North Carolina legislature passes bill allowing drivers to plow through protestors on streets

It’s unbelievable what Republicans try to do when making law. They are overturning Obamacare simply to go after Obama—a move that will lead, foreseeably, to the deaths of thousands of Americans. But now the GOP in North Carolina has passed a bill that’s just as ludicrous and almost as dangerous.

What happened, according to multiple and credible sources (see, for instance, here, here, and here) is that the House wing of the North Carolina legislature passed a bill (HB 330) immunizing drivers from civil lawsuits who hit protestors in the streets. One of the impetuses for the bill was a protest that occurred recently in North Carolina, and HB330, which passed by a vote of 67-48, was of course introduced by a Republican, Representative Justin P. Burr.

Last year, people protesting the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a Charlotte police officer blocked roadways during at-times chaotic protest-related activities.

“These people are nuts to run in front of cars like they do … and say, ‘Me and my buddy here are going to stop this two-and-a-half-ton vehicle,’” GOP state Rep. Michael Speciale said in support of the bill, The News & Observer reports. “If somebody does bump somebody, why should they be held liable?”

The bill does not allow drivers to deliberately target protestors, but, as far as I can see, if a driver simply drives through a crowd or protestors, killing or injuring some, that driver is immune from civil prosecution. I’m not sure about criminal prosecution on the grounds of reckless driving or other infractions, and perhaps a lawyer can weigh in here. But I suspect you’re free and clear legally and civilly.  What does seem clear is that the object is to eliminate protests in the streets, including ones that constitute civil disobedience. And the bill seems superfluous, anyway:

Democratic state Rep. Henry Michaux, however, points out North Carolina is one of just four states with a pure contributory negligence rule, which means it’s already impossible to collect a payout if the injured party is even 1 percent at fault for an accident.

Michaux, an African-American attorney, tells U.S. News the bill therefore would not give drivers additional protection from liability. Instead, he sees it as an unconstitutional invitation to mow down protesters or weave through parades, and he feels the motivation behind the bill may be racial.

“Who demonstrates more than people of color?” Michaux says. “It would give some folks the idea,” he says, to intentionally run over people “because you’ve got a group of black folks out here or a group of Latinos out here.”

WFAE points out other problems:

“We all know this is being done to try to make a point about protests,” said Democrat Greg Meyer. He’s just one of the lawmakers who saw a problem with this bill. “It is just going to embarrass us. There is no good reason to pass this bill.”

Even those in favor of the measure saw problems.

When first introduced this bill was incredibly broad. Amendments followed. One to make it clear it was just for protesters on the street, an earlier version could have included those on the sidewalk.

Another amendment made this bill only pertain to protesters who did not have a permit to be on the street. But there’s a problem with that, as pointed out by Democrat Pricey Harrison. “There is Supreme Court case law that there is a constitutional right to protest without a permit even in the streets when the protest is in rapid response to unforeseeable and recent events.”

Just like the events which Burr said spurred this proposed law.

Here’s a pdf of the bill, which will now be taken up by the state Senate:

It seems crazy to me to even consider such a bill. When there are people in the street—for whatever reason—you don’t drive over them unless you’re in fear for your own life. You can’t just kill protestors because you need to buy milk at the 7-11.

It is obvious to anyone that this is a way for North Carolina Republicans to both squelch protests and allow people to kill or injure protestors. And if you’re wondering if it’s mostly Republicans who did this, the answer is “yes”: the roll call is below. Only one Democrat voted for the bill and just five Republicans against it.

Things are in bad shape in what used to be one of the more enlightened Southern states. (The legislature is also gutting higher education in the state.)

h/t: Grania

72 Comments

  1. Randy schenck
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I would first say, if this is what the North Carolina legislature is wasting their time on, get them out. Stupidity is too nice to describe these people. Generally, legislatures are packed full of attorneys and those guys normally would not be in favor of anything like this. It’s just too stupid to even make a respectable comment.

    • darrelle
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      The estimable Justin P. Burr is a bail bondsman.

  2. BobTerrace
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Subscribe

  3. Aelfric
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    It became apparent to me long ago that the rank and file Republican is less concerned with policy outcomes than he or she is with punching (apparently both literally and metaphorically) what they perceive as “Democrats,” “the Left,” or “Hippies.”

