Monday, July 15, 2013

What do Sharia Law and Motorcycle Safety Have in Common?

Remember the Miller Analogies Test you took for grad school?  If presented with the words, "Sharia Law" and "Motorcycle Safety" what might you determine the two had in common?
That's a difficult one, so I will give you the answer.  Both of these words were "covers" for bills in the NC General Assembly to which abortion restrictions were added.
Two weeks ago the Senate passed a bill regarding Sharia Law to the effect that NC does not honor Sharia Law.  (Duh!)  Without notification to the public or interested parties, severe restrictions on the rights of women to obtain abortions were added to the Sharia bill.  The bill included such severe restrictions that it  would effectively shut down every reproductive health provider providing abortions in the entire state except for one provider in Asheville.

The governor (who ran on a platform that he would not support ANY additional restrictions on abortion) indicated that he was not pleased with the manner in which the bill was rushed through the Senate.  He called for discussion and stated that he would veto the legislation if it came across his desk as written.
So the NC House of Representatives brought forth a motorcycle safety bill last week.  Western NC Representative Joe Sam Queen was really surprised when he opened the folder regarding the motorcycle safety bill.  The bill contained seventeen (yes, 17) words on motorcycle safety!!!  The remainder of the bill was about abortion restrictions.  Again, no notice to the public.  Apparently not even any notice to the Representatives on the committee.

The House version of the bill changed very little from the Senate bill.  One change was that a physician needed only be present for the FIRST DOSE of RU-487, not the entire time.  But the restrictions on providers included in the bill would still have the effect of closing all providers except for the one in Asheville.  (NC is a very long state.  The drive from the NC coast to Asheville is more than eight hours.)  The governor, contrary to his pre-election statements, has indicated that he will sign the House version of the bill.
Protests continue every Monday in Raleigh, at the General Assembly.  Hundreds have been arrested during these peaceful and lawful demonstrations.
(The following two photographs from the Raleigh News and Observer)

She definitely looks like a criminal in need of handcuffs, doesn't she?

Many have suggested that the peaceful protesters should receive nothing more than citations, if that.  It certainly appears that the arrests are politically motivated.  But the General Assembly Police Chief denies that they are political.  He says they are "necessary to disperse the weekly crowds."
Take a close look at the following photograph of a Moral Monday arrest.  Look closely at the number of people and their composition.  How many police officers does it take to arrest a single non-violent woman trying to take a legal stand against an oppressive leadership?
Oh, she looks dangerous as well.

It's not just abortion rights and it's not just me, friends.  The Editorial Board of the New York Times recently printed an op-ed titled "The Decline of North Carolina."  (You can find the July 9 editorial here)  The piece ends with the following sad words:

"North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness.  In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build."

This is my State and I still love it and don't want to live anywhere else.  It breaks my heart to see my State take away from the poor and disadvantaged and give more to the rich pigs who bought the seats in our General Assembly.

Humorist Jim Hightower said,
"You will never clear up the water until you get the hogs out of the creek." 

I hope that if we all speak up we might be able to do just that.


The Bug said...

I'm about ready to move back there so I can help vote these guys out of office!

troutbirder said...

I read the article yesterday in The Times & was appalled but not as much as I might have been had I not read your heads up on these goings on previously in your blog. I like to think this sort of political behavior couldn't happen in Minnesota.... but then remember Michelle Bachman was from the Gopher State...:(

Rae said...

It is appalling how politicians use dirty tricks in order to sneak laws into effect. They always find ways to subvert the will of the people. It makes me angry. For a time I was active in writing to the US congress and my state politicians when they pulled stupid stunts like this. I've even written to the president, but I've since given up. It just frustrated me more when nothing changed. Our political system just gets worse.

robin andrea said...

I'm hoping that this unbelievable over-reach will motivate people to come out into the streets and take their state back from this brink of lunacy. I have to admit, I fear that things will only get worse, but we cannot give up.

Arkansas Patti said...

Surely if enough get angry the tide can be turned. Like robin said, they need to hit the streets and maybe more getting hauled off in handcuffs to draw attention to the disappearing NC.

Mary Lee said...

I love the Hightower comment, hate the sneaky
tactics the legislators are using. I am so angry that they couch their abortion and family planning restrictions in "this is what's best for you , Little Lady" language. Bull feathers.
The latest one they're shoving through about not allowing abutting property owners to file a formal protest petition on a rezoning boggles the mind. Then there is the dismantling of our education system with their cuts and crazy mandates.
These jerks were elected on a platform of creating jobs. Did they think we wouldn't notice?

Dog_geek said...

The NC GOP has turned the state of North Carolina into a parody. It makes me so sad to see what is happening in my former state. I hope that the populous wises up soon and votes these buffoons out of office at the first available opportunity.

Cheri Wildcatwoods said...

I think the ruling party in NC now should be termed the "Regressives" - turning all the laws into the out of date restrictive ones of years gone by! Two friends are participating int he Raleigh protests - certainly not a violent group!

Vicki Lane said...

Excellent post. We have to keep hammering at this so more people will awaken to what's happening to out beloved state.

kks said...

it is a very sad state of affairs....and as you know this is now the status quo for politicians...looks just like wisconsin and many other states...passing bills in the cover of darkness and disguised as something else....what has happened to democracy??

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. It is of interest that our Governor's ratings have dropped 15 points since he announced his decision to sign the abortion restrictions.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Wow. Trying to pull the wool over the sheep's eyes??

KB Bear said...

It is appalling. The photo of the one woman being arrested by about 8 officers is very telling. She looked like a very serious threat to state security! Our world is so wacky these days.

You always write such interesting posts (that have kept me coming back for 4 years!). Thanks.

Rudee said...

I am stunned. It's not much better in Michigan, but I'm truly stunned by the underhanded way in which these extreme legislators continue to try to advance their singleminded agendas.

Janet QueenofSeaford said...

Carolyn, I just shake my head every time the news comes on and NC is talked about. We in SC aren't much better, this has got to stop.