanigans.
But what is this whole Occupy thing about? Glen Greenwald recently published a pretty little article that neatly crystallizes the underlying motivation of the movement. I’ll list a few salient points:
Money is blatantly in control of politics. The wealth of the 1% was not gained through innovation and production, as in Ayn Rand’s oft-cited dogma, but by using existing wealth to hijack public policy. It’s not that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer; the rich are getting a lot richer while everybody else is getting poorer. America’s production increased by 20% in the 2000s, yet none of that increase is visible at all in the wages of the lower-to-middle class. In what rational reality is a corporation, with all of its implicit resources, allowed to speak with the same voice as a person?
That Reagan-era mantra of trickle-down economics, “a rising tide lifts all ships,” sounds nice, but it assumes that everybody can afford to buy a boat.