Join 3,520 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


No Lawful Status
February 22, 2013 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Coming this summer: North Carolina [will be] the only state that will clearly mark all people who are not U.S. citizens – everyone from business executives with “green cards” to students on visas – with a newly designed driver’s license. However, Republicans are trying to block the issuing of driver's licenses to immigrants who have qualified for a two-year reprieve from deportation. Those immigrants have been deemed by the federal government and the state attorney general’s office as being lawfully present in the U.S.

Why is this happening now?

For the first time in more than a century, North Carolina has a Republican governor, a conservative majority on the state Supreme Court and Republicans controlling both legislative chambers.


Other recent proposed or passed legislation of interest:

The harshest cuts in unemployment benefits in the country.

Making female nipple exposure a felony punishable by imprisonment.


Firing all the members of the states' regulatory bodies, including all the members of the Utilities Commission, the Coastal Resources Commission, the Environmental Management Commission, and the Wildlife Resources Commission.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy (135 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
You forgot this one: Legislation would repeal N.C. tax credit for low- and moderate-income taxpayers.
posted by marxchivist at 1:27 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not too dissimilar as to what Florida wants to do. (pdf at that link)
posted by Kitteh at 1:28 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Making female nipple exposure a felony punishable by imprisonment.

An excellent use of resources. Way to go, legislators. You assholes.
posted by rtha at 1:29 PM on February 22, 2013 [28 favorites]


We've invaded other countries on less pretext. #freeNC
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:30 PM on February 22, 2013 [20 favorites]


You assholes.

That'd be death by hanging, I'm guessing.
posted by jquinby at 1:32 PM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Co-sponsor Rep. Rayne Brown, R-Davidson, told members of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that her bill was triggered by topless rallies promoting women's equity that were held during the last two years in Asheville.

Because the only thing worse than women's breasts is women's "equity".
posted by Slothrup at 1:35 PM on February 22, 2013 [14 favorites]


Making female nipple exposure a felony punishable by imprisonment.

And still, still, people will not believe just how much Republicans hate women.
posted by xedrik at 1:36 PM on February 22, 2013 [78 favorites]


The nipplebill is even better when you consider the motivation:

Co-sponsor Rep. Rayne Brown, R-Davidson, told members of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that her bill was triggered by topless rallies promoting women's equity that were held during the last two years in Asheville.

Now, had it been a Nipples for Jesus rally...
posted by Behemoth at 1:37 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Republicans: assholes, or greatest assholes ever?

But, then, people get what they voted for, assuming the votes weren't gamed.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:38 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes please, Celsius 1414!

What's worse, rtha, is this is knee jerk legislation proposed by a female legislator in response to topless demonstrators in Asheville at a woman's rally. Basically the bill boils down to: Breasts out to feed baby, OK. Breasts out to protest, go to jail.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:38 PM on February 22, 2013


Secret Life of Gravy: "
Making female nipple exposure a felony punishable by imprisonment.
"

Jesus, women in Canada are free to expose their nipples anywhere men can; this is so far out there I'm flabbergasted.
posted by Mitheral at 1:39 PM on February 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


This is the governor who distinguished himself by attacking the state university system, targeting the Gender Studies program in particular, and suggesting that campuses be funded on the basis of how many of their students get jobs. Some of his remarks suggested that he thinks the entire enterprise of public education is an illegitimate curtailment of people's opportunity to run for-profit schools.

The NC State Constitution actually mandates that our public post-secondary eduction system should be free, in so far as that is possible.
posted by thelonius at 1:41 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fucking christ. As someone who has family involved in local level NC government .... fucking christ. There's just not excuse for this sort of barbarism. Asheville used to be such an awesome place to live, too.
posted by strixus at 1:41 PM on February 22, 2013


But wait...there's more!

The House Rules Committee has killed a bill that would have legalized medical marijuana, an effort by House leaders to stem a tide of phone calls and emails on the topic.
"We did it to be done with it, so people could move on for the session," said Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake. He said lawmakers we're being "harassed" with phone calls and emails about medical marijuana.
"Harassed." The public has spoken and the legislators have said "Shut up." Your representational government at work.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:42 PM on February 22, 2013 [62 favorites]


I'd rather see Republican ideology crash and burn at a state level than at the national level. Want to use your red state a petri dish for bad policy? Go for it. But don't you dare blame everyone else when your economy collapses, or when you finally have to compromise your Tea Party ideals once people start to see the consequences, or when you realize too late that the people you're trying so hard to deport are a critical part of your workforce.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:44 PM on February 22, 2013 [18 favorites]


Also Tim Moffitt is trying to steal Asheville's water supply to give to a private company for his buddies in ALEC.

North Carolinians really need to get involved in local politics and stop these fucking asshats.
posted by crayz at 1:50 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


But, then, people get what they voted for, assuming the votes weren't gamed.

Don't worry. They were. But I think once people realize what this kind of governance actually looks like it will flip NC from red to blue for a long time. The big cities, especially the college-heavy Triangle are becoming more and more liberal by the day, and it's starting to spread to the suburbs as well. Despite this desperate grasp for power by the Republicans, NC is actually moving in the right direction.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:50 PM on February 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Well speaking as someone who lives in a Blue county (Wake county) I'd prefer it if the Republican ideology was confined to the rural areas that vote the Republican ticket, but thanks to gerrymandering, Raleigh, Asheville, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, and Durham have to suffer through this madness because the urban vote doesn't count as much.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:53 PM on February 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


This is what happens when you place ideology over the nuts and bolts of actual governance.

This is what happens when you vote out of spite or ignorance, take your pick. The nipple ban may provoke a laugh but gutting the regulatory bodies to put in more ideologically like minded people will have far longer consequences.

Some people will get rich off of this and, no matter how wacked out things get, will be convinced they did the right thing.

I feel no pity for NC; they are getting what they voted for, for those who don't like it I would suggest you find a more palatable state. Let them wallow in their own mire.
posted by Max Power at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Republicans go on day after day, year after year, about how they're the party of fiscal responsibility. Yet everytime they grab enough power, they immediately pass shit like this! It's infuriating. If you want to talk about fiscal responsibility, why don't you actually govern with the intent of balancing the budgets instead of governing to imprison people, alienate specific populations, and privatize everything for their own financial gain?
posted by Arbac at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


They hate us for our freedom.
posted by mhoye at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2013 [25 favorites]


Yeah, the law that stops the state from using the most recent scientific data in estimating sea level rise also got left out.

I went to school in NC and until recently had kept Raleigh on my list of places I'd be willing to relocate for work, but not any more. The entire damn state has lost its collective fucking mind in the past two or three years.
posted by dilettante at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd rather see Republican ideology crash and burn at a state level than at the national level.

