Thom Tillis. Whoops.

Anonymous promised to release a list of KKK members on November 5th, which helped legitimize the Nov. 2nd release that included my own NC Senator, Thom Tillis. The real Anonymous was quick to non-ANON their association with the other group. If the first rule of Anon-club is not identifying yourself how can Anon really know for sure they aren’t associated with non-Anon? Deep thoughts.

This “alleged” information infected news and social media like electronic measles at Disneyland. I shared it, abandoning my overarching distrust of everything and everyone. You see, reading that Tillis was a member of a racist organization supported what I believe to be true about his character.

“Alleged and claimed, because no one is delivering the proof. But you know what? Even if it’s not true, I can’t think of a better person to have to deal with dealing with it.” 

Yeah, that was my comment on the Indyweek article I shared, even once it became obvious that the leaked information lacked a thing called validity. As an aside, is anyone else concerned with how easily public opinion can form based on what someone finds in your internet trash? I’ve spent the last several months researching a novel. Taken out of context my internet history reads like a textbook example of a watch-list, which doesn’t make my real life activity something that is watch-worthy.

Right before bed last night, I read the article Scott Huler wrote for Slate about the dangers of rumor. In fact, I was the person he quoted as saying, “I’m just stooping to their level” –hell yeah, it’s Six Degrees of being published on Slate.

Last night, I acknowledged the truth in what he said, then admitted to still not feeling ashamed for sharing misinformation, ultimately deciding to accept the whole thing as a tidy example of my own hypocritical (human) behavior.

This morning I decided that accepting it as excusable hypocrisy just wasn’t acceptable. Some of my favorite internet debates involve the times when I can point out the fallacies we all use to certify people with authority. Neither Jenny McCarthy, nor Bill Nye have the required bona fides to make a determination about GMO crop safety, which has in no way prevented either of them from talking about what they think.

How many progressive foreheads banged against desks during the coverage of the faked Planned Parenthood videos?  Can I truly work it out in my own mind that my falling for the Tillis/KKK lie is somehow different than those that fell for the PP lie?

I could. I really want to. But I won’t.

Instead, I’m going to do something much harder:

Senator Tillis, I’m sorry for saying you were in the KKK. I still don’t like you, but that was an unfair accusation and I was wrong. 



Eater of Crow


Active School Shooter Safety

Sometimes we can summarize the logic of a nation with a publicly shared picture on Facebook. An active school shooter safety plan that includes desk barricades and tennis balls? What could go wrong?

A rage-style 2 pane comic showing people seeking answers after another mass shooting on a school.

Will Oregon’s shooting accomplish what Sandy Hook did not? Doubtful.

I’d like to say that I leave my elementary-aged kids at their school, and never once consider that they might be shot and killed by an armed gunman. But I live in America, so I can’t say that. However, thanks to Mr. Compton’s timely advice on active school shooter safety after the events in Oregon–I know what to do.

Instead of worrying myself over gun permits, legal loopholes, a failing public and mental health system, I will shift my focus to a different kind of training. Starting tomorrow, I’ll instruct my (6- and 8-year-old) children that if an active school shooter shows up in their classroom, they should pummel him with balls. I’m gonna teach them to WIN instead of huddling in FEAR OF THEIR LIVES. This is the most obvious solution. I’m sad I didn’t think of it myself.

Sarcastic response to using desk barricades and tennis balls as an Active School Shooter Safety Plan.

Balls vs. Bullet. Be a WINNER!

Shark Attacks vs. Concealed Carry Guns

According to local news, there is a spree of shark attacks along the coast of North Carolina. A spree, y’all.

We hear this every year– every summer at least. The 2 shark attacks on Oak Island (our NC beach of choice) that happened about an hour apart– yeah, that was freaky. But the rest of it, IMO, is click bait.

As a person terrified of roaches, while mercilessly hunting black widows, I understand how irrational fears happen to otherwise rational people. I’m not pleased about the shark attacks. Watching my kids cavort in the surf is the closest I ever get to being a helicopter parent.

It was reading this quote on a “news” story: “They were boogie boarding all week and we had no idea that something so big and so deadly would be swimming right around us” that broke the final straw.

Y’all, it’s an ocean, full of the sea life. In addition to sharks there are stingrays, jelly fish, and, one year, large hunks of jaggedly broken wood from a damaged pier. Or drowning, and rip tides. Oh look, Hawai`i provides a very useful shark safety guide.

Between 11 million concealed gun carrying US citizens and a hungry shark? I think my kids and I are safer at the beach. Just saying.

Photo of a shark with concealed carry handgun holster.

Photo of a shark with concealed carry handgun holster.



Easy Racism Test

Dylann Roof walked into a church in Charleston shooting to kill. Nine people are dead because they were black, and he’s a racist.

Some of the comments, opinions, and idiocy I’ve read since: white guy walks into a church, says he hates black people, kills black people, but this is yet another attack on Christianity? I mean, really.

Or, he’s mentally ill.

Which is interesting because you almost never read about the underlying mental illness of the Sept. 11th terrorists. Or the Boston Marathon Bombing, or the– you get what I’m saying here?

Maybe you can argue that the murders of Travyon Martin, Michael Brown, John Crawford and Tamir Rice weren’t rooted in racism. I’d counter-argue, and at least once the open carry advocates agreed, that racism and the resulting fear of a black man with a gun caused their deaths. When black men–and children– are killed for having fake guns, but the white guys hang out in Target armed for war?


Roof? He’s a racist. He’s a terrorist. He’s a racist terrorist that got a gun and deliberately murdered innocent people in order to start a race war. Then, before the first funeral could happen, South Carolina started a war of moral outrage, not over the 9 people killed in a church, but over the attack on the still-flying Confederate flag.


I find myself shocked all over again by the people that still don’t understand why a missing orange sticker on a toy gun does not excuse Tamir Rice’s murder; why stolen cigars does not excuse Michael Brown’s murder; why a toy BB gun in a store in an open carry state does not excuse John Crawford’s murder, why a hoodie and a pack of skittles does not excuse Travyon Martin’s murder. The same people keep defaulting to mental illness as the motivating problem for these mass, spree shootings. It certainly can’t be that ALL THE DAMN GUNS in America that could be partially to blame. Oh, no– not the guns.

I’ve tried to explain white privilege, and I’ve tried to explain how citizens in a city might be provoked to riot after a senseless murder.

Some folks just aren’t getting it. Maybe a picture?

Collage of white mass shooters called mentally ill, but unarmed black victims are called thugs. That's Racism.




Manufacture NC’s Dream: Gambling on Poverty and Education

The big stories in North Carolina over the past few years have been heavy on attracting jobs, poverty, and education. Public education funding, common core repealing, teacher pay raises, medicaid, unemployment benefits, corporate tax cuts, and fracking. Sensationalized headlines–“Gambling with Teacher Pay” and reports of teachers leaving the state link on the homepages of most local news organizations. Even while understanding the need to cut spending in a strained economy, many still struggle to understand why the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) chose specifically to devalue public education. Why they would chose an income tax cut that then creates a dependency on funds for public education on powerball ticket sales? They are trying to manufacture NC’s dream by gambling on poverty on education. While ignoring how teacher’s–and quality public education– break the cycle of poverty.

Or maybe that IS the goal: keep the poor uneducated now, protect the availability of your low-cost workforce later.

 The North Carolina Education Lottery 

In 2013, the North Carolina Education Lottery (NCEL) spent $354,000 on advertising. They also added new games, brand-specific instant win tickets, and second-chance drawings for losing scratch-off tickets.

It worked; the sales for the NCEL in 2013 were up 5.4 percent from 2012, a total of $1.6 billion. After paying for lottery winner payments, advertising/marketing, and other expenses, $478 million remained.

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