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From silence to savagery, pain for the poor intensifies in NC

By Gene Nichol

December 28, 2013 

Stacy Sanders, 39, a specialist with the Fayettteville police, checks on people living in tents underneath the Person Street Bridge spanning the Cape Fear River. Fayetteville’s homeless population is one of the largest in North Carolina.
This is the last in a yearlong series
 by UNC Professor Gene Nichol examining the faces and issues behind the rising poverty numbers in North Carolina. Read the other installments at newsobserver.com/ncpoverty

 41 The percentage of children of color living in poverty in North Carolina
5,000 The number of children reported homeless by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District
9,000 The number of homeless veterans in North Carolina
5 Where North Carolina ranks in the country in number of hungry residents
11 Where North Carolina ranks in the number of residents living in poverty


We face many challenges in North Carolina, but none approaches the scourge of wrenching poverty amid plenty. In one of the most vibrant and accomplished states, in the richest nation on earth, over 18 percent of us, some 1.7 million, are officially poor. And the standard is a daunting one. A family of four living in Charlotte, for example, on an annual income of $24,000 is not classified as impoverished – though one guesses that’s little consolation as they scratch to survive.
It’s worse still. Over 1 in 4 of our children is poor – 41 percent of our children of color. Think on that. Over 4 in 10 of our babies, our middle-schoolers, our teenagers of color are constrained by the intense challenges of poverty. And if you are born poor here rather than in another state, you’re more apt to stay that way.
North Carolina has one of the country’s fastest rising poverty rates. A decade ago, we were 26th – a little better than average. Now we’re 11th, speeding past the competition. We’ve also seen, over the same period, one of the steepest increases in the ranks of the uninsured.

Two million of us are classified by the federal government as hungry – over 20 percent, the nation’s fifth-highest rate. Nearly 622,000 of our kids don’t get enough to eat. Greensboro is the country’s second-hungriest city; Asheville is ninth. Feeding America reports that, for children under 5, we have the country’s second-highest food insecurity rate, just behind Louisiana. A 2011 study deemed Winston-Salem America’s worst city for childhood food hardship.

A national report last month named Roanoke Rapids and Lumberton two of the three poorest cities in the nation. Robeson County has America’s third-highest food stamp participation rate. The number of homeless K-12 students in North Carolina rose dramatically between 2010 and 2012. We have, statewide, over 9,000 homeless veterans.

As this series has documented, hundreds of those vets live under bridges and along wood lines in Fayetteville, often fresh from battlefields. Some 250 wounded souls occupy tents and cardboard dwellings in otherwise bucolic forests, outside Hickory, unable to find relief in over-pressed shelters. Hundreds line up, before 6 each morning, at Crisis Ministries in Charlotte, trying to avoid the ravages of homelessness.

Over a thousand Tar Heels recently stood on line outside the civic center in Fayetteville – many for over 30 hours – hoping to get generously proffered dental services. No small number had to be turned away. This year, due to inadequate support, sponsors were forced to cancel most of the previously scheduled clinics.

As economic engines rev across parts of Charlotte and Durham, isolated neighborhoods experience mushrooming, and terrifying, child poverty rates – sometimes exceeding 80 percent. And families scramble to exist, almost unseen even to their neighbors, without access to electricity, sewer and clean water.

That’s an earful. A fusillade. More than even a patient reader can be expected to endure. I understand that. What I don’t understand – and I have tried – is the reaction of our political leaders to it.

there is more but I have to abbreviate

read all of it at this link:

Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley distinguished professor at the UNC School of Law and director of the school’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. He doesn’t speak for UNC.

A New Year's gift: 101 Household hints, some of them new and simply brilliant

You won't regret clicking on this link


New York Gun Law Is Largely Upheld by a Federal Judge

Source: NYTimes

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that New York’s expanded ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines was constitutional, but struck down a provision forbidding gun owners from loading their firearms with more than seven rounds.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and lawmakers passed the new legislation, among the most restrictive in the country, in January in response to the mass shooting last December at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. The judge, William M. Skretny of Federal District Court in Buffalo, called the seven-round limit “an arbitrary restriction” that violated the Second Amendment.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/nyregion/federal-judge-upholds-majority-of-new-york-gun-law.html?emc=edit_na_20131231

A few shots of what I saw driving around a few areas of my state (NC)

The first four are in Asheville, about a half mile from where President Obama buys ribs when he's in town.
The abandoned house is near Statesville.