This is a great in theory, but there are millions of people who didn't vote for Republicans that have to live with the consequences. In Wisconsin, Democrats got 200k (IIRC) more votes than Republicans, but the Republicans were able to reinforce their positions because they gerrymandered the state so effectively.
posted by drezdn at 1:59 PM on February 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


Basically the bill boils down to: Breasts out to feed baby, OK. Breasts out to protest, go to jail.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:38 PM on February 22 [+] [!]


I'm actually surprised that they exempted even that.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:59 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


thanks to gerrymandering, Raleigh, Asheville, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, and Durham have to suffer through this madness because the urban vote doesn't count as much.

I think this is a dangerous game the Republicans have played, trying to win each county with 52% of the vote. If progressives really organized an immense urban GOTV effort (which is logistically easier to do w/ higher population density), we could instead just win most of those tightly gerrymandered districts.
posted by crayz at 2:00 PM on February 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


I feel no pity for NC; they are getting what they voted for, for those who don't like it I would suggest you find a more palatable state. Let them wallow in their own mire.

Hollow-eyed refugees trudge down the sides of the roads leading to the Virginia border, grimly clutching their invisible knapsacks.
posted by mph at 2:10 PM on February 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


50% of the population has felony worthy nipples. Wow.
posted by sotonohito at 2:13 PM on February 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


Early last fall I was strolling through one of the art fairs in Durham and was walking down Chapel Hill St., where various local organizations had set up tents. The Libertarians, Democrats and Republicans also had tents up and were working for election-year votes.

I watched a middle-aged woman in front of the Republican tent spot me, smile, and walk firmly towards me while pulling a flyer out of a stack cradled in her left arm. She suddenly made a sour face, tucked the flyer back and veered behind me, and it took me a moment to realize it was because she had just seen the nonwhite woman I was holding hands with.

They might only be using racism as a means to play the yokels into their hands, but that does not mean they are not racists themselves. Fuck those guys.
posted by ardgedee at 2:14 PM on February 22, 2013 [36 favorites]


or those who don't like it I would suggest you find a more palatable state

This is very easy to say.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:14 PM on February 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


It's like being locked in a room with a raging alcoholic wife-beating asshole, who is ranting about how all of his problems/the world's problems are caused by bitches, illegals, The Blacks, The Gays, and anyone, anyone at all except the guy in the mirror.

Do these people even hear themselves? Do they have any idea how stupid and cruel they sound?

I know the answer, and I know human beings, even in government, can get caught up in mass insanity, but when you actually see it happen, it's just utterly baffling. And terrifying.

I'm not from NC, but I know it has to have a million problems to deal with like any state, and absolutely none of them are caused by toplessness or hardworking immigrants or the existence of gay people.

And yet, here we are.
posted by emjaybee at 2:15 PM on February 22, 2013 [25 favorites]


or those who don't like it I would suggest you find a more palatable state

Yeah we'll just pack-up the Passat with our pets and a few possessions and drive off to another state where we have no home, no garden, no jobs, no friends. That'll work.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:17 PM on February 22, 2013 [25 favorites]


> If progressives really organized an immense urban GOTV effort (which is logistically easier to do w/ higher population density), we could instead just win most of those tightly gerrymandered districts.

Thanks to district-based representation, it will be very easy for a minority of the state's population to retain a majority-Republican legislature. The cities, aside from Raleigh and Winston-Salem, are already pretty much permanently blue, and this has not helped them much.
posted by ardgedee at 2:18 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, so much Asheville {blushes}. Heartily accepted the "Cesspool of Sin" moniker bestowed by a NC legislator. (Like us on Facebook!)

Yea, the topless rallies, driven by crazy.

Yea, local legislator threatening to steal our water, despite clear opposition (scroll to the bottom)

Yea, gerrymandering hijinks screwing up elections.

Asheville used to be such an awesome place to live, too. Yet still is, in spite of.
posted by achrise at 2:18 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a legal expat/immigrant who spent high school and grad school in North Carolina, I can't explain why it creeps me out so much to have my non-citizen status advertised on my driver's license, but it does. I am quite proud of being a Canadian (not that I think Canada is somehow objectively better, but that pride-in-your-birth-country thing that most of us have) and yet there's that moment of awkwardness when you shift from being assumed to be an insider, to being assumed to be an outsider. (When you shift from being a fairly left-wing American to being a Communist coming to steal American jobs!)
posted by Jeanne at 2:19 PM on February 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


Forget driver's licenses, I think immigrants should have to wear patches on their clothes. But don't worry, nothing dour. How about stars? Yes, stars are nice. A bright shade of yellow, perhaps?

Seriously, the first link is the most disgusting idea I've read in a long time, and my governor is Scott Walker.
posted by desjardins at 2:22 PM on February 22, 2013 [21 favorites]


From the fire all the regulatory people link:

In some instances, it strips requirements that have been seen as protecting the public’s interest. At the Coastal Resources Commission, for instance, the governor would no longer have to appoint at least one person associated with a conservation organization. He would, however, have to appoint two experienced in land development. At the Environmental Management Commission, the governor would no longer have to appoint a doctor with experience in the health effects of environmental pollution; he would still be required to appoint a person who is employed by or recently retired from an industrial manufacturing facility.

I just...I. Words fail.
posted by rtha at 2:25 PM on February 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


> "for those who don't like it I would suggest you find a more palatable state"

> "Want to use your red state a petri dish for bad policy? Go for it."

It's a little hard to be cavalier about this kind of thing when your SO loses a job as a result of it, the way mine did.
posted by kyrademon at 2:28 PM on February 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


But I think once people realize what this kind of governance actually looks like it will flip NC from red to blue for a long time. The big cities, especially the college-heavy Triangle are becoming more and more liberal by the day, and it's starting to spread to the suburbs as well. Despite this desperate grasp for power by the Republicans, NC is actually moving in the right direction.

It can move in the right direction all it wants but if you have a one-party-controlled legislature and governor and Supreme Court it won't make a heck of a lot of difference in any practical terms. Gerrymandering and other redistricting shenanigans will ensure that your favorite legislative district will stay good and well-gerrymandered for at least another decade. Same with TN, where I live. There won't be a Democratic majority in state government here for the next 100 years if the GOP has anything to do with it.
posted by blucevalo at 2:28 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


The interesting question will be how long these states are going to suck. Will it be reasonably brief, say 5-10 years, or 30+?

I'm thinking the actual trauma will be comparatively short and local politics will shift back to sanity, but the damage done to both states will linger for a very long time as individual policies get rolled back over a span of decades. The only way it'll go faster is if people die as a direct consequence, and the whole of the body politic recoils.
posted by aramaic at 2:31 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah we'll just pack-up the Passat with our pets and a few possessions and drive off to another state where we have no home, no garden, no jobs, no friends. That'll work.

