Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be ALE Agents

Why in the world did they have to pick Willie Nelson?

North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) officers protected the ticket-buying citizens of North Carolina from dangerous country outlaws on Friday, arresting Willie Nelson's band for possession of moonshine and marijuana. As a result, Willie's Friday night concert in Kenansville was cancelled.

This might make sense except:

- ALE is supposed to be investigating the growing scandal that is North Carolina's state-run alcohol monopoly, not ruining everybody's weekend.

- It is practically entrapment for the state to promote its moonshine heritage for tourism purposes and then arrest visitors for partaking while they are here.

- There are tons of worthless stoned musicians constantly playing in this state, whose arrest would actually improve North Carolina.

North Carolina law enforcement is looking more and more like Roscoe P. Coltrane, serving no purpose except to protect Boss Hogg's monopoly on the liquor business. Maybe it's time we disband not only ABC but ALE as well.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bipartisan Mismanagement

Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies frets that the North Carolina legislature is the most likely Southern state legislature to come under Republican control in the 2010 elections due to public disapproval of the Democratic party. If only 10 percent of existing Democratic seats change hands, the Republican party will enjoy an 8-vote advantage in the House and reach a "deadlock" in the Senate.

Kromm's concern seems to be that Republicans would use their newfound ability to control the redistricting process to disenfranchise "urban voters, African-Americans, Latinos and other key demographic groups." He needn't worry. The last time the Republicans held such a strategic position, they managed to squander it by scandalously selling control back to the Democrats. Just because former House Speaker Jim Black is now in prison doesn't mean that the corrupt North Carolina Democratic party is somehow above using any and all means to retain its majority.