  4. Kevin
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I doubt it’s milk at 7-11. Maybe the NC Rep party feels pressure from their constituency to make sure that the drive to the next opioid fix is unimpeded.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      How about unimpeded to their KKK rally.

      • Kevin
        Posted May 5, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Prescription smack, burning crosses, and white linen dresses…God Bless America.

      • BJ
        Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        The group that, according to the very much known-to-exaggerate organization SPLC, has 3,000 to 6,000 members left across the whole country?

        • Randy schenck
          Posted May 5, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          Well, I looked it up and it appears to be from 5 to 8 thousand but so what. You think North Carolina might have a few. We can thank the SPLC for the loss in numbers.

    • Posted May 5, 2017 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think opioid abuse is as big a problem here in NC than many other areas of the country (but I live in the rather enlightened Triangle–if you exclude those bozos in the General Assembly).

      But you’re right about the 7-11s. We don’t have many of those around here.

  5. Posted May 5, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I note that the bill states “while exercising due care,” and only gives immunity if the protesters’ actions were “willful and wanton.” That at least improves things. I don’t agree with willy-nilly driving over protesters, of course, however I would want the ability to get away if protesters were surrounding my car, trying to smash my windows or flip it over and I had my family inside. I would then be, as you said above, in fear for my life. That means I should have the right to defend myself and my family if I am being threatened that much. I am not throwing in my total support for this bill but I did want to point that out. (If it matters, I am neither Democrat nor Republican.)

    As an aside, although I do agree that the new health care bill isn’t the best answer, neither was Obamacare. I work in the health insurance field and it was heartbreaking to have to explain people’s new plans to them after the ACA was passed. I saw deductibles skyrocket along with premiums. If I were to take the ACA plan offered by my employer, I could afford to find out what was wrong with me, but not to fix it. I recognize that there are a few success stories because of the ACA, however there are far more people who had to go off of needed medications or forego treatments when it started. Sure, women get free contraceptives, but that’s thirty dollars worth of medication versus hundreds of dollars out of pocket of additional expense. I do apologize for being so longwinded. I think we both share the desire for a better solution, both for the North Carolina bill, and for Obamacare.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      I should avoid commenting on the driving law bit but if you think that is something that needs state laws to cover, so you can escape from the public, demonstrating or not, I think you are looking for way too many laws. Maybe we need one in case a bee flies in the window and stings the dog, causing you to hit the pedal. The Health Care business is not covered in this posting so I won’t bother.

      • Posted May 5, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        In general I favor fewer laws. Also, I did not say I supported the law, in fact I specifically stated I wasn’t throwing in my total support. I was pointing out a couple of aspects of it and that was all.

      • TimS
        Posted May 5, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        In fact, the very first paragraph of the posting states “They are overturning Obamacare simply to go after Obama—a move that will lead, foreseeably, to the deaths of thousands of Americans.” Just sayin’

        • Randy schenck
          Posted May 5, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Lets just say I didn’t want to get into a discussion of the health care events with someone who is already saying they work in the health insurance area. Far as I can say, that is the problem or do you not agree with that. The answer is Medicare for everyone, end of story.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Are you aware of a case anywhere in which a driver seeking to protect himself or his passengers has ever been prosecuted (or successfully sued for civil damages) under extant law for injuries caused while endeavoring to flee from violent protesters?

      This bill is legally otiose; it was introduced solely as a symbolic condemnation of the Black-Lives-Matter protests in Charlotte last year.

      • Posted May 5, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        There are several cases, one recent, one or more from a couple of years ago, and others farther back. Google searching will reveal them. I do understand you think the bill is purposeless, you are entitled to your opinion.

    • Adam M.
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Actually, even more to your point, the bill doesn’t give immunity if the driver’s actions were willful or wanton. So it seems like it would only apply to accidentally hitting someone. (But then of course people will claim it was accidental.)

    • eric
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      I note that the bill states “while exercising due care,” and only gives immunity if the protesters’ actions were “willful and wanton.” That at least improves things.

      No, it makes it worse (IMO). That’s because those things are judgment calls by the jury, which means that the outcome will be uneven and, let’s face it, very likely based on race, religion, or wealth.

      Are you rich and have a good lawyer? Then you can probably convince the jury the protestor’s actions were willful while your client was exercising due care.

      White driver, black protestors, white jury? Clearly the client exercised due care while they were willful and wanton!