Not saying you have to leave today. Hell you could even get involved in politics somehow to try and change things. I also didn't know that NC was the only place with jobs. What -evs enjoy your friends and potentially rising pollution rates. Maybe you could get a place on the coast!

kyrademon why do think I'm being cavalier? And if SO has lost his job because of this he will also start losing his unemployment benefits, why would you stay?
posted by Max Power at 2:32 PM on February 22, 2013


I live in a province that's been governed for about forty-one unbroken years by a self-described "conservative" party, but reading this post really brings home how different conservative groups can be. Because our guys are like the communist party compared to your Republicans.

I'm trying to imagine how politicians can fire every regulator in the state, replace them en mass with political hacks and yes men, and still pretend to serve the public interest. It's like they don't believe in the laws they're supposed to uphold.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:32 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


> I feel no pity for NC; they are getting what they voted for, for those who don't like it I would suggest you find a more palatable state. Let them wallow in their own mire.

That's a good strategy, isn't it?

Michigan used to be a (by current standards) surprisingly liberal state, in many ways: It had some of the most progressive consumer protection laws, a good public school system and good roads. When I first moved there, despite the national recession I was able to get a job fairly easily. By the time I left, almost two years ago, auto insurance costs had gone through the roof (we are getting more coverage and paying less for two cars in North Carolina -- one of them less than a year old -- than we were paying for one ten year old car in Michigan), the schools had been gutted, the roads are shambles, and bridges were being let to rot rather than repaired, all because infrastructure was less important than tax breaks for the wealthy. And the population continues to vote Republican as more people who think otherwise have decided to give up and leave rather than fight.

We moved to North Carolina because, among other things, there are realistic job opportunities here. Shortly after we arrived the population voted in the same constitutional ban on gay partnerships that Michigan had passed years before. The new, much-farther-right-wing legislature here is currently busy undoing much of the progressive changes in education, voting, and personal rights that had been forced down its throat by federal mandate fifty and sixty years ago.

So, yeah, I'm feeling caught again. Where do you propose I move next? Can you tell me how quickly will that state be locked down by the right-wing and make me again have to choose between leaving and roughing out a rotting local economy. Where will it end?

Thanks for your help, I look forward to your answer.
posted by ardgedee at 2:32 PM on February 22, 2013 [26 favorites]


Where will it end?

Why does it have to end at all? It could just keep going.
posted by aramaic at 2:35 PM on February 22, 2013


And if SO has lost his job because of this he will also start losing his unemployment benefits, why would you stay?

It's a pretty cavalier question. There are any number of reasons one would stay that are quite possibly none of our business.
posted by blucevalo at 2:35 PM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


The state is going to be Republican for a bit. The NC Democratic Party is kind of a mess right now, and has been for a few years. The Republicans won because they had more money, had a better map, and didn't have the stink that'll come from running a state for 10-20 years.

The good news is that the demographics favor Democrats over time. Newcomers to the state vote overwhelmingly democratic. Just, you know...You don't all have to live in Cary.
posted by Vhanudux at 2:36 PM on February 22, 2013


I'm trying to imagine how politicians can fire every regulator in the state, replace them en mass with political hacks and yes men, and still pretend to serve the public interest. It's like they don't believe in the laws they're supposed to uphold.

I know, right? It's like they hate America. Really, actually, hate America, and despise the constituents they're supposed to serve (well, except for the really rich ones, of course).
posted by rtha at 2:38 PM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Where do you propose I move next?

It's an interesting question, one faced by East Germans before the country kept everyone from leaving. America is already suffering a "brain drain" from first- and second-generation immigrants going back to their home countries, as well as with highly-skilled professional gay and lesbian couples leaving because their partner can't get residency, all because this place is turning into a xenophobic, redneck, third-world paradise, one state at a time.

Will the US ever get to the point where it will refuse to allow people to leave? In a way, the entire process of documentation for emigration and immigration is about keeping people in, as much as allowing them to leave. Corporations get to move jobs and capital across borders where things are cheaper, but people have to get paperwork to move.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:39 PM on February 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ardagee,

Move to New York or California?
posted by gagglezoomer at 2:41 PM on February 22, 2013


Max Power: I feel no pity for NC; they are getting what they voted for, for those who don't like it I would suggest you find a more palatable state. Let them wallow in their own mire.
Yeah, screw anyone who happens to be too poor to move! They deserve whatever gets tossed at them. Minorities of the electorate shouldn't have rights - not even if they are only a bare minority of 49 or 48%!

Sounds like you'd fit right in with the NC Republican mentality, actually...
posted by IAmBroom at 2:43 PM on February 22, 2013 [14 favorites]


Move to New York or California?

Just not inland California. It's getting to be just as bad.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:44 PM on February 22, 2013


Really, actually, hate America, and despise the constituents they're supposed to serve (well, except for the really rich ones, of course).

I've been saying this for years. Those republican leaders who wrap themselves up in the flag and cry during the singing of the National Anthem? I'd really like to know what it is about America that they love so much? Clearly not the people. Not the natural wonders (except for exploiting them.) Not the real history that they love to rewrite. Not the constitution which they don't mind trashing. Not the democracy part because they actively work at denying the vote to certain segments. Not the veterans because they shit on them all the time. I mean, I'm floundering trying to figure out what they mean by loving America.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:45 PM on February 22, 2013 [35 favorites]


I feel no pity for NC; they are getting what they voted for, for those who don't like it I would suggest you find a more palatable state. Let them wallow in their own mire.

I love NC, it's where I'm from, and it will always feel like home to me. My friends are there. My parents met there and have lived there for over 30 years. They didn't vote for any of this- they voted against it, and if more people like them move away, it will ONLY GET WORSE.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:47 PM on February 22, 2013 [11 favorites]


Where do you propose I move next?

Anywhere you want, I'd stay north of the Mason Dixon line. Sorry about Michigan, all it takes is one Amway billionaire to tilt the state to crazy, I don't think it'll be red long though.

IAmBroom What does "too poor to move" mean? Really, I found it much easier to move when I was poor. WTF do they have to lose?

It's nice that 48=49 % of people may not agree with these policies, there are 2 ways a populace affects their states, with their votes and with their legs. Do you understand?
posted by Max Power at 2:47 PM on February 22, 2013


The interesting question will be how long these states are going to suck. Will it be reasonably brief, say 5-10 years, or 30+?

It took California 34 long years to go from Prop 13 to Prop 30.
posted by Talez at 2:48 PM on February 22, 2013


Max Power: It's nice that 48=49 % of people may not agree with these policies, there are 2 ways a populace affects their states, with their votes and with their legs. Do you understand?
What part of "gerrymandering" don't you understand?
posted by IAmBroom at 2:53 PM on February 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


WTF do they have to lose?

Money for moving trucks, security deposits, and increased costs of living in more humanely-governed places? That humanely-governed places are often colder which brings its own set of new expenses and problems? It being harder to get a job from out of town or that will pay moving expenses when you've only ever made $10/hour? Therefore having to live without a job for several months or more while you find one? If the only support network available to you is family and friends, which will not exist in a brand new place?
posted by bleep at 2:54 PM on February 22, 2013 [14 favorites]


there are 2 ways a populace affects their states, with their votes and with their legs. Do you understand?

