Signs of the Time? Say it Ain’t so Carrboro!

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Bit of a shocker this evening in Carrboro

Tonight I made the rounds of the major municipal precincts to pick up my Honest Abe “A house divided…” referendum signs. Beyond recovering those and some for various candidates, I also made numerous stops along the way to retrieve others. By the time I hit Carrboro’s Town Hall, I’d already visited 12 polling stations – covered 16 miles – almost filled the bed of my truck.

Some signs were drooping from the rain, some had come loose from their staples, some were leaning precariously, some had blown off their stakes but NOT ONE – Republican or Democrat, popular or not – had been maliciously mangled.

And then came Carrboro’s Town Hall. Carrboro, “always one degree cooler” as WCHL’s Ron Stutts says. Carrboro, the Paris of the Piedmont. Carrboro, advertised as a bastion of liberal idealism and progressive profoundity. Carrboro, the only precinct to get two of my homemade signs – placed prominently front-and-center.

Carrboro, where the only signs mangled, torn and completely destroyed were mine.

Judge Free Speech

Friday, October 20th, 2006

As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I’m hooked on the ‘blog CreditSlips, “A blog on all things about credit and bankruptcy. We are seven academics who will use this space to do what we like to do when we get together–discussing and debating what does happen and what should happen when consumers and businesses borrow money.”

Local UNC law professor, Japanese internment expert and battler of the Malkinator, Eric Muller (isThatLegal.org), turned me on to these wild-n-wacky debt analysts last year.

One of their more interesting and disturbing threads involves Judge Leif Clark, a man of conscience, driven to criticize the precipitous dissipation of our civil liberties. Turns out that the Judge exposed himself to censure for practicing his First Amendment right to declaim the Bush madministration’s actions.

Over the past two weeks, I have been following a story about Leif Clark, a bankruptcy judge in San Antonio (see here and here). As regular Credit Slips readers will remember, Judge Clark wrote a letter to National Public Radio responding to an interview. In the letter, Judge Clark made remarks highly critical of the Bush Administration’s attitude toward civil liberties. At the time, I thought we had the proverbial tempest in a teapot about whether Judge Clark’s comments violated the Canons of Judicial Ethics which forbid judges from engaging in “political activity.” The San Antonio News-Express has reported that Judge Clark’s comments are now “under review by the chief judge of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, the tribunal that disciplines federal judicial misconduct in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.”

Further commentary over on CreditSlips.

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