Opinion: Columnists

Apr. 15, 2014 @ 10:41 AM

Saying thanks is not enough

We say, “Thanks for your service,” when we met veterans of the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq veterans.

They can be forgiven if they think “Thanks for your service” is an incomplete thank you, an insincere and hollow expression, showing a lack of understanding and real appreciation of what these men and women had been through.


Apr. 14, 2014 @ 02:25 PM

...and this is Overkill News Network

Please, for the love of Cronkite: Give us a break from the missing plane. Yes, we all wonder what happened to it. Yes, our hearts go out to the families seeking resolution. But really, CNN ... enough. Put your hands up and step away from the story.


Apr. 13, 2014 @ 11:07 AM

FCC should let markets work

In February, Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler declared that the North Carolina General Assembly had no authority to determine telecommunications policy in North Carolina.

Well, okay, Wheeler didn’t single North Carolina out for particular scorn. 


Apr. 12, 2014 @ 11:35 PM

A counter for hysterics in Michigan

Robert Griffin, now 90, who rose to be second in the Republican U.S. Senate leadership, was defeated in 1978. Since then, only one Michigan Republican, Spencer Abraham in 1994, has been elected to the Senate and for only one term. Evidence that former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land might end this GOP drought is that Democrats are attacking her for opposing "preventive health care."


Apr. 12, 2014 @ 03:57 PM

Are we skimming through life on digital brains?

As the “Here and Now” transcript puts it, “With digital devices, we are constantly consuming information, from short tweets and text messages to online articles and blog posts. We jump around, skimming and scanning.”

These are not just quirks. Our brains may, neuroscientists are finding, be adopting new processes. The change may be making it more difficult for us to read closely and absorb lengthy or complex material closely.


Apr. 12, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

More sunny or cloudy days ahead for the economy?

Economists love numbers -- some might call it an occupational hazard. Numbers are our window into the workings of the economy. Without numbers, we’d have a difficult time understanding how the economy is changing, both in positive and negative ways.


Apr. 11, 2014 @ 10:20 AM

Wake up, people, and see the danger we're in

This is a column about campaign finance reform.
And your eyes glazed over just then, didn't they?
That's the problem with this problem. Americans know that government truly of, by and for the people is unlikely if not impossible so long as the system is polluted by billions of dollars in contributions from corporations and individual billionaires. Half of us, according to Gallup, would like to see public financing of campaigns; nearly 80 percent want to limit campaign fund-raising.


Apr. 09, 2014 @ 08:48 PM

A recourse to budgetary inaction

From the Goldwater Institute, the fertile frontal lobe of the conservative movement's brain, comes an innovative idea that is gaining traction in Alaska, Arizona and Georgia, and its advocates may bring it to at least 35 other states' legislatures. It would use the Constitution's Article V to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution's Framers thought their document guaranteed.


Apr. 08, 2014 @ 03:38 PM

From ash pond, to river, to your bloodstream

When you have finished drinking this bottle of water, fill it with our tap water for liquid refreshment that tastes as good and is just as pure as what was in the bottle.


Apr. 07, 2014 @ 11:11 AM

Again, Christianity the last to get it right

Eleven years ago, Richard Stearns went to Washington.

Stearns -- president of World Vision, the billion-dollar Christian relief organization -- joined other faith leaders in lobbying Congress to spend $15 billion combating AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. He acknowledged he and his fellow evangelicals were late to the fight against this pandemic and explained their tardiness with remarkable candor.


Apr. 06, 2014 @ 11:19 AM

For want of the public trust, what was lost?

The Duke Energy coal ash saga reminds us of the old poem, “For Want of a Nail.”

No doubt you remember that because of a missing horseshoe nail a horse, a rider, a message, a battle, a war and a kingdom were lost. In our modern-day proverb we would suggest beginning by saying that for want of doing the right thing the public trust was lost.


Apr. 06, 2014 @ 10:56 AM

Start up North Carolina’s rural economy

During most of its history, North Carolina was a state of widely dispersed residents. There were no truly big cities, many small towns and fewer sparsely populated counties than, say, Virginia or Georgia had. Particularly along the state’s rivers and streams, you’d find a thriving mill town or farming village every few miles.


Apr. 05, 2014 @ 08:29 PM

An undaunted tax reformer's uphill push

The Sisyphean task of tax reform should be tried only by someone who will not flinch from igniting some highly flammable people -- those who believe that whatever wrinkle in the tax code benefits them is an eternal entitlement. Tax reform's Senate champion is Ron Wyden, the affable, cerebral and tall Oregon Democrat who once wanted to be the NBA's greatest Jewish power forward since ... never mind.


Apr. 05, 2014 @ 12:35 PM

NCPedia becomes an even richer -- and tempting -- resource

If you wanted to know how Lizard Lick got that name – one of my favorites on the North Carolina map – you could, of course, Google it.

 

Apr. 05, 2014 @ 11:38 AM

The shenanigans of 'responsibility' politics

A media-savvy child of the new millennium, my older daughter is privy to all sorts of terms.  This includes informally coined, succinct phrases to describe complicated concepts.  These include phrases to label public conversations about tricky, politically charged issues.