Yes, if liberals move out of NC then Republicans there will enjoy an even greater electoral advantage. In an abstract fantasy universe where e.g. jobs are uniformly spatially distributed and people tend not to have other attachments keeping them in a particular area, the best course would be for liberals to move to NC en masse, preferably the reddest districts possible.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:56 PM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


50% of the population has felony worthy nipples. Wow.

Well of course it sounds bad if you say it like that.
Say it like this:
North Carolina! 50% of the population has felony worthy nipples! WOW!
posted by Smedleyman at 3:02 PM on February 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, I'm not moving out of Asheville, sorry. And I am involved in local politics and I do vote at every single election. Yet we were all rendered fucking powerless when the Republicans engineered their latest gerrymandered district map which effectively cuts small Asheville in HALF and guarantees that there will never be a Democratic congressman here. Almost as if they were scared of us and the progressive majority - Democratic mayor, Democratic city council, etc - we have managed to muster for the last decade. What you don't seem to realize is that for years NC has been the most progressive state in the south - we went for Obama in 2008, you know - and all this psychotic reactionary tea party right wing shit is new. And if it can happen here, you had better believe that it could happen just about anywhere, so telling us all to move is not really helpful. No, we will stay and we will continue to fight and it probably won't work but maybe it will.
posted by mygothlaundry at 3:12 PM on February 22, 2013 [34 favorites]


the best course would be for liberals to move to NC en masse, preferably the reddest districts possible

This is from 11/07/11 so it might be out of date but 2007 through 2010 NC was the second most favored state for domestic migration. I can't guarantee they are all liberals, but my guess would be that most are.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:18 PM on February 22, 2013


I've lived in North Carolina for most of my life worth talking about and I don't plan to leave any time soon. As I said earlier today, in a different venue: sometimes I think the current NC government is so terrible that I will end up having to move to a different state. And then I think that's essentially what they want me ( or people like me) to do. And then I think that if Art Pope and his cronies are going to make me tear my hair out in anguish and frustration, then turnabout is fair play. I want to make the legislature squirm and howl and spend the rest of their terms in the kind of rage and discomfort I feel every morning when I read their latest plans for destroying the state that I love. So let's figure out how to do that, sane North Carolina. What's the plan? I can be very shouty if need be.
posted by thivaia at 3:19 PM on February 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


What's the plan? I can be very shouty if need be

The old civil disobedience ploy; they've made it remarkably easy for a huge chunk of their population to commit felonies. So, swamp the jails.
posted by aramaic at 3:35 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dear North Carolina,

Thank you for making us look better by being worse than we are.

Love,

Virginia.
posted by 4ster at 3:39 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


What does "too poor to move" mean? Really, I found it much easier to move when I was poor. WTF do they have to lose?

Support systems in general. I remember a poem that was posted here circa Hurricane Katrina that was explaining the choices and day-to-day struggles of living in poverty in ways hopefully understandable to the privileged, ending with the line "Being poor is people asking you why you didn't leave."

So that's answer #1 to what I'm sorry to say is a very "let them eat cake," type of response to this situation, but #2 comes from a couple years later when I was doing legal aid work on Katrina relief in New Orleans, and learned from resident after resident that the untold story of devastation there was that so many of their neighbors were unable to come back. Communities are, at their most basic, systems of people making things easier for one another through collective action. An asshat Republican state government throwing what amounts to a tantrum sucks, but might not be worth completely disrupting your life over.

The problem, as others have pointed out, is Gerrymandering, and the ruling caselaw on that at present basically boils down to "too fucking bad." In 2004 SCOTUS (and you can probably guess which justices in particular) said that it was a non-justiciable issue. (This was particularly aggravating coming from O'Connor, who proved with her Casey opinion that she was capable of nuanced interpretations and intricate precedent and rather just refused to do that for Vieth v. Jubeliler.)

The answer is most likely to just try again with a somewhat shifted court, especially now that the GOP has gone so over-the-top blatant with it all, explaining openly that it's part of a strategy to win without having the votes.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:40 PM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Please do not all move to CA. We are full and the freeways will just frighten and confuse you. Thanks!
posted by fshgrl at 3:50 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


If progressives really organized an immense urban GOTV effort (which is logistically easier to do w/ higher population density)

Or if Democrats figured out now to get, say, 5% more of rural or suburban vote, then the Republicans would be, like, so screwed for eternity.

They'd be losing like 90% of districts instead of winning 53%.

If I were the Democratic national strategist, I would be working on this full time.
posted by flug at 4:03 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, this is what small government looks like!
posted by 2N2222 at 4:03 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


What does "too poor to move" mean? Really, I found it much easier to move when I was poor. WTF do they have to lose?

The ghetto you know is safer and easier to navigate than the ghetto you don't. There's "poor" and then there's poor.
posted by milarepa at 4:05 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Don't worry, it's possible that the Missouri legislature will step up to help deflect the "Are they SERIOUS?!" stares currently aimed at North Carolina.

You know, for example, like proposing a law that makes it a felony to propose gun control legislation.

It's like the wave of Republican idiocy is at its crest and getting to break like a tsunami everywhere it reached a high tide.

Also, probably one of the most militant liberals in my family lives in N.C. I can't believe her head hasn't exploded yet.
posted by Atreides at 4:08 PM on February 22, 2013


I'm one of those people who would have to visibly mark myself as Other through my driver's license. I apparently also have felony-worthy body parts, who knew? But my work visa is tied to an office in NC. Getting another work visa would be an immense amount of hassle and expense, and frankly, I'm not sure it would be possible in this economic climate. Finding a job back in Canada and moving back home would be an immense amount of hassle and expense, not to mention longterm separation from my current live-in partner while they figured out how to emigrate to Canada.

We can maybe plan to leave in the longterm (except my partner has aging family here they need to take care of), but what do we do in the short term? Say tough shit and live with being second-class citizens and watch cavalier would-be-allies write off another state wholesale? That sounds like a solution to exactly nothing at all.
posted by Phire at 4:11 PM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


And if it can happen here, you had better believe that it could happen just about anywhere,

Eh, I don't think it can happen in CA. Or NY. I can't really speak to NY from personal experience too much, but I've lived in CA since the 80's. And I've seen it steadily get more and more liberal. Yes, we have our red areas, and we have had our voting atrocities (prop 8 abomination), but the movement is steady. I don't believe prop 8 could pass today. The California Republican party has basically collapsed electorally, and even organizationally is actually bankrupt (in debt). We don't have a single elected Republican who holds a statewide office. Democrats are in a legislative super-majority. Now, I don't say this to crow - a healthy democracy should have a sane loyal opposition to represent dissenting interests. But the Republicans in California refused to take cues from the Californian electorate and instead drank from the national tea-brew, and got whacked.

