We'll begin with this little gem from commenter David Parham about our HB 2 coverage: "Your overflowing disdain of things you either do not really understand, do not respect, or both comes across so loudly and one-sided that we readers have little choice but to take your views with a grain of salt, if not dismiss them altogether. Governor McCrory stands behind some genuine concerns of many reasonable, temperate, and loving people whose values are grounded in common sense and respect. I'd say that to an unfamiliar reader, and especially to one well-informed on the HB 2 issue, your overkill slant against those who are not brainwashed by militant views of the LGBT community comes across as a bit juvenile. I long for reason, hard to find these days in journalism. Would you agree?"
Not especially, no.
Moving on to last week's Soapboxer, which focused on new data about ever-rising income inequality. Cityfox writes: "I get why the greedy Art Pope types want the largest pieces of the economic pie. What I don't get are the poor and middle-class folks who vote Republican. Do they think Pat McCrory and his cabal give a fig about them? Their taxes are on the rise. The GOP has cut safety-net programs for all North Carolinians, including current and retired veterans. The NCGOP talks jobs and then blocks raises to minimum salaries. Is it the kabuki dance of social issues?"
Lynn Hayes adds, "I'm all for raising the minimum wage, but even $15 an hour will not bring back a strong middle class. The problem is the loss of quality jobs—factory jobs that paid well and provided good benefits. Somehow these must be replaced by other quality jobs that provide more opportunity and incentives for people to build careers and prosperity. There must be incentives for companies to keep factories and other businesses in the U.S., and this must be the priority. Focusing on minimum wage, I believe, obscures the bigger issue."
Referring to our story on the all-important-but-little-discussed N.C. Supreme Court election, commenter raleighispcool makes an important point about how change really happens: "Here's to hoping these young, motivated, 'high-information' Berners continue their political revolution by actually voting in these less-glamorous elections."
Finally, a correction: in last week's story "Out of Site," about the debate over where to locate homeless services in Carrboro, we reported that All Day Records co-owner Charlie Hearon received a flyer about moving the IFC's soup kitchen out of downtown. He did not receive the flyer but was only made aware of its existence, he says. The woman who was circulating the flyers did not tell him that IFC director Michael Reinke was involved in the effort.