Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hyperbole Alert..In Reverse

'Professor Patrick Henry' of the UNC School of Law
It is always entertaining when Gene Nichol of the UNC Law School unleashes an incendiary heat-seeking missile at the GOP-led General Assembly in Raleigh.

He writes with such passion you have to believe he believes what he is writing.

Either that, or he was really, really good at creative writing in undergrad English classes.

The one thing that is interesting is how hyperbolic he can be when he unleashes such venom at the very people who help fund the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through appropriations bills passed every year at the General Assembly.

It is like the proverbial dog biting the hand that feeds him. To the tune of close to $620,000 in household income his spouse and he draw from the University system each year.

As a citizen, he is certainly entitled to those freedom of speech and thoughts rights. Just as you and I and everyone else has those same rights.

We thought it might be fun to take Mr. Nichol's very same editorial and turn it on its head to see how it would read if, say, some brave conservative professor, assuming there are any brave enough to admit it, in the same UNC School of Law at Chapel Hill wrote in the same incendiary language about President Barack Obama and the Democrats in the US Senate.

Would he/she be allowed to 'not speak for the University' in the same strain of freedom of speech Mr. Nichol...and still keep his/her job? Even if they were tenured?

It is an interesting question to contemplate. There are so few data points to evaluate.

The first selection is the edited version. Mr. Nichol's original text follows below.
________________________________________________________________________________
'It is impossible to miss the fact that an election approaches. Commercials launch from every corner and platform.

You couldn’t avoid them if you tried. I’ve tried.

But despite all the money, outside influence, debates, consultants, phone calls and ads, this election, and its accompanying politics, is oddly removed from our challenges. It’s no match for our urgencies.

America faces a fight for its decency. Our politicians, somehow, have largely missed the bout.

We’re in the struggle of our lives. Our leaders proceed with a whimper.

President Barack Obama and the Democrat Senate, led by the misguided and small-minded Harry Reid, have brutally denied even producing an annual budget and added $7 trillion more in national debt on our nation's young.

(Many will die as a result?) (sic..we just can't compete with such a miasma of hyperbole from Mr. Nichol's original text)

They have required businessmen to undergo coerced, financially unnecessary banking reviews under Dodd-Frank legislation and a Soviet-style propaganda spiel to shame them from making any sort of productive investments and loans to our beleaguered small business sector.

They have enacted the largest tax hikes to our already explosively expensive health care system in American history. They have taken great chunks of our defense budget – already among the lowest in our nation's history – to subsidize unaccountable, discriminatory, and often absurd welfare programs. They have launched a regime of energy exploration degradation and acted to assure the presence of marijuana in every venue.

They have expanded the Medicare payroll tax universe, indiscriminately taxing even the capital gains on the sale of your house, to finance 'risk corridors' for the health insurance companies who went along with their misguided Obamacare scheme. They have betrayed our national promise by boldly encouraging people who are not legally registered to vote. They will now spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to join a lawsuit that’s already over, to remind its base how much they detest legal elections.

Of all this, Barack Obama and the Senate Democrats brag incessantly – declaring they’ve made “tough choices” to right the ship. In fact, they could not have done more to sink this ship called America had they been the iceberg that ripped a hole in the side of the Titanic.

Apparently it takes manly gusto to step on the necks of common sense. A clueless president conceived this progressive agenda and then waved it all through. This is the worst, most destructive, record in modern American history. And we now lead the world in a stunning effort to inter our defining aspiration to be the world's superpower....by never leading but always following from behind.

If that’s not enough to stir revolt, I’m not sure what would.

Still, most of our legislative races are low key – timid cobbling and patching. Democrats offer tepid support for education or environmental moderation or, on occasion, a woman’s right to choose. They announce that Republicans overplayed their hands, so an eventual return to power is assured. As if they care little for the destruction visited in the meantime.

The fight of the century looks like a croquet match at the country club.

It is true, of course, that we’re undergoing an astonishingly expensive and pervasive U.S. Senate race.

But Sen. Kay Hagan is a singularly unlikely figure to carry the banner of the marginalized and dispossessed to the top of the hill.

She’s the bankers’ best friend. Her constant refrain that she’s “the most moderate member of the Senate” is a reminder, to many, that she stands for little. Saying, in effect “I’m the Democratic senator most like the Republicans” is hardly a call to arms. “If this is a fight for the soul of North Carolina, I’m with you – 51 percent of the time.” Where do I enlist?

But America, itself, is on fire. People who work for a living and parents of, and believers in, their students are intensely mobilized. Americans for Prosperity successfully presses the free enterprise community and all those who believe in their full humanity. CrossRoads fights like the future of our freedom is in the balance, since it is. The Chamber of Commerce organizes tirelessly. The NFIB is an energized and engaged activist force in every corner of the state. It makes our partisan groupings seem bloodless and lukewarm.

And, of course, the Tea Party movement has emboldened the nation. The numbers who have taken to our streets to reclaim a humane mission for their homeland astonish. They know what’s at stake. And they act like it. Cause it is true.

