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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,813

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I will only support pro-choice candidates, and Bernie should do the same.

I guess I was/am what some DU'ers would call a "Sandernista," and sure, I'll wear the mantle on a lot of issues and a lot of the time. But endorsing Mello was a dumb move, Sanders. My stand with Bernie is significantly predicated on him standing for the absolute right for women to make choices about their reproductive and sexual lives without undue government interference.

Fetal ultrasound image bills such as the one Mello sponsored (!) explicitly violate both 1st Amendment (i.e.- no to mandated speech) and 4th Amendment (i.e.- yes to privacy) Constitutional guarantees. I have no use for any politician willing to shred the Constitution in this manner.


NC lawmakers want to shield factory farms

NC lawmakers want to shield factory farms from big damage payments to victims

Legislation moving through the North Carolina General Assembly would prevent people living near the state's numerous factory farms from recovering more than token damages in civil lawsuits where the farm's corporate owner is found responsible for harming them.

The proposal comes with such litigation already underway. In 2013, more than 500 residents of eastern North Carolina took legal action against Murphy-Brown LLC, the hog-growing subsidiary of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, which is owned by Shuanghui Group of China, the world's fourth-largest pork producer. Under contracts with local growers, Murphy-Brown owns the hogs at about two-thirds of farms in North Carolina, the second-biggest hog-producing state after Iowa.

North Carolina allows hog farms to store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons before spraying it on open fields, a practice that leads to water pollution. Murphy-Brown is embroiled in separate ongoing litigation with the Waterkeeper Alliance over its alleged failure to comply with a 2006 agreement to clean up groundwater contamination at 11 of its hog operations in the state. The lawsuits filed by the neighbors detail many other problems associated with the farms, including sickening stenches, swarming flies, chronic illnesses and piles of animal carcasses left in roadside "dead boxes."

Despite the serious claims of harm documented by the plaintiffs, House Bill 467 and a companion measure, Senate Bill 460, would limit compensatory damages in such so-called "nuisance" lawsuits. In the case of permanent nuisances, the legislation would limit damages to "the reduction in the fair market value of the plaintiff's property caused by the nuisance, but not to exceed the fair market value of the property." In the case of temporary nuisances, it would limit damages to "the diminution of the fair rental value of the plaintiff's property caused by the nuisance."

Environmental advocates blasted the legislation, with N.C. League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) lobbyist Dan Crawford describing it as "nothing more than lawmakers putting a foreign-owned company ahead of the long-term health and safety of the very communities who have been forced to endure the harms of hog waste for decades."

Much more at this excellent link, including documentation of the egregious environmental racism implications of this awful bill, which has already passed the NC Assembly in 73 seconds, when put up for a vote out of order and without any debate.


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