I don't see California moving right anytime soon. We don't have a racial majority or a any majority-large constituency that's aligned with the Republicans. Latino voters are increasing in numbers and their political profile is rather different from the Cuban one in FL. Our urban areas keep gaining population at the cost of rural areas. And the inland areas that used to be red, are increasingly turning purple from some of the urban population moving.

I honestly don't see this turning into a right-wing state. If anything we are exporting people (net emigration) to other states, and these people tend to be liberal - so Texas and other states can one day thank California for turning things around for them (though to be fair, I suppose uncouth Californian immigrants are hated in places like Oregon and Washington state).
posted by VikingSword at 4:16 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, we will stay and we will continue to fight and it probably won't work but maybe it will.

I type this sincerely, and not at all in sarcasm or snark font, good luck, mygothlaundry. I hope you and other decent (or even just the half-way decent) people can turn this tide.
posted by crush-onastick at 4:24 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a Northerner turned North Carolinian of four years standing, I think this will turn out to be a massive massive overreach. The state Republican Party lucked into the legislature because of 2010's summer of discontent, but now that they control all the levers of power, they can't blame anyone else for the state's problems. If McCrory doesn't at least pretend to be a moderate now and then, he's going to be a one term governor.
Besides, long-term investment in science, technology and education starting in the 50s is the reason why North and South Carolina are such different beasts today. Start chopping at that trunk and watch the whole tree fall.
posted by Bromius at 4:34 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


For the first time in more than a century, North Carolina has a Republican governor, a conservative majority on the state Supreme Court and Republicans controlling both legislative

And dammit, we need to get back to the way things were then ASAP!

American Taliban. Say what you will about Aaron Sorkin, he's dead on the money with that label.
posted by dry white toast at 4:40 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a result, the state Department of Transportation decided to issue licenses starting March 25 with red capital letters saying “NO LAWFUL STATUS” and “LIMITED TERM.”
Heh, I've got one of these things, well sort of. Instead of the green or blue chipped identity card that all Belgians are required to have on them and present to any police officer who asks so long as they are more than 200 meters from their home, I have a similar card in a delightful shade of pink that marks me very clearly as a foreigner and temporary resident from America who lives in Leuven. Absent a national identity card, it really isn't inherently a bad idea for states to put immigration status onto drivers licences and non-drivers IDs, hell it even makes a lot of sense - it would hopefully cut down on the number of American citizens wrongfully imprisoned by our immigration system while allowing us to better keep track of immigrants who overstay visas or don't have them. The root problem is that our immigration system in this big empty country of ours is fundamentally racist; with quotas that reflect melanin fears instead of the level of qualified interest in American citizenship from our neighbors, laws that provide no way for undocumented immigrants to gain documented status no matter how deep their roots in their communities, and lawmakers who don't want to simply clearly delineate who is a guest and who has signed up for the American experiment but mark people for discrimination.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:53 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


From the unemployment benefit cuts article:

"The unemployment plan repays $2.5 billion owed the federal government for jobless benefits paid since the Great Recession by cutting maximum weekly jobless payments from $535 to $350 on new claims beginning July 1 and the maximum number of weeks for state benefits from 26 weeks to 12 to 20 weeks, depending on the state unemployment rate."

Because the solution to all problems is to punch poor people in the face...
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:56 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sorry NC legislators. This is only a temporary win. Eventually you will die and all of NC's little Mt Airy-like hamlets will be filled with gays, lesbians, people who are not white and who may have really cool accents.

That is the future and the future can't be unwritten. So, I'd suggest you be nice to them now, instead of praying for mercy in an old folks home where it's very likely some of "those" folks will be the ones deciding your level of comfort, treatment...etc.
posted by snsranch at 4:58 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Greetings for Winston Salem! This shit's really, really embarrassing, y'all. In other news, the legislature also decided to opt-out of the Medicaid expansion, despite the fact that nobody in their right mind understands why.
posted by odinsdream at 5:13 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh! And some other shit: they want to do away with state income tax and offset that lost revenue with an increase in the sales tax.
posted by odinsdream at 5:17 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm a North Carolinian, born, bred, fed, educated, and employed. My wife is not; Mrs. Machine is Vietnamese and will be expected to have the "Not a Citizen" (although thankfully not "No Lawful Status") bit branded on her license. This is stigmatizing and disgusting; it is to the point that I—who have never seriously considered living outside the state and have lived in four of the five distinct metropolitan areas of the state—am thinking about moving elsewhere.

Any suggestions? Illinois/Chicago has a gross reputation for corruption, and NYC is very expensive. I'm a programmer, so I can probably get a job that will pay for it, but it would be a gross adjustment. Portland is attractive for the public transit, but the job market is reportedly terrible.
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:20 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Felony worthy body part owner here. I live a few blocks from the NC legislature where all this Let's-Go-Back-to-the-1800's bullshit is well underway.

And yes. It's embarrassing and appalling. And it's all because of our friend Gerry Mandering. We do at least have Kay Hagan.

All i can do is vote every chance I can. And maybe get involved with Blueprintnc.org. From their About Us page:

"We are determined to change the public policy debate in this state, and are dedicated to becoming more effective and prolific speakers and writers about progressive ideas and values. We are determined to engage more citizens in the public dialogue, because we believe that the strongest democracy hears from all people, not just those with the loudest voices or the shiniest megaphones."
posted by yoga at 5:23 PM on February 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's nice that 48=49 % of people may not agree with these policies, there are 2 ways a populace affects their states, with their votes and with their legs. Do you understand?

Oh come on, you know that's ridiculous. If I move out of the state with my family that has zero effect on the political positions of those in power. In fact, it helps them because I'm no longer representing an opposing voice that's in any way relevant to whether they're in or out of power.
posted by odinsdream at 5:24 PM on February 22, 2013


Any suggestions?

Nashville is nice, and Atlanta has its strong points as well.
posted by jquinby at 5:26 PM on February 22, 2013


Both TN and GA are more red than NC.
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:31 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boston?
posted by Navelgazer at 5:43 PM on February 22, 2013


Oh, so it turns out that when Republicans are in power they immediately pass a bunch of laws that are super fucking racist, sexist, homophobic, bash the poor, and gut environmental protections? I'm going to remember this the next time some conservatived tries to tell me it's just about fiscal policy.
posted by medusa at 6:04 PM on February 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


The state attorney general’s office said these DACA recipients have “lawful presence” and therefore are eligible for a license. As a result, the state Department of Transportation decided to issue licenses starting March 25 with red capital letters saying “NO LAWFUL STATUS” and “LIMITED TERM.” Part of the reason for the distinct license, DOT officials said, was to safeguard against voter fraud.