But despite the claims of its adversaries, the Tea Party is not a partisan, electoral enterprise. It doesn’t proffer and propose candidates. No politicians comprise its leadership. It is inspired by a collective agreement that America has been seriously run off the tracks by this President and this Democrat Senate and hundreds of thousands have answered the call. It moves and ignites a people. It doesn’t run candidate campaigns.

The American woods are ablaze. But the North Carolina Democratic Party is, at present, largely unsuited to capitalize on the fury. It has some great figures. It’s not, though, a potent state force. It barely recognizes what blows in the wind.

Come Election Day, Carolina’s boldest hearts and brotherhoods will have to do the heaviest lifting. Come election day, common sense will prevail and send adults to take over the US Senate and return it to the World's Greatest Deliberative Body that it has always been before the last 6 years.


Dr. Patrick Henry is the Hinton James tenured distinguished professor at the UNC School of Law. He doesn’t speak for UNC. He also is about to become the first tenured professor ever fired from a university because, while speaking his mind, he crossed the boundaries because he disagrees with the rest of us'
_______________________________________________________________________________

Original op-ed piece by Gene Nichol 10/16/14

It is impossible to miss the fact that an election approaches. Commercials launch from every corner and platform. You couldn’t avoid them if you tried. I’ve tried.

But despite all the money, outside influence, debates, consultants, phone calls and ads, this election, and its accompanying politics, is oddly removed from our challenges. It’s no match for our urgencies. North Carolina faces a fight for its decency. Our politicians, somehow, have largely missed the bout. We’re in the struggle of our lives. Our leaders proceed with a whimper.

The General Assembly has brutally denied health care to half a million of our most vulnerable citizens. Many will die as a result. It has required women to undergo a coerced, medically unnecessary sonogram and a Soviet-style propaganda spiel to shame them from exercising reproductive freedom.

It has enacted the largest cut to an unemployment compensation program in American history. It’s taken great chunks of our education budget – already among the worst in the nation – to subsidize unaccountable, discriminatory, often absurd sectarian schools. It has launched a regime of environmental degradation and acted to assure the presence of guns in every venue.

It has eliminated the earned income tax credit, raising the rates of low-income workers, to finance tax cuts for the rich. It has betrayed our national promise by boldly attacking the right to vote. It will now spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to join a lawsuit that’s already over, to remind its base how much it detests lesbians and gay men.

Of all this, Republicans brag incessantly – declaring they’ve made “tough choices” to right the ship. Apparently it takes manly gusto to step on the necks of the marginalized. A clueless governor waved it all through. This is the worst, most destructive, record in modern North Carolina history. And we now lead the nation in a stunning effort to inter our defining aspiration to equality.

If that’s not enough to stir revolt, I’m not sure what would.

Still, most of our legislative races are low key – timid cobbling and patching. Democrats offer tepid support for education or environmental moderation or, on occasion, a woman’s right to choose. They announce that Republicans overplayed their hands, so an eventual return to power is assured. As if they care little for the destruction visited in the meantime. The fight of the century looks like a croquet match at the country club.

It is true, of course, that we’re undergoing an astonishingly expensive and pervasive U.S. Senate race. And the Republican nominee is the central architect of our path-breaking record of outrages. But Sen. Kay Hagan is a singularly unlikely figure to carry the banner of the marginalized and dispossessed to the top of the hill.

She’s the bankers’ best friend. Her constant refrain that she’s “the most moderate member of the Senate” is a reminder, to many, that she stands for little. Saying, in effect “I’m the Democratic senator most like the Republicans” is hardly a call to arms. “If this is a fight for the soul of North Carolina, I’m with you – 51 percent of the time.” Where do I enlist?

But North Carolina, itself, is on fire. Teachers and the parents of, and believers in, their students are intensely mobilized. Equality NC successfully presses the gay community and all those who believe in their full humanity. Planned Parenthood fights like the future of our freedom is in the balance, since it is. The AFL-CIO organizes tirelessly. The NC-NAACP is an energized and engaged activist force in every corner of the state. It makes our partisan groupings seem bloodless and lukewarm.

And, of course, the Moral Monday movement has emboldened the nation. The numbers who have taken to our streets to reclaim a humane mission for their homeland astonish. They know what’s at stake. And they act like it.

But despite the claims of its adversaries, Moral Monday is not a partisan, electoral enterprise. It doesn’t proffer and propose candidates. No politicians comprise its leadership. It is inspired by a brilliant and charismatic preacher and the hundreds of thousands who answer his call. It moves and ignites a people. It doesn’t run candidate campaigns.

The woods are ablaze. But the North Carolina Democratic Party is, at present, largely unsuited to capitalize on the fury. It has some great figures. It’s not, though, a potent state force. It barely recognizes what blows in the wind. Come Election Day, Carolina’s boldest hearts and brotherhoods will have to do the heaviest lifting.

Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley distinguished professor at the UNC School of Law. He doesn’t speak for UNC.'

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/10/16/4239151_wheres-the-fight-in-north-carolinas.html?rh=1

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