Opinion: Guest Columnists

Dec. 26, 2014 @ 12:27 PM

A Christmas wish list for the year ahead

1) I wish everyone would hold themselves as accountable as we expect others to do.

That's just another way of wishing for the Golden Rule. We'd be appalled if police showed up to a protest and started throwing rocks and sticks, so I wish protesters would find a better way to convey the message that black lives matter. 

Dec. 25, 2014 @ 08:37 AM

Celebration and mourning color this holiday season

On Nov.11, Shareef Muhammad -- revered former student athlete, track star/coach and mentor -- was murdered during an armed home invasion steps from North Carolina Central University's campus. The five survivors of that attack are NCCU students, one of whom is my son, my Christmas baby.

Dec. 22, 2014 @ 02:33 PM

Athletes’ measured messages deserve nuanced response

Noise.  Noise abounds.  Today’s goal is to be the loudest.  Everything is “BREAKING NEWS” or “RED ALERT.”  There isn’t enough news to fill a 24-hour news cycle, but if we turn up the volume on the feline fashion show we might just win the ten-o-clock hour. 

Dec. 21, 2014 @ 05:46 PM

Some GOP governors push to expand Medicaid

The Republican governor is no big fan of President Obama and opposes Obamacare. And the Republican-led legislature he works with has opposed the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion in the past.

Dec. 20, 2014 @ 09:39 AM

We cannot be great melting pot if racism has power

What I would like to believe about how far our country has come regarding civil rights and equality is so very different from the truth of what has happened these past few weeks. 

Dec. 20, 2014 @ 08:41 AM

Why we need early screening for dyslexia

When I was called into a parent teacher conference for my son Charlie, this “uh-oh” feeling overcame me as I was trying to figure out what he could have done.  As we sat there with his teacher, I received a message I was not expecting. 

Dec. 19, 2014 @ 03:39 PM

Looking for a little good news in this season

In a Peanuts cartoon, Linus counseled Charlie Brown, "Cheer up, things could be worse," to which Charlie responded, "I did, and they were!"

That is the way I find myself responding to the barrage of bad news lately. The inhumane way we treat each other seems to have no limits.

Dec. 18, 2014 @ 05:30 PM

"Picking the pockets’ of the rich

John Hood’s Dec. 13 op-ed blasting government policies that redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor contains several fallacies, both moral and economic.  On the moral side, his parallelism between the activities of Dickens’ Fagin and government taxation (with the former, and by analogy the latter, characterized as “stealing” and “sinful”) contradicts core principles of most of the world’s great religions.

Dec. 15, 2014 @ 11:23 AM

Racial strife can lead to progress, if slowly

Big-city mayors have to stay as neutral as possible when asked about disputes between their citizens and the police. But New York Mayor Bill de Blasio found his voice in a profoundly moving way when he responded not as a mayor, but as a parent.

Dec. 13, 2014 @ 12:52 PM

Working to be sure Durham isn’t overrun

After she read a recent post of mine entitled Mitigating Halloween and Our Obsession with Risk, a neighbor asked me if Durham is in danger of being overrun.

Dec. 12, 2014 @ 10:47 AM

Why we have opposed torture for the last 500 years

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA detention and interrogation program this week quickly stirred up a white-hot debate on the use of torture to extract information from our enemies.

And though there is great passion on both sides, this is not a new topic to be argued.

Dec. 11, 2014 @ 08:14 AM

18th Airborne can take pride in mission

They boarded the plane Monday afternoon and said goodbye to the country where some of them had worked on and off since 2002.

As many of them told Observer military editor Drew Brooks who traveled with them, the country that U.S. troops from Fort Bragg left behind this week does not resemble the place they knew just a few years ago.

Dec. 06, 2014 @ 08:36 AM

McCrory’s energy push leaves public drilling for truth

The administration of Governor Pat McCrory blatantly misled environmental groups, the media and the public last month about a meeting on offshore drilling that included state and federal officials and oil industry groups.

Nov. 29, 2014 @ 07:58 AM

GOP has a golden opportunity during the lame duck session

What will the new political year in Washington bring? According to some analysts, the new GOP congressional majorities tilt more toward “the establishment” and away from the Tea Party wing. According to others, however, the new majorities are the starter’s signal for a full-fledged campaign to “repeal” the Obama presidency and even impeach the President himself.

Nov. 29, 2014 @ 07:36 AM

Let’s remove ‘forbidden fruit’ label from school gardens

Imagine it’s lunchtime. Sitting in front of you is a ripe bowl of juicy raspberries.  You stealthily turn your head to the side to see if anyone is watching.  Seeing that the coast is clear you slowly reach your hand towards the bowl and select the tastiest looking berry.  Just as you are about to pop it in your mouth an alarm sounds, a government official rushes towards you and the bowl of fresh fruit is snatched away.  You are scolded and handed a fruit-flavored juice instead.