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Under laws established by precedent, we accept limits on our constitutional right to free speech. I am not allowed to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater because of the very real possibility that someone would be injured in the ensuing melee. Safety is a value that competes with the right to speak freely, and, in that classic example, safety wins. Why cannot safety win when it goes up against the murkier Second Amendment? I have had enough. We are less secure, and thus less free, because of the vast number of guns in this country. There are other factors, particularly poor mental health care, that contribute to the mass shootings we suffer regularly, but it is time to stop pretending that more guns will solve this problem. Should Kindergartners arm themselves for a day at school? Read More

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Cousin Phil gone done it. He’s made me mad. Before he can object to Christmas, which, like a big ole park, seems unobjectionable, I need to point out one more way that his Dix reaction is wrong. By setting Raleigh against the rest of the state, he’s saying the capital city doesn’t belong to citizens of North Carolina. He’s telling them that the beauty of the Capitol, the beauty of the NC Museum of Art, the wonders of the Museum of Natural Sciences, the treasures of the Museum of History, all of those are not theirs. Berger’s telling the people of the state that they don’t have any part of the glorious metropolis of Raleigh or any of its glittering accoutrements. Perhaps that’s a little strong, but you get my drift. Read More

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Renee Ellmers is getting busy in Congress, but don’t worry, she’s not actually suggesting solutions to any of our many problems. Grateful as I am for that, truly, I don’t feel this proposal is worthwhile. Naming the old post office on Fayetteville Street after Jesse Helms is an insult to fine architecture. Read More

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Y’all! There’s so much to talk about, we haven’t caught up for some little while. I’m going to hit some highlights from around the web so that we can all be up-to-date. It’s not Coffee Tawk, but it’s the new Pulse equivalent.

First, Women’s eNews had an interesting piece on choosing a doctor. Do you go to the OB/GYN for primary care? Do you go to a primary care doctor for your annual pap smear? We all know how important it is to have regular checkups, I’m especially sensitive to this since my mother died of ovarian cancer. It doesn’t matter if all there is to see is a chipped tooth and bloody eyeball, someone’s got to look up your business every year. We live in a state where there are probably many women who only have access to one kind of doctor, if that, and still plenty who can’t go at all. But we’re lucky enough to live in an area where we might be able to influence this part of the problem: “While the Affordable Care Act provides some incentives for medical students to go into primary care and some incentives to incorporate mid-level providers, the current medical education system is still ‘incentivized to produce more specialists.'” Read More

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What a night! As glad as I am that the campaigning is over – for now. For what, a couple months maybe? – I’m sorry that North Carolina has handed state government over to people who would like to take us backward environmentally, socially, and educationally. All we can do now is hope for the best. This is not heartening:

McCrory also plans to ‘pick the brains’ of other Republican governors, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley”

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