While the republican party continues to openly defraud the public of their votes through gerrymandering and otherwise making it harder to vote in Democratic areas, they will continue to raise the factually-vacant spectre of citizen voter fraud as a dog-whistle for isolating minorities.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:06 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is just basic disaster preparedness. They're heard about the threat of immodest dress and are trying to prevent boobquakes.
posted by homunculus at 6:10 PM on February 22, 2013


4839563

yes. All wins by any party except your own are by somewhat odd ways. Gerrymandering. Voter Fraud. Outright lies. It's never about people voting the way they feel.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:13 PM on February 22, 2013


For some reason, my family - good East Coast liberals all - almost moved to North Carolina. Connecticut was getting too expensive and we couldn't afford Boston and my dad got it in his head that Ashville was the hip new place.
He took one trip there to check it out, got scared of all the guns, and crossed it off his list. I feel like we dodged a bullet.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:14 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm glad to see that they've continued to fund and fully staff the Department of Waste, Fraud and Abuse.
posted by warbaby at 6:19 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


All wins by any party except your own are by somewhat odd ways. Gerrymandering. Voter Fraud. Outright lies. It's never about people voting the way they feel.

North Carolina 2012 House Results. Of 13 Districts, 4 were won by Democratic candidates.

If you tally all the votes, you will see that the Republicans totaled 2,143,118 votes, and the Democrats totaled 2,219,165. So despite the people feeling that Democrats should have 50.87% of the vote, they only won 30.76% of the races. This is Gerrymandering.
posted by fings at 6:37 PM on February 22, 2013 [35 favorites]


with their votes and with their legs

If votes aren't working, and your legs can't afford to move elsewhere, maybe the legs need to be organized and start marching to get their voices heard.
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:53 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Math has a well-known liberal bias.
posted by aramaic at 7:34 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel no pity for NC; they are getting what they voted for, for those who don't like it I would suggest you find a more palatable state. Let them wallow in their own mire.


Sorry, logic appears to be totally absent from this line of thought. People who "get what they voted for" presumably are not unhappy with it; people who didn't vote for it are not getting what they voted for. Should we all abdicate our participation in democracy as soon as we find ourselves in the minority, so the majority can "wallow in the mire" of ... having gotten what they wanted?

Moreover, NC is not some right-wing theocracy with tiny pockets of dissenters who really should've known better than to settle there and attempt to eke out some social progress. E.g. Out of 4.5 million voters, Romney carried this state by ~96,000 -- this is very much a "purple" state compared to everywhere else in the South. And there are quite a few great things about North Carolina, including places beyond its liberal population centers. I'm tired of hearing people get told to move out of where they live because there is a problem there, as if only a fool would continue to live in a place with a problem.
posted by geneva uswazi at 7:36 PM on February 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


On the upside, if Congress provides a path to citizenship for the estimated 400,000 undocumented North Carolina immigrants, that will change the political arithmetic of the state (and so many others) for generations to come and provide a real chance to turn this state back toward sanity and prosperity.

If you're interested, the North Carolina Justice Center is perhaps the best leftist/progressive group in the state. Give em some money!
posted by willie11 at 7:39 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


So poorly trained uninsured unemployed thick sweatered drivers motoring down eroding blacked out flooded coastal highways, through smog and polluted water, constantly slamming into deer, getting out, then being mauled by black bear.

Pretty much the picture I'm getting. Looks like "The Road" is going to be in NC.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:43 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hey, just so you know, Pat McCrory was the most liberal Republican running for Governor back in the 2008 election, with a pretty full field. Also for those of you who aren't familiar, he used to be the mayor of Charlotte. He's not a Tea Party Republican by any means.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:44 PM on February 22, 2013


Oh, and for whoever upthread said the NC Democratic party is a bit of a mess, they are exactly right. Bev Perdue really screwed things up for them big time.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:50 PM on February 22, 2013


I had a driver's license that marked me as a foreigner when I first moved to Tennessee. It was pretty cryptic though. It was purple and turned so it was portrait instead of landscape orientation. It didn't have any text to explain why it was different, so on the one hand I wasn't really marked out as DIFFERENT explicitly but on the other hand a lot of people just didn't think it was a driver's license (mostly this was a problem in terms of getting carded at bars). They don't have that license style anymore; they got rid of them, thank goodness.
posted by joannemerriam at 8:23 PM on February 22, 2013


Criminipples.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:49 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Bev Perdue was no saint and I complained plenty about some of the decisions she made whilst in Raleigh. But McCrory's claims to liberalism were pretty much shot to hell when he appointed Art Pope his Budget Director. The successful addition of a few trains to Charlotte does not make up for the great stinking mess that followed.
posted by thivaia at 9:00 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


emjaybee : Do these people even hear themselves? Do they have any idea how stupid and cruel they sound?

Funny, but this very week, NPR did a series about H1B abuses. You should check it out before you call me "stupid and cruel".

Some of us don't hate. We just don't like seeing companies getting away with outright fraud so they can boost profits by hiring foreign indentured servants.
posted by pla at 9:13 PM on February 22, 2013


Besides, long-term investment in science, technology and education starting in the 50s is the reason why North and South Carolina are such different beasts today

Yeah, this kills me. Why do these guys think companies like IBM and Glaxo and Nortel (an RTP giant in the day) came here? Because they like to eat barbecue?
posted by thelonius at 9:14 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Funny, but this very week, NPR did a series about H1B abuses. You should check it out before you call me "stupid and cruel".

Some of us don't hate. We just don't like seeing companies getting away with outright fraud so they can boost profits by hiring foreign indentured servants.


I'm not really sure where this outburst came from because nobody at all was talking about H1-B abuse.

Even if this were part of the context why the hell should we be throwing the poor under the bus and making it a felony to show your nipples to go along with this crazy ride?
posted by Talez at 9:32 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


What's worse, rtha, is this is knee jerk legislation proposed by a female legislator

Wait, I thought it would have been especially bad if it were proposed by a male legislator. I've lost track of how the gender of legislators is supposed to make me feel.
posted by John Cohen at 9:38 PM on February 22, 2013


I've lost track of how the gender of legislators is supposed to make me feel.

Whatever. It's douchey coming from either one; it's just that after this last election cycle, we're more used to breathakingly sexist dipshittery coming from white Republican dudes running for office. Feel free to sneer at someone who makes boneheaded legislation no matter their sex.
posted by rtha at 9:52 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope this is a wake up call to people who only vote on leap years. Local politics doesn't get as much attention as national politics, but it is just as important.
posted by Loudmax at 10:01 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pretty much the picture I'm getting. Looks like "The Road" is going to be in NC.

Or rural BC.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:13 PM on February 22, 2013


Some of us don't hate. We just don't like seeing companies getting away with outright fraud so they can boost profits by hiring foreign indentured servants.

Proposed for resource projects in Northern BC. Modernized 3rd world labour.

Free trade made it possible for capital to migrate to cheap labour. The next step is to migrate labour to cheap resources. Globalization = regression to the mean. The mean is closer to 3rd world than Western 1st world.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:20 PM on February 22, 2013


>What you don't seem to realize is that for years NC has been the most progressive state in the south - we went for Obama in 2008, you know

NC actually shifted 2% bluer in the last election; Obama didn't carry it because his overall percentage was worse than last time. The problem is that 2010's wave midterms coincided (non-coincidentally) with redistricting. The smaller races matter too.

