• Pipeline Is a Bad Idea

    Commentary from Kim Geddes, as published in ,

    Sunday, July 30, 2017 

    The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a project proposed by Duke Energy and Dominion that would bring fracked shale gas from Pennsylvania through West Virginia and Virginia and terminate in Robeson County, North Carolina.

    The pipeline would be one of the largest in the U.S., spanning 600 miles. According to information obtained from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality website (http://deq.nc.gov/), “The large-diameter pipeline would cross more than 200 miles of North Carolina’s coastal plain, fragmenting North Carolina’s forested wetlands and pristine streams, sometimes using in-stream blasting in important habitats that support many imperiled species, including birds, bats, fish, and crayfish.”

    Oil Change International has documented that pipelines leak greenhouse gases, sometimes slowly, sometimes through blowouts that harm neighbors and property.

    Compressor stations along the route also leak and — by design — constantly release gas in to the air.

    The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has calculated that over the past 20 years, pipelines have resulted in an annual average of 49 serious incidents, 18 fatalities, 73 injuries, and more than $35 million in property damage, and they adversely impact surrounding plants and wildlife.

    The project forces landowners to allow the pipeline to be buried on their property through eminent domain, restricting owners’ use of their property and lowering its value.

    The pipeline could lock North Carolinians into funding a massive fossil fuel infrastructure that could preclude investment in the renewable sector, an investment that would provide many more permanent jobs and cheaper energy sources.

    The N.C. Division of Water Resources invites the public to comment in writing on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline application.

    Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. Aug. 19, and may be mailed to 410 Permitting Branch, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1617.

    Kim Geddes, Aberdeen

    [Editor’s note: Kim is an “engineer, scientist, access and equity in education advocate, feminist, STEMinist, Christian. Not necessarily in that order.”  And also a Democrat and an activist!]

     

  • Contact Information for Moore County State and National Elected Officials

    U.S. Senator Richard Burr
    Facebook: click here
    Twitter: @SenatorBurr
    Website: click here
    Write: 217 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
    Call: DC 202-224-3154   FAX 202-228-2981
    Call: Wilmington 910-251-1058   FAX 910-251-7975
    Call: Winston Salem 336-631-5125   FAX 336-725-4493
    Call: Asheville 828-350-2437  FAX 828-350-2439
    Call: Rocky Mount 252-977-9522   FAX 252-977-7902
    ________________________________________
    U.S. Senator Thom Tillis
    Facebook: click here
    Twitter: @SenThomTillis
    Website/Email: click here
    Write:  185 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
    Call: DC 202-224-6342 FAX 202-228-2563
    Call: Charlotte 704-509-9087 FAX 704-509-9162
    Call: Raleigh 919-856-4630 FAX 919-856-4053
    ________________________________________
    U.S. Representative Richard Hudson
    Facebook: click here
    Twitter: @RichHudson
    Website/Email: click here
    Write: 429 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
    Call: DC 202-225-3715 FAX: (202) 225-4036
    Call: Concord (704) 786-1612  FAX: (704) 782-1004
    Call: Fayetteville (910) 997-2070 FAX: (910) 817-7202
    ________________________________________

    NC Senator Jerry Tillman
    Facebook: click here
    Twitter: @jerrytillman
    Website/Email: click here
    Write: N.C. Senate, 300 N Salisbury Street, Room 309, Raleigh, NC 27603
    Call: (919) 733-5870
    ________________________________________

    NC Representative Jamie Boles
    Facebook: click here
    Twitter: @RepJamieBoles
    Website/Email: click here 
    Write: N.C. House of Representatives,300 N Salisbury Street, Room 528, Raleigh, NC 27603
    Call: 919-733-5903

  • Democrats’ Core Values Keep Faith With the People

    From the Pilot’s Opinion Page, July 12, 2017

    What Our Parties Stand For, featuring opinions by Darlene Dunham, President of the Democratic Women of Moore County, and John Rowerdink, former Chair of the Moore County Republican Party

    Democrats’ Core Values Keep Faith With the People Contributed by Darlene Dunham

    The Democratic Party believes in government of the people, by the people and for the people. Everyone counts.

    To that end, we champion universal, affordable health care. We believe it is a right, not a privilege — that all Americans deserve to see a doctor, and that treating illness before it becomes a catastrophe is both humane and economically sensible.

    We believe in supporting public health and protecting our fragile environment. Democrats, like everyone else, want to drink clean water and breathe unpolluted air. The difference is that Democrats believe you have to require the “clean” and the “unpolluted.”