      Muslim driver, white protestors, christian jury? Oh goodness, of course he wasn’t exercising due care! And the protestors were acting reasonably!

      You get the point. I strongly oppose the law, but if they’re going to do it, the only way to make sure it’s applied equally to all citizens is to leave as little wiggle room as possible. Otherwise it’ll be the Lindsay Lohans getting off for the exact some action that sends some young black man to jail for years.

  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Virtue signalling, right-wing style.

    There’s a segment of the population who will love this. They’re the same ones that want totally unnecessary anti-Sharia bills.

  7. Posted May 5, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Seems clear to me that the parking lot of the North Carolina Capitol is a “road” and the legislators are “protestors.” So I’m sure they won’t mind when somebody steamrollers them.

    Is it just me, or are both Republicans and the Illiberal Left doing their damnedest to make armed conflict inevitable?

    I mean, seriously. We’ve got the Illiberal Left censoring people left and right; and what recourse is there to censorship but violence? And the Republicans are, literally, trying to kill millions of people by taking away their access to health care; armed insurrection has been the result in other countries for less.

    Can we please stop careening towards these cliffs? Pretty please, with cream and sprinkles on top?

    Cheers,

    b&

  8. Craw
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Can you explain what you think the “due care” stipulation implies? Because I think it vitiates your entire analysis.

    I think stipulation (b) means your headline is misleading. “plow[ing]” through protestors sounds like a willful or wanton action to me.

    • BJ
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. It means the exact opposite of “…if a driver simply drives through a crowd or protestors, killing or injuring some, that driver is immune from civil prosecution.”

      • Wunold
        Posted May 6, 2017 at 3:18 am | Permalink

        So if I decide to plough through a crowd of protesters, I should at least do it with due care? 🙂

        • BJ
          Posted May 6, 2017 at 5:13 am | Permalink

          I know you’re making a joke, but it’s a real legal term. If anything shows you trying to do it or being negligent in doing it, you’re screwed. This bill only protects the truly accidental incident.

    • eric
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      The “due care” stipulation implies that a jury can let the rich, white, christian defendants off while finding poor, minority, or non-christian defendants guilty, and get away with it. Because they get to decide whether the defendant exercised due care or not.

      • Craw
        Posted May 5, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        Do you understand that “due care” is used elsewhere in the statute that this bill amends? The use of due care restricts the effect of the rule, it does not as you seem to think expand it. You are simply ignoring what commonly used legal language means.

        The arguments on this thread are remarkable. Not just for ignoring the text of the bill but for their variety. The bill makes it open season, so republicans are bad. The bill has no effect, so republicans are bad. I wonder what day of the week it was passed on, and what conclusion follows.

        • BJ
          Posted May 6, 2017 at 5:15 am | Permalink

          People don’t seem to know that “due care” is a real legal term with real responsibilities and, if ignored, real consequences.

  9. Historian
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    “They are overturning Obamacare simply to go after Obama.”

    The Republicans hate Obamacare for reasons going well beyond their hatred of Obama. It is a manifestation of conservative philosophy. Chauncey DeVega in Salon has written a perceptive analysis of what conservatives think:

    —————

    “Once again, the repeated efforts by the Republican Party to repeal the minimal protections offered by the Affordable Care Act serve to remind us that conservatism is a type of socially motivated cognition that minimizes any sense of human obligation and connection to other people, outside a narrowly defined kin or other peer group.”

    “Today’s version of American conservatism is also a celebration of selfishness — and a belief that true freedom and liberty are based on a perverse individualism with little sense of common decency or linked fate with someone’s fellow citizens. Today’s American conservatism also embraces an extreme form of neoliberalism whereby human worth and dignity are determined by profit-and-loss statements and capitalism and democracy are confused with one another. Ultimately, American conservatism is a value system that is antisocial, anti-democratic and anti-freedom.”

    http://www.salon.com/2017/05/04/the-pro-life-party-has-become-the-party-of-death-new-research-on-why-republicans-hate-poor-and-sick-people/
    ——————

    In other words, conservatives believe that individuals have no obligation to help others outside of possibly family. Their views are a rebirth of social Darwinism that was very popular among a group of intellectuals at the end of the 19th century. For them, healthcare is not a right that government should subsidize. If you get sick that’s you tough luck if you can’t afford care. Their viewpoint is truly reactionary and due to a set of specific circumstances they have managed to gain the support of the people whom they hurt the most. As the current ruling class these conservatives have mastered the techniques for successfully manipulating the masses.

