Opinion: Columnists

Jul. 05, 2014 @ 09:28 AM

Patriotism scarce? No, it abounds in many forms

As the Fourth of July, that most patriotic of American holidays, approached last week, Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer on Fox News ginned up the specter of a patriotism crisis in the country.


Jul. 05, 2014 @ 08:18 PM

The court's indispensable role

Two 5-4 decisions last week on the final decision day of the Supreme Court's term dealt with issues that illustrate the legal consequences of political tactics by today's progressives. One case demonstrated how progressivism's achievement, the regulatory state, manufactures social strife, and can do so in ways politically useful to progressives. The other case arose from government coercion used to conscript unwilling citizens into funding the progressives' party.


Jul. 03, 2014 @ 04:30 PM

Serve a different plate

 As often happens at the North Carolina General Assembly, the new fiscal year has begun with the House and Senate not yet finished with a budget-adjustment bill. Medicaid funding, teacher compensation and a few other issues continue to divide the two chambers.


Apr. 20, 2015 @ 11:21 AM

Will someone tell Wayne LaPierre 'normal' is gone for good?

Maybe, conservatives are done with dog whistle politics.

After all, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre traded his dog whistle for an air horn at a recent gathering of the gun faithful in Washington, D.C. "I have to tell you," he said, "eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough."

Subtle, it was not.


Apr. 19, 2015 @ 03:56 PM

Don't seize the raisins

In oral arguments Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear the government defend its kleptocratic behavior while administering an indefensible law. The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 is among the measures by which New Dealers tried and failed to regulate and mandate America back to prosperity. Seventy-eight years later, it is the government's reason for stealing Marvin and Laura Horne's raisins.


Apr. 19, 2015 @ 08:17 AM

Celebrating a “dawn of peace” that sadly really wasn’t

Ten days ago, the nation celebrated the 150th anniversary  of Confederate Gen. Robert E.
Lee’s surrender to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia.
Grant declared “the war is over” and ever since that surrender has been seen as the
welcome conclusion to a civil war that tore about the nation less than a century after its
founding.


Apr. 18, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

Freedom is a weighty issue

Have you been eating right? Getting enough exercise? How far away are you from your ideal weight?


Apr. 17, 2015 @ 02:33 PM

'The Government,’ let us remember, is us

On Sunday, it will be 20 years since the morning a bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and took 168 human lives. Nineteen of those lives belonged to children.


Apr. 17, 2015 @ 06:48 AM

William Powell, dean of North Carolina history

When UNC-Chapel Hill Professor Emeritus William Powell died last week at the age of 95, North Carolina lost its dean of history. With constant help and support from his wife Virginia, he authored countless books and articles, including the preeminent history of our state, “North Carolina Through Four Centuries,” all 670 pages of it. Even though it is now 25 years since its publication, it is still the best.


Apr. 15, 2015 @ 08:20 PM

Sustainability gone wild

Syracuse University alumni are new additions to the lengthening list of persons who can stop contributing to their alma maters. The university has succumbed -- after, one suspects, not much agonizing -- to the temptation to indulge in progressive gestures. It will divest all fossil fuel stocks from its endowment. It thereby trumps Stanford, whose halfhearted exercise in right-mindedness has been to divest only coal stocks. Evidently carbon from coal is more morally disquieting than carbon from petroleum. 


Apr. 14, 2015 @ 08:11 AM

Jesse Helms, police dogs, World War I, Meck Dec and good N.C. eating

Here are five recent books, starting with a novel featuring a thinly disguised Jesse Helms, by North Carolina authors to put on your bedside reading table.


Apr. 13, 2015 @ 06:24 PM

Walter Scott, just another 'isolated incident'?

So here we are with another isolated incident.

That, at least, is how the April 4 police killing of 50-year-old Walter Scott will play in those conservative enclaves where the notion that there is such a thing as systemic racism is regarded as deluded and absurd. 


Apr. 12, 2015 @ 11:14 AM

We benefit from taxes, even as we rail against them

In declaring his presidential candidacy last month, Republican Ted Cruz took aim at the Internal Revenue Service.

“Instead of a tax code that crushes innovation, that imposes burdens on families struggling to make ends meet, imagine a simple flat tax that lets every American fill out his or her taxes on a postcard.” Cruz said. “Imagine abolishing the IRS.”


Apr. 10, 2015 @ 06:57 PM

'The Culture War' -- a battle the GOP can't win

The argument is over and conservatives have lost. Some of them just don't know it yet.


Apr. 09, 2015 @ 08:36 AM

When everything is a crime

What began as a trickle has become a stream that could become a cleansing torrent. Criticisms of the overcriminalization of American life might catalyze an appreciation of the toll the administrative state is taking on the criminal justice system, and liberty generally.