    While many Americans persist in believing business will always do the right thing, that an unfettered market is the solution to all ills, this is simply not the case. History is rife with examples to the contrary. Duke Energy’s recent coal ash spill, the Exxon Valdez, and Love Canal come readily to mind.

    The list goes on: pharmaceutical companies that market drugs with known, dangerous side effects, automakers that sell cars with harmful defects that are concealed from the public, banks that fleece their customers.

    How many of us have the means or opportunity to take our medication to a lab for analysis, to have a car thoroughly examined for design defects? Democrats believe the government has a role in protecting us from these egregious types of abuse.

    The Democratic Party advocates for fair elections. We believe districts must be drawn to enfranchise the largest number of people within logical boundaries, without encumbrances placed on the exercise of voting rights.

    Democrats are aware that widespread voter fraud is a fictional problem used to justify the passage of voter suppression laws, and that those currently in office, who won in illegally drawn districts, are serving illegitimately and the laws they’ve passed are fraudulent.

    Democrats believe America stays strong by remaining engaged with the rest of the world — that we will not thrive as a nation by selling our goods and products only to ourselves. Or that we can design trade agreements that benefit America but hurt other countries and not suffer any consequences. There is no room for isolationism in the modern world. We are inextricably linked to the global community, no matter how much some want to pretend otherwise.

    Democrats do not believe that the world’s dictators and thuggish rulers have suddenly become our friends. Or that they have our best interests at heart. For over a century, America’s strength has been its leadership on the world stage. Our national security depends on our continuing in that role.

    Democrats realize that if you abandon public education, you abandon the American dream. An uneducated populace will eventually breed polarization and instability. For most of our country’s recent history, public education has ensured that America has had a vibrant, stable middle class with good job prospects.

    Public education helped prevent us from becoming a nation of have-nots, where a few haves controlled everything. Two of our neighbors to the south, El Salvador and Nicaragua, offered a deterrent example of what an uneducated populace, a tiny wealthy elite and an unethical strongman could wrought.

    Lack of a basic education means people have fewer choices, and too often equates to lower wages, bleaker job prospects, and adverse health effects.

    For us to truly be a “United” States, education must be funded through the government. And it must be a dynamic process, one that not only educates all of America’s students in the basics, so that what is understood to be fact in Maine is accepted in Montana as well, but also identifies the next generation of job opportunities and helps students prepare for them.

    Other areas of public life also need government leadership and the requisite funding. Coal won’t come back, but coal miners need retraining. Manufacturing jobs are scarce, but the technology sector is booming. We need to invest in these workers and incentivize the companies that hire them. Our tax dollars can do this.

    But these taxes must be fair. Democrats believe that it is immoral to cost-shift our collective civic encumbrance to those least able to pay. It is unfair to give huge tax breaks to the wealthy, while saddling the poor and middle class with a heavier proportion of the burden.

    Democrats work to make life better for everyone. When entire groups of people are left out of our democratic process, we all suffer the consequences.

    People of color, women, LGBT, the disabled, and immigrants all bring unique life experiences and perspectives to our political discourse. We craft better policies and laws when all voices are heard.

    Among our accomplishments, Democrats led the race to the moon, gave us Medicare and Medicaid and the GI Bill. The Democratic Party’s core values, and promises delivered, have kept faith with “we, the people.”

     

    (To view this article, and Mr. Rowerdink’s opinion, click here)

  • How to Make Congress Bipartisan

    Reposted from The New York Times

    Next term the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Wisconsin’s election maps that could lead to a precedent-setting ruling against partisan gerrymandering — the problematic process whereby incumbents draw legislative boundaries to help their fellow partisans. But would politically neutral redistricting in itself yield significantly more competitive and less polarized politics? Would it ensure greater political diversity and increase the legitimacy of Congress?
  • “My whole life is about winning…” President Donald Trump

    He promised so much winning that we’d get sick of it.  The Senate Healthcare bill is another one of those many Trump “wins” that is literally making Americans sick!  Do we have a functioning state department, a treasury department, a federal trade authority, anyone who is watching the shop of state while this sick president drives the rest of the world into arrangements that sabotage our national economic and, therefore, security interests?  How long must this madness be permitted to go on?  Do we have a Congress on the job?  Or have they become so accustomed to obstructive inactivity — thanks for your leadership McConnell — that they can’t see that the toilet is flushing and America’s in a deadly spiral downwards?

    Comment from Frank Giordano, Pinehurst