If you tally all the votes, you will see that the Republicans totaled 2,143,118 votes, and the Democrats totaled 2,219,165. So despite the people feeling that Democrats should have 50.87% of the vote, they only won 30.76% of the races. This is Gerrymandering.

posted by ersatz at 4:29 AM on February 23, 2013


Meanwhile, Republicans in Indiana, perhaps feeling outclassed and humiliated by the nuttiness in NC and other states, have decided to double-down on mandatory ultrasounds.

I suppose if Hoosier women dislike the idea of getting two unnecessary probes, they can move to another state, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:06 AM on February 23, 2013


Oh Thorzdad I was appalled when I read about the "double probe" proposal in Indiana. Fortunately there does not seem to be any legal way they can force you to come in for your follow-up probe.

However, unless I am mistaken (I'm having trouble keeping up with all this anti-abortion legislation) this is the first bill that makes it mandatory to have a transvaginal probe-- or rather, two-- in order to get a prescription for RU486. This is one of the most extreme examples of slut-shaming imaginable and I am horrified to think what the next step will be. Transvaginal ultrasound in the town square in front of others? A sticker on your driver's license? Your vagina in the newspaper with the words: she already had something put in here in order to get pregnant?
Sue Swayze, the legislative director of Indiana Right to Life, said women shouldn’t view the trans-vaginal ultrasound as intrusive since the women had already gotten pregnant vaginally.
What's worse, rtha, is this is knee jerk legislation proposed by a female legislator

Wait, I thought it would have been especially bad if it were proposed by a male legislator. I've lost track of how the gender of legislators is supposed to make me feel.


I'm the original poster. I guess I was shocked that a person with a pair of possibly felonious nipples herself would think twice about singling out all other females for punishment. I also have to say that I myself have had at least two accidental flashings of my own felonious nipples and I'm relieved that I did not get marched off to jail. One wonders if the legislator wants to punish women who wear very low cut blouses or see-through blouses. Is any nipple exposure (outside breast feeding) cause for alarm? What about going braless under a clingy material? Nip slips happen and it is insane to think that the police are going to exercise complete restraint in enforcing this bill.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:33 AM on February 23, 2013


- assuming the votes weren't gamed.

- Don't worry. They were.


Well, it's worth noting that one of the reasons NC now has a Republican legislature *and* governor is that the sitting Democratic governor, Bev Purdue, waited until 10 months before the election to announce that she wouldn't run for a 2nd term, leaving Dems scrambling to fundraise and find a candidate. The candidate we got, Walter Dalton, was obviously not ready for prime time and a poor campaigner. Why Bev Purdue declined to run again is still an open question around here, with theories ranging from threat of indictment on campaign finance shenanigans to terminal illness to her belief that it was going to be a losing battle so why bother spending the money to whatever, but the fact remains that a sitting governor didn't even stick around for the election to help fight the horrible result we're seeing in the state right now.

Absent some sort of illness revelation, I can't imagine at this point how any Democrat could ever forgive her for her cowardice.
posted by mediareport at 6:33 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and for whoever upthread said the NC Democratic party is a bit of a mess, they are exactly right. Bev Perdue really screwed things up for them big time.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies


Not sure where this logic came from. Have any verifiable data on this? The sitting legislature during Purdue's time in office stonewalled her repeatedly:
North Carolina lawmakers set record overriding government on budget, fracking

While we're on the subject of fracking, there's good ol' Jim Womack in the mix also, anonymously blogging his agenda as a guy who's been dead for 144 years. Conveniently, Womack is chairman of the state's Mining and Energy Commission, an appointed board tasked with preparing the state's regulations for hydraulic fracturing by 2014. Wonder if he'll be amongst regulatory head cuts?

I'm an NC native, but damn if I'm not looking to move to someplace in the NE or PNW where I can at least marry my spouse & get stoned legally. Nip slips pale in comparison.

And George Carlin had it absolutely right.

Apologies for massive derail/kitchen sinking, especially to Secret Life of Gravy, who I'd like to thank for the original post. We must imbibe sometime.
posted by yoga at 6:39 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


with theories ranging from threat of indictment on campaign finance shenanigans

That's the one I would put my money on. Nothing else really makes sense.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:43 AM on February 23, 2013


I'm surprised the North Carolina GOP isn't forcing noncitizens to wear yellow stars, but then again, they'd be too thick-headed to get the reference.
posted by jonp72 at 9:21 AM on February 23, 2013


Sue Swayze apparently has a much more interesting sex life than average.
posted by Mitheral at 9:27 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd wager it was a combination of future indictment combined with the (just as salient) fact that she couldn't have won re-election. She was just too unpopular, and by stepping aside she'd at least have given someone else a better shot at keeping the Governor's Mansion in the hands of her party.
posted by Bromius at 9:27 AM on February 23, 2013


I know a few Canadians living in NC. I wonder if they'll stay.
posted by jeather at 9:27 AM on February 23, 2013


This is what happens when you place ideology over the nuts and bolts of actual governance. This is what happens when you vote out of spite or ignorance[...]Let them wallow in their own mire.

Exactly this. I've gone from being baffled to being outraged to being the wingnuts' biggest cheerleader. DO IT. Do all this stuff, every crazy, short-sighted proposal that rallies the Teatards to TAKE AMERKA BACK, so that people can see what happens, and it's a total disaster, and we can have our own "Never Again" historical moment, and be done with Reagan Republicanism once and for all.
posted by Rykey at 9:34 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


As long as we're wishing for things, how about wishing for the option that DOESN'T include massive human suffering? JUST A THOUGHT
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:46 AM on February 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Once you drive the car off the cliff, you can't just say "whoops," turn around and get back on the road.
posted by Bromius at 9:48 AM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am a criminal defense attorney in North Carolina. They are talking about adding this nipple exposure thing to the crime of indecent exposure. As you can see, indecent exposure is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Class 2 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days in jail. You can only receive jail time for a Class 2 misdemeanor if you have five or more prior misdemeanor convictions on your record.

If you look at section (a)(1) of the law, you will note that indecent exposure can be a felony if the following three conditions are met: 1- the defendant is 18 or older, 2- a person viewing the exposure is under 16, and 3- the exposure is being done for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal. In short, a nipple will only lead to a felony if a woman 18 or older exposes her nipple to someone under the age of 16 for the purpose of sexual arousal.

Almost one hundred percent* of the indecent exposure cases I have dealt with have involved a man urinating in public. And one hundred percent of those were dismissed by the DA. Adding nipples to the definition of "private parts" will only add to more cases being dismissed.

Carry on with your arguing. I just want people to be arguing over facts, not the claims of a FoxNews article.