    Liberals have been political amateurs compared to these people. They have failed to realize that the Democratic Party has so surrendered to the whims of the identity groups that compose it, thus ignoring the strategy that stands the best chance of restoring them to power – one concentrating on class based politics, which would benefit the great majority of Americans regardless of race, religion, gender sexual preference, etc. Every time Democrats have timidly tried to take positions that can be called class related, the Republicans accuse them of waging class warfare. They then cravenly back off. The proper response should be: “You’re damn right we’re fighting class warfare – which you started. And we will not stop showing the American people how you have screwed them.“ FDR was so successful because he realized the benefits of class based politics and was not scared to call Republicans plutocrats. For reasons that take many books to explain, by the late 1960s the Democrats began to lose their way. They are still paying the price. They need to understand that emphasizing class doesn’t mean an abandonment of the effort to assist various groups that have been oppressed. I think this was Bernie Sanders’ message.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      I think you would agree that the civil rights of the 60s which turned the democratic south into republicans was a great win for the republican party. It cemented a large population into a hard core republican base that will not be changed. Even if the ignorant, or uneducated white population in the north, wakes up some day, the republicans will always have the dixie south.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 5, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        You USAnians’ really big mistake was not letting the South secede when it wanted to…

        😉

        cr

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted May 5, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

          Had the South successfully seceded, it never, ever would have given up its slaves willingly, and it already had an eye on colonizing (and re-introducing slavery to) various Caribbean and South American territories.

          • David Duncan
            Posted May 6, 2017 at 3:53 am | Permalink

            Slavery was dying anyway. It would have ended within 20 years, secession or not.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted May 6, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

              When the Civil War started, there were just under 4 million slaves in the Southern and border states. They represented a huge business asset, with a value of %3.5 billion (greater than the value of all Southern farmland and buildings combined). Slavery was very profitable for Southern slave owners.

              What evidence do you have to support your assertion that “slavery was dying [and] would have ended within 20 years”?

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted May 6, 2017 at 5:50 am | Permalink

            I have to admit that was an entirely frivolous comment of mine.

            cr

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted May 6, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

              I’ve made the same comment myself on occasion — though, truth is, I’m way too fond of biscuits & red-eye gravy, country ham, and sour-mash whiskey ever to let the South actually go. 🙂

              • Diane G.
                Posted May 7, 2017 at 3:27 am | Permalink

                There’s so much to love about the South. And what part of the country doesn’t have its provincial idiots? If the South weren’t the South we’d never have had Molly Ivins, Ann Richards, Kinky Friedman, Barbara Jordan, Dan Rather…hell, even LBJ who despite a certain quagmire just triumphed domestically on Civil Rights…

                (Can you tell I lived in Texas once?)

    • Adam M.
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      In other words, conservatives believe that individuals have no obligation to help others outside of possibly family.

      And yet, they sure do love those subsidies for corporations! I’m not disagreeing with you in general, but they sure seem to have no problem imposing obligations on taxpayers to help people when those people happen to be wealthy campaign donors…

      • Wunold
        Posted May 6, 2017 at 3:43 am | Permalink

        Those donors are closer to an extended “social status family” than the average citizen is. Also, (not only) conservatives tend to view wealth as a sign for ability. Seen in this light, the wealthy earned their support just by being wealthy.

        Pontifical explanations aside, it can simply be a form of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

  10. Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if there will be a clause excluding drivers who have already pledged an allegiance to the Islamic State.

    • Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      I was going to make that same point.

      Imagine if there was a protest and a jihadi decides to do what jihadis have been doing across Europe and in Israel and mow people down – what then?

      • Posted May 5, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        “Imagine if there was a protest and a jihadi decides to do what jihadis have been doing across Europe and in Israel and mow people down”

        Their right to mow people down is already covered by the religious liberty bill. :p

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      As well as excluding anti-abortion protesters.

  11. Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Every time Democrats have timidly tried to take positions that can be called class related, the Republicans accuse them of waging class warfare. They then cravenly back off. The proper response should be: “You’re damn right we’re fighting class warfare – which you started. And we will not stop showing the American people how you have screwed them.“

    Another option would be to reply that America is supposed to be a classless society, so why are the Republicans so keen on defending the uppermost class at the expense of all others? The rising tide isn’t floating all boats; most are being swamped at the expense of the most privileged. So isn’t it time to intelligently design a system that rises the lowest the most so we can get back to that classless society we’re all agreed we’re supposed to be?

