Of roaches and statist mooches

roach_cartoonA friend of mine in the pest control business told me once about the importance of spraying a whole building evenly at one time.  Spraying one section, leaving, and then coming back later for more, only causes the critters to scatter to the unsprayed parts of the building for relief.

Statists who spend their entire lives on the taxpayer’s dime — while criticizing the rest of us who actually work for a living — operate in much the same way.  Eliminate their little niche in the bureaucracy, and they’ll simply pop up somewhere else.

nichCase in point — Gene Nichol at the UNC Law School.  We, and others, have written extensively about this guy.  He got hired — for six figures — to run the school-sanctioned scam set up for John Edwards in between presidential runs.  Nichol appeared to do very little teaching but a whole lot of agitating of Republican legislators (who just happen to fund his school).

When questions started being raised about his activities, Nichol tried hard to transform himself into a free-speech martyr.  (Suggesting that radical leftism is being stomped out on North Carolina campuses is a bit of a stretch.)  And we all know how conservative speakers get treated when they dare to set foot on the UNC campus. (Loving, open arms. Yadda. Yadda.)

Well, a prominent jurist in our state — who happens to be a fan of our site — sent along this copy of the latest edition of the UNC law school newsletter:

Welcome to the final Poverty Center newsletter. This is a bittersweet moment as the Center comes to a close on June 30. Fortunately, thanks to foundation support and private gifts, the Center’s work will continue under the auspices of the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund.In reviewing old files, I was struck by the number of prominent scholars, policymakers, commentators and idea generators the Center has brought to the UNC campus. Jacob Hacker. William Julius Wilson. Jason DeParle. Katherine Boo. Xavier de Sousa Briggs. Robert Kuttner. Kathryn Edin. Jared Bernstein. Michael Sherraden. Lawrence Mishel. Elizabeth Warren. Jack Kemp. Peter Edelman. Isabel Sawhill. Katherine Newman. And many, many others. It’s a veritable who’s who of policy and poverty wonkdom.

But the big names are a small part of the picture. We thought it was appropriate in these waning moments to take some time to celebrate the Center’s accomplishments and to recognize our friends. Some highlights include:

      • Conferences, panels and presentations on virtually every facet of poverty: housing, education, health and disability, work and workers’ rights, globalization, campaign finance, wealth inequality and the shrinking middle class; access to justice, and so much more.
        Not all events were traditional academic presentations. The center hosted movies, such as the wonderful Change Comes Knocking: The Story of the NC Fund, and theatrical productions like Mike Wiley’s fabulous Blood Done Sign My Name and The Parchman Hour. And the Center participated in the NC Poverty Tour, which gave tour participants a glimpse into the reality of what it means to live on a financial razor’s edge (and sometimes to fall off it) for North Carolinians from Elizabeth City to Hendersonville.as
      • Sponsored research at UNC-Chapel Hill, including an innovative policy brief series, faculty research on land loss and hunger, and student projects ranging from the reconstruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to micro-lending to low wage work.
      • A range of publications, including a book (Ending Poverty in America); reports on diverse topics such as poverty and racial disparities in wealth in NC, foreclosure patterns in Durham, and the economic benefits of legal representation for low income people; conference proceedings and law journal publications; and many op-ed pieces in local and state press, including the Seeing the Invisible series, which ran in monthly installments in the News and Observer for a year.
      • Student involvement and mentorship. Students worked with the Center as research assistants, interns and externs. The Center advised student organizations, co-hosted campus events and student working groups, supervised individual student research projects, and generally served as a resource and clearinghouse for undergraduates and graduate students across campus.
      • We’re constantly inspired by our colleagues and partners. Not only do they contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities, they make us a better North Carolina. The students with whom we’ve crossed paths are immensely talented, energetic, committed and idealistic. They never fail to amaze. Finally, much gratitude in particular to our remarkable board for their guidance and steadfast support.hippie

The Fund’s website will have the same address as the Center’s: http://www.law.unc.edu/centers/poverty/. Please check in from time to time to follow our work or like us on Facebook.

If you would like to support the Fund, you can make a donation by going online to http://giving.unc.edu/gift/custom/index.htm?p=slaw&fndpic=255611. Or you can mail a check (with the NC Poverty Research Fund designated in the memo line) to:

UNC School of Law
Office of Advancement
Campus Box #3382
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3382


Let’s see — they talk about Nichol’s “baby” continuing with “foundation support and private gifts.”  But, if you read a little further, the UNC IT departmeshutup hippient will still be hosting and maintaining Nichol’s Internet presence.  And Carolina’s development office will be actively fundraising for this new venture.  I am willing to bet there is a lot more taxpayer money being used to keep this fat man afloat than we are being told about. It sounds like we’re going to be seeing the laundering of the same ol’ race-baiting, social justice agitating that we saw under the auspices of the Center on Poverty which Republicans just defunded.

It is a shame that there is no leadership within the executive branch, the legislative branch, or the board of governors to try and shift the UNC campuses away from claptrap like this — which merely produces more Franklin Street drum circle participants and does little to prepare these students to be productive members of society.  While our university system is training students how to harass banks with frivolous lawsuits, China continues to corner every aspect of the world economy. 

With the GOP takeover in Raleigh, we have had an incredible opportunity to rejuvenate and remake the university system for the 21st century and beyond.  So far, we’ve just wasted a lot of time and allowed the parasites to tighten their hold on the host.