A little NC Hinterland, the back side of Asheville, during Christmas

I sneaked away from the family just before dinner and went over the river and through the woods. I was back home 25 minutes later, after saying hello to a few North Carolina cows on Christmas day.

Incremental. From bad to unbearable. Elf Insult Jokes by Fitzsimmons

***Fall Contest Finals are up and running

I found them on GD and not many photographers have voted, so maybe you don't know
Help keep them kicked, please.
I think they are some of our finest, they should be celebrated. One post card after another.


Thank You, Library of Congress: 'Roger & Me' to Be Added to National Film Registry … Michael Moore

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013


This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been placed on the National Film Registry -- the official list of films that are, according to an act of Congress, to be preserved and protected for all time because of their "cultural and historical significance" to the art of cinema.

It is, to say the least, a huge honor that for me ranks right up there with the Oscar and the Palme d'Or at Cannes. The National Film Registry is a slightly rarefied list of movies in the history of cinema. Of the tens of thousands of films that have been made since the 1890s, only 600 are on the preservation list. Today, in addition to 'Roger & Me', the films that were announced selection to the preservation list include 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?', 'Mary Poppins', 'Pulp Fiction', 'Forbidden Planet', 'The Quiet Man', 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'Judgment at Nuremberg'.

These films plus 'Roger & Me' now join 'Citizen Kane', 'The Graduate', 'Dr. Strangelove' and a host of other classics that make up the National Film Registry.

The news comes at just the right moment for 'Roger & Me'. The upcoming year, 2014, is the 25th anniversary of the film's debut. But last year I learned that there was not a single print of 'Roger & Me' in existence. Anywhere. I was stunned. I had received a call from the New York Film Festival asking if I knew where they could find a 35mm copy of the film. They were told there were no usable prints in North America -- all of them had been damaged or destroyed or had faded in color. How could the largest grossing documentary of all time in 1989 just have vanished? Poof. Gone. And if this could happen to 'Roger & Me', what kind of shape are other films -- especially documentaries -- in?

I called up the good people of Warner Bros. to help me fix the problem -- and they did. In the end ten new prints were made and are now being donated to archival vaults at UCLA, the Motion Picture Academy, the Museum of Modern Art and the George Eastman House.

But now, with the protection offered by the Library of Congress, 'Roger & Me' will be in good hands and around for a long time to come.

You should know that there is a serious film preservation crisis afoot and I've volunteered to help do something about it. I often hear of other films whose prints are all gone. I have personally paid to have new prints made for a number of films ('Hair' by Milos Forman, the old Roy Rogers classic 'Don't Fence Me In', etc.) where not a single print exists. I have donated them to one of the above archival houses and I plan to keep doing this for other movies (Next up: Dalton Trumbo's 'Johnny Got His Gun').

As for 'Roger & Me', if you haven't seen it, check it out on iTunes or Amazon or (for a few hours for free) here. This movie, as most of you know, was my first chapter in a series of eight films that, in part, explore (often satirically) the crazy stupid thing we call "capitalism" -- a never-ending quest by the wealthy to take as much as they can, while leaving the crumbs for everyone else to fight over. Today, according to the polls, more young people say they favor the ideals of socialism over capitalism. I hope to God I played a small role in making that happen, and I look forward to the day when the rich are forced to share the wealth created by their employees. It will happen. In our lifetime.

I thank the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board for this honor. And I encourage all of you to watch my film, a film that, sadly, is every bit as relevant today as when I made it 25 years ago.

I hope all of you are well and enjoying this holiday season. There is much work to do in 2014!


Michael Moore

"Go to comment thread: Fall contest", and learn about how our old friend regnaD kciN is doing


He posted a comment, and I said hello, and he left a link about how he has fared in the last year.
All's well that ends well.

It isn't Santa exactly- but a surprise gift for that weird Fox Kelly woman nevertheless

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