Day: November 4, 2013

Phil BergerThe over-the-top invective and mean-spirited attacks from the leader of the North Carolina’s state Senate, Sen. Phil Berger, continue to spew forth with disturbing regularity. Today, using language and uttering accusations that one would have thought unworthy of one of the state’s top elected officials, Berger described modest efforts by the North Carolina Association of Educators and other supporters of public schools to call attention to the state’s ongoing underfunding of its public schools and attacks on teachers as: “bully tactics of an organized union that puts kids’ safety at risk to gin up its membership and inflate the salaries of its executives.”

Good lord — somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!

The NCAE has, if anything, bent over backwards in recent years to try to work with GOP leaders in the General Assembly. Despite incessant, targeted attacks Read More

One of the most interesting columns over the weekend was the piece in Charlotte Observer by a doctor, who along with his wife—also a physician, took the course that is required to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Both are gun owners and recreational shooters and their take on the class is fascinating, especially the advice from the instructor on how and where to store their weapons.

Perhaps most shocking, though, was the advice we received from a practicing law enforcement officer regarding the storage of firearms: under the bed, preferably loaded. I’m not kidding. Fifty or so families, many of whom we must presume have children in the home, walked out of that classroom with the understanding that the proper way to store your guns was in a location that is within reach of a child, and loaded. No gun safe. No trigger lock. Across the United States in 2008-09, according to the FBI, we lost more preschoolers to guns (173) than officers in the line of duty (89).

Yikes.

The U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed the case concerning Oklahoma’s restrictions on the use of the abortion drug RU-486, Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, as improvidently granted. That means the court won’t entertain Oklahoma’s plea to reinstate a law restricting doctors’ use of drugs rather than surgery to end pregnancies.

Cline arose out of an Oklahoma law that required doctors to follow Food and Drug Administration dosage and other requirements for the medical abortion pill. The FDA adopted those requirements in 2000. But the medical profession had since refined the procedure and actually lowered the dosage and allowed women in some instances to complete the pill regimen at home.  In effect, then, the Oklahoma law was forcing  doctors to take steps they now deem unnecessary and in some cases dangerous, with the result that far fewer doctors would prescribe the drug.

An Oklahoma trial court judge threw out the law, finding it “so completely at odds with the standard that governs the practice of medicine that it can serve no purpose other than to prevent women from obtaining abortions and to punish and discriminate against those women who do.” The state Supreme Court upheld that decision without analysis, saying in just three short paragraphs that “this matter is controlled by the United States Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey . . . [a decision that] remains binding on this court until and unless the United States Supreme Court holds to the contrary.”

There are a lot of reasons that supporters of public education in North Carolina are speaking up and showing their support today by “walking in” to public schools. Today’s “Monday Numbers” edition of the Fitzsimon File spells several of them out with disturbing clarity. 

Yesterday’s editoral in the Charlotte Observer also hit the nail on the head when it explained:

“Supporters of teachers and public schools are encouraged to visit schools, wear red to symbolize support for education, thank teachers in person or leave messages of thanks. Teachers at some schools plan to urge supporters to join school parent groups or volunteer or support schools in other ways. At some schools, there are plans for discussions before and after classes about what teachers are facing each day….

This sounds like a good approach.

GOP Senate leader Phil Berger last week lambasted the ‘walk in’ as a ‘political protest orchestrated by unions” and reminded the teachers that “schools have a duty to educate and protect our children.’ But it is Read More