*The one indecent exposure case I had that did not involved urination concerned a man who went into a convenience store to order condoms. As the condoms were kept behind the register, he asked the cashier to get him some condoms. She asked him what kind he wanted. "I don't know," he answered and lowered his pants. "What size do you think I need?"
posted by flarbuse at 10:13 AM on February 23, 2013 [13 favorites]


Thank you flarbuse, this is why I come to metafilter
posted by Blasdelb at 10:21 AM on February 23, 2013


In someways those are the worst kind of laws.

They allow police to harass people but there is little leverage to get a law overturned because no one ever gets prosecuted. Even a case that is dismissed gets the defendant named in the newspaper; gets their mug shot on to the internet (for indecent exposure no less); costs the defendant lots of money (I'm assuming flarbuse you don't work for free); costs the state money (I know the DA, his clerks and other assorted government employees doesn't work for free); ties up limited justice system resources/hours; induces a lot of stress in the defendant and could even cost the defendant their job. None of that is a reasonable response to a woman going topless in public even if they don't go to jail. Just being arrested turns what should be a nice summers days into a horror story.

Doesn't having to defend those sorts of cases (the ones everyone know are going to get dismissed) piss you off because of the waste of time and money?
posted by Mitheral at 11:32 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


3- the exposure is being done for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal. In short, a nipple will only lead to a felony if a woman 18 or older exposes her nipple to someone under the age of 16 for the purpose of sexual arousal.

N.C. State Rep Tim Moore said that women could just duct tape their nipples.
State Rep. Sarah Steven said that women could use pasties or nipple coverings: “They’d be good to go."

“You know what they say, duct tape fixes everything,” added State Rep. Tim Moore.

State Rep. Rayne Brown is co-sponsoring the bill because GoTopless.org activists held a topless women’s rights rally in Asheville, North Carolina last summer
So I am a little unclear as to why this bill is necessary. If the bill was introduced because of the topless protests then the requirement #3 does not seem like it will be met-- unless I don't understand about these protests. Are the women attempting to sexually arouse the onlookers?

Originally the legal definition of "private parts" did not include female breasts. I understand they want to add female breasts into the "private parts" but for what purpose, that is where they lose me.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Rayne Brown, R-Davidson, said the legislation would eliminate any confusion.

“There’s nothing salacious here,” she said. “I’m not trying to impose any kind of morality.”
I think she is lying, I do think she is trying to impose her morality on the rest of us.

While we have all been talking about nipples, the bill itself is a little bit more broad:
(a2) For the purposes of this section, the term "private parts" means external organs of sex and of excretion, including the nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the human female breast.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breast feed in any public or private location where she is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local government may regulate the location and operation of sexually oriented businesses. Such local regulation may restrict or prohibit nude, seminude, or topless dancing to the extent consistent with the constitutional protection afforded free speech."
So you can still breastfeed and you can still dance in a topless bar, but if you decide to sunbathe without your top on you could go to jail. And if your neighbor's kid happens to be under 18 the court could make a case that you were attempting to sexually arouse a minor. On the other hand your husband can mow the lawn with his shirt off all the live long day and nobody cares.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:25 PM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


"For the purposes of this section, the term "private parts" means external organs of sex and of excretion, including the nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the human female breast."
Wait, hold on a second, have these lawmakers seriously never sneezed?
posted by Blasdelb at 12:31 PM on February 23, 2013


I feel no pity for NC; they are getting what they voted for, for those who don't like it I would suggest you find a more palatable state. Let them wallow in their own mire

Really, I found it much easier to move when I was poor. WTF do they have to lose?

Sure. I'll just give up my joint custody and bail on my son. He won't like it, but maybe he'll understand my idealism when he's 30 and less angry.

Not everyone is free to move around the country, troll.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:34 PM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just chiming in as another NCerner who's stuck somewhere between ashamed and enraged over this one. I've always considered myself a centrist, but this is just getting out of hand.

If nothing else, at least I'm starting to understand why people want guns to protect them from the government. Too bad it's those people who are the government around here.
posted by Blue_Villain at 1:49 PM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


For the record, I ain't criticizing anyone for living in NC. I live in Texas, a place overrun with loudmouth secessionists, science-deniers, people who believe that the reconquista is imminent and woman-haters of every stripe, so, I mostly just feel for the good folks of any state dealing with this BS.

I have no idea why pla thinks I was commenting on H1-B visas rather than special non-citizen driver's licenses, as the original link discussed.
posted by emjaybee at 6:27 PM on February 23, 2013


me: with theories ranging from threat of indictment on campaign finance shenanigans

St. Alia: That's the one I would put my money on. Nothing else really makes sense.

Well, maybe to you, but there *are* other sensible suggestions, like she knew that even if she won she'd be dealing for years with a Republican supermajority that could override most of her vetoes, and that it would be years of hard work convincing conservative Dems in the legislature not to go along with Thom Tillis et al, years of constant effort just to stem the tide of vicious Republican short-sighted stupidity we're already seeing, and she'd already had a long, groundbreaking career as a woman in NC politics and, well, she decided she was finally just plain done with all of it.

I mean, that's just one off the top of my head.

Still, even granting that likelihood, I find it impossible to forgive her sudden and late retirement announcement. Even if she was worried about some hitherto-unpublicized campaign finance accusations coming her way, if she'd won (and the closeness of the NC Obama/Romney vote demonstrated she had a good chance of winning, no matter what the polls 10 months out were saying) and then been forced to resign in scandal, the office would have remained in Dem hands with Lt. Gov Dalton taking over.

The political reality of what would happen with a Republican governor in the state was very clear last January (even if getting ridiculously mean-spirited Koch Brothers acolyte Art Pope as our new state Budget Director was not), and the fact that Perdue chose to toss away the power of incumbency and simply hand the election over to McCrory will remain her most lasting and important legacy to the state. She should be ashamed.
posted by mediareport at 8:43 AM on February 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Almost one hundred percent* of the indecent exposure cases I have dealt with have involved a man urinating in public. And one hundred percent of those were dismissed by the DA. Adding nipples to the definition of "private parts" will only add to more cases being dismissed.

Carry on with your arguing. I just want people to be arguing over facts


The facts are that a woman showing her breasts in public is not "indecent exposure" and the protest in Asheville that this bill is in response to would be shut down, with everyone involved arrested.

We live in a country where money given in secret is legally considered speech and showing your body in public isn't.
posted by crayz at 11:42 AM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Once you drive the car off the cliff, you can't just say "whoops," turn around and get back on the road.

You can say "whoomp! there it is!"
posted by Smedleyman at 10:15 PM on February 24, 2013


And the General Assembly's work continues:

NC's coastal counties could get fracking waste if ban lifted

House Republicans to discuss voter ID plans

NC Democrats urge GOP governor to do away with pink licenses
posted by marxchivist at 6:21 AM on March 5, 2013


« Older As Microsoft prepares to retire its unfashionable ...  |  The Crown Prosecution Service ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments