North Carolina's transphobic "bathroom bill" law is already costing it hundreds of millions of dollars


Wired's Emma Grey Ellis runs the numbers on HB2, the anti-transgender North Carolina law that requires bearded blokes to use the womens' bathroom because they have an F on their birth certificate. "It’s North Carolinians, most of whom don’t even support the legislation," Emma writes, "who get stuck with the bill. "

Adding all that up, the total cost to North Carolinians so far from HB2 protests is slightly more than $395 million. That’s more than the GDP of Micronesia. And the bulk of it is from sporting organizations, who even five years ago would likely not have waded into political territory like this. But experts aren’t that surprised that the NBA, NCAA, and ACC have taken this step now. “They’re not out on a limb here,” Durso says. “They’re in line with their base.” The near unanimous outcry against HB2 and in support of the NCAA and ACC confirms that. Legislating discrimination has become an expensive bad habit.

The sports-media business often imposes audience consensus upon local authorities. If usually a bad thing--think "taxpayers hooked into building private stadiums"--there are silver linings. Read the rest

North Carolina's voter suppression law struck down as "racist"


The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has invalidated parts of North Carolina's voter suppression laws, ruling that the requirement to show photo ID was enacted "with racially discriminatory intent." Read the rest

North Carolina adopts the nation's worst police bodycam law

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House Bill 972, signed into law by NC governor Pat McCrory [R] on Tuesday, makes police dashcam and bodycam footage off-limits to public records requests, off-limits to anyone who isn't personally pictured in the footage, and then only by request, which can be turned down, forcing subjects to appeal to the state Supreme Court. Read the rest

North Carolina town rejects solar because it'll suck up sunlight and kill the plants


A town meeting in Woodland, North Carolina heard public comments on a proposed solar farm in which citizens, including a retired science teacher called Jane Mann spoke out against the proposal. Read the rest

WATCH: Sharks' shoreline feeding frenzy on school of fish

Fisherman Donnie Griggs captured the scene at North Carolina's Cape Lookout National Seashore. Below is a similar frenzy in the Bahamas. Read the rest

Chapel Hill sends SWAT team to arrest Occupy "anarchists"

Chapel Hill police sent a heavily armed swat team to evict and arrest a group of some 80 Occupy Chapel Hill protesters who'd taken over a long vacant used car dealership (they also arrested members of the press covering the action). The police claimed the force was necessary because they'd been briefed that anarchist squatters use man-traps, and they believed this would be the case because the protesters had put banners in the windows and sited "strategic lookouts" on the roof. In other news: Chapel Hill police are credulous, dangerous dolts who set out to believe boogie-man stories about "anarchists" and seized on any rubric, no matter how farcical, they could find to support this a priori belief.

The brick and cinderblock building with large windows fronting the sidewalk is owned by out-of-town businessman Joe Riddle and has stood empty for many years. One demonstrator said they were acting in the tradition of working-class squatters' movements around the world that some say inspired the Occupy Wall Street movement and its offshoots across the United States.

The group printed a flier that proposed a possible new use for the space that would include a free clinic, kitchen, child care, library and dormitories, among other uses. The flier acknowledged they were breaking the law by entering the building.

"Make no mistake: this occupation is illegal," it said, "as are most of the other occupations taking place around the U.S., as were many of the other acts of defiance that won the little freedom and equality we appreciate today."

Police arrest Chapel Hill protesters who occupied vacant business

(Photo: Downsized cropped thumbnail from an image by Katelyn Ferral) Read the rest