Friday News: Logical fallacies

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REPUBLICANS SAY COURT DECISION IS VICTORY FOR VOTERS (WHO ARE BEING MARGINALIZED): When it comes to drawing maps, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan said legislators are more easily held accountable than judges. “We want elected representatives who are accountable to the people making decisions on district lines, not unelected bureaucrats,” the Ohio Republican said. U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, a North Carolina Republican, suggested the gerrymandering complaint was part of disingenuous “sue till blue” strategy by Democrats. The Supreme Court ruling, which overturned a lower court’s decision, “is a rebuke of the activist judges who attempt to make laws, win elections and suppress the voices of voters from the bench.” N.C. Rep. David Lewis, a Republican from Harnett County, called the ruling “a complete vindication of our state and of the fair and open process that we ran.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232017482.html

Once again, SCOTUS rules against democracy

This ^ right here. It takes power to fix problems, power we don't have. The 2020 Legislative races just became critical, even moreso than the Presidential race.

White Supremacist propaganda is littering college campuses

Looking for new (pure) blood to fill out their ranks:

During the previous academic year, ADL found at least 292 incidents of white supremacy propaganda. Generally, white nationalists who are not connected to the university are responsible for the material.

They have been increasingly targeting colleges and universities since January 2016, and began appearing in larger numbers in the fall semester of that year, according to the ADL. More than three years later their materials -- fliers, stickers, posters -- continue to proliferate on campuses.

These groups are evolving somewhat, although that evolution isn't heading in a "better" direction, just more clandestine. Especially since the Charlottesville debacle, the general public has become more aware of the potential dangers, and less inclined to tolerate outright Nazism. So Identity Evropa has given itself a makeover:

Thursday News: Say what?

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GOP BUDGET GIVES $1.5 MILLION TO DAN FOREST TO STUDY DRONES: Half of the $1.5 million would go toward studying the potential for drones and eVTOL aircraft use in North Carolina. The lieutenant governor’s office is instructed to interview “leaders in aviation, telecommunications, education, health care, transportation, fuel technologies, emergency management, military, agriculture, planning, and venture capital to determine opportunities” for those aircraft systems. The other half of the money is to “organize and convene a summit.” But the money may be used to hire staff, consultants and vendors to conduct the study. An interim report on the study would be due to a legislative committee by next April and more complete research would be due to the eVTOL summit by October 2020. The demand to operate eVTOL vehicles in North Carolina is unclear.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231981907.html

Coal Ash Wednesday: Chatham County ash pit leaking dangerous toxins

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Charah needs to answer some questions like yesterday:

State regulators have asked the operator of a Chatham County landfill where coal ash is being stored to come up with a plan to address high levels of toxic elements found in nearby water. The Brickhaven site near Moncure is a former clay mine that the state Department of Environmental Quality approved four years ago to be used as a lined landfill for coal ash being moved from unlined pits at Duke Energy power plants.

DEQ's Division of Waste Management sent a letter to Brickhaven operator Charah Inc. on Friday, noting that levels of barium, chloride, chromium, cobalt and vanadium were found at levels higher than state standards in various groundwater monitoring wells over time. In addition, high levels of arsenic, cobalt, copper, lead and zinc were found in nearby surface water.

In theory, the clay located at this particular site should have provided a good impermeable layer to block seepage. But generally speaking, when a mine is "played out," there's not enough (of whatever it is) left over to continue operating. Whatever the case, this just drives home the message that bottom liners are the only way to ensure leachate doesn't get into the groundwater. But thanks to decades of criminal negligence by coal plant operators, only 5% of the nation's ash pits have those liners:

Wednesday News: Common sense prevails

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CONTROVERSIAL WIND ENERGY BAN REMOVED FROM LEGISLATION: A freeze on new wind turbines the Senate approved for wide swaths of the state is gone from a new proposal on regulating wind turbines. House and Senate negotiators removed the moratorium the Senate approved in Senate bill 377 and added an addition to the state permitting process by requiring the state to ask for more information from military commanders. Companies that want to erect wind turbines must already seek local, state and federal approval. The bill approved by a House committee Tuesday was described as a compromise between the House and Senate. It is a drastic change from the ban on wind turbines Sen. Harry Brown, a Jacksonville Republican, first proposed.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231930593.html

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