Sunday, March 31, 2013

white smoke coming from Dix Hill

An email I sent today to Rep. Jim Fulghum (R-Wake):

Rep. Fulghum,
You are obviously a thoughtful man, as evidenced by your letter-to-the-editor today. With all due respect, you may be missing some history, which I have had the opportunity to watch over my 20 years of lobbying in the NCGA.

Proper funding for mental health services has been an unattainable goal. We have seen many well-intentioned reforms of the reforms with only the patients being shortchanged. Over the years, the State of NC seemed only to respond to lawsuits in order to provide dollars.

If memory serves, among the only people who wanted Dix to close was former Rep. Jim Crawford from Oxford. Wake County legislators, local elected officials, mental health advocates and the public were vociferously opposed.

Wake County residents overwhelmingly filled the beds in Dix; so why move patients far away from their families? It was also fairly well known that the hospital in Butner was going to be too small before the ground was broken.

At the time, the town of Butner was represented by Mr. Crawford and he was one of the "big" appropriations chairs in the House. As witnessed in the current Legislature, the power of the majority is substantial and often not in the best interest of the people.

In my view, the sudden concern for mental health is, indeed, a smokescreen for the constant desire to delegitimate legal actions taken by former Gov. Bev Perdue.

As you heard last week, most residents of Wake County refuse to be played. I hope you will, too.
Be well,
Paula Wolf

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Another day, another insult

“I would just remind you of one thing,” [Rep. Edgar] Starnes [R-Caldwell] said. “The Republicans won the election. We are in control. We intend to elect Republicans and appoint Republicans, and we make no apology for it.”
The petulant remarks of Rep. Starnes perfectly capture the attitude of the NC GOP since they gained the majority in 2011. There is a world of difference between being "in control" and being "in the leadership."
"That's how YOU did it when YOU were in charge" as explanation for their every action is both stale and pitiful. Retribution and revenge is not a good mission statement for lawmakers in power.
This crowd screamed about the infringement of their LIBERTY, FREEDOM AND PROPERTY RIGHTS when I (helped to) lobby for everything from bicycle helmets and smoking bans to child abuse prevention and spanking children in school. Yet their actions to deny women access to their constitutionally protected reproductive health care decisions knows no bounds. Clearly, women are not entitled to freedom.
They are not creating jobs, they are creating barriers to education. They are not caring for the unemployed, uninsured, poor, or any of the people of NC, they are making sure that 23 mega-rich families can avoid paying taxes. They are not protecting our environment and our rich natural resources, they are destroying them.
One does not have to listen too closely to hear that scientific facts, research, the truth and respect for all human beings mean little to the majority. The needle on the hypocrisy meter has finally broken off. Yes, the GOP is in control and they abuse their power on a daily basis.
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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sequestration or Paranoia?

In his 1964 essay, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" historian Richard Hofstadter was prescient in describing the current, extremist right-wing Republican Party.
"The paranoid spokesman, sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms — he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization... he does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated — if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes."
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