By Mike Walden
North Carolina Cooperative Extension
During the campaigns leading up to the recent elections, we heard a lot about the middle class. Many – if not most – candidates tailored their messages and promises to helping those in the middle class improve their lives.
It’s one of the great conundrums of modern society: All around us, images of wealth, comfort, individual freedom and swiftly advancing technology tell a story of promise and progress. For millions and millions of people, life really is safer, freer, healthier and wealthier than ever before. And yet, as nearly all of us can sense, something is clearly amiss in this picture.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. In that time, Berlin has become a vibrant, cultural and political powerhouse, going through rigorous reconstruction while simultaneously incorporating the city’s dark history.
Polling, it is said, is more of an art than a science. Pollsters are among the first to say this — particularly when the products, causes or candidates they project to succeed fall flat. When their predictions turn out to be on the mark, however, pollsters hope you picture them with pocket protectors instead of palettes.
People joke about surviving their first year of college. For me, surviving was an actual accomplishment. Within 24 hours, I went from playing Frisbee outside on an unseasonably warm January day, to lying in the ICU of Duke Hospital, receiving liter after liter of fluids to protect my organs from septic shock.
It has not been uncommon in Southern politics to see and hear candidates and self-styled “values” lobbies present themselves as the last ditch defenders of Bible, family and nation.
When Thomas Hocutt, a graduate of North Carolina College (NCC) for Negroes, applied for admission to the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina (at Chapel Hill in 1933, it marked the first time that an African American had sought to matriculate at a white university in the South since Reconstruction. In North Carolina, segregation governed all aspects of life, and the U.S. Supreme Court's Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 -- which called for "separate but equal" -- was the law of the land.
I’ll get to the point: Our younger generation is lazy, ungrateful and spoiled. When I was growing up, our country valued ideals like hard work and community service. These days it seems like younger people don’t even care about contributing to the nation as a whole, let alone dedicating themselves to improving society.
Recently my wife, Carlisle, and I took a trip to Scotland. Having been a Presbyterian pastor for almost 50 years, it seemed fitting to visit the birthplace of Presbyterianism.
It was a marvelous experience which put us in touch with the roots of our faith tradition.
The last leg on the road to jihad began with a day of ditching school.
Parents across North Carolina reacted with fear and outrage when they heard the news of allegations of two sexual assaults that occurred Sept. 11 on a school bus taking children home from W.G. Pearson Elementary School in Durham. According to reports, a 5-year-old child was forced by older children to perform oral sex, and a second family reported that their child was sexually assaulted on the same bus ride.
In 1925, advertising executive and future Congressman Bruce Barton wrote the book that made his national reputation, “The Man Nobody Knows.” In it, he imagined what Jesus Christ would be like if he resided in the modern world. Barton drew lessons from his thought experiment about business, personal relationships, self-improvement and charity.
In the early 1990s, I don’t think Durham’s local governments realized they were being strategic when they provided nearly all of the funding for a new non-profit organization to do advocacy for downtown revitalization.
Employees at two Wal-Mart stores in St. Louis County, Missouri, stripped store shelves of ammunition this week in fear of looting as protesters continue to fill the streets in the beleaguered town of Ferguson.
Today is Food Day, a day to organize and learn about the biggest issues concerning food, health, and how our political and economic systems promote and/or deny health and equality. We live in the richest country in the world, so we don’t usually connect the terms “hunger,” “malnutrition,” and “obesity.” They seem contradictory. However, there is a strong connection among these three phenomena and it is having a huge impact on the health of North Carolinians.