Saturday, June 28, 2014

Some are more equal than others

In the current political climate much is made by the progressive left about social/economic "inequality" promoting the perception of class warfare.

We hear all the time about the evil rich people, about the evils of capitalism and the protection of the 1%er's at the top. Wealth should be redistributed and taxation should be used to confiscate the monies of the evil rich and given to the disadvantaged. We are "owed that wealth" we are told, the capitalist pigs have stolen it from the "working poor".

It may interest you to know that the "University of North Carolina School of Law pays Professor Gene Nichol $205,400 annually for his one class per semester workload. On top of his teaching salary, he receives a $7,500 stipend as director of the law school’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity." According to The College Fix "UNC law professor’s holdings include $1.5M in real estate, and meanwhile he chastises Republicans for their ‘unforgivable war on poor people’

A controversial, outspoken law professor who frequently bashes Republicans and specializes in poverty issues as a self-proclaimed champion of the poor earns $205,400 per year – for teaching one class per semester."
“I’m a full time faculty member – doing all the varied things faculty members do,” he stated. “That’s the basis for the salary you quote. Beyond that, I’m paid $7,500 to run the poverty center – the same as all the other law school center directors.” 
When asked about his compensation compared to other law professors, Nichol said: “Several make a good deal more than I do at Carolina, some make less.” 
The News & Observer lists the UNC Distinguished Professor of Law Thomas Lee Hazen’s salary at $222,000. However, he is slated to teach four classes this fall, and two in the spring. UNC Distinguished Professor of Law Sarah Elizabeth Gibson earns $200,000 annually, and has a similar workload to Nichol at one class per semester. 
Assistant and associate professors at the UNC School of Law tend to earn about $130,000 annually, according to the News & Observer database. Their work load ranges from one class per semester up to four. 
As for Nichol, in the past he served as president of the College of William and Mary from 2005 to 2008, that is, until his contract was not renewed following a string of controversies.
Among them, he allowed a sex workers’ art show on campus and removed a cross from permanent display in the chapel of the historic Christopher Wren building, citing the facility’s use for secular events.
Prior to that, Nichol was the dean of UNC’s law school from 1999 to 2005.
Today at UNC, Nichol runs the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, which was founded by the now-disgraced Democrat John Edwards. The center is a self-proclaimed non-partisan, interdisciplinary institute that aims to study and mitigate poverty in North Carolina and the nation. 
... In his leadership role there, Nichol is known to use inflammatory political rhetoric.
For example, on the center’s website he writes that “the scourge of debilitating poverty is the largest problem faced by the people of North Carolina – even if our political leaders ignore it, or declare, with a breathtaking stupidity, that it doesn’t exist.” North Carolina has a Republican-controlled majority of lawmakers. 
Yet while Nichol champions the poor – even chastising Republicans in a March News & Observer op-ed for its “unforgivable war on poor people” – it’s unclear how well he can relate to those living in poverty. 
His wife, chief of staff for the UNC Health Care System and the UNC School of Medicine, earns $407,000 annually. Combining his and his wife’s salary, the couple makes at least $612,000 per year. 
The Nichol family lives in a Chapel Hill home with a tax value of more than $1 million. They also own a bungalow on the beach at Emerald Isle, valued by Carteret County at more than $512,000. In the summer months, Nichol rents his four-bedroom bungalow for nearly $2,000 per week.
No stranger to controversy, Professor Nichol once the President of William & Mary School of Law, sent out a defiant departure email, claiming he was ousted due to ideological reasons, and Michael Powell’s steadfast denial that the non-renewal was based on ideology following the board decision not to renew his contract.
First, as is widely known, I altered the way a Christian cross was displayed in a public facility, on a public university campus, in a chapel used regularly for secular College events — both voluntary and mandatory — in order to help Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and other religious minorities feel more meaningfully included as members of our broad community. The decision was likely required by any effective notion of separation of church and state. And it was certainly motivated by the desire to extend the College’s welcome more generously to all. We are charged, as state actors, to respect and accommodate all religions, and to endorse none. The decision did no more. 
Second, I have refused, now on two occasions, to ban from the campus a program funded by our student-fee-based, and student-governed, speaker series. To stop the production because I found it offensive, or unappealing, would have violated both the First Amendment and the traditions of openness and inquiry that sustain great universities. It would have been a knowing, intentional denial of the constitutional rights of our students. It is perhaps worth recalling that my very first act as president of the College was to swear on oath not to do so. 
... And, finally, to the life-changing and soul-inspiring students of the College, the largest surprise of my professional life, those who have created in me a surpassing faith not only in an institution, but in a generation, I have not words to touch my affections. My belief in your promise has been the central and defining focus of my presidency. The too-quick ending of our work together is among the most profound and wrenching disappointments in my life. Your support, particularly of the past few weeks and days, will remain the strongest balm I’ve known. I am confident of the triumphs and contributions the future holds for women and men of such power and commitment.