    Cheers,

    b&

    • Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Sorry…meant as a reply to Historian at #9, not a new subthread….

      b&

  12. Craw
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I was legally stopped in traffic when a man pulled out and hit me. According to the laws of our state, in this situation, I am not responsible for paying my deductible, he is. That is not the law in every state. Making laws to clarify liability is not an unusual thing. This is such a law. It seems sensibly crafted because it expressly requires that the driver have exercised due care, it specifically applies only to situations where the protest was not under a permit to use the road, and it excludes any willful action. It may not be a good law, it might be better to allow juries to decide based on particular circumstances, but this is in no way a law to allow “plow[ing]” throough protestors by drivers who have been “immunize[d]” against civil damages for doing so.

    • BJ
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Right, the “due care” part of the law clearly puts the lie to most of what is being said about the bill. Furthermore, with what groups like AntiFa have been up to lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone ended up in a situation where they had to run (drive) for their life.

      I don’t necessarily agree with the bill — I think that it’s just been crafted to be a big F U to Dems and protesters — but what’s being written and said about it is extreme exaggeration.

    • jay
      Posted May 6, 2017 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      There have been a number of cases where motorists were trapped by rioters, sometimes beaten and killed. We’re not talking about merely blocking traffic. The riots in NC a while back had people trapped.

      This can be an issue of self defense.

      • BJ
        Posted May 6, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Indeed. One just needs to look them up. And what do people think would have happened if the driver of the limo destroyed in the name of “anti-fascism/anti-Trump” was in his vehicle at the time its windows were broken and it was burned?

  13. alexandra Moffat
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    if it’s legal for cars to hit protesters, maybe it’s also legal for protesters to hit cars? That could be interesting….some people on the street carry golf clubs, use canes, walkers, wheelchairs.Not recommending this at all….however…..as well, what about stand your ground laws?
    What you sow, you reap?

  14. DrBrydon
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Now if the police go on strike, and are picketing the capitol, are they protestors…?

    North Carolina confirms its role as the semi-retarded neighbor of South Carolina.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      I think North and South Dakota have the same arrangement but who know which is the semi.

      I doubt the police are allowed to strike but who knows. I know that employees that are active in govt. unions are not allowed to negotiate for wages or to strike.

  15. Curt Nelson
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Bill Maher did a bit on his show recently in which he noted how Republicans are doing things “just to be dicks,” and he cited several good examples.

    Last night Rachel Maddow had on Adam Schiff to talk about the Republican health care plan. He described an interaction he had with a constituent in which the guy said, regarding people who would be hurt by the R plan because they wouldn’t be able to afford health care under it, basically “tough.” “They shouldn’t have what they can’t afford.”

    This seems to be the philosophy of Republicans in general – that people are responsible for their situation in life. They don’t accept science as any kind of authority and their philosophy of life is based on wishful thinking. And they don’t mind being dicks.

    • Mark R.
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      True. But I’d go further than “they don’t mind being dicks”. They do mind being dicks- they love it, they relish in their own dickiness.

    • jay
      Posted May 6, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      It would be more of a problem if Obamacare were actually good. Unfortunately it was based on wishful thinking, and financially collapsing under its own weight.

      Doubt the hurriedly done alternative is much better, though.

      • Wunold
        Posted May 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately it was based on wishful thinking, and financially collapsing under its own weight.

        Do you have a source that a layman in economics like me understands?

        • Wunold
          Posted May 6, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, blockquote mistake.

          Unfortunately it was based on wishful thinking, and financially collapsing under its own weight.

          Do you have a source that a layman in economics like me understands?

          • jay
            Posted May 7, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

            Not ready to dig up the stuff I’ve read over the past few months, but it boils down to this

            * There was a lot of enrollment of the sickest patients. Meantime rates for young healthy people went up and they were expected to carry some of the costs of the sick. Hence these desirable people dropped out.

            * Similarly rates for young men were raised to match young women (equality, doncha know) even though they were the least likely users of medical coverage.

            * substantial number of the original pool companies have dropped out and the remaining ones are in trouble because they are getting much of the financial load.

            Agreed it IS more complex than this, but the information is out there in the financial press.

