Opinion: Columnists

Mar. 17, 2015 @ 10:39 PM

Area nonprofits adapt to change by working together

The Triangle has enjoyed unprecedented growth, affluence and accolades in the past decade. We may be poised for a growing, changing path to greatness, yet many people in our community continue to struggle to feed and house their families, stay healthy, find jobs and prepare their children to succeed as adults.

Mar. 17, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

Four good North Carolina books for the spring

If you are looking for an interesting book for springtime reading, I have four suggestions: A cookbook that will be fun to read. A book of stories from one of North Carolina’s rising stars. The story of a ’57 Chevy and its complicated, troubled and fascinating 13th owner who took it to Moyock in Currituck County for restoration. An award-winning story of a mother who writes letters to the son she gave up the day he was born.

Mar. 16, 2015 @ 11:10 AM

Like and dislike in these polarizing times

This is for Gigi, who can't figure out why I don't like Bill Maher.

Gigi, a reader in West Palm Beach, wrote me last week noting that I agree with the star of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" on most political issues. Yet I have, on previous occasions in this space, expressed distaste for him. "I just don't understand," wrote Gigi, "why you profess to dislike someone who is so like-minded. It baffles me."

Mar. 15, 2015 @ 03:49 PM

The prescience of Daniel Patrick Moynihan

In the mid-1960s, a social scientist noted something ominous that came to be called "Moynihan's Scissors:" Two lines on a graph crossed, replicating a scissors' blades. The descending line charted the decline in the minority male unemployment rate. The ascending line charted the simultaneous rise of new welfare cases.  

Mar. 14, 2015 @ 11:39 PM

Debt-trap lending has no business in North Carolina

Short-term lenders must be hoping that North Carolina legislators have short memories. Less than two years after the legislature passed sweeping interest rate increases at the lenders' request, two large out-of-state companies are leading a drive to double or even triple the interest rates and fees allowed. If these lenders get their way, consumers will be among the biggest losers of the legislature's long session.

Mar. 14, 2015 @ 11:23 PM

Looking beyond the horizon — to ‘different America’ in 2060

Elected officials, especially lawmakers, regularly get denounced for short-range vision. And for sure, there’s some truth to the accusation that, when they cast a vote or take a position, they have their eyes on the next party primary and the next general election, or whether it will cost them a choice committee assignment.

Mar. 13, 2015 @ 03:04 PM

Fox 'News' proof of old P.T. Barnum adage

Every once in a while the universe arranges itself to make you look smarter than you are. Lucky me, I am having such a moment now.

Mar. 12, 2015 @ 05:28 PM

Assessing the assessments - a new kind of school choice

There is a growing debate in the country and in North Carolina regarding the role of standardized testing and how it evaluates children’s learning and teachers’ effectiveness.   The growth of federally mandated testing under No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, as well as additional North Carolina testing, has pushed parents, teachers and administrators to begin a serious dialogue.

Mar. 11, 2015 @ 08:22 PM

The Export-Import Bank's bipartisan grip on existence

Conservatives' next disappointment will at least be a validation. The coming reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank will confirm their warnings about the difficulty of prying the government's tentacles off what should be society's private sphere.

Mar. 09, 2015 @ 09:45 PM

Martin: Who and what do you believe?

Last week two men claimed they had been robbed of about $5 million worth of gold bars they were transporting along Interstate 95 in Wilson County. According to their story, when they pulled over on I-95 to fix their truck or attend to an illness, three armed men appeared, took the gold, tied them up and sped away.

Mar. 09, 2015 @ 08:11 AM

Ferguson is an example, not an exception

By now, it should come as news to no one that Ferguson, Missouri, has a lousy excuse for a police department.

Mar. 08, 2015 @ 10:12 AM

Daylight Savings Time saves no daylight

To Benjamin Franklin, the sage of Philadelphia, we owe a great deal.
His famous experiments on electricity. His consummate diplomacy that helped enlist France to the cause 
of our independence  from Great Britain. The founding of a public library and the origins of our postal 
service. His contributions to printing and publications. Memorable aphorisms such as “a penny saved is a 
penny earned.”

Mar. 07, 2015 @ 10:05 AM

Fighting Hunger -- moving beyond shame to action

The newly minted U.S. senator from South Dakota stood in his comfortable Washington apartment, watching the evening news. 

The segment being aired featured a reporter interviewing children in a rural school in Appalachia. It was noontime. Most children were sitting at their desks eating their lunches, but a few boys stood in the back of the room.

Mar. 06, 2015 @ 08:39 AM

Injustice is resilient, but so are defenders of freedom

First, they sang "God Will Take Care of You."

Then they walked out of Brown Chapel to a playground where they organized themselves into 24 groups of 25 each and set out marching. Their route out of Selma took them onto Highway 80, which is carried over the Alabama River by a bridge named in honor of Confederate general and Alabama Ku Klux Klan leader Edmund W. Pettus.

Mar. 04, 2015 @ 08:00 PM

Stopping the IRS’ persistent pattern of corruption

Rep. Peter Roskam is now chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes oversight of the Internal Revenue Service, and hence of Lois Lerner's legacy. He knows how interesting her career was before she, as head of the IRS exempt-organizations division, directed the suppression of conservative advocacy groups by delaying and denying them the tax exempt status that was swiftly given to comparable liberal groups.