I have previously likened our leaders to the pigs who took over the farm, declaring that while all are equal, some are more equal than others. This is particularly true in my beloved North Carolina.
It started with denouncing scientific evidence that the ocean levels were rising. In statements supporting the ignoring of this evidence, one of our legislators commented that "it would be bad for business on the coast." I'm sorry to say that this continued turning away from facts continues.
Among other proposals, the North Carolina General Assembly is recommending that we teach the Bible in public schools. Not any other religious dogma, only the Holy Bible. (And I'll bet it has to be the King James Version.) That we teach high school students that abortion causes pre-term labor in subsequent pregnancies, or contributes to breast cancer. (There are no scientific data to suggest that this is true.)
While I am usually mildly surprised (yet outraged) at the proposals I still can be fooled. On April 1, (yes, April Fool's Day), our assembly proposed that the State of North Carolina can in fact, establish an official religion. The logic is that only the Federal Government is restricted from establishing a religion, and any authority not mandated by the U.S. Constitution must be given to the states. Thus, while the United States cannot establish a religion, states are free to do so. Of note is that no official religion for NC has yet been established.
North Carolina is known as "The Tarheel State," and "The Old North State."
If you are not familiar with any of these people, consider yourself lucky
Here in NC we seem to have trouble identifying the problems facing our citizens. So we establish solutions to problems that are non-existent. For example: our assembly has proposed a bill prohibiting any county or municipality from limiting the size of sugary drinks! Excuse me, but North Carolina is home to Pepsi. There is not a town in the state that would dare limit access to sugary drinks. In fact, in the mornings you are as likely to see as many drivers getting their caffeine from soda than from coffee.
Another non-existent problem is that of voter fraud. One proposed solution is to require voter ID. Not a problem, you say? Everyone should have a photo ID? If you believe that obtaining such an ID is easy, let me take you on some home care visits to the poor and disabled. Then let's try to arrange transportation for them. Oh, and let's wait in line with them. By the way: who is going to absorb the cost? In millions of dollars?
Apparently our assembly considers that college students are among the fraudulent voters. So the proposed solution to this is to rule that college students can vote only in their "permanent" residence districts. And if they should try to establish the college as a residence, the proposal would penalize their parents by disallowing their ability to list them as dependent for state income tax purposes. Surely we don't want the better educated citizens to have an easier time voting, now would we?
To further address the non-existent voter fraud, the assembly would limit early voting. Sure, early voting allows more citizens to vote, but it can also help perpetuate the non-existent voter fraud, wouldn't it?
The direct effect of these new voter regulations would be to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters in North Carolina. The gerrymandered redistricting following the 2010 census has already created some very strange voting districts. One district line cuts right through the middle of a college campus. There were recounts and lawsuits because some students voted at the campus address where they get mail even though they lived in a dorm in the other district across the campus.
As for undocumented immigrants, we surely cannot let them attend our state-supported colleges and universities can we? Even if they pay out-of-state tuition. A new proposal would prevent those immigrants from attending our colleges regardless of how much they might contribute to society.
Our General Assembly isn't going to ignore the problem of divorce. In NC the law requires a one-year waiting period after the filing date to obtain a divorce. A new proposal would require a two-year wait and REQUIRED COUNSELING! No mention of who pays for the counseling. No exemption for spouses in abusive relationships. Just suck it up for another year, honey.
I won't even touch on the abortion issue or gay marriage. Suffice it to say our assembly is trying to prohibit both.
A proposed "nipple bill" would not only make it illegal for women to expose their nipples in public, it would make it a FELONY to do so. (Exceptions are made for discreet nursing mothers.) There does not appear to be an age included so at what age will it apply?
Another pending bill requires drug testing before an applicant can receive public assistance. Again, no mention of who bears the cost for the testing.
We have more than 50 bills pending, few of them to protect the rights and promote the common good of the people. It is disgraceful that in this great time of need, our "leaders" are so focused on eliminating rights and disenfranchising our citizens.
A little phrase keeps running through my mind. It comes from a poem I learned as a child.
"Oh, Lord help us and save us" said Mrs. O'Davis.
I apologize for my ranting and raving. I'm sorry if I have offended any readers. But this is my blog and I can say whatever I feel. I promise to return to puppies, flowers, and birds in subsequent posting. But I had to get this off my chest.