  16. phoffman56
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Running down pedestrians in a crowd by ISIS sympathizers has become a new method of killing in Europe.

    Earlier I had thought that maybe Americanistan would be an appropriate name-change for a good portion (at least for the phony religiosos) of that country with an awkward long name and historically a Monroe doctrine. Then they could start referring to each other as ‘Americanis’, just a slight change to lessen the annoyance of the citizens from other countries in North and South America. However ‘Paki’ was (and likely still is) a racial insult in Britain for people with ancestry in Pakistan, so maybe not. I guess I’ll stick with ‘USians’!

    But instead, maybe change USA to USUS. The obvious pronunciation would be appropriate for the Drumpf era.

  17. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    This pedestrian mow-down bill is just the latest manifestation of the reactionary forces that have long held sway in North Carolina making a last-ditch effort to reassert themselves — of a piece with the infamous “HB2” law the North Carolina lege enacted last year to strip away the rights that had been afforded gay and trans-gendered people by a Charlotte city anti-discrimination ordinance.

    North Carolina is on the front lines of our American kulturkampf. Charlotte (where I spent some time visiting friends last summer) is a reasonably progressive, modern town, as are the university towns arrayed across the state. But they are surrounded by a sea of bible-belt red. The forces in the hinterlands — which retain control of the Republican-dominated legislature by virtue of vicious gerrymandering that the courts have since determined was unconstitutional — can feel themselves losing their grip, as North Carolina transitions from red to purple to blue. But they ain’t goin’ down without a fight. And this bill is their cri de coeur against the Black Lives Matter protests that took place in Charlotte last Fall.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Hell, I think those people down there are still fighting a version of the civil war. They are what we use to say in the service – Eat’in up with their state. The federal govt. is the enemy and we must fight the lost cause. Possibly continued breeding with outsiders will save them but they need to stay away from South Carolina.

  18. Alpha Neil
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    The lawmakers who have taken time to craft, debate and pass this bill seem to be missing an important point. If there are so many protests that running over protesters with cars has become an issue then it seems that the citizenry they are supposed to represent are unhappy with their performance. Maybe they should pass and/or repeal laws that would make the citizens happy and reduce the number of protesters? That shouldn’t be funny but I can’t help but chuckle as I read my own words.

  19. somer
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Heartless and murderous.

  20. icarustpenguin
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    What if NC has a ‘stand your ground law’?

  21. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Can’t comment, as I’m packing up my British Classic – the Boudiccan Iron Age Chariot, with the calf-level leg-slicers – for shipping tom America. I haven’t decided which protest I’m going to scythe trough. Are there any KKK ones coming up in north Carolina in the near future?
    Sorry, not “are there” : which of the candidates are likely to be largest? Until scythed.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Regrettably, you’re not supposed to mow them down deliberately, and the scythe blades would be a dead giveaway.

      Though I have to say I do like Boudicca’s co-pilot.

      My thoughts went more to one of these:

      I’m a little surprised some NC SWAT unit doesn’t have one already…

      🙂

      cr

    • phoffman56
      Posted May 7, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      I thought maybe, but now not, that I had the ‘winner’ with the ground digging blades attached to the front-end loader on my subcompact tractor!

  22. kelskye
    Posted May 6, 2017 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    In France, they call such an act “terrorism”.

    • BJ
      Posted May 6, 2017 at 5:17 am | Permalink

      yeah, i don’t think those people were exercising “due care”…..

  23. Posted May 6, 2017 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    This is so sad and backward. 👎

  24. onwyrdsdream
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    “They are overturning Obamacare simply to go after Obama…”

    No, they’re overturning Obamacare because it was fundamentally flawed in such a way that long term it is guaranteed to create a situation exactly the opposite of it’s promised behavior. Given the well understood principles of economics and human behavior, it won’t work as advertised. Even if Ronald Reagan had proposed it, conservatives and libertarians would find fault with the bill. It’s pretty much like someone proposing to deal with global warming by building a bunch of coal furnaces to boil off sea water and increase the water vapor , sulfur dioxide, and CO2 in the atmosphere. It isn’t as though conservatives are completely against a public health care system, but this particular one is utter garbage, and acting as though our only complaint is the person who created it is dishonest. We love the country more than we dislike Obama; things done that are actually beneficial (rather than merely claimed) would be conserved.


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