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.


Jul. 05, 2015 @ 01:02 PM

The wrinkle in the ACA decision

"What chumps!"

     -- Chief Justice John Roberts, June 29, 2015


Jul. 04, 2015 @ 09:47 PM

A house divided – the South’s shameless bargain

sticker refers to them in passing.  Jesus talks about the ruin of a divided people in the middle of an argument about whether his healing miracles are miraculous or demonic.  Jesus is, of course, clear that he is healing people with the power of the Holy Spirit, not through the power of Satan.  This is also the passage where Jesus specifies that the only unforgivable sin is speaking against the Holy Spirit. 


Jul. 04, 2015 @ 07:16 AM

President Obama delivers a speech for history

"This whole week," said President Barack Obama, "I've been reflecting on this idea of grace."


Jul. 01, 2015 @ 08:00 PM

Some Republican candidates becoming unhinged

In 1824, in retirement 37 years after serving as the Constitutional Convention's prime mover, James Madison, 73, noted that the 1787 "language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders." He knew that the purport of the text would evolve "with the changeable meaning of the words composing it."


Jun. 30, 2015 @ 04:09 PM

The biggest news for me – no more Auman peaches

The biggest news for me this year?

Not ISIS, not Obamacare, not gay marriage, and not even the earth-shaking tragedy in Charleston.

This year's big news is that there are no more peaches at the Auman farm in West End near Pinehurst.


Jun. 29, 2015 @ 11:25 PM

Enlightenment on Confederate flag was long overdue

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing -- after they've tried everything else."

That's an observation widely credited to Winston Churchill, though it's one he may or may not have ever made. Whoever said it, the truth of the axiom has seldom been more obvious than now, as we watch the fall of the Confederate battle flag. It is too early to say whether this will prove lasting. But the signs certainly point toward a seismic shift.


Jun. 28, 2015 @ 12:14 PM

The damaging doctrine of Chief Justice Roberts

Conservatives are dismayed about the Supreme Court's complicity in rewriting the Affordable Care Act -- its ratification of the IRS' disregard of the statute's plain and purposeful language. But they have contributed to this outcome. Their decades of populist praise of judicial deference to the political branches has borne this sour fruit.


Jun. 28, 2015 @ 12:00 AM

Even as civic sphere secularizes, ironies abound

A few weeks ago, my wife, son and I – food-festival groupies -- dropped in on the Jewish Food Festival at the Levin Jewish Community Center on Cornwallis Road.


Jun. 26, 2015 @ 12:19 PM

No (pretend) confusion about church shooter's motives

This is for Elisabeth Hasselbeck of "Fox & Friends," who described last Thursday's act of white extremist terrorism at Emanuel AME church in Charleston as an "attack on faith."


Jun. 25, 2015 @ 10:05 AM

Moral claims proliferate but don’t persuade

In nearly three decades of writing a syndicated column on North Carolina politics and government, I’ve always received reader response. Back in the day, I’d get an occasional phone call or personal letter, but most of the response came in the form of letters to the editor. The reader would typically praise a point I made, or criticize it. Only rarely would there be an emotional outburst or personal attack.


Jun. 24, 2015 @ 08:03 PM

A few questions for candidate Clinton

Hillary Clinton's reticence is drowning out her message, which is that she is the cure for the many ailments that afflict America during a second Democratic presidential term. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has called her "the most opaque person you'll ever meet in your life," but when opacity yields to the necessity of answering questions, here are a few:


Jun. 23, 2015 @ 06:32 PM

Memories on the fault lines of race

Two people who wanted to be something else have grabbed our attention recently: Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP chapter president in Spokane, Washington, and Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion.