Rataplan, the fact that "jihadists" is on your list of people to worry about when sliding into the booth at Applebee's isn't a very convincing argument for rationality.
And Wayne, I agree that some folks who have been victims of crime or are victims of stalking are justified in their desire to protect themselves. Which is one (big) reason why doing away with sheriff's permitting is irresponsible. They know what's going on in their counties, and they know who has restraining orders and domestic violence tendencies. But gun rights proponents would do away with all of that if given half a chance.
But that's common sense, and it has trouble surviving in an area where people (like a few commenters here) believe the biggest threat to them is their own government. The voice of reason is shouted down.
Wayne, a person who feels they can't go out in public without strapping on a firearm is, by their very nature, irrational. They may not be dangerously irrational, but there is something going on there that the vast majority of the public doesn't share.
Something to consider: there's a certain element of fear on both sides of this issue. CCW holders would not be carrying if they didn't think there was a possibility, however remote, that they would be put in a situation where their weapon would save their lives as well as the lives of others. At its core, that belief is based in fear. Fear of vulnerability, not being prepared, whatever. It's fear. Just like the fear that others feel about going into public places with an unknown quantity of armed individuals gathered around them.
To posit that one fear is justified while the other isn't is one of the main disconnects with the gun rights crowd. And it is also irrational.
Michael, if James really didn't care about our state and the average people who inhabit it, which seems to be the prevalent opinion amongst the vast majority of candidates/elected officials, he would not get as angry about some of the things that have happened.
We need somebody with a little emotion, who can feel a sense of outrage when it should be felt. But behind that emotion is one of the smartest people I have ever met, who also happens to be one of the most objective, as well. He isn't above reevaluating his beliefs, to see if he's missed something along the way. He's hungry for new information, as opposed to running away from inconvenient truths, and that is the only way to continually make progress.
Is he a rock star? No. Have we had enough rock star politicians already? Oh, hell yes.
Great list, Lisa. Everybody should do this.
Just a note: As to the disposal of CFLs, I read somewhere that Home Depot had a (free) recycling program through all their stores, so I just called my local store to verify, and it's true. As long as the bulb is not broken, you can drop them off there and they collect them and ship them to be recharged (or whatever).
Banning wind farms in the mountains while allowing Duke Energy to construct new coal-burning behemoths like Cliffside and paving the way for offshore drilling platforms are prime examples of how North Carolina became one of the "brown" states.
Our General Assembly has a responsibility to safeguard our environment, and they are failing miserably. Our air quality is terrible, our creeks, rivers and lakes are steadily flooded with stormwater runoff pollutants while out-of-control developers who contributed to that get tax breaks for the ghost towns they've built, the number and variety of fish that are no longer safe to eat due to Mercury contamination keeps rising, and the list goes on and on.
Here's a couple of blogs I wrote on offshore drilling over the last couple of years:
Great article, Dan. I think it's important for students, especially those in SDS, to understand that a message doesn't have to be screamed to be transmitted, and that doing so can actually detract from said message.
That being said, I'd like to highlight what I think is a misconception about this specific controversy. When you and others set the stage with comments like, "Former Congressman Tancredo was invited because of his well-known nativist views against immigration" and "Students invite whomever they choose to hear", it gives the impression that the initial interest in the subject was generated by the students, and they "found" a like-minded expert in the body of Tancredo, and decided to invite him to speak with the goal of broadening their knowledge on the subject. A "bottom-up" outreach, so to speak.
It is my opinion that the various YWC chapters that have recently been formed on college campuses sprang from the mind of Tancredo himself and/or his Team America organization. Which is not to say these groups should be disbanned because they didn't form in a vacuum, but I think it's important to recognize the genesis of these groups for what it is: a political construct designed to generate controversy.
Initially I believed the violent imagery YWC chose for their blog, "The Hammer" was a reflection of the possibly dangerous core beliefs of the group. But now I'm beginning to think that was also a construct, designed to elicit a specific reaction. And it worked. If the students had behaved like many of us believe they should have, or if this event had merely been attended by a few dozen anti-immigration folks and no protesters, I believe Tancredo and Matheson would have viewed the event as a failure.
For any students reading this, please understand: regardless of your chosen field of study and career aspirations, one of the hardest things to learn is how to not allow yourself to be manipulated. But it is a critical skill if you want to succeed in life. Ignorance, fear, distrust and anger are the bread and butter of the manipulator, and he will starve if you deny him that staple.
The best way to solve issues like this is through education. When people are presented with the choice between sacrificing something (asceticism, property values) to achieve something else (environmental stewardship), they need to understand the value of such.
Running the clothes dryer adds just under 1,500 pounds of carbon emissions to your (personal) carbon footprint each year. And using warm water (as opposed to cold) in the washer adds almost three times that much to your footprint, as well.
And for those who believe the jury is still out re man-made Global Warming/Climate Change from Co2 emissions, taking these (and other) efficiency steps can save hundreds of dollars per year out of your shrinking budget. You don't have to be a tree-hugger to benefit from sustainable behavior.
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