What else is this pompous ass capable of? He also writes about "the leading edge of Southern civil rights oppression"
But if gubernatorial derision is par for the course, the United States’ decision, two weeks ago, to sue North Carolina for violating the Voting Rights Act is not. 
Attorney General Eric Holder announced “more in sorrow than in anger” that key provisions of McCrory and friends’ new election law are racially discriminatory “in both intent and impact.” We “cannot simply stand by,” Holder declared, “as North Carolina minority communities are shut out of self-governance.” 
But there was much more. In one sense, Holder’s bold legal move has been under-reported. Not only does he seek to invalidate a laundry list of the law’s provisions, he has demanded that North Carolina “be subjected to a pre-clearance regime similar to the one required by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.” 
In short, Holder triggered a formal process to have North Carolina declared an outlaw state – unwilling to protect the essential rights of its citizens. Federal receivership is necessary because we cannot be trusted to comply with the foundational American duty to govern fairly. If successful, Holder’s suit will assure that, for the first time, all 100 North Carolina counties (instead of the original 40 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act) submit to pre-clearance duties. An ironic legacy for McCrory and crew. 
Read more here:
Facing South details North Carolina budget director Art Pope recently filed a broad Freedom of Information Act request seeking all emails and other records of a University of North Carolina law school professor and anti-poverty crusader over a month-long period.
FOIA laws were designed to ensure government information is available to the public. But in recent years, requests from conservative groups for the records of academics in Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin and Michigan have raised questions whether FOIA is being used for politically motivated harassment. 
"For a crowd that talks so much about liberty, they sure love to shut people up," Nichol told Facing South. 
Civitas, which was also behind the controversial database of Moral Monday arrestees, filed the information request 11 days after Nichol published a column in The News & Observer of Raleigh in which he called North Carolina's new election law imposing strict photo voter ID requirements and other limits on voting the "most oppressive in the nation" and likened Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to "a 21st century successor to Maddox, Wallace and Faubus," referring to the segregationist governors of Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas. 
Nichol's column sparked an angry response from Civitas Executive Director Francis De Luca and Jane Shaw, director of the Art Pope-founded Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. In an Oct. 18 blog post at the Civitas website titled "Academic Freedom or Shrill Partisanship?", they accused Nichol of going "over the top in his invective": 
A nasty attack of this sort on a governor might be ignored if Gene Nichol were a fringe figure. But he is not. He is a law professor who receives $205,400 per year from North Carolina taxpayers. 
A request for comment from De Luca, who submitted the FOIA request, was not immediately returned because he is traveling. Civitas played an important role in building support for the election law changes that Nichol criticized. The former director of the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group founded with the support of the billionaire brothers behind the Koch Industries oil and chemical conglomerate, De Luca was recently appointed to the N.C. Ethics Commission.
Jane Stancill further details the controversies surrounding the "champion of the poor and down-trodden"
Gene Nichol, a UNC-Chapel Hill law professor, wrote a column last month in which he urged an end to the “unforgivable war on poor people” in North Carolina. 
“It is a rank violation of our history, our ethics, our scriptures and our constitutions,” he wrote in The News &  Observer. “We’re a decent people. We aren’t bullies. And we don’t like those who are.” 
Printed under the column were his name, his title as the Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor and this statement: “He doesn’t speak for UNC.” 
Since late October, the disclaimer has appeared whenever Nichol, a provocative and prolific writer, pens a piece for the newspaper’s opinion pages. 
According to email records obtained by the N&O, Nichol, a former dean and college president and well-known liberal, has also been asked by his bosses to give them a day or two days’ notice – a “heads up” before his columns appear. And when the subject doesn’t involve poverty, he’s been urged to omit his title as director of the privately funded, university-based Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity – an organization that has been a lightning rod because its founding was tied to former presidential candidate and disgraced Democrat John Edwards. 
The university’s unusual requests followed an Oct. 15 column by Nichol in which he was sharply critical of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. 
The emails show significant angst on the part of university officials who fretted about budget consequences for the university in North Carolina’s highly politicized atmosphere. Though Nichol agreed to the limits, some say they threaten the university’s proud tradition of academic freedom and unfettered expression. 
“The attempt to pressure the university to control Gene Nichol’s speech is illegitimate, and frankly, borders on the unconstitutional,” said Rich Rosen, an emeritus professor of law at UNC. 
Read more here:
It may be just me, but I think it's disingenuous at best to pretend you are a champion of the poor while drawing a public funded salary of $205,400 with $1.5 million in real estate holdings.

Or have I been